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The lost gospel of Q

Sexton Blake

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Bible scholars largely agree that at some unknown date -all we can surmise is that it was before the Gospel According to Matthew'" which was probably written around 80-95 - some author designated today as "Q" (from German Quelle, or "source") records sayings of a self-proclaimed messiah or of multiple evangelicals, later incorporated into both Matthew and Luke, thus claiming to have originated by the Jesus character.

The hypothesis is, in essence, that textual analysis of the Jesus speeches that Matthew and Luke both agree upon (sometimes with verbatim phrasing, yet sometimes in total opposition) must come from some common written source. The authors of these two gospels, late in the first century (possibly even of the second) certainly were not present during the supposed time of the Jesus sermons. And the two gospels match too closely in certain passages to be simply attributed to oral tradition - thus the theory of an actual Q text, of date and origin unknown.

Nevertheless none of the Gospels agree on what would seem to be the most important points of Jesus tales: the crucifixion, tomb stories, resurrection, post-resurrection interactions - the prime questions being: who went to the tomb, what they saw there, what they did next, and so forth.'" Even the Bible genealogies of Jesus have two distinct lineages in almost complete opposition, both obvious works of fiction.

Mark after Q. Some of Matthew and Luke probably came from earlier Mark, ostensibly not found in Q. Moreover, Q seems to fold ancient Egyptian and Hellenistic philosophies into its text.'  But the writer(s) of Q also added doomsday prophesies over and above the peaceful antecedents from which it borrowed -perhaps for dramatic effect? One cannot know.

Thus Q is not an actual clutter of scrap writings miraculously discovered in some ancient church library or Palestinian cave. Q is a "virtual text," a theory developed in the nineteenth century by scholars, and the essence of its possible original form was constructed"' by analyzing extant scriptures to determine common themes. If you read the synthesized text of Q you will find many of the same inane, illogical, even immoral decrees of Jesus.

Bible scholars hold the Q theory in high regard. It is probable that a physical Q text did exist, author unknown. Its veracity and who its central character was are unknown today. It may very well have been a collection of sayings by more than one evangelical Hebrew who preached during some ancient times long before the Gospel writers finally recorded their hearsay, and even from long before the supposed time of Jesus.

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