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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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Chapter 3: Mark’s use of his sources 227


227 Chapter 3: Mark’s use of his sources It is widely assumed in modern biblical scholarship that the Gospel of Mark was written as the first among the Synoptic Gospels and that it served as a literary model for the two subsequent ones (Lk and Mt). The above-presented analysis of the pattern of literary interdependence of the Synoptic Gospels in Mk 1:14- 2:28 parr. confirmed the correctness of this basic assumption. Several scholars argue, however, that Mk was, in turn, composed on the basis of some earlier Gospels or Gospel-like works, which are identified as (in various combinations) Q, units of oral tradition, Proto-Mk, Proto-Mt, Proto-Lk, common protogospel, Mt, or Lk. A comprehensive solution to the synoptic prob- lem has to provide therefore an satisfactory answer to the notoriously difficult question of the origin of Mk. Scholars usually try to solve this problem by means of analytic investiga- tions of relatively small textual units of Mk. They try to identify their literary form, internal structure, distinct vocabulary, and other textual features, as com- pared to parallel texts especially in other Gospels, and on this basis they attempt to reconstruct their plausible origin. After several decades of research it is evi- dent, however, that such an approach does not yield satisfactory, unquestionable results. Consequently, another, more synthetic approach to the issue of the literary origin of Mk should be adopted. The research should aim not only at investigat- ing plausible origins of small textual units of Mk, but also,...

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