Annual Meeting, Atlanta, November 21-24, 2015
Presider: SARAH ROLLENS, University of Alabama
LLEWELLYN HOWES, University of Johannesburg, South Africa: Food for Thought: Reading Q 12:42-44 as Part of the Formative Stratum (30 min)
SHANE PATRICK GORMLEY, Loyola University Chicago: The Necessity of Appropriate Fear: The Two-Fold Function of Q 12:4-5 (30 min)
THOMAS KLAMPFL, Karl-Franzens-Universität Graz, Austria: Searching and Finding in Q (30 min)
DAVID SLOAN, Malone University: A Passion Narrative in Q? (30 min)
MICHAEL T. ZEDDIES, Chicago, IL: Evidence for Q from the Gospel of Peter (30 min)
LLEWELLYN HOWES, University of Johannesburg, South Africa: Food for Thought: Reading Q 12:42-44 as Part of the Formative Stratum
On the level of the main redaction (or Kloppenborg's Q2), the parable of the wise slave (Q 12:42-46) is undoubtedly about the unexpected return of Jesus and/or the Son of Man at the parousia. Yet, it is my estimation that verses 42-44 originally belonged to the formative stratum (or Kloppenborg's Q1) as a parable in its own right, to which verses 45-46 were added by the main redactor. If so, Q 12:42-44 needs to be interpreted without the contaminating influence of subsequent redactional additions to reveal its original message at the level of the formative stratum. Such an interpretation reveals a wholly different message, surprisingly congruent with not only the remainder of the formative stratum, but also the socio-economic and politico-religious situation of first-century Galilee.
SHANE PATRICK GORMLEY, Loyola University Chicago: The Necessity of Appropriate Fear: The Two-Fold Function of Q 12:4-5
John Kloppenborg's analysis of the stratigraphy of Q stands as one of the most comprehensive and consistent approaches to the composition and genre of Q as we are able to reconstruct it. His work, along with that of Ronald Piper and others, have highlighted the integrity of independent collections of aphoristic sayings within the "formative stratum" of Q. Each collection, or "cluster," contains "hortatory sayings, topically arranged," some being "prefaced with programmatic pronouncements" and concluding with warnings or sanctions "that underscore the gravity of the discourse" (Kloppenborg-Verbin, Excavating Q, 145-55). Within one of these clusters, delineated by Kloppenborg as Q 12:2-7, 11-12, sits the saying about the necessity of appropriate fear: "And do not be afraid of those who kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul; rather, be afraid of the one who is able to destroy both body and soul in Gehenna" (Q 12:4-5). In Kloppenborg's analysis of this cluster, he concludes that 12:4-5 is the "kernel" around which other sayings have been added. Piper argues that the saying of 12:4-5 is the beginning of a collection of sayings, stretching at least as far as verse 9. Christopher Tuckett suggests that these verses are themselves a later interpolation into another collection of sayings. This paper reexamines the saying of Q 12:4-5 within its immediate context. I agree with Kloppenborg's delineation of the original cluster, but I do not find 12:4-5 to be key to the cluster's composition. Instead, I argue that the saying of Q 12:4-5 is included within this cluster in order to bolster the significance of the cluster's programmatic statement in 12:2-3: "Nothing is hidden that will not be exposed, and hidden that will not be known. What I say to you in the dark, speak in the light; and what you hear whispered in the ear, proclaim on the housetops." This "bolstering" accomplished by Q 12:4-5's two-fold function: first, it quells inappropriate fear of humans, epitomized in the synagogue of Q 12:11-12; second, it instills in the listeners an appropriate fear of God, the one who has, though his envoy, called his audience to participate in the revealing of things once hidden and cryptic (12:2-3). The listeners are to take seriously the mission with which they have been tasked, and the double-saying on fear admonishes them not to allow their fear of humans (inappropriate fear) to outweigh their fidelity to God or their devotion to their task (appropriate fear).
