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Annual Meeting, Boston, November 18-21, 2017

Saturday, November 18, 9:00 am - 11:30 am, S18-149, Synoptic Gospels Seciton / Q Section

Ancient Media and Memory Theory in the Interpretation of the Gospels: A Panel Review of Jesus' Literacy (Chris Keith) and Q in Matthew (Alan Kirk)


Presider: ELIZABETH SHIVELY, University of St. Andrews


HELEN BOND, University of Edinburgh: Introduction (10 min)


CHRIS KEITH, St. Mary's University: Panelist (10 min)


ALAN KIRK, James Madison University: Panelist (10 min)


FRANCIS WATSON, University of Durham: Respondent (20 min)


ANDREW GREGORY, University of Oxford: Respondent (20 min)


CHRIS KEITH, St Mary's University (Twickenham): Panelist (15 min)


ALAN KIRK, James Madison University: Panelist (15 min)


Discussion (50 min)

Saturday, November 18, 1:00 pm - 3:30 pm, S18-239, SBL Q Section

Presider: GIOVANNI BAZZANA, Harvard University

SIMON JOSEPH, California Lutheran University: "I Thank You, Father, Lord of Heaven and Earth ..." (Q 10:21): Q As Early Jewish Mystery-Discourse (30 min)

Paul's letters and the Gospel of Mark both contain examples of "mystery-language" to describe the (kerygmatic) theological, Christological, and soteriological significance of Jesus, reflecting the early Jesus tradition's emergence within Early Jewish apocalypticism and alongside Greco-Roman religious traditions, Mystery religions, philosophies, associations, and "freelance experts." Since the late 1950s, Q has been identified as a distinctive development – a "second sphere" within the early Jesus movement – combining both wisdom and apocalyptic traditions in its Christological conceptualization of Jesus. Like the Dead Sea Scrolls, Q represents a textual-scribal product of Early Judaism reflecting an alternative navigation of disaffiliation with the traditional practices of the Temple cult. This paper explores how Q 10:21, in its direct appeal to the Father, participates in Q's wider esoteric discourse of hiddenness and disclosure, articulating its "difference" by representing Jesus' identity, kingdom-vision, end-time revelation, and prayer-instruction as secret mysteries of and for the elect.

HILDEGARD SCHERER, Theologische Hochschule Chur: Testing Biblical Traditions in Q: Coherence and Distinctness? (30 min)

Doubts in the Two Source Theory have increased – thus, new ways of testing it are to be found. The one proposed already in my Habilitationsschrift on social categories (Königsvolk und Gotteskinder, Göttingen 2016) starts out from the given text of the double tradition: Does it show coherent threads, and are those threads distinctive when compared to Markan and other synoptic traditions? In this paper, the double tradition's use of Scripture will be scrutinized and profiled.


DANIEL A. SMITH, Huron University College: The Sayings Gospel Q in Marcion's Edition of Luke (30 min)

Recent reconstructions of Marcion's Gospel (by Jason BeDuhn, Dieter Roth, and Matthias Klinghardt), though they differ in significant ways, have made possible renewed evaluations of the long-standing question of the relationship between Marcion's edition of Luke and canonical Luke. A survey (based on Roth 2015) of attestation for Marcion's Gospel, when sorted by material type (Lukan Sondergut, Double Tradition material, Markan material found in canonical Luke), shows not only uneven attestation percentages in these three types of material, but also unexpected absences from Marcion's Gospel, including absences that straddle material type (e.g. Luke 13:29-35, which includes Q material and Sondergut, is attested as absent from Marcion's Gospel). This paper, in the first section, presents this evidence and discusses several anomalous instances. In the second section, the paper assesses recent proposals concerning the Q material in Marcion's Gospel, by BeDuhn (who proposes a subsidiary dependence of Luke on Matthew to explain some, but not all, of the Double Tradition) and Klinghardt (who has no need for Q given his views about the priority of Marcion's Gospel and the composition of the Synoptics). In the conclusion, the paper offers a modest proposal concerning the place of Marcion's Gospel in the Synoptic Problem and discusses some potential avenues for future research.


