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Annual Meeting, Chicago, November 17-20, 2012

Celebrating the 25th Anniversary of J.S. Kloppenborg’s The Formation of Q

Presider: DAVID KADEN, University of Toronto

 

CHRISTOPHER TUCKETT, Oxford University: Assessing The Formation of Q

A critical assessment of J.S. Kloppenborg’s The Formation of Q.

 

PAUL FOSTER, University of Edinburgh, UK: Assessing The Formation of Q

A critical assessment of J.S. Kloppenborg’s The Formation of Q.

 

WILLIAM E. ARNAL, University of Regina, Canada: Assessing The Formation of Q

A critical review of J.S. Kloppenborg’s The Formation of Q.

 

DALE C. ALLISON, JR, Pittsburgh Theological Seminary: Formation of Q: Its impact on the study of the Historical Jesus

This paper will review J.S. Kloppenborg's The Formation of Q with particular reference to how its ideas have been employed in different reconstructions of the historical Jesus.

 

JOHN S. KLOPPENBORG, University of Toronto: Response

Q, Space and Archaeology

Presider: CHRISTOPH HEIL, Karl-Franzens-Universität Graz, Austria

 

GIOVANNI BATTISTA BAZZANA, Harvard University: Q and the Cultural Space of Galilee

A number of recent scholarly interventions in the hotly debated conversation around Galilee and the Jesus movement in the first century CE (as, for instance, a significant contribution by Halvor Moxnes in "Biblical Interpretation") has put under the spotlight the role played by Galilee as a "space" in which contemporary imagination tried to fit its understanding both of Jesus and of the first group of his followers. As far as the Sayings Gospel Q (a text that is usually "placed" by historians in Galilee) is concerned, the discussion around "space" has centered on the relationship between texts and archaeological discoveries, with a significant emphasis posed on the striking "absence" of the two main urban centers of Sepphoris and Tiberias from this quintessentially Galilean document. The present paper proposes to probe the articulation of textual and archaeological data in order to show how the attempts to "put Q in its place" reveal and/or hide the ideological endeavor to map out Galilee as an ideal "space" for religious and socio-political agendas. In the first section of the paper, I will deal with the work of Sean Freyne, whose landmark contributions on the history of Galilee have brought together, at the highest level of sophistication, methodological awareness and a clear consciousness of the role played by one's own "place" in shaping intellectual interests and historical judgments. In Freyne's reconstruction, the villagers of Q are portrayed as the heros of a resistance movement fighting against Hellenistic urban colonization. The final part of the paper will be focused on the newer proposals to see the people behind Q as village scribes and on their implications on the conceptualizations of Galilee as a "place". Here, a great role is played by the innovative way in which a few archaeologists and historians (as Wallace-Hadrill, Mattingly, or Nasrallah) have started to look at the interplay between cultures and archaeological spaces not anymore in terms of oppositions, but of hybridizations or "discrepant identities". Therefore, Galilee becomes the "place" shaped by the socio-cultural practice of a group of marginal, but nonetheless powerful, intellectuals, who try to negotiate their position amid the turmoil of a rapidly changing political environment.

 

MILTON MORELAND, Rhodes College, Memphis, TN: From Galilee? On the Provenance of the Q Traditions

When reconstructing the history of earliest Christianity, focusing on specific regional settings provides scholars with our best descriptions of the formation of early Jesus/Christos groups. Although limited by our scarce literary resources, this approach affords us the opportunity to distinguish the varieties of Jesus followers in each setting, as opposed to the facile assumption that Christianity developed along similar lines in all areas of the Mediterranean region. This paper presents a systematic analysis of how we can determine the probability that certain early Christian texts can be connected to specific regions in the Roman world. After describing criteria that can be used to determine the provenance of an anonymous ancient text, I use Galilee and the Q sayings collection as an example of how the criteria can be employed. I focus attention on the recent archaeology of Galilee and southern Syria in order to evaluate the plausibility that the Q sayings were first edited and distributed from that region. My argument throughout the paper is that we must be very judicious with our desire to link ancient texts to specific regions. In so doing, we will develop more plausible historical reconstructions of the incredible variety of early Jesus/Christos groups that formed in the Early Roman Empire.

 

SARAH E. ROLLENS, University of Toronto: Archaeology and Themes of Judgement in Q

That Q has an overt preoccupation with judgment is often held to be a truism in Q scholarship. Typically, Q's themes of judgment tend to be analyzed in terms of their literary affinities and functions. Indeed, the judgment and prophetic sayings have a long history of development within Judaism and constitute an important redactional frame through which the whole of Q should be interpreted. It is, however, also important to realize that these themes of judgment employ extremely vivid (and violent) metaphors which may be overlooked if viewed only at the textual level. Although we are able intellectually to understand this imagery even in the absence of archaeological evidence, surely Q's first-century audience had specific images in mind when they heard/read Q's references to millstones, swords, winnowing forks, and the like. This paper suggests that often it is very useful to examine archaeological evidence to illustrate some of the Q passages dealing with judgment, especially to highlight the evocative images of judgment which Q seems to have in mind and to assess their impact on its audience. Overall this confirms the idea that violence and violent imagery were often taken for granted in antiquity, and Q is no exception.

