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Annual Meeting, San Antonio, November 19-22, 2016

Saturday, November 19, 9:00 am - 11:30 am, S19-140: Papyrology and Early Christian Backgrounds / Q

Village Scribes and Q

(in cooperation with the “Papyrology and Early Christian Backgrounds” Group)


Presider: ALAN KIRK, James Madison University


GREGG SCHWENDER, Wichita State University: Was Village Level Literacy Sufficient to compose Q? Comparative evidence from Roman Egypt (25 min)

How well does the supposition that Q was written in a village, rather than in a metropolis, accord with what we know about literacy in Egypt? Two considerations of many must suffice here. 1. Handwriting and abbreviations: the earliest Christian papyri are written in a style (the Alexandrian stylistic class) that has more in common with documentary hands of the first-second century as it does the other books hands of the same time. The use of abbreviations typified documentary texts and some types of marginalia in literary works, including the closest pagan analogy to the nomen sacrum ?? 2. Edcational level: writers engaged in village bureaucracy need not have been higher than the Grammatike level to have produced a quasi historical text such as Q. The Egyptian Acta Alexandrinorum is analogous to Q in that it is an anonymous, quasi-historical, anti-establishment text. The analogy can only extend so far, since no one doubts that the Acta originated in Alexandria. But its reception, revision and imitation in the second century in village grapheia, such as Tebtynis, or by minor bureaucrats, such as the praktor Sokrates in Karanis, have something positive to add to the debate. 


BRUCE W. GRIFFIN, Keiser University - Latin American Campus: Village Scribes in Ptolemaic and Roman Egypt (25 min)

This paper will address issues regarding literacy among village scribes in Ptolemaic and Roman Egypt and its potential bearing on the Q source. 


GIOVANNI BAZZANA, Harvard University, Respondent (25 min)


JOHN KLOPPENBORG, University of Toronto, Respondent (25 min)


Discussion (40 min)

Saturday, November 19, 4:00 pm - 6:30 pm, S19-330, John, Jesus, and History / Synoptic Gospels / Q

Jesus Remembered in John and Q

(in cooperation with the "John, Jesus, and History" Section)


Presider: PAUL ANDERSON, George Fox University (5 min)


JESSE RICHARDS, University of Oxford: Jesus the Teacher: Assessing Discipleship Sayings in John and Q from a First-Century Media Perspective (25 min)

Across earliest Christian traditions, Jesus is remembered as a didaskalos who issues teachings to his disciples. Several of these discipleship sayings in Q also show up in John’s Gospel and provide historians with a corroborative impression of how Jesus of Nazareth was remembered by his followers. I will suggest that these corroborative features result from how first-century media culture encouraged conservation and creativity. When these media features are considered, it becomes reasonable to infer that the Fourth Gospel is rooted in early Jesus tradition while also at liberty to develop that tradition in diverse ways. For example, John can conserve the tradition that Jesus is a disciple-making teacher, while creatively developing an exalted Christology that goes beyond traditions found in earlier Christianity. This conservation and creativity not only accords with ancient compositional practices, but it also exemplifies how first-century media culture played a vital role in the shaping of the Jesus tradition as it came to expression in oral and written forms.


MARK GOODACRE, Duke University: Johannine Thunderbolt or Synoptic Seed? Matthew 11:27 // Luke 10:22 in Christological Context (25 min)

The presence of a "Johannine Thunderbolt" in Matthew 11:27 // Luke 10:22 has long troubled those who stress the major differences between John and the Synoptics. How could so Johannine a Christological statement land out of the blue on the Synoptic Jesus’ lips? The surprise is all the more striking if, as some scholars maintain, the saying predates Matthew and Luke. But the appearance of a Johannine "thunderbolt" is a mirage. It results in part from slicing the evidence too thinly, and treating Matt. 11:27 // Luke 10:22 as an isolated saying. Once read in its full context, the saying becomes seen as typical of Matthew's Christology, with its stress on the relationship between the Father and the Son, to whom all authority has been given, and who is engaged in knowledge that is revealed to the disciples. The saying is congenial to Luke, who repeats it almost verbatim, but it appeals still more strongly to John, for whom it becomes a foundation for his own idiosyncratic Christology that is so strongly focused on the Son's divine relationship with the Father.