THOMAS KLAMPFL, Karl-Franzens-Universität Graz, Austria: Searching and Finding in Q
In a first step it will be argued that Q 11:9c "search and you will find" is a common proverb which was used by Jesus in the independent logion Q 11:9-10. This explains why in Gos. Thom. 92:1 only Q 11:9c is found although the Gospel of Thomas knows the whole aphorism Q 11:9 (Gos. Thom. 94). It will be suggested that the object of the act of searching was the kingdom of God (Q 12:31). In a second step the history of religion background of the sentence about searching and finding will be explored. (Old Testament, Qumran, Hellenistic philosophy, especially Epictetus [Diss IV 1,51] and Philo). The word "searching" is never used in connection with prayer in the Old Testament. This means that the application of the proverb Q 11:9c in Q 11:2b-13 to prayer is an innovation. The theological use of "searching" in the older parts of the Old Testament does not include the usual understanding of searching in the sense of asking for something unknown, but means to turn to God as an act (e.g., Ex 33:7; 2 Chr 20:4; Hos 5:6) or to search for God as a status (e.g., Ps 40:17; 105,4; Jer 29:23; 50,4). Searching for wisdom means to receive the traditions of the past (Prov 18,15). Only in the younger parts of Old Testament wisdom is something to be explored (e.g., Qoh 7:23-29; 8:16-18). The question to be addressed is to which tradition does the gnomic verse Q 11:9-10 belong. "Searching" is not an intellectual matter but embraces the whole existence and the kingdom is not a hidden reality but, according to the message of Jesus, open for everyone. In a third step the reception of Q 11:9-10 in Q and in the Gospel of Thomas will be explained.
DAVID SLOAN, Malone University: A Passion Narrative in Q?
A common argument against the two-document hypothesis is the presence of minor agreements between Matthew and Luke against Mark. Frans Neirynck and others have given plausible non-Q explanations for every minor agreement, but in the passion narrative there is such a high concentration of minor agreements that further explanation is needed. Stephen Hultgren has surveyed some of these agreements and argued "that Matthew and Luke had access to common, non-Markan narrative material in their passion narratives," but Hultgren ignores the arguments for the unity of Q and thus thinks that this narrative material (as well as the other double tradition material) comes from a variety of sources. The present author has previously argued (1) that Q was significantly more extensive than the double tradition (SBL 2012 and a forthcoming JSNT article) and (2) that the genre of Q is narrative (Eastern Great Lakes Biblical Society 2015). This paper builds on these arguments as well as on arguments for the unity of Q and shows that many of the minor agreements in the passion narrative as well as a number of Sondergut reflect the style, theology, and themes that are found elsewhere in Q. When these elements are put together a consistent passion narrative is recovered that reflects the Deuteronomistic outlook of Q, flashes back to earlier passages in Q, and gives the same perspective on Jesus' death and vindication as is found elsewhere in Q. This paper thus concludes that Q contained a passion narrative and offers a reconstruction of that passion narrative as well as explanations for why Matthew (and sometimes Luke) omitted various elements of this narrative.
MICHAEL T. ZEDDIES, Chicago, IL: Evidence for Q from the Gospel of Peter
The pericope of the centurion, a story assigned to Q describing an encounter at Capernaum between Jesus and a centurion, contains language at Matt 7.8//Luke 8.9 that echoes Josephus at Jewish War 2.10.4, which describes the encounter at Tiberias between a Jewish delegation and the Roman legate of Syria, Publius Petronius. I note that the Akhmim Fragment identified with the text of the apocryphal Gospel of Peter (Gos. Pet.) assigns the name Petronius to a centurion tasked with guarding the tomb of Jesus. I suggest that this is unlikely to be sheer coincidence. I further suggest it is unlikely that two authors used Jewish War 2.10.4 independently: one to compose the pericope of the centurion, and the second to assign the name Petronius to a centurion. The use of Jewish War 2.10.4 therefore belongs to a single author and text. This text could not have been Matthew or Luke, since neither mention the name Petronius, and so it must have either been Gos. Pet. itself, or else a source Gos. Pet. shared with one or both of Matthew and Luke. If Gos. Pet. itself, we ought to find other close linguistic parallels between Gos. Pet. and/or Matthew and Luke, but almost no such parallels can be found, as Raymond Brown noted. The text must therefore have been a source Gos. Pet. shared with Matthew and Luke, that contained the centurion pericope. We can identify this source with Q, making Gos. Pet. a witness to Q's contents. This informs us that Q must have have included a passion narrative, as some have argued, similar to but different from Mark's. Because this account was not pre-Markan, but para-Markan or even post-Markan, it escapes for example the criticisms that Brown, John Kloppenborg, and Paul Foster have made of John Dominic Crossan's Cross Gospel hypothesis. I conclude that Q was a narrative gospel. I also explain that these conclusions are not changed if Marcion predates Luke, and discuss some ramifications.
