Annual Meeting, San Antonio, November 18-21, 2023
Showcasing Contributions to the Forthcoming Oxford Handbook of Q
Presider: GIOVANNI BAZZANA, Harvard University
DAVID B. SLOAN, Independent Scholar: Q as Narrative (30 min)
This paper is part of the Oxford Handbook of Q and will examine the scholarship on Q as narrative.
LLEWELLYN HOWES, University of Johannesburg: Q as Ancient Instruction (30 min)
This paper forms part of the Oxford Handbook on Q session. The paper compares the Sayings Gospel Q with Instruction literature from the ancient world. The aim is not only to compare, but also to make some preliminary remarks about the influence of Instruction literature on Q, the genre of Q, and the hermeneutical implications of determining Q’s genre.
INHEE PARK, Ewha Womans University: Q Reception in South Korea (30 min)
Contribution offered for the forthcoming Oxford Handbook of Q.
OLEGS ANDREJEVS, Loyola University of Chicago: Q and Apocalypticism (30 min)
Contribution in preparation for the Oxford Handbook of Q.
DUNCAN REID, Tyndale University College and Seminary (Ontario): Q and Miracles (30 min)
Contribution to the forthcoming Oxford Handbook of Q.
Presider: SARAH ROLLENS, Rhodes College
DIETER T. ROTH, Boston College: Functional Christology and the Q Parables (30 min)
Fifty years ago, Graham Stanton, in his contribution to the 1973 Festschrift for C. F. D. Moule, observed that “recent attempts to grapple with Christological themes in the New Testament have concentrated too rigidly on Christological titles. This is particularly noticeable in recent studies of Q” (“On the Christology of Q,” 40). Although the intervening decades have led to a general recognition that considerations of Christology based exclusively, or nearly exclusively, upon titles is problematic and inadequate, questions concerning “Christology” and Q remain challenging. This paper seeks to build on more recent attempts to consider the Christology of Q along more “functional” lines, or, to put it another way, to consider the christological implications of that which Jesus does and says in Q. As helpful as this line of inquiry has been, the manner in which the Q parables, and the characters found therein, contribute explicitly or through intentional ambiguity to the “functional Christology” of Q has perhaps been underappreciated. For this reason, this consideration of Q parables spoken by both John the Baptist and Jesus will underscore the striking manner in which the parables of Q develop both the relationship between Jesus’s and God’s activity and the relationship between Jesus and God per se, ultimately contributing in important ways to the functional expression of Christology in Q.
MATTHEW KORPMAN, Graduate Theological Union: A Jekyll and Hyde Jesus: Exploring the Significance of Contradictions in Q (30 min)
In this paper, I will explore something that to my understanding has gone largely un-commented on: the presence of contradictory teachings and themes within the reconstructed document of Q. Whereas Jesus is presented as teaching that interest is wrong (Q 6:34), he also teaches parables where the main character seemingly endorses it (Q 12:12-15). Jesus is both said to teach that whoever denies him will be denied by God (Q 12:8-9), but in the next breath says anyone denying the son of man will be forgiven (Q 12:10). Are few able to enter the gate (Q 13:24-27) or are there many who will recline with Abraham (Q 13:28-29)? Has Jesus come to bring peace (Q 10:5-9) or to remove peace and start war (Q 12:49, 50-53)? These contradictory teachings even extend into larger units of contradictory themes. Where one section seems to present Jesus largely as loving (Q 6:27-42), another section presents what appears to be the opposite portrait (Q 10:5-16; 11:23, 46). Or what about the central theme of the authority of Jesus himself? While one section extols the authority (Q 6:40, 46-49), others seem to downplay it (Q 11:21-28). Rather than proposing that these contradictions indicate previous editions of Q or a complicated redaction history, I will argue that they can be read as part of Q’s holistic presentation of Jesus. In fact, they can illuminate the remark by Jesus to John the Baptist that “blessed is whoever is not offended by me” (Q 7:18-23). What gave offense? Possibly the provocative nature of Jesus’ contradictory style. To test this reading of Q, it will be compared with another sayings gospel, the Gospel of Thomas. There, just as in Q, readers are informed that Jesus’ teaching is offensive or “disturbing” (Thom. 2 and 13). And just as in Q, Jesus is presented as contradictory, teaching parables that both warn against merchants (Thom. 64) and compare the kingdom to them (Thom. 76), or warning both that one should never fast (Thom. 14) and then later saying one must fast (Thom. 27, 104). In fact, the exact same contradictions in theme appear in both Q and Thomas with regard to the authority of Jesus, his loving versus vengeful presentation, and even some of the same contradictions such as the ambiguity over lending at interest (cf. Thom. 95 and 109). What I will argue in this paper is that by drawing attention to this portrayal of Jesus in Q, we can better understand the traditions recorded in the Synoptic Gospels that reported that Jesus was offensive and misunderstood by the crowds.
JAMES McGRATH, Butler University: John the Baptist and Narrative in Q as Clues about its Composition History (30 min)
John the Baptist is the, or at least a major focus of the material in the first part of the Q source. This Baptist-focused content takes the form of narrative and dialogue rather than a collection of sayings of Jesus. Rather than representing awkward problems to explain away, this paper will treat these aspects of the Q material as important clues about the order in which its layers were brought together and what may have motivated those responsible for doing so. The evidence of other early Christian texts which begin with the Baptist and focus on Jesus' relationship to him provide helpful guideposts in the effort to determine when and where a work like Q might have been assembled and what might have motivated giving it the shape we now discern behind Matthew and Luke.