CLARE K. ROTHSCHILD, Lewis University: The Second Sign? John 4:46b-54 in Light of Matthew 8:5-13 // Luke 7:1-10 (25 min)

The healing of the official's son in John 4 is one of four narrative correspondences between Q and John. It is the only narrative correspondence without a noteworthy Markan parallel and one of two (or arguably) three narratives in this sayings source. However, Q neither explicitly attributes the healing to Jesus, nor states that the servant was healed. Rather, this healing arises in a context of speculation about “the coming one” (Q 7:8), and it compares the actions of this figure to a soldier’s deployments ("coming and going," Q 7:22) as one "sent to announce good news" (Isaiah 61:1 LXX). Q 7:19 denotes this purpose with a question posed by disciples of John the Baptist to Jesus: "Are you ho erchómenos?" In contrast, the Fourth Gospel specifies Jesus as the subject and suggests highest approval of the healing by referring to it as the deúteron semeíon. But, John's treatment of the cure resembles the healing of the man born blind on 9:1-41; namely, a recasting of one or more Synoptic traditions in Johannine terms (cf. Mark 8:13-26 // Matt 16:5-12; Mark 10:46-52 // Matt 20:29-34 // Luke 18:35-43; Matt 9:27-31). Adoption of the Q pericope by both Matthew and Luke, thus, seems to mark an intermediary stage in the development of the tradition.


TOM THATCHER, Cincinnati Christian University: The Words and Works of Jesus: Media-Critical Dynamics in the John/Q Parallels (25 min)

This paper will draw on insights from media studies to develop a framework for understanding the respective hermeneutical strategies of the Fourth Gospel and Q. While these two traditions reflect overlapping traditions at several points, they appropriate traditional material in significantly different ways. Q, as a "sayings Gospel," appears to reflect a current in early Christian thought that emphasized the performative power of Jesus' words, rehearsing his teachings within a minimal narrative framework. John, by contrast, managed tradition by locating the words of Jesus within a carefully arranged narrative sequence that ties the "meaning" of Christ's words to particular moments in time and space that are self-consciously distinct from the audience's experience of that content. These contrasting approaches are best understood when viewed on a hermeneutical spectrum rather than in terms of one source's "dependence" on the other, especially in view of emerging media-critical perspective on the nature of Q.


ROBERT DERRENBACKER, Thorneloe University, Respondent (15 min)


Discussion (30 min)

Tuesday, November 22, 9:00 am - 11:30 am, S22-139: Q Open Session

Presider: HARRY FLEDDERMANN, Alverno College


Presenter withdrew (30 min)


OLEGS ANDREJEVS, Carthage College: A Tale of Two Houses: Q 13:34-35 and the Gentile Mission (30 min)

Examining Q 13:34-35 (The Judgment over Jerusalem), this paper seeks to contribute to two aspects of the study of the Synoptic Sayings Source. It is well known that there is a lack of consensus in Q scholarship on the question of the judgment oracle's original placement, with many scholars siding with Matthew and against the normally preferred Lukan sequence of the double synoptic tradition. Consequently, I will begin by presenting a case in favor of the Lukan location of 13:34-35 as reflecting also that of Q. My argument will center particularly on the role played by the oracle within the larger section of redactional (Q2) material 13:24-14:27, paying special attention to (a) the contrast between the two different houses featured in that block of material, (b) the concentric arrangement of its main component units. Based on the above I will propose that, contrary to being intrusive within the sequence of 13:24-30, 14:11-27, in fact 13:34-35 is positioned so as to form the central part of the argument made by the Q2 author in that redactional section. Having made the literary-critical case I will then outline the nature of the author's argument, showing how it coheres with and reflects the agenda of the Q2 compositional layer. Namely, I will suggest that Q 13:24-14:27, regardless of the original provenance of its various component sayings, was given its present compositional arrangement in order to foster the necessity of the gentile mission. That concern is encountered in several other places in the Q2 stratum (e.g., 7:1-10; 10:13-14, 21-22) and highlighted prominently in 13:25-29; 14:16-23. Based on my interpretation of the two houses featured in 13:24-14:27 I will propose that the critique and abandonment of Jerusalem in 13:34-35 formed the Q2 author's pivotal argument for the gentile mission, stressing its necessity and inevitability. In the closing portion of the paper I will turn to another aspect of Q studies engaged by 13:34-35, the judgment oracle's possible bearing on the dating of the document's main redactional layer, Q2. Examining the oracle in light of (a) my analysis of 13:24-14:27, (b) the broader context of the Q2 stratum as outlined by John Kloppenborg, I will propose that the abandonment of Jerusalem's "house" envisioned in 13:35 does not constitute a reference to the second temple's destruction in 70 CE. An approximate earlier date for the composition of Q2 will be suggested.