Was There a "Q Community"?
This session considers whether a distinct Q community can be imagined on the basis of Q's genre as well as its theological, cultural, rhetorical, and geographical orientations. To what extent can sociological inferences be drawn from postulated literary, theological, and narrative markers of the work? What difference might reconceptions of the idea a Q community have on our ideas about Christian origins? Some participants will be invited, but proposals for papers on these and related lines of analysis are welcome.
Presider: GIOVANNI BAZZANA, Harvard University
SIMON J. JOSEPH, California Lutheran University: The Quest for the ‘Community’ of Q: Mapping Q Within the Social, Textual, and Theological Landscape(s) of Second Temple Judaism (20 min)
INHEE PARK, Ewha Womans University: Can Tax Collectors Be Friends of Jesus? (20 min)
WENDY COTTER, Loyola University of Chicago: The Social Location of Q: The Problem of a Greek Q for the Oppressed in the Galilee (20 min)
CHRISTOPH HEIL, Karl-Franzens-Universität Graz: The Q Group in Galilee and Syria (20 min)
ALAN KIRK, James Madison University: Can a Q Community Be Inferred from Q’s Literary and Theological Profile? (20 min)
Break (10 min)
Discussion (40 min)
SIMON J. JOSEPH, California Lutheran University: The Quest for the ‘Community’ of Q: Mapping Q Within the Social, Textual, and Theological Landscape(s) of Second Temple Judaism
Was there a “Q community?” There are many who think that any Quest for a “Q community” is a fool’s errand. To what extent are we justified in extracting a distinctive community or group from a hypothetical text? While the consensus among Q specialists is that Q was composed by Galilean “village scribes,” it remains unclear whether these scribes can (or should) be identified as belonging to any particular social location, group, or community. In this paper, I wish to revisit this vexing question, focusing on several soundings in Q that might allow us to better understand Q’s rhetorical-discursive and symbolic-religious interests vis a vis the central institutions of Early Judaism: the Torah, the Temple, and messianism. In this paper, I intend to identify several distinctive textual coordinates with which we can map Q’s authors, readers, and redactors within the social, textual, and theological landscape(s) of Second Temple Judaism
INHEE PARK, Ewha Womans University: Can Tax Collectors Be Friends of Jesus?
This paper will seek to establish a possibility of the existence of “Q community” through a socio-rhetorical approach to Q 7:18-35. Since the term “community” has been basically reflecting a post-Easter theology of the early Christian church, Q scholars have become reluctant to use the term “community” for describing the social context of Q. On the contrary, this term “community” becomes an alternative for the political thinkers to designate a basic or foundational social unit in pursuit of a common socio-political vision for civilians. In this regard, a socio-rhetorical approach of Q text 7: 18-35 is helpful for considering whether a socio-political vision can be extrapolated from the reflections of literal traits of Q as distinguishable from its contemporaries in the first century Galilee. This text shows an explicit written stage of Q connected with literal traits of wisdom and prophetic tradition. Considering the difficult conditions for producing written work in ancient society, this written stage reflects social issues and the context of Q rather than just the individual’s interest. In this regard, the conflict between Jesus and John the Baptist is significant. Q admits the authority of John the Baptist. Even his role in Q in the first part of Q 3:7-17 echoes the role of high priest in Israel’s tradition who performed the baptism of repentance in Yom kippur, the most important ritual of the new year’s ceremony. Moreover, his introducing Jesus as “the coming one” renders Q’s dependency on John the Baptist’s authority. His socio-politically resistant stance was also in common with Jesus and Q considering his death by political power. Therefore, his doubt about Jesus’ identification as “the coming one” in Q 7:18 signified that there was a critical condition making a rift between Q people and other contemporaries. The attacking epithet of Jesus, “a friend of tax collector” in Q 7:34, can be a clue to find the condition of Q’s isolation from its social context. It is mentioned in the context of classifying Jesus and John the Baptist as a same category of the “children of sophia” who were refused by this generation, however, the acceptance of tax collectors in Q (perhaps after their repentance) would raise a serious problem for common people, including John’s followers, due to its negative connotation in the socio-political context of 1st century Palestine. This epithet of “a friend of tax collector” cannot be interpreted as a simple addition for emphasizing Jesus’ mercy on sinners, rather, as a historical fact, which differentiated Q’s social stance from other fellow Galileans, would create a new socio-political vision of tolerance referencing the kingdom of God. This paper will explore that this vision of the kingdom of God was derived from Q community that was forced to be separated from its contemporaries, but tried to persuade them to be tolerated as sinners with Jesus saying “the least in the kingdom of God is greater than John the Baptist.”
