Do I have cause for concern?

My parish priest, at our next bible study class, plans to discuss the Q Hypothesis, in analyzing the gospels. The subsequent classes will discuss many areas, areas which I feel will plant seeds of doubt (ie): Jesus’ not having been aware of his divinity while proclaiming the Good News; & that the New Testament, for the most part, is a compilation of myths( cores of truth around which stories are developed). These specific topics are to be the introduction to our study of Saint Paul.
Do I have cause for Concern? Can readings be recommended to counteract anticipated concerns? Thanks in advance. el

Do you have reason to believe that Father will be taking the modernist position in these talks? I mean, based on what you’ve heard from the pulpit, etc, is this something you’ve noted in him already? Perhaps he will be taking the opposite, apologetics, position and refuting these theories as unorthodox and potentially harmful to the faith of the average Catholic?

If it is the former, I’d recommend a book by Luke Timothy Johnson that takes on the Jesus Seminar and their promotion of these types of views. It is called “The Real Jesus.”

[quote=elsi]My parish priest, at our next bible study class, plans to discuss the Q Hypothesis, in analyzing the gospels. The subsequent classes will discuss many areas, areas which I feel will plant seeds of doubt (ie): Jesus’ not having been aware of his divinity while proclaiming the Good News; & that the New Testament, for the most part, is a compilation of myths( cores of truth around which stories are developed). These specific topics are to be the introduction to our study of Saint Paul.
Do I have cause for Concern? Can readings be recommended to counteract anticipated concerns? Thanks in advance. el
[/quote]

It is not heretical or erroneous to believe in or discuss or forward the Q-hypothesis. It is not forbidden to do so. If the Pope thinks it is, then he is doing a lousy job - if it is so wrong, he should make unmistakably clear that it is. Which he has so far signally failed to do.

Discussing whether Jesus knew He was divine, is not the same as denying that He was, nor that He knew was. One might as well find fault with St. Thomas Aquinas for asking “whether there is a God?” An honest and competent discussion will always mention views other than those to which one is committed oneself: and such views may be well-founded, or they may not. Any talk can cause, or provoke, or stimulate doubt - so much depends upon the hearer.

A careless priest would not bother to inform the Catholics under his care that there are plenty of ideas other than those current within the CC - so you could look at the matter that way.

Somebody aware of difficulties and varieties of opinion, is more likely to avoid getting a nasty shock upon realising that other people, whatever their own faith or lack of it, don’t agree in all respects (surprise, surprise) with what one has been used to hearing, than someone who has been cocooned from all surprises. IOW, uninformed dogmatism is not a good preparation for life, whatever one’s theology. People do exist who are not carbon copies of ourselves, and so, they can’t be expected to agree with us. As this board shows :slight_smile:

So it sounds as if your priest is doing just as a priest ought to do. You’re the one who can ask him to explain anything you’re bothered about - we can’t :slight_smile: ##

[quote=Gottle of Geer]## It is not heretical or erroneous to believe in or discuss or forward the Q-hypothesis. It is not forbidden to do so. If the Pope thinks it is, then he is doing a lousy job - if it is so wrong, he should make unmistakably clear that it is. Which he has so far signally failed to do.

Discussing whether Jesus knew He was divine, is not the same as denying that He was, nor that He knew was. One might as well find fault with St. Thomas Aquinas for asking “whether there is a God?” An honest and competent discussion will always mention views other than those to which one is committed oneself: and such views may be well-founded, or they may not. Any talk can cause, or provoke, or stimulate doubt - so much depends upon the hearer.

A careless priest would not bother to inform the Catholics under his care that there are plenty of ideas other than those current within the CC - so you could look at the matter that way.

