The Testing of Jesus in Q

by C. Michael Robbins (Author)
©2007 Monographs 203 Pages
Series: Studies in Biblical Literature, Volume 108


The temptations of Jesus cast a spell on readers young and old. These temptations are macabre yet triumphant, short yet endless, ominous and dismal yet sacred and hopeful. Scholars have long been obsessed with the attempted seduction of the Saint and the successful sanitation of the Seducer. Where else but from Q could such an enchanting narrative derive?
This book reviews scholarship and examines tradition history to argue that the pericope is more than a wisdom-derived scribal legitimation of the Teacher, a popular (and partially correct) theory about the story’s origin and function in Q. It is a theological summit ascribing a unique sonship to Jesus. With diabolic dialogue in such sacred sites as Zion, Sinai, and the desert, protology and eschatology brew to form a muse on both the wilderness testing of Israel and the primeval testing of Adam. The brief expedition through the cosmos – from desert to empire to sanctuary – demonstrates a lordship of evil in the world, and thus a need for the reign of God and a context for Jesus’ sonship, sermon, prayer, miracles, exorcisms, and even his death and resurrection. The tests present an approved champion (a Son of God), a conflict (a tryst with mortality and cosmic evil), and a conquest (resulting in an enthronement). These narratives, not supplied by Matthew and Luke, are found only in Q.


ISBN (Hardcover)
Publication date
2007 (August)
Jesus Christus Versuchung Traditionsgeschichtliche Forschung Religion New Testament Life of Jesus The Synoptic Gospels The Sayings Source
New York, Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Frankfurt am Main, Oxford, Wien, 2007. XVI, 203 pp.

Biographical notes

C. Michael Robbins (Author)

The Author: C. Michael Robbins teaches Hellenistic Greek at Claremont Graduate University in California and New Testament and comparative religions at Azusa Pacific University in California. He earned a Ph.D. in New Testament from Claremont Graduate University, graduate degrees from Regent College (Vancouver, B.C.), and a B.A. from the University of Nebraska. With interests in philology, theology, history, and philosophy, he is a member of the Society of Biblical Literature, American Society of Papyrologists, and the American Philological Association.


Title: The Testing of Jesus in Q