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Annual Meeting, Denver, November 17-20, 2018

Sunday, November 18, 9:00 am - 11:30 am, S18-146


The Socio-Political Vision of Q


Presider: GIOVANNI BAZZANA, Harvard University


MICHAEL LABAHN, Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg: Whose Power - That of the Devil or of God? Intratextual and Intertextual Reflections on the Demonization of Political Power in Q (30 min)

To understand the concept of power in Q, the third temptation in Q 4:5-8 could be taken as a starting point. Access to power (rulership over the kingdoms of the world) is offered to Jesus by the devil, who wants to hand them over to Jesus if he accepts his power by his proskynesis. The offer is refuted by Jesus referring to God's claim for unique worship. The main part of the paper will consist of intratextual and intertextual reflections on the contrast of political power and of God's power in Q. The devil's offer will be read in contrast with 10:22 (in Q 4, Satan wants to hand over everything to Jesus the Son of God under certain conditions, but in Q 10 Jesus has handed over "all" as the son of the Father). In a second step, the offer to hand over power over the kingdoms of the world will be read in light of the Roman ritual of proskynesis, which is a subordinating act which may include religious undertones that accept the power of the winning Roman ruler / emperor by an opponent. Fulfilling the ritual is done with the hope to get reinstalled into the original power / position under Roman rule after proskynesis. The offer of the devil in the third temptation could be read as a travesty of such a ritual. The comparative studies will teach about how to understand the relation of political power and of God's power in Q.


INHEE PARK, Ewha Womans University: The Kingdom of God: Not by a King Nor by a Father, but by the Children of God (30 min)

Recently scholarly discussions of Q's Kingdom of God have broadened beyond the scope of debate about theological genealogies such as apocalyptic or wisdom tradition. Viewing its socio-political aspect brings a possibility for more diverse conversations with other fields and cultures. Since the concept of the kingdom of God generated from political context in Israelite history, it inevitably retains socio-political connotation from its environment. Q's Kingdom of God, however, manifests far different social ideal from Jewish culture and from ancient Greco-Rome world. Q's kingdom discourses illustrate the fact that Q pursuits a community based on one's awareness as children of merciful God which ultimately enables Q community to build a society where its members have an equal obligation of mutual help for one another, and, Q even suggests totally radical social rule of love for enemy which breaks ancient criterion of love and justice. Considering its back ground of destitute socio-economic condition of the first century Galilean villages, Q attempts to strive for an alternative community of reciprocity based on compassion and mercy. To some extent, Q's socio-political vision has a similarity with that of Confucianism. In terms of the matter of how one can cultivate and transform oneself in the direction of pure goodness eventually becomes the matter of how one is able to build a good society. In this regard, considering the inter-religious discourse of the earliest Korean Christians in 18th century can shed a new light on Q study. As political philosophers of Neo-Confucianism, they recognized the strength of Christianity as a political ideal of social equality in the meaning of the children of God. They had voluntarily become Christians and developed a religious discourse of Christianity into socio-political conversations that incorporated both Confucian and Christian teaching. This contributed to create a political idea of a more democratic society even in 18th century Asia. However, their opponents, mostly Confucian elite of ruling class severely accused their concept of children of God. For them, it deluded subjects to believe in the personified God and to prioritize the authority of this invisible father to those of kings and fathers of household, which threat their ideological support of filial piety from Confucianism as well as social system. The more serious problem was this heresy misleading people to believe in immortal soul and not to fear death, and accordingly there was no final solution to eliminate this new socio-political paradigm in spite of death penalty. This historical event is reminiscent of Q's controversial sayings of Q 12:4 pertained to immortal soul and punishment in Gehenna, which enables us to reconsider Q's apocalyptic sayings under a view of socio-political resistance. This paper will explore socio-political dimensions of Q especially with insights from the earliest Korean Christian philosophers in order to demonstrate Q's Kingdom of God as a remarkable political vision for the ancient world and still for today.


LLEWELLYN HOWES, University of Johannesburg: An African Perspective on Q's Message for the Poor (30 min)

This paper is submitted as part of the "Socio-Political Vision of Q" session. Compared to other literature of the time, the Sayings Gospel Q has a unique message for the poor. The aim of this paper is to uncover and discuss that message from an African perspective. The analysis will focus on those Q texts that are specifically directed at the poor. Some texts might be generic enough to include the poor together with others, but do not address the poor specifically. These texts will be put aside for the current analysis. Some other texts might address issues related to poverty, but are not directed at the poor. These texts will also not receive consideration here.


