I finished Mark Goodacre's The Case Against Q.
I read yesterday, Goodacre took a look at the alleged document Q, from
which Matthew and Luke supposedly drew. Q has narratives near the
beginning but then it becomes a bunch of sayings. And Q also presumes
elements of Matthew's narrative, without actually telling the stories in
which those elements initially appear.
For Goodacre, it makes
more sense to say that the commonalities between the Gospel of Luke and
the Gospel of Matthew (the commonalities not found in Mark, that is) are
due to Luke using Matthew, and not to both of them drawing from a Q
source. The reason that the reconstructed Q source has narratives at
the beginning and then becomes a bunch of sayings is that Matthew had
narratives at the beginning and then relied on Mark's Gospel to finish
up his story. Remember that Q is stuff that does not appear in the
Gospel of Mark. (Yet, as Goodacre points out, there is a scholarly
belief in a Mark-Q overlap, in which Q tells a version of a story that
Mark has. This is posited because there are times when Matthew and Luke
agree with each other and not Mark in telling a particular story.) So,
when believers in Q look at the commonalities between Matthew and Luke
(that are not in Mark) to reconstruct the Q source, they take the shared
narratives at the beginning, but at a certain point Matthew draws from
Mark for his narrative and so there are no more narratives to put into
the Q source. Goodacre's point is this: Wouldn't it be easier to say that Luke just used Matthew,
than to say that both drew from a Q source that started with narrative
and became sayings, incidentally right at the point of the story where
Matthew started relying primarily on Mark?
The same can
be said about the times when Q presumes elements of Matthew's narrative:
Why not conclude that Luke draws from Matthew itself, rather than a
document that mentions elements of Matthew's narrative without
specifically introducing us to those elements in an initial story?
in Q have appealed to the Gospel of Thomas, which is a Gospel of
sayings, to argue that there could have been a document like Q, which
has a lot of sayings but not much narrative. But Goodacre has two
problems with this argument. First, Q has narratives. And
second, there is a specific ideological reason that the Gospel of Thomas
predominantly consists of sayings: because it holds that Jesus'
teachings are what bring salvation.
Good book. And I did not
mention Goodacre's discussion of Jesus-movies in this book. I may
sometime read a book that Goodacre wrote specifically on that topic, for
I love Jesus-movies!
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