Break (10 min)


SARA PARKS, McGill University: What’s at Stake in Feminist Responses to the Q Gender Pairs? (30 min)

The sayings of Jesus contain a device that addresses identical didactic material to female and male recipients. My research indicates that this rhetorical strategy in Q-the use of parallel gender pairs-is unprecedented in extant Hellenistic and early Jewish literature. Given that Q forms part of the earliest stratum of Jesus material, it seems that an early branch of the Jesus movement was approaching its male and female adherents with some degree of intellectual and religious equality. However, this by no means indicates that Q or Jesus undertook a programmatic dismantling of patriarchal norms, as some hopefuls have argued. Rather, following Batten (1994) and Corley (1992, 1994), I view Q's specific inclusions of women not as entirely anomalous, but rather as in keeping with a general enhancement of women's roles that blossomed for a time in the Late Republic-a blossoming that had already begun to wither by the time of Augustus' marital reforms, and that was nearly expunged from the Christian record by the time of the Church Fathers. Current feminist scholarship on Q is divided in how it understands the gender pairs. Some scholars champion Q as an inspiring "discipleship of equals" over and against patriarchy (e.g. Fricker 2004, Schottroff 1994, 1995), and some condemn Q as androcentric, and caution against the potentially anti-Jewish overtones of overly rosy readings (e.g. Levine 1996, 1999). That the gender pairs were not part of an anti-patriarchal programme on the part of Jesus or his early followers is evidenced by Q's overall retention of stereotypical social gender roles, even within the pairs themselves. However, I argue that the pairs are nevertheless a literary innovation that may well have been connected with a measure of equality for women, albeit intellectual and/or religious equality, and not social equality. Therefore, the "gender equality" sometimes spoken of in Q, while important, is circumscribed. This paper recognises the uniqueness of the parallel gender pairs of Q. The pairs cannot be used as evidence for an anti-patriarchal movement or for so-called egalitarian values per se; nor can they function as a shining foil against which to unfavourably compare other varieties of Judaism. However, they do attest to a qualified equality between men's and women's religious expectations and intellectual capacities within the earliest Jesus movement.


DAVID B. SLOAN, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School: Pharisees, Lawyers, a Good Samaritan and Q (30 min)

Arguments that Luke 10:25-28 are drawn from Q (Streeter, Lambrecht, Tuckett, et al.) rather than from Mark have failed to persuade the majority of scholars, despite the striking differences between the Lukan and Markan versions and the agreements between Matthew and Luke against Mark here. There are, however, far more striking reasons for the inclusion of Luke 10:25-28 (as well as 10:29-37) that have apparently gone unnoticed until now. The reference to a lawyer "testing" Jesus here sets up Jesus' woes against Pharisees and lawyers in the next chapter. If this were due to Luke's creativity, we would expect Luke to mention that the "test" of Jesus in chapter 11 is presented by the Pharisees, but this detail is found only in Matthew (Matt 12:38 pace Luke 11:16). Thus Matthew and Luke each retain only part of the set up for Q 11:39ff. Moreover, Matthew's test by the Pharisees is closer in style to Luke 10:25-28 than Luke's version of the test by the Pharisees is, suggesting that Luke 10:25ff resembles Q's style more than it does Luke's. Furthermore, the thrust of Jesus' response to the lawyer parallels that of Jesus' response to the Pharisees in the double tradition passage: in both cases Jesus emphasizes outsiders (a Samaritan, the Queen of the South, and the men of Nineveh) who do what this generation fails to do. In other words, the parable of the Good Samaritan is designed to communicate to the lawyer the same message that Jesus' response to the Pharisees communicates to them in Q. But some of the parallels between the two responses are found only in the Matthean version of the response to the Pharisees, again suggesting that Matthew and Luke are both missing elements of Q's original paralleling of these passages. A Q that includes 10:25-37 is the best explanation for the parallels between this passage and Q 11:16, 29ff. Matthew's omission of 10:25-37 is explainable by Matthew's plan to follow Mark's parallel to Q 10:25-28 (Mark 12:28-34//Matt 22:34-40) and by Matthew's bias against Samaritans (cf. Matt 10:5). This study is important because placing Luke 10:25-37 in Q would (1) improve our understanding of how Q views the law of Moses; (2) add to the soteriological dimension of Q (the lawyer asks about inheriting eternal life); (3) improve our understanding of the polemic of Q; (4) provide another piece of evidence that Q is more extensive than we have traditionally thought; and (5) add to the case that Q is a narrative, with tension building as Jesus confronts his adversaries.



Discussion (20 min)

Sunday, November 20, 4:00 pm - 6:30 pm, S20-347: Q

Book Review Session

This session will feature a panel review of two new books on Q: Sarah Rollens, Framing Social Criticism in the Jesus Movement: The Ideological Project in the Sayings Gospel Q (WUNT II.374, Mohr Siebeck, 2014); and Giovanni Bazzana, Kingdom of Bureaucracy: The Political Theology of Village Scribes in the Sayings Gospel Q (BETL 274, Peeters, 2015).


Presider: DANIEL SMITH, Huron University College

PAUL FOSTER, University of Edinburgh, Panelist (20 min)


AGNES CHOI, Pacific Lutheran University, Panelist (20 min)


PETER ARZT-GRABNER, Universität Salzburg, Panelist (20 min)


Break (10 min)

SARAH ROLLENS, Rhodes College, Respondent (20 min)

GIOVANNI BAZZANA, Harvard University, Respondent (20 min)

Discussion (20 min)


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