DAVID B. SLOAN, John Carroll University: What If the Gospel according to the Hebrews Was Q? (30 min)

One objection to the two-document hypothesis has been that "[t]here is no reference to Q in any ancient source" (Michael Goulder, "Is Q a Juggernaut?" JBL 115 [1996]: 669). The church fathers, however, mention several now-lost gospels that could have been Q. The possibility that the "Gospel according to the Hebrews" (GHeb) was Q has not received much attention because quotations from it in the church fathers include (1) passages that are not found in Matthew or Luke and (2) passages that are similar to synoptic passages but are worded differently than in Matthew and Luke. These concerns are mitigated, however, when we consider the following: First, it is likely that Matthew and/or Luke omitted or altered several passages from Q, especially if they either overlapped Mark extensively (as in Origen, Comm. Matt. 15.14; Jerome, Comm. Matt. 27.51), appeared to take sin lightly (Eusebius, Hist. eccl. 3.39.17), suggested that Jesus might have sinned (Jerome, Pelag. 3.2), could have been used in support of a gnostic interpretation (Clement of Alexandria, Strom. 2.9.45), or came across as strange (as in Origen, Comm. Jo. 2.12). Second, several quotations of GHeb are of Q passages, and within these the primitivity of the GHeb version can repeatedly be demonstrated (Eusebius, Theoph. 4.22; Jerome, Comm. Matt. 6.11; 23.35; Pelag. 3.2; etc.). Third, it should not be surprising that a large percentage of the quotes of GHeb are of passages not in either Matthew or Luke, since Jerome and others would have no reason to refer to a passage in GHeb if they could refer to the "canonical" version instead. Fourth, some of the passages that scholars have attributed to GHeb were probably not in GHeb (e.g., Jerome, Vir. ill. 3; Comm. Matt. 2.5). Fifth, we often find Q-like style and themes in GHeb, such as in the baptism of Jesus when the Holy Spirit speaks as personified Wisdom (cf. Q 13:34; Q/Matt 11:28-30). In light of these observations, this paper argues that GHeb was Q and then considers the enormous implications of this theory, including (1) that Q must have existed for centuries after the composition of canonical Matthew and Luke and was especially treasured within Jewish Christianity; (2) that Q must have been a narrative rather than a sayings collection (as the present author has argued previously); (3) that Q must have given details regarding Jesus’ passion and resurrection (Jerome, Vir. ill. 2; Comm. Isa. Praefatio 18), which of course would suggest that Q’s "Easter Faith" is different than John Kloppenborg has argued; (4) that the theology of Q differs from the theology typically ascribed to Q in several other regards; (5) that Q ultimately became lost with the establishment of orthodox Christianity and its rejection of Jewish Christianity; and (6) that the value of GHeb for reconstructing the historical Jesus is greater than has typically been assumed.


Discussion (30 min)

Saturday, November 18, 4:00 pm - 6:30 pm, S18-337, Global Directions in Q Studies

In this session, panelists share their perspectives on trends and challenges in Q research in different locations around the world.


Presider: DANIEL A. SMITH, Huron University College


CHRISTOPH HEIL, Karl-Franzens Universität Graz: Panelist (12 min)


DIETER ROTH, Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz: Panelist (12 min)


PAUL FOSTER, University of Edinburgh: Panelist (12 min)


SARAH ROLLENS, Rhodes College: Panelist (12 min)


DENNIS MACDONALD, Claremont School of Theology: Panelist (12 min)


JEAN-PAUL MICHAUD, Université Saint-Paul - Saint Paul University: Panelist (12 min)


SANTIAGO GUIJARRO, Universidad Pontificia de Salamanca: Panelist (12 min)


Discussion (12 min)


LLEWELLYN HOWES, University of Johannesburg: Panelist (12 min)


Discussion (35 min)

Sunday, November 19, 1:00 pm - 3:30 pm, S19-237, SBL Q Section / Social Scientific Criticism of the New Testament

Demons and Spirit Possession in Q


Presider: SARAH ROLLENS, Rhodes College


MARCO FRENSCHKOWSKI, Universität Leipzig: Jesus as a Teacher of Demonological Lore according to Q (30 min)

Jesus as a teacher of demonological lore according to Q The paper contextualizes the demonological lore in the Q tradition, establishing its place in the diverse fields of ancient demonology. It has to be emphasized that early Christian sources show very different ideas about demons and the devil, and particularly their relation to the expected Kingdom of God. Exorcisms and other forms of performative language contribute to an aspect of the remembered Jesus as overcoming demonic forces. Q has a clear profile about demons compared to other Jewish and Christian sources. Marco Frenschkowski is Professor of New Testament studies (with a further focus on Graeco-Roman religion) at Leipzig University. He has published extensively on ancient religion, magic in antiquity and gospel research, having contributing e.g. articles to the Reallexikon für Antike und Christentum, and many other reference works. The paper gives insights from the work on the forthcoming RAC-article "Teufel" (devil).


