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Annual Meeting, Denver, November 19-22, 2022

Monday, November 21, 9:00 am - 11:30 am



Presider: SARAH ROLLENS, Rhodes College


STEVEN D. COLLIER, Mercer University: Passion Sayings in Q: Challenging the Consensus (25 min)

The proposed paper will challenge the consensus that the Sayings Gospel Q contains no passion material. In a paper I presented at the Spring 2022 AAR/SBL Southeast Regional Conference, I argued Luke’s passion had a second non-Markan written source based on source utilization principles of Gerald Downing, Robert Derrenbacker and Alan Kirk. The second source could not be Matthew since most of the non-Markan elements in Luke’s passion are also non-Matthean. My new paper proposed here will consider the possibility that the second source for Luke’s passion is Q. Objections to a passion in Q include both theological and genre concerns. Theologically, most Q scholarship suggests Q has little interest in the passion because it is focused on the words not deeds of Jesus. However, a number of contemporary scholars (e.g., Daniel A. Smith and Michael Labahn) have suggested Q does show interest in the death of Jesus as part of the larger narrative world of the early Jesus movement. My proposal will take the next step and explore whether Q included actual passion material. As a matter of genre, scholarship also generally holds Q cannot contain a passion narrative because it consists mostly of sayings from the Double Tradition. My proposed paper will not look for narrative, but rather possible Q passion sayings consistent with Q’s genre as a sayings source. The importance of preserving sayings associated with the death of martyrs like Jesus makes it possible, if not probable, Q might have included sayings from the time of his death. For all of these reasons, the proposed paper will focus on Jesus’ sayings in the non-Markan portion of Luke’s passion, i.e., the portion of Luke’s passion most likely derived from another source. Luke’s passion contains about 125 words of Jesus not found in Mark. Primarily using the two-volume passion commentary of Raymond Brown, the paper will use two criteria to show possible connections of this non-Markan saying material to Q. First, the non-Markan passion sayings in Luke’s passion demonstrate thematic and stylistic similarities to the Double Tradition and hence to Q. Second, certain of the non-Markan passion sayings in Luke appear to originate in a pre-Lukan sayings collection, which evidence also points to Q. Accordingly, the non-Markan sayings in Luke’s passion may well constitute a previously unrecognized fragment of Q material consistent with Q’s overall interest in the death of Jesus.

Discussion (10 min)


JAMES F. McGRATH, Butler University: Q as a Source of Knowledge about John the Baptist (25 min)

In her groundbreaking study Baptist Traditions and Q, Clare K. Rothschild argued that in the Q material in the New Testament we are dealing with teaching of John the Baptist that has been transferred to Jesus. The present paper will argue for a similar yet distinct conclusion, namely that much but not all of the Synoptic material identified as stemming from Q can so plausibly be ascribed to John due to the fact that Jesus was originally part of John's movement and continued the practices and emphases of his mentor to a larger extent than is typically acknowledged. This conclusion does not preclude the possibility that individual sayings of the Baptist may have been ascribed to Jesus for precisely this reason. The approach adopted and conclusions argued for here, however, support a more wide-ranging conclusion, namely that the teaching of Jesus as a whole (and not only the Q material) constitutes an important source of information about the aims of the historical John the Baptist. This thesis will be supported by close inspection of several sayings attributed to Jesus in Q that cannot easily be ascribed to John because they address the relationship between John and Jesus, yet which indicate that Jesus understood his own message, activity, and authority to be linked to and a continuation of John's.

Discussion (10 min)

Break (10 min)


LLEWELLYN HOWES, University of Johannesburg: Few Workers for a Great Harvest? Reflecting on the Verisimilitude of Q 10:2 (25 min)

There is widespread agreement among Q scholars that the harvest saying in Matthew 9:37-38 and Luke 10:2 belongs in the Sayings Gospel Q. The International Q Project provides the following reconstruction and translation of this saying: ..λεγε… τοῖς μαθηταῖς αὐτοῦ· ὁ μὲν θερισμὸς πολύς, οἱ δὲ ἐργάται ὀλίγοι· δεήθητε οὖν τοῦ κυρίου τοῦ θερισμοῦ ὅπως ἐκβάλῃ ἐργάτας εἰς τὸν θερισμὸν αὐτοῦ (“He said to his disciples: The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. So ask the Lord of the harvest to dispatch workers into his harvest”). This paper will consider the verisimilitude of this logion. Kloppenborg (2006:278) uses the term “verisimilitude” to describe a parable’s tendency to be viewed as a realistic narrative in its original socio-historical context. Although most scholars would not regard the harvest logion in Matthew 9:37-38 and Luke 10:2 to be a parable, I am yet to come across a scholar who does not regard this saying as intrinsically metaphorical. This paper will focus exclusively on the literal side of the harvest logion. In other words, the focus will not be on the saying’s (presumed) metaphorical application to missionary work and/or apocalyptic judgment, but on the literal imagery of harvests and workers in first-century Palestine. In particular, the focus will here be on the opening statement that the harvest is plentiful but the workers few. Would the original hearers have nodded their heads in agreement at this claim? To answer this question, one has to determine which harvest Jesus was referring to. Was he speaking of a particular farm or the situation in first-century Palestine generally? If one particular farm is intended, what kind of farm is it, a smallholding or a large estate? Which of these options fit the saying and the historical context better? If the saying refers to the situation in Palestine more generally, would there be any reason for these harvests to be larger than usual? Likewise, would there be any reason for agricultural workers in first-century Palestine to be scarce?


ALAN KIRK, James Madison University: The “Galilean Q Community” and the Orientalist Legacy in 2DH Scholarship (25 min)

Contemporary Q scholarship imagines the existence of a “Galilean Q Community,” furnished with a simple religious piety standing over against Judean, Jerusalem-centered Judaism with its narrow ethnic particularism, its cult ritualism, and its scribal legalism. The “Galilean Q community” plays same role vis-à-vis Judean Judaism in the imaginary of contemporary Q scholarship that Sufi Islam does in past and present western orientalist discourses on Islam: in G.A. Lipton’s words, as embodying “a type of philosophical Protestantism freed from all outward prescriptions of religious law,” as an “Oriental version of a Kantian universal faith” over against Islamic orthodoxy, which is imagined as Semitic, legalistic, obsessed with Sharia, dogmatic, ritualistic, intolerant, coercive, and politicized. This paper explores the roots of this orientalist paradigm in nineteenth century Synoptic source criticism and in form criticism, particularly in the various imaginings of the primitive Urgemeinde, and its continued effects. I argue that "the Galilean Q community" is a vestige of this orientalist paradigm.

Discussion (20 min)


Ruama Shala

Institut für Neutestamentliche Bibelwissenschaft
Telefon:+43 316 380 - 6050

Öffnungszeiten: Montag 9:30 – 11:30 Uhr oder nach Vereinbarung


Univ.-Prof. Mag. Dr.theol.

Christoph Heil

Institut für Neutestamentliche Bibelwissenschaft
Telefon:+43 316 380 - 6051

Sprechstunde: Dienstag, 11 bis 12 Uhr oder n.V. (auf jeden Fall nach Anmeldung im Sekretariat)


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