 

DIETER T. ROTH, Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz, Germany: Heaven as Spatial Realm in Q: For God, For the Faithful,... and For the Birds?

The images of vertical space, along the axis Gehenna-Earth-Heaven, are utilized in several Q pericopes and parables. Though each realm can be conceptualized, at least to a certain extent, simply as a discrete space in which certain entities act and certain events occur, there is also a clear theological dimension to the manner in which vertical space is presented in Q. For example, "heaven" is presented as the realm where birds are located (Q 13:18-19); the realm where the faithful are to store their treasure (Q 12:33-34) and where they will be rewarded (Q 6:20-23); and the realm where God is located and from which he acts (Q 11:9-13). It is not simply the presence of the image of "heaven" in various contexts, however, that is of particular interest; rather, it is the way in which Q develops this image within the document's conception of God, his kingdom, Jesus, and the spaces of Earth and Gehenna. This paper, therefore, considers the manner in which Q presents "heaven" within its broader message in order to elucidate a conceptualization of heaven that Q ultimately would consider to be one that is not, theologically speaking, "for the birds".

 

DANIEL A. SMITH, Huron University College, London, Ontario, Canada: "Show Us the Place Where You Are": Spatial Metaphor and Communal Identity in Q, Mark, and Thomas

Focusing on a few illustrative texts from Q, Mark, and Thomas, this paper attempts to account for the rhetorical and narrative strategies by means of which these texts attempt to construct communal identity using spatial metaphors. Of special interest is how these documents construct ideas of kingdom and community and/or locate Jesus metaphorically, often (but not always) in relation to built or domestic space. In so doing, these texts both express a communal sense of identity in relation to Jesus and his instruction and press the reader/hearer to situate themselves accordingly. Texts considered include Q 12:39-40, 42-46; 13:25-27, 29, 28; Mark 1:29-39; 3:31-35; 10:23-27; and Thomas 3:1-3; 24:1-3; 77:1-3.

 

Open Session

Presider: DANIEL A. SMITH, Huron University College, London, Ontario, Canada

 

HARRY FLEDDERMANN, Alverno College, Milwaukee, WI: The Theological Achievement of the Author of Q

The author of Q responded to the problem caused by the delay of the parousia by inventing the gospel genre which narrativizes the early Christian kerygma of the death and resurrection of Jesus. Creating the gospel genre involved among other things shifting Christian thinking away from an exclusive focus on the end time to a new focus on the present which includes a new vision of a universal community formed by the universal mission of gentile Christianity. In this way the author eliminated many of the excesses of apocalypticism while retaining its positive elements. In Q the reader encounters the first flowering of gentile Christian theology in the Subapostolic Period. The canonical gospels and all later Christian theology unfold the author of Q's vision further.

 

NELIDA NAVEROS CORDOVA, Loyola University of Chicago: Q 12:27: Free from Anxiety like Flowers, Its Role and Position in the Q Document

Q 12:27 contains Jesus' unique wisdom saying in the entire Q Document. This wisdom saying addresses a basic concern in life, clothing. Jesus teaches the disciples not to be anxious about daily needs but to trust their heavenly Father. Jesus tells them to look at the lilies (of the field), that do not toil and they do not spin. As beautiful they are, they do not work to produce their clothes, and "not even Solomon in all his glory was arrayed like one of them." This paper encompasses three stages. Using John S. Kloppenborg's stratigraphy of Q, in the first stage, the wisdom saying of Q 12:27 is analyzed as a discrete aphorism from its Q position (Q1), that is, other sayings in Jewish and Gentile contexts in the Greco-Roman world. In the second stage, the meaning of Q 12:27 is examined from its position in the Q1 setting where it is embedded (12:2-34). Then, in the third stage, an analysis is presented on the place of Q 12:27 and its service in the main redaction of the document (Q2). Finally, a suggestion is offered of its place in the overall Q Document (Q1, Q2 and Q3).

