Monday, May 16, 2022

Q Source — History Mystery

Q Source — History Mystery

Q source is known as Q document and Q Gospel. It is a hypothetical written collection of primarily Jesus' sayings. The book of Q is a part of the common material available in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke. However, you can not get it available in the Gospel of Mark. So instead, it came from the early Church's oral gospel traditions as per the study hypothesis.

What do you know about Q source?

Q refers to the designation for a gospel that is no more available. However, most people think that it existed at a time. Although there is no copy of this gospel of q that survived independently, a few scholars of the 19th century got fragments of such an early Christian composition.

When scholars put the gospels of Matthew and Luke beside the Mark, they understood that Matthew and Luke followed the order mostly while telling the story about Jesus. Even they follow the wording of Mark. However, Matthew and Luke have inserted additional sayings and teachings of Jesus into the narrative outline. Besides, they do not put these sayings in the same order and repeat many of the same sayings.

What are the sources of Matthew and Luke?

Matthew and Luke had two resources: the Gospel of Mark and another gospel (no more available), and a collection of sayings known only as Q.

Q is the abbreviation of "Quelle," which is a German word for source. You should not be excited about something that does not exist. Therefore, the gospel of q remained a hypothesis that lingered on the edges of scholarly research. When it was 1945, a chance discovery in Egypt offered new proof. As a result, an interest must arise in your mind for the possible existence of Q.

About Q source:

There were two brothers finding fertilizer at the base of cliffs in the Egyptian region of Nag Hammadi. It is where the Nile river takes a turn from Chenoboskeia to Pabau. One of the brothers named Mohammad Ali hit a hard object under the ground, and it was a big earthen jar, closed with a shallow reddish.

Firstly, he did not want to open the jar as he thought there was a jinn closed up inside it. However, later, he decided to open the jar by summoning the courage to hope that it could contain gold. Instead of gold, he got twelve books bound in gazelle leather. Later, these were proven as critical archaeological finds of the twentieth century. The books were so extraordinary that these offer the existence of the sayings collection known as Q.

We know these manuscripts now as the Nag Hammadi Library containing a whole manuscript of the Gospel of Thomas. However, people found a small part of this gospel written in Greek at Oxyrhynchus in Egypt.

However, the original text was at Nag Hammadi, written in Coptic. Quelle bible was in the form of the Egyptian language used during later Roman imperial times.

Scholars reconstructed the Gospel of Thomas in Greek, the original language of its composition, depending on the text. It indicates that they could compare its contents with the writings fragments they got in the New Testament.

The Gospel of Thomas is not the same as the gospels, a part of the New Testament, and it does not contain any narrative material, any story of the birth, the life, or the death of Jesus. Here, you can find the sayings, 114 in all, each preceded by the phrase, "And Jesus said." The author designates the collected sayings of the Gospel of Thomas as "the secret sayings which the living Jesus spoke."

However, you can find these sayings in the Gospel of Thomas, same as in the gospels of Matthew and Luke. For instance, these are "Jesus said, 'Come to me, for my yoke is easy, and my mastery is gentle, and you will find repose.'" On the flip side, a few are puzzling: "Jesus said, 'Become passers-by.”

The author said that one could achieve salvation by recognizing one's source(the light) and one's destiny (the repose). If they want to go back to the origin, ensure that the disciples should not be present in the world by "stripping off" the garment of flesh and "passing by" corruptible human existence.

There is another exciting thing about the gospel. Its author used to call himself Didymos Judas Thomas, which appears in Matthew and Luke's collection. However, the author and his community find the meaning of sayings completely different. So the Gospel of Thomas offered new proof regarding an earlier collection of sayings that other Christian communities use.

Contribution from James M. Robinson and his team about Q source:

James M. Robinson, a part of the Institute for Antiquity and Christianity in Claremont, led a research team in 1989 about the "reconstruction" of the Gospel of Q. Robinson. In addition, his team analyzes the literature of Matthew, Luke, and Thomas thoroughly. Their work was published after nearly ten years of work as the Critical Edition of Q.

A scholar, Burton Mack, has advanced a radical thesis that a few Christian communities at least have not seen Jesus as a Messiah. Instead, they found him as a teacher of wisdom who taught others how to live. According to them, Jesus was a human, not divine. They are the first followers of Jesus, different from other Christians ( who believe in the death and the resurrection of Jesus).

It was a great foundation of most modern scholarship and was hypothesized by 1900. Finally, however, we have got a view accepted widely from B. H. Streeter that it was available in Koine Greek. Moreover, its contents appear in Matthew, Luke, or both, and Luke preserves the text's original order more often than Matthew. 

 Luke, Matthew and Mark:

Luke and Matthew used Mark and Q as sources in the two-source hypothesis, the three-source hypothesis, and the Q+/Papias hypothesis. According to a few scholars, the Q source is a plurality of sources where a few are written and a few are oral. A few available have tried to identify the stages in which it was composed.

Biblical scholars used to follow the Augustinian hypothesis, which states that the Gospel of Matthew was the first one written. Mark used Matthew in his writing, whereas Luke followed Mark and Matthew in his writing. The Gospel of John is different from the others for the similarity called the Synoptic Gospels. A few 19th-century New Testament scholars did not take Matthew's priority for Marcan priority.

Matthew and Luke provide significant sections of text not found in Mark. Gospel has not drawn upon the other. According to a few people, Herbert Marsh, an Englishman, was the first person to hypothesize the existence of a "narrative" source and a "sayings" source. However, he added the latter parables, which are unique to both Matthew and Luke.


The contents of the Q source were available in the canonical gospels. Therefore, you do not need to copy the Q source. Although there are many challenges, the two-source hypothesis gets wide support.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.