1. notleia says:

    Here’s the part where I name-drop my favorite dude on this weird, granular theological stuff: https://isthatinthebible.wordpress.com/ He is my kind of nerd. I personally find it fascinating to trace the development of the gospels, including the Q source and also Marcion’s Evangelion (tho most of my amusement comes from making anime jokes about Evangelion).

    Off-topic: I read that Texas’s National Guard is being mobilized to stack COVID corpses in refrigerated trailers uhhh….support the overwhelmed hospitals. Have you been called up, Travis?

    • Travis Perry says:

      The long-believed view of the development of the Gospels is of course not the simplest way to tell the story of how the Gospels came to be. I’ve got a simpler method, let’s see if you can answer it.

      Mark, someone with rather peripheral connections to Christ (he probably was the young man who ran naked in Mark 14:51-52), for whatever reason decided to write what he knew of Christ in book form. Probably as an evangelism tool (the story hadn’t been written prior to Mark because of the common expectation of Jesus’s immanent return).

      Matthew got a copy of Mark’s Gospel and was all like, “This is pretty good, but there’s a lot of important things he missed. And he says somethings differently than the way I remember.” So Matthew took Mark’s Gospel, plus his own memory (and perhaps notes), and built his own version that had the best of Mark in it and more (his version was preferred by the mostly-Jewish early Church, which is why it’s listed first among the Gospels).

      Later, Luke, who had no connection at all to Christ, but who wanted to write a history of Christ in the style of Greek historians of his day (note the Greek of Luke is very much in line with this type of written history), referred to Mark, Matthew, and some eyewitness accounts. He picked what he thought was the best of Mark and Matthew but at times followed eyewitnesses who added more information or didn’t agree with Mark or Matthew.

      Much later, near the end of his life, John, known to everyone in his time as “the beloved disciple,” decided that all three of the other Gospels were missing important things, most importantly, they all put Jesus ministry into just one year, but he remembers it was actually three. The three others talk mostly about events in Galilee, but other things happened in Judea. John focused on private conversations and events he believed were important that the other Gospels didn’t mention, letting them stand as the record of events they covered, only making corrections when he thougth it was necessary.

      In this way of looking at things, there is no Q. The material ascribed to Q came from Matthew’s memory and Luke’s eyewitnesses. They don’t represent a single source. Show me how this hypothesis isn’t at least as valid as any hypothesis involving Q, if you can.

      • notleia says:

        That’s nice and all, but I can’t help but detect a distinct flavor of wishful thinking in that recipe of yours. We may call the writer of Luke & Acts “Luke” out of convenience, but do we know he was a historical person as described by the stories? No, we have no evidence of that. And the Bible doesn’t count as evidence: in this context it’s a claim that needs evidence to verify it.

        IIRC, Blog Dude posted a theory he was kicking around about Q being an early version of what turned into Luke. But he’s got enough articles on the Synoptic Problem that I can’t remember which one he put that in.

    • Travis Perry says:

      As for the link you shared, it’s interesting that for the Hebrew Syntax class I recently completed I wrote a paper that argued that the LXX version of Deuteronomy 32:8 is incorrect. I think the reference is to the “sons of Israel” not the “sons of God.” I can send you my paper if you’re interested. And, the rest of the argument is interesting, but I found it amusing that the New Testament prohibitions against worship of angels are used to “prove” his point that Michael was seen as the Christ…not in Christianity he wasn’t, nor in Judaism, either. Just in certain side cults that neither Judaism nor Christianity embraced.

    • Travis Perry says:

      Third answer, though it may list first–I’m not in the Texas National Guard. I live in Texas, but am an Army Reservist. The Guard and the Reserves are not the same thing. (Guards can be called up by state governors, the Reserves can only be called up by the Federal government).

What do you think?