MYRICK C. SHINALL, JR., Vanderbilt University: <link>The Kingdom of Satan in Q (30 min)

This paper examines the Beelzebul Controversy in Q (11:14-23) to argue that Q develops the idea of the kingdom of Satan both to establish Jesus' role in the eschatological confrontation of good and evil and to express how Jesus' followers participate with Jesus in the victory over evil. To do so, the paper pays special attention to the elements in Q's Beelzebul Controversy that are absent from Mark's version (Mark 3:22-30). The first difference to be explored is Q's phrasing of Jesus' response to the accusation that he is aligned with Satan. In Mark, Jesus rebuts this accusation by claiming that if Satan were divided against himself that he could not stand, whereas in Q Jesus phrases this rebuttal in terms of Satan's kingdom not being able to stand. This idea of a Satanic kingdom builds on Second Temple Jewish ideas of a retinue of demonic minions under the command of the archfiend but develops it uniquely in framing it as a kingdom. The second difference under examination is Jesus' claim that his exorcisms show the presence of the kingdom of God, a claim made in Q but absent in Mark. The kingdom of God is a consistent feature of Jesus' proclamation throughout Q with varying levels of eschatological overtones, but here in the Beelzebul controversy the juxtaposition of the kingdom of God and the kingdom of Satan creates an image of eschatological confrontation. In this eschatological scenario, Jesus' exorcisms are a major feature of the victory of God's forces over Satan's. This imagining of exorcisms as signs of eschatological victory builds on ideas current in Second Temple literature but represents a significant innovation insofar as a human's exorcisms are taken as eschatological signs. These exorcisms frame Jesus as victor in the eschatological battle of good and evil. However, Q does not portray Jesus as the sole victor. The idea of two kingdoms clashing makes the scenario one of the corporate victory of good over the combined forces of evil. Jesus' followers are therefore able to participate in this victory along with Jesus. Accordingly, even as the Q version of the Beelzebul Controversy emphasizes Jesus' role in the conquest of Satan, it simultaneously undercuts the uniqueness of Jesus' accomplishments. In the mentions of other exorcists and those who gather with Jesus, Q implicitly includes others in overcoming Satan and his host. This inclusion of others in Jesus' victory contrasts with Mark's version of the story where Jesus is the one who single-handedly binds the strong man and plunders his possessions. By framing Jesus' response to the accusation in terms of the confrontation between the kingdom of God and the kingdom of Satan, Q creates an image of the collective victory of good over evil in which Jesus and his followers (rather than Jesus alone) play crucial roles.


CHRISTOPHER MOUNT, DePaul University: <link>Possession Cults in Q and Mark (30 min)

In The Critical Edition of Q edited by Robinson, Hoffmann, and Kloppenborg, reconstructed references to the (holy) spirit (Q 3:16; 3:21-22; 4:1-2; 12:10; Q 12:12 is doubtful) cluster around the baptism story shared with Mark (Q 3:7-4:1-2 and Mark 1:4-13). Other references in Q to spirits are to evil spirits as part of the Beelzebul controversy, also shared with the Mark (Q 11:14-26 and Mark 3:22-30; Q 12:10 is a doublet with Mark 3:28-29 in Matt 12:31-32). In Mark the baptism story and the Beelzebul controversy involve possession phenomena experienced by Jesus. The story of Jesus’ baptism and possession by the spirit probably served as a model for a ritual practiced by at least some of the early Christ cults in which Mark circulated. These Christ cults were spirit possession cults in which the declaration “son of God” was part of a baptismal ritual of apotheosis experienced as spirit possession. A reconstruction of references to the (holy) spirit in Q 3:16, 3:21-22, and 4:1-2 imports Markan themes into Q. In Q, spirit possession is a negative phenomenon, and the Q version of the Beelzebul controversy begins and ends with the precarious state of a person possessed by a spirit (Q 11:14, 24-26). The story of the three temptations of Jesus by the devil best fits between Q 11:13 and Q 11:14. The three temptations of Jesus as a son of God by the devil are not part of the (Markan) baptism ritual but instead continue the themes of the relationship of the Father to the son and children in terms of requests (Q 10:21-11:13) and serve to introduce the Beelzebul controversy (Q 11:14-26). The temptation story thus helps to clarify the difference between some early Christ cults as possession cults constituted by the (holy) spirit and other communities of disciples of Jesus constituted by wisdom and judgment.


GIOVANNI BAZZANA, Harvard University: The Finger of God, or a Well-Swept House: Exorcistic Power and the Redactional Tendencies of Q (30 min)

The Sayings Gospel contains few direct references to Jesus's exorcistic activity even though Q probably opened with a confrontation between Jesus and Satan and included a significantly subtle controversy on the source of Jesus's exorcistic power. The latter passage in particular highlights how Jesus's control on demons was grounded in spirit possession. Anthropological research has illustrated how possession, as a religious and cultural experience, is a phenomenon that troubles modern understandings of self, subjectivity, and human agency. The present paper will show how possession fits well the subtle and complex relationship between divine and human agency that surfaces also elsewhere in the Sayings Gospel as a reflection of its composition within circles of Galilean sub-elites.


Discussion (30 min)


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