WENDY COTTER, Loyola University of Chicago: The Social Location of Q: The Problem of a Greek Q for the Oppressed in the Galilee
The social location of Q has been posed as the Galilee where midlevel scribes, perhaps in Tiberias, prepared it in support of the oppressed workers. The problem here is that Q has been proven to be a Greek composition. If Jesus taught in Aramaic, and the workers speak Aramaic, why would this enormous effort be done in the language of the oppressors? The paper will propose that the evidence on Q supports a situation of listeners who do not understand Aramaic, yet belong to the oppressed. The paper will suggest that the evidence more strongly supports the location of Antioch.
CHRISTOPH HEIL, Karl-Franzens-Universität Graz: The Q Group in Galilee and Syria
In a first step, the present paper argues that there are enough distinctive signs of social formation in Q (e.g., rules for discipleship, experiences of persecution, rituals like prayer) to presuppose a group behind Q. Then the scholarly consensus will be defended that the Q group developed in the same Galilean villages and towns where Jesus preached and performed. This thesis is especially argued against Julius Wellhausen, J.M.C. Crum, Marco Frenschkowski and Eckhard Rau who locate the composition of Q in Jerusalem. The Galilean provenance of the Q group is further defended against those who argue that there is not enough evidence for an early Galilean Christianity to situate Q there. Finally, against the majority in Q research, the paper will support the thesis that the Q group fled to Southern Syria when the Romans invaded Galilee in 67 C.E. Accordingly, the final redaction of Q took place in Syria.
ALAN KIRK, James Madison University: Can a Q Community Be Inferred from Q’s Literary and Theological Profile?
This paper clarifies and analyzes the assumptions that often operate in inferring a distinct community from Q’s distinctive literary and theological profile. It finds that the inference from literary work to community often relies upon modern literary-critical assumptions that do not necessarily fit the media realities of the ancient world. Moreover, such arguments frequently operate with imprecise understandings of genre, sometimes failing, for example, to differentiate claims that Q is a gospel from claims about Q’s genre, and vice versa. The problematic, in other words, is driven - and rightly so - by the larger debate about what Q is able to tell us about Christian origins. The paper attempts to clarify what Q’s genre and ideological markers are in fact able to tell us about the tradent group, given ancient media realities and practices.
Q and Violence
This session addresses the topic of the rhetorical use of tropes of violence within Q, as well as the way that violence contributes to identity formation for the authors, while avoiding simplistic questions such as whether Jesus/early Christians promoted or resisted violent acts.
Presider: DANIEL SMITH, Huron University College
PETER J. JUDGE, Winthrop University: The Beatitude for the Persecuted (Q 6:22-23): Hate Speech, Threats of Violence, and Response (20 min)
GIOVANNI BAZZANA, Harvard University: The Violence of the Kingdom in Q (20 min)
DIETER T. ROTH, Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz: Violent Masters in Q: Parables or Anti-Parables of God? (20 min)
SARAH E. ROLLENS, University of Alabama: Identity, Violence, and the Body in Q (20 min)
Break (10 min)
PHILIP TITE, University of Washington, Respondent (20 min)
Discussion (40 min)
PETER J. JUDGE, Winthrop University: The Beatitude for the Persecuted (Q 6:22-23): Hate Speech, Threats of Violence, and Response
CEQ’s reconstruction of the Beatitude for the Persecuted mostly follows the language of Mt in blessing those who are “insulted” (par. Lk), “persecuted,” and about whom evil is said on account of the Son of Man. Luke gives us language that indicates “hate,” “exclusion,” “insult,” and “defamation.” And the blessed are told to rejoice because this is how the prophets of old were treated. Yet further in Q (and in the respective redactions by Matthew and Luke) we learn something of how those who hear this blessing are to respond. The paper will examine this language and its use in Q and the response to it that Q wanted its readers to ponder.