Somebody aware of difficulties and varieties of opinion, is more likely to avoid getting a nasty shock upon realising that other people, whatever their own faith or lack of it, don’t agree in all respects (surprise, surprise) with what one has been used to hearing, than someone who has been cocooned from all surprises. IOW, uninformed dogmatism is not a good preparation for life, whatever one’s theology. People do exist who are not carbon copies of ourselves, and so, they can’t be expected to agree with us. As this board shows :slight_smile:

So it sounds as if your priest is doing just as a priest ought to do. You’re the one who can ask him to explain anything you’re bothered about - we can’t :slight_smile: ##
[/quote]

I recommend discussing the Oxford Papyri – which contains fragments of the Gospel of Matthew that are datable to before 66 AD.

bridegroompress.com/snippets/newdiscovery.doc

The “Q-Document” hypothesis is a violation of Occam’s Razor – it was invented to explain how the Gospel of Mark could serve as the source (Quelle) for both Matthew and Luke, and not cover ALL the parallel texts in those two Gospels.

The Oxford Papyri seems to cast doubt on the “Mark First” theory and eliminate the need for a “Q-Document.”

As long as the Q-hypothesis is presented as hypothesis, I don’t believe you ought to have a concern.

I think it would be wise to familiarize yourself with what the Magisterium has said about the Gospels.

The Second Vatican Council’s Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation (Dei Verbum), especially paragraphs 18 and 19.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church, especially paragraphs 125-127.

The Magisterium maintains the historicity of the Gospels, that they contain the honest truth about what Jesus said and did, and their authorship by Apostles and apostolic men.

[quote=vern humphrey]I recommend discussing the Oxford Papyri – which contains fragments of the Gospel of Matthew that are datable to before 66 AD.

bridegroompress.com/snippets/newdiscovery.doc

The “Q-Document” hypothesis is a violation of Occam’s Razor – it was invented to explain how the Gospel of Mark could serve as the source (Quelle) for both Matthew and Luke, and not cover ALL the parallel texts in those two Gospels.

The Oxford Papyri seems to cast doubt on the “Mark First” theory and eliminate the need for a “Q-Document.”
[/quote]

The fragments of papyri mentioned may equally well be as late as 200 - but thanks for the link :slight_smile:

I don’t see how the “Q-hypothesis violates Occam’s Razor”, though. Unless of course there is a better explanation - one that covers more of the facts, or entails fewer difficulties. ##

[quote=Todd Easton]I think it would be wise to familiarize yourself with what the Magisterium has said about the Gospels.

The Second Vatican Council’s Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation (Dei Verbum), especially paragraphs 18 and 19.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church, especially paragraphs 125-127.

The Magisterium maintains the historicity of the Gospels, that they contain the honest truth about what Jesus said and did, and their authorship by Apostles and apostolic men.
[/quote]

The only drawback with referring to the Magisterium as a source of information, is that doctrinal pronouncements don’t address the sort of questions the OP seems to be concerned about. The Magisterium does not address questions of Biblical scholarship, except very infrequently *in proportion *to the sheer amount of work done on Q, the Pentateuch, and a thousand other issues. The number of magisterial interventions may seem large if one counts them, but relatively speaking, it isn’t.

This might help, possibly:

myweb.lmu.edu/fjust/ChurchDocs.htm

Magisterial pronouncements on Biblical matters don’t come out of thin air - they owe much to the contributions of the very group of people, those supposedly rascally critics, who seem to be identified by some with their most radical representatives. Which is a great misconception - because it is perfectly possible to arrive at “conservative” results, by using critical methods. So treating every scholar as a “sceptic” or a “modernist”, is exactly like treating every Catholic priest as a paedophile or every Catholic as a bigot - it’s terribly ill-informed (to say the least) and also very unfair.

Presumably people imagine - if they think about the subject at all - that the Popes write all the magisterial documents themselves… ##

Q, if I understand correctly, might simply be defined as “stuff that is found in Matthew and Luke but not in Mark.” That kind of merely literary definition makes it unassailable.

Whether or not such an actual document or collection of sayings ever existed, is another matter; as is the question of whether or not the gospels were composed in the way that the Q hypothesis supposes. And apparently, the Q hypothesis is not the only proposed solution to the “synoptic problem.”

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