This is a continuation of a discussion on another thread found here.
“Apostles and apostolic men” could be anyone in the apostolic tradition. Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John were names later assigned to the gospels, and not present on any of the earliest manuscripts. Nothing in church teaching says the named individuals were the authors.
The tradition that assigned the author names to each Gospel is just that – tradition. It’s not historical, at least according to any critical scholar I’ve ever heard, including those who are orthodox Christians.
There is not the slightest historical evidence, or even a hint, that ‘Q’ or its author ever existed. If ‘Q’ had existed, it would have been the most treasured, copied, precious scroll of Christianity during the first 50-70 years of the new religion. If ‘Q’ had been the key document containing the sayings of Christ, it would have been passed from hand to hand and read at Services.
It seems that you are defining “historical evidence” as an extant manuscript. That’s extremely problematic, because manuscripts only survived if they were copied by scribes. Q as identified by scholars was copied/redacted into the gospels of Matthew and Luke.
Q is easily discovered by looking at places in Matthew and Luke where there’s overlap, not just in topic areas, but in word-for-word agreement and common sequence for many of the sayings in Q. Today, if two staffers of a presidential candidate heard the same stump speech and waited several decades to recount that candidate’s stump speech, the odds that they’d come up with mostly the exact same words and sequence of sayings are miniscule.
To suggest that a separate Q manuscript would be highly revered in the first couple centuries of Christianity is anachronistic. Aside from the synoptic gospels themselves, even within the text of the New Testament itself, we have evidence that authors redacted prior books that they cited. For example, 2 Peter 2:4 cites Jude 6 but omits Jude’s reference to the apocryphal Book of Enoch. In addition to reflecting the fact that the canon of the Old Testament was still in flux during the authorship of the New Testament, 2 Peter illustrates how New Testament authors selectively cited prior works. Q could easily be copied into Matthew and Luke by those gospels’ authors. There’s nothing to say that 1st century Christians would inherently value the remaining Q manuscript left behind… that’s a value of modern historiography.
“Modern scholarship” would have us believe we owe the preservation of ‘The Our Father’ and ‘The Beatitudes’ to ‘Q’ since Mark did not bother to record them.
OK, sure. What problem do you see with that?
“Modern scholarship” would also have us believe that the community that produced ‘Q’ made such few copies that none have been found or have been mentioned by historians. Yet the anonymous authors of the Gospels of Matthew and Luke, unknown to each other, found two rare copies and made them the basis of their writings. Then the communities of both Matthew and Luke lost ‘Q’. If ‘Q’ was so important, multiple copies would have been made for many communities. “Modern scholarship” has not explained how all copies of this key Christian document were lost. Also, how did all knowledge of ‘Q’ disappear without leaving even a vague reference or echo in any piece of Christian or heretical literature?
Again, I’ll argue that this assertion of what ancient Christians would have done is anachronistic. The gospels of Matthew and Luke both contained Q. There is nothing to suggest that ancient culture would have valued the older, non-narrative Q gospel manuscripts. Preservation of ancient documents only took place through scribal copying. If Q was preserved in Matthew and Luke, there’s nothing to suggest that an ancient scribe would have thought it necessary to copy it.
Those who hold the Markan theory demand the most stringent proof for the historicity of the Gospels, for which we have much historical evidence. Yet they accept conjectures and theories about ‘Q’, based on further conjectures and theories for which there is no evidence at all. In reality ‘Q’ was created out of nothing by theologians in the 19th century, to fill a hole in the Markan priority theory.
The development of modern historical and text-critcial methods isn’t just a result of some kooks in Germany deciding that they had to push Mark as the first gospel. It requires a rejection of modern historiographical methods in favor of a biblical inerrancy belief to dismiss Markan priority out of hand.
Papias was the bishop of Hieropolis. Eusebius reports that Papias wrote five books and mentions his commentaries on the Gospels of Matthew and John. Ancient Armenian literature records Papias writing commentaries on Luke and John. So, Papias had carefully studied at least three of the Gospels. H… …
[/INDENT]Here we have Papias quoting John the Apostle’s words in defense of the style of the Gospel of Mark. So the ‘poor Greek’ of Mark was not first noticed in the 19th century.
Well, we don’t have only Papias to tell us that oral tradition was important. Luke 1 tells us that much. The pre-Pauline text cited in Paul (e.g., Rom 1:3-4; 3:24-26; Philippians 2:5-11; 1 Cor 8:6;15:3-5) shows evidence of oral transmission of liturgical hymnity. 1 Cor 15 says “for I handed on to you of first importance what I also received,” spelling out that oral tradition was a means of transmission.