SIMON JOSEPH, California Lutheran University: An Indigenous Q: Redescribing the Ethnic, Social, and Political Context(s) of Q in Light of Postcolonial Native Studies (30 min)

Postcolonial Native Studies illustrate that Native/Indigenous identity is characterized and represented by a complex nexus of land, language, and ethnicity in dynamic relationship with each other, without which Native culture and religion tend to be destabilized and make little contextual sense. This paper seeks to utilize these insights in Q Studies by exploring Q's identification as an ethnically Jewish/Judean text - that is, an Indigenous Palestinian Judean text - reflecting a contested and turbulent first-century socio-political world in which traditional ethnically Judean identity-markers, ancestral customs, linguistic conventions, religious practices, and geographical allegiances are in flux.

Discussion (30 min)

Monday, November 19, 1:00 pm - 3:30 pm, S19-235 (Joint Session With Social Scientific Criticism of the New Testament)

The Parables in Q by Dieter Roth and The Parables of Jesus the Galilean by Ernest van Eck


Presider: PAUL FOSTER, University of Edinburgh


ERIN VEARNCOMBE, Princeton University: Panelist (30 min)


DOUGLAS OAKMAN, Pacific Lutheran University: Panelist (30 min)


Break (5 min)


ERNEST VAN ECK, University of Pretoria: Respondent (25 min)


DIETER ROTH, Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz: Respondent (25 min)


Discussion (30 min)

Tuesday, November 20, 9:00 am - 11:30 am, S20-131

Open Session


Presider: DAVID SLOAN, John Carroll University


JUSTIN DAVID STRONG, University of Notre Dame: Parables in Q or Parables in L? (25 min)

A perennial question in Q studies is what, if any of the Lukan and Matthean Sondergut the authors drew from Q rather than from other sources or composed themselves. As this question relates to the parables tradition, Q scholars appear to be especially eager to claim several uniquely Lukan parables for Q, including The Friend at Midnight (Luke 11:5-10), the Rich Fool (Luke 12:13-21), and The Lost Coin (Luke 15:8-10). Arguments in favor of Q as the source of these Lukan parables involve establishing ties between them and other Q material on the basis of style, form, and their context (assuming Q follows Lukan order). Generally left aside, however, are the counter-arguments that would indicate that these parables are closely linked to other L material, especially the many other L parables. This paper seeks to establish that the aforementioned L parables were not part of Q by demonstrating that they form a cohesive whole with the other L material, sharing a common form, style and origin all their own.

Discussion (10 min)


SARA PARKS, University of Nottingham: The Quest for the Rhetorical Jesus: The Innovation of the Q Gender Pairs (25 min)

This paper demonstrates that the gendered parable pairs of Jesus as found in Q are unprecedented in ancient Mediterranean literature. Their uniqueness is illustrated both through a comparative examination of prior Hellenistic and Jewish literature, and also in relation to the later first-century Christian texts in which the pairs can be said to have an afterlife. With the help of some of the criteria for authenticity in historical Jesus research, the early Christian use of gendered parallels helps to establish them as a rhetorical innovation, and as such, as important evidence for role of women in the earliest Jesus movement.

Discussion (10 min)


JAMES MURPHY, South Dakota State University: Q's Childless Utopia-Do Gendered Couplets Negate the Limited Evidence for Children among Q Insiders? (25 min)

William Arnal has argued that Q utilizes gendered couplets as a stylistic feature comparable to legal formulations elsewhere. Therefore, egalitarian claims for Q derived from references to the female gender may be ill-advised. Approaching Q from childist-studies (an emerging field, similar to feminist studies), this paper argues that the presence of gendered couplets in Q problematizes the few number of references to non-adult children. Q sets forth a world basically devoid of real non-adult children among insiders. If Q's ideal world was childless, could it's actual world have been so for a time?

Discussion (10 min)


FIODAR LITVINAU, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München: Jerusalem Abandoned: Q 13:34-35 in Context (25 min)

My presentation is dedicated to one passage of my doctoral project (Q 13:34-35). Jerusalem was and is the center of the religious life of the Jewish people. However, the attitude towards it changed depending on the historical, social, and religious situation. In this paper, I will discuss the attitude towards Jerusalem found in the Sayings Gospel Q in comparison with several Jewish texts from the Second Temple Period. The first part of the paper discusses the text of Q preserved in Mt 23:37-39 and Lk 13:34-35 in order to come closer to the original wording of Q passage. Parts 2, 3 and 4 are dedicated to the analysis of the texts of Animal Apocalypse of 1 Enoch, Dead Sea Scrolls and Psalms of Solomon that are relevant for the better understanding of the context in which Q 13:34-35 emerged. For some of these texts the fresh translation will be offered. The conclusion summarizes the analysis of the texts and demonstrates that Q 13:34-35 was composed in the group which was rooted in Jewish religious tradition, but hostile to Jerusalem as a center of religious life, which did not consider Jerusalem Temple as the center of their religious life, as well as made no distinction between the Temple and the city of Jerusalem at all.

Discussion (10 min)


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