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Annual Meeting, San Antonio, November 20-23, 2021

Monday, November 22, 9:00 am - 11:30 am, Q Section

Open Session

This session will be virtual.


Presider: SARA PARKS, University of Nottingham


IN HEE PARK, Ewha Womans University and CHAN SOK PARK, College of Wooster: Communal Visions of Q's Feast Parables: A Case of “the Sung-Kyung Jick-Hae Gwang-Ik” (25 min)

Parables in Q have been examined as a window through which to understand the Q community’s social contexts. The three parables about feasts in Q (i.e., the parable of the Invited Dinner Guests (Q 14:16-23); the parable of the Yeast (Q 13:20-21); and the parable of the Lost Coin (Q 15:8-10)) are particularly pertinent to explore socio-economic aspects of Q. In ancient society public feasts often function as a venue for authorities to redistribute goods and providing entertainment to subjects. This was the case for many of the Jewish public feasts: great feasts in Jerusalem following the temple rites made significant contributions to Judean economic situations. In the first century Galilee, similarly, urban elites threw personal feasts to confirm and strengthen client-benefactor system with their locals. In contrast, the feasts depicted in Q’s parables do not display any of those ancient concerns and practices: they are hosted by non-authorities people for the sake of their communities regardless of their socio-economic status. The parable of the Great Banquet, for example, breaks a social convention of redistributing good on the basis of client-benefactor relations or boasting elite status as a primary function of public feasts. Instead, their roles are redefined in Q’s feast parables as creating a community of mutually supporting “friends.” This paper will explore one specific historical case that attempted to act out the ancient communal ideals proposed by Q’s feast parables: a 18th century Christian community called “village of friends” in Joseon, a predecessor of modern Korea. This Christian group produced their own edited New Testament Gospels called “the Sung-Kyung Jick-Hae Gwang-Ik” (성경직해광익). This Bible, which includes approximately one third of the entire New Testament Gospels along with commentaries, served as the most foundational religious guidance for this Christian group consisting only of lay people with no residential leaders for many decades. Their interpretation of Q’s feast parables included in this text show us that this group developed and actualized a communal vision of social equality and economic mutual support, as comparable to the communal vision given in Q’s feast parables. This study will uniquely contribute to our understanding of socio-economic conditions and visions of the Q community.

Discussion (10 min)

OLEGS ANDREJEVS, Loyola University of Chicago: The Beelzebul Controversy: Contributions of Frans Neirynck to the Reconstruction of Q and to the Synoptic Problem (1986, 1995, 2001) (25 min)

The so-called Beelzebul Controversy (Mark 3:22-30; Matt 12:22-30; Luke/Q 11:14-23) has been something of a Grand Central Station in the study of the synoptic problem. It is a “go-to” text for Q skeptics and proponents of alternative synoptic solutions, featuring multiple Mark-Q overlaps (Q 11:15, 17b-18, and possibly 11:16 and 11:21-22) in addition to parallels in the double tradition. In the last decade alone, this text was engaged in publications by Eric Eve (2015) and Mark Goodacre (2018), proponents of the Farrer hypothesis (Luke’s use of Matthew and Mark). For a Two-Document hypothesis (2DH) scholar, the text poses broader questions than simply functioning as an important battleground in the synoptic debate. The reconstruction of this Q segment is famously fraught with difficulties, which include separating Q from Mark in the Mark-Q overlaps and accounting for the origin of εἰδὼς in Matt 12:25a and Luke 11:17a. Of particular significance are Q 11:16 and the portion of Q listed by the Critical Edition (2000) as Q 11:[[21-22]]. In the latter, the double brackets tell the story (or, more accurately, pose the question): did Q feature the parable of the strong man? In this paper, I would like to revisit the contributions to the study of the Q Beelzebul Controversy made by Frans Neirynck, in a 1986 article (addressing the issue of εἰδὼς) and a pair of essays (1995 and 2001, addressing the potential Mark-Q overlaps at Mark 3:27 and 8:11). These contributions and Neirynck’s reconstruction of Q have not received sufficient attention in recent scholarship. I will suggest that Neirynck’s observations extend beyond the sphere of a 2DH scholar’s immediate interests (such as Q’s reconstruction) and have direct implications for the synoptic problem.

Discussion (10 min)

Break (10 min)

DAVID B. SLOAN, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School: The Symmetry of the Q 6 Sermon (25 min)

Matthew and Luke both tend to abbreviate sayings and speeches of Jesus in Mark, but they abbreviate Mark in different ways, so that some clauses in the Markan speeches are paralleled in Matthew alone and others are paralleled in Luke alone. After demonstrating this for several Markan speeches, this paper considers the Q 6 sermon and suggests that the sermon was designed with far more symmetry than has previously been recognized, but Matthew’s and Luke’s tendency to abbreviate has partially obscured this symmetry. For example, in the Houses Built on the Rock or Sand, it is widely recognized that Luke has abbreviated the second half of the passage, while Matthew has preserved the original symmetry (so CritEd, Fleddermann, etc.). In other parts of the Q 6 sermon, however, scholars have assumed expansion rather than abbreviation and denied that Q is responsible for the symmetry that can be seen in one of the gospels (e.g., the Beatitudes and Woes in Luke). But if we conclude that Matthew and Luke were abbreviators of this material (though Matthew also inserts outside material), then we find that a very intricately patterned sermon emerges. The original sermon probably had four blessings and four woes; four acts of persecution in Q 6:22 and four opposite acts in Q 6:26; four imperatives in Q 6:27-28 and four responses in Q 6:29-30. There were likely four rhetorical questions in Q 6:32-34; Matthew preserved two and Luke preserved three, but only one is shared between the two. CritEd is correct to include a second question (Luke 6:34), but wrong to exclude Matthew 5:47 and Luke 6:33. There were probably also four imperatives again in Q 6:35 and then four imperatives in Q 6:37-38. Q is probably also responsible for Luke’s fourfold expression in 6:38b. Other patterns can be demonstrated in the sermon, and parallels for these patterns can be found in other parts of Q where the text is more certain. This paper concludes with a new reconstruction of the sermon and with a discussion of the implications of this study, which (1) gives more evidence that a literary document lies behind Matthew’s and Luke’s shared material; (2) suggests that Matthew and Luke are as likely to abbreviate the sayings and speeches in Q as they are the sayings and speeches in Mark; (3) helps us appreciate the literary artistry of the author of Q; and (4) suggests that in other passages where one version has a more expansive, symmetrical reading (e.g. Luke 15:3-10; Luke 17:26-30; Matthew 6:19-20, 22-23; etc.), the longer version better represents Q than the shorter version.

Discussion (10 min)

CHRISTINA GOUSOULOS, University of Toronto: The Scribal Networks of Q: A Network Approach to Early Christian Literature (25 min)

There is an increasing recognition in early Christian scholarship that social network analysis is a fruitful addition to the research toolkits of scholars seeking to better understand the networks of Christians who diffused the Christ cult and its literature around the Roman Empire. In an attempt to theorize some of the earliest (and most remarkably difficult to pinpoint) Christian literary networks, the present contribution employs social network analysis to examine networks of sub-elite village scribes who may pose as a model for those involved in the composition and diffusion of the Sayings Gospel Q. Papyrological archives and documentary texts of such scribal figures will be utilized to tentatively reconstruct the existence of antique scribal networks, illuminating the social environment in which the scribes of Q worked and asking the critical question: how does Q know what it knows?

Discussion (10 min)




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