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Q or not Q?

The So-Called Triple, Double, and Single Traditions in the Synoptic Gospels

Bartosz Adamczewski

The study analyses the current state of research on the synoptic problem and proves that the Synoptic Gospels were written in the Mark, Luke, Matthew order of direct literary dependence. Moreover, the work demonstrates that the Synoptic Gospels are results of systematic, sequential, hypertextual reworking of the contents of the Pauline letters. Accordingly, the so-called ‘Q source’ turns out to be an invention of nineteenth-century scholars with their Romantic hermeneutic presuppositions. Demonstration of the fact that the Gospels are not records of the activity of the historical Jesus but that they narratively illustrate the identity of Christ as it has been revealed in the person and life of Paul the Apostle will certainly have major consequences for the whole Christian theology.


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Introduction: The Q source and the so-called synoptic ‘traditions’ 17


17 Introduction: The Q source and the so-called synop- tic ‘traditions’ The synoptic problem seems to be a very technical issue, which is studied with passion by a narrow group of scholars who seek a solution to a literary-historical riddle instead of studying the theology of the inspired Gospels. Such a percep- tion of the synoptic problem is based on grave misunderstanding of its impor- tance for the exegesis of the Synoptic Gospels and for the theology and hermeneutics of the New Testament as a whole. “When we recognize the solu- tion to the Synoptic problem to be a central building block in our understanding of how to answer questions about the trustworthiness of the Gospels and the distinctive theologies of each evangelist, we cannot help but appreciate its im- portance.”1 Let us ask a simple question, has Mark ever seen or heard the so-called ‘Q source’? Every New Testament scholar realizes that any answer to this simple question is of crucial importance for interpretation of most probably the earliest Gospel and consequently also of the later gospels of Matthew and Luke. If Mark knew the ‘Q source’, he must have given some response to the ideas expressed in that work. In such a case, what was his response? Did he value ‘Q’, or did he rather disregard it? Did he use that source in its entirety or only selected parts thereof? Did he follow its literary structure and wording, or did he rather thoroughly rework it? Did he...

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