The Case Against Q, by Mark Goodacre

The theoretical source of many Jesus sayings in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke has long been considered a sure thing in New Testament studies. Most scholars writing about the Synoptic Gospels refer to "Q" (the first letter of the German word for source) without reciting arguments for its existence. Q itself, they've agreed, had as many as three possible stages of development, and Matthew and Luke independently drew from Q to supplement their likewise independent borrowing of Mark's basic narrative--or so goes the two-source thesis.

But a few scholars, mostly British, have proposed that Q is an artificial construct. They contend that Luke also knew Matthew's Gospel and borrowed creatively from it the many parables, admonitions and words of wisdom absent from the pioneering Gospel of Mark. Q was rebuilt by comparing Matthew and Luke, usually favoring Luke's sequence and wording as closest to Q's.


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