GIOVANNI BAZZANA, Harvard University: The Violence of the Kingdom in Q
The paper will take into consideration "violent" behaviors that are ascribed to God and to human beings towards the establishment of the Kingdom of God in the Sayings Gospel Q. By comparing selected Q passages with the phrasing of documentary papyri, the paper will show how such violent imagery depends on the legal terminology with which the village scribes who composed and circulated the text where acquainted. Moreover, the paper will consider how violence is employed by Q to construct both divine and human agencies in the process of bringing about divine sovereignty. In conclusion and with specific reference to the rather enigmatic Q 16:16, the paper will show that violent imagery is deployed in Q as a means to convey a specific articulation of human participation in a theological political scenario that is consistent with the bureaucratic ethos of the local administrators that stood behind the document.
DIETER T. ROTH, Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz: Violent Masters in Q: Parables or Anti-Parables of God?
With the passing of Luise Schottroff in February of this year, parable scholarship lost an influential and important voice. Of particular significance is her insistence, especially in the more recent of her publications, that the offended, angry, and violent master found in far more parables than we would perhaps like, is not a depiction of God or Jesus, but rather an image of what God is not like. Such masters are an anti-parable of the divine. That is to say, the parables draw on imagery used in stock metaphors or "Bildfelder" in order to call forth a comparison and ultimately a contrast with God, leading the reader to recognize the fundamental difference between God and the violence of the kings, lords, and masters of this earth. John Kloppenborg, on the other hand, has written on the representation of violence in Synoptic parables precisely because he wished to focus on violent metaphors and depictions of violence where God or Jesus is presented as the agent of violence. Whereas Schottroff viewed certain Q parables as drawing on the "bildspendender Bereich" of violence in the ancient world in order to critique it to its very core, Kloppenborg views the use of these images as the maintaining of a realistic idiom when depicting the judgment that will fall upon the disobedient. In revisiting the violent masters in the Q parables, this paper will argue that despite our modern sensitivities and discomfort, Q intentionally draws on violent aspects in the God/Master "Bildfeld" in order to advance one aspect of its theological vision of the kingdom of God. Thus, instead of being an anti-parable that comforts the reader with the thought that God is not like the violent master of the parable, Q, consonant with its Deuteronomistic theology, actually embraces the language of the violent divine as part of its motivation for faithfulness and as an element in the rhetoric of vindication for the faithful and judgment for the unfaithful found both within and outside of the community.
SARAH E. ROLLENS, University of Alabama: Identity, Violence, and the Body in Q (20 min)
Q’s “rhetoric of violence” has been noted by several commentators, though it is usually discussed in terms of how it reflects its authors’ experiences of innate structural violence and social inequality in the ancient world. Socio-historical studies of ancient Galilee and Judaea have shown this to be a compelling explanation for much of Q’s rhetoric. Even so, we must admit that Q itself uses themes of violence for its own literary purposes; thus, it produces discursive violence at the same time as it reflects the reality of it. Under this lens, this paper explores the connection between violence and the body within Q. Many passages in Q imagine violence as a technology for developing, molding, destroying, or otherwise shaping the self (e.g., 3:7-9; 6:22-23, 29-30, 47-49; 11:21-23, 49-51; 12:4-5; 42-46, 49-51, to name only a few passages). Sometimes this violence is imagined to stem from without (that is, from opponents and enemies), but sometime is it generated from within (i.e., from the Father and fellow righteous prophets). By examining the relationship between violence and the body in Q, this paper will demonstrate how parts of Q rely this theme to help construct the identity of the people who are allied with Jesus and the former prophets, as well as the identity of those who oppose them. In short, in Q material, there is often a close connection between conceptions of the body, its experience of violence, and identity.
PHILIP TITE, University of Washington, Respondent
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