 

CAMBRY PARDEE, Loyola University of Chicago: Q 14:26-27: The Cost of Discipleship, From Wisdom Warning to Apologetic

Q 14:26 and 27 preserve two of Jesus' most dramatic statements concerning the requirements and cost of discipleship: disciples must hate their own family and bear their own cross. With the aid of John S. Kloppenborg's established stratigraphy of Q we are able to trace the remarkable journey of these difficult sayings through successive stages of development: from independent aphorisms to wisdom sayings in the formative layer of Q (Q1), thence to their transformation into an apology for the cross of Jesus at the time of the main redaction (Q2), and finally the entire Q document. This paper examines these sayings and their transformations with special attention to their contextualization in each stratum. As two discrete aphorisms, the teachings of Q 14:26 and 27 serve as warnings to the would-be disciple, a meaning consonant with both Jewish tradition and Greco-Roman philosophies. These two sayings were linked together early on and other sayings were soon attached to them for their explanative power. Q 14:26 and 27 were placed in a cluster introduced by Q 13:24 in order to explain how the door to the Kingdom is narrow and why few enter it. Q 17:33 was placed intentionally after Q 14:27 in order to explain the reference to the cross in light of Jesus' own cross. Q 14:26-27 is seen to be an integral part of the Q1 teaching on the cost of discipleship. At the level of Q2, these sayings are transformed into an apologetic for the Q1 message of discipleship and are buttressed by material castigating "this generation" who has rejected the Q1 message and followers. The command to hate family is now seen in the context of social rejection as in Q 12:51-53, which describes familial turmoil as not only the result of Jesus' teaching but also his intent. The message of the cross and the theme of suffering are emphasized in apologetic passages about the deaths of the prophets, among whom Jesus is now counted, and the persecutions wrought by "this generation." Finally, at the level of Q3 the disciple's master is described for the first time in an extended narrative-the Q people do not follow a mere sage; their master is the very Son of God.

 

DAVID SLOAN, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, Deerfield, IL: Lost Portions of Q Found! ... In the Lukan Travel Narrative

This paper challenges a number of assumptions with regard to the extent and structure of Q. First, because only 49% of Mark's 661 verses occur in both Matthew and Luke, we challenge the assumption that Matthew and Luke both copied the vast majority of Q and that Q was thus not much longer than the double tradition. If we throw off this assumption and study the style of Q, we will repeatedly find in the unique Lukan material in Luke 9:57-18:14 unlukan stylistic features that are characteristic of Q. Some of these features are unique to Q, Matthew, and Luke among all extant Greek literature, suggesting their having originated with Q. When the passages containing these features are considered to be from Q, almost every pericope in Luke 9:57-18:14 contains phrases from Q. Second, this paper challenges the assumption that Luke is more free in expanding Q than he is in expanding Mark, and it demonstrates based on style and on Luke's redactional tendencies that when part of a Lukan passage is found in the double tradition, the entire passage (not merely the paralleled verses) is likely to be from Q. Third, the assumption that Q is comprised mainly of shorter sayings is challenged. To be sure, Q is over 80% words of Jesus. Yet Q 3-7 is generally held to have narrative introductions and dialogs; why not assume that the presence of these in Luke 9:57-18:14 (where we also have over 80% words of Jesus) represents what was in Q. A study of the style of these introductions and dialogs suggests the same hand as that behind the rest of Q. Once these three assumptions are challenged it becomes clear that the majority of Luke 9:57-18:14, with the exceptions of a couple passages (Mary and Martha, the Ten Lepers) and a few shorter transitions (11:27-28, 53-54; 13:22; etc.), is from Q. This is confirmed by a study of the resultant structure of Q. Since each Q pericope is introduced with a narrative setting, we can easily outline Q, and when all of these passages are considered, Q clearly contains two chiasms, the first answering the question "Who is Jesus?" (Q 3:1-7:35), and the second answering the question "What does it mean to be his disciple?" (Q 9:57-22:38). In this way Q is shown to be twice as long as most scholarly reconstructions and to contain many verses that are unique to Luke in the synoptic gospels. This has great implications for the future of Q research as well as for our understanding of Luke's self-perceived role as a preserver of tradition.

 

JEFFREY TRIPP, Loyola University of Chicago: Not Being above the Teacher: The Impact of Q's Growing Literary Context on the Interpretation of Q 6:40

The Q saying in Lk 6:40 and Mt 10:24-25a is applied differently by each of the evangelists, with Matthew focusing more closely on Jesus' suffering and the possibility of the disciples suffering as he did. This paper assumes John S. Kloppenborg's stratigraphical analysis of Q, allowing us to track the shifts in interpretation that take place as Q 6:40 moves from an independent aphorism into the sermon that begins the first edition of Q, then to track how the interpretation shifts again as subsequent layers of Q are added. It is with the addition of material in the main redaction that elements of suffering become more likely in an essentially pedagogical proverb. Yet this process is additive: interpretations that are added do not eliminate earlier layers of meaning. As the focus narrows on the character of Jesus, the Q people are not only encouraged to be like Jesus in their suffering, but in their character and ethics, the model of which is given in Jesus' teachings.

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