Part of MJH (the Minimal Jesus Hypothesis) is that Jesus was a Jewish male. Jesus was “Jewish” in both senses of the word: he was an adherent of the religion of Judaism, and a male descendant of the Hebrew people, according to MJH.
We saw in Part 14 that Mark represents Jesus as both a follower of Judaism and as a male descendant of the Hebrew people. What aboout Q? Does Q also represent Jesus as a follower of Judaism and as a Hebrew man?
I will use the International Q Project reconstruction and translation of Q to answer these questions:
Q clearly represents Jesus as being a devout follower of the Jewish faith.
Jesus frequently quotes from and makes references to the Jewish scriptures, i.e. the Old Testament:
Jesus quotes Deuteronomy (8:3, 6:13, and 6:16)
in Q 4:1-4, 9-12, 5-8, 13 – The Temptations of Jesus.
Jesus alludes to Isaiah 61:1 in
Q 7:18-23 – John’s Inquiry about the One to Come.
Jesus quotes from Malachi 3:1 in
Q 7:24-28 – John: More than a Prophet.
Jesus makes a reference to the story of Sodom in Genesis (chapters 18 and 19) in
Q 10:10-12 – Response to a Town’s Rejection.
Jesus makes a reference to the story and book of Jonah in
Q 11:16, 29-30 – The Sign of Jonah for This Generation.
Jesus makes references to Solomon, whose life was documented in 1 Kings (Chapter 10), and who was believed to be the author of three OT books (Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Song of Solomon):
Q 11:31-32 – Something More than Solomon and Jonah.
Q 12:22b-31 – Free from Anxiety like Ravens and Lilies.
Jesus shows admiration for the prophets of the Jewish tradition in
Q 6:22-23 – The Beatitude for the Persecuted.
Jesus makes positive reference to the patriarchs of Israel who se lives are described in Genesis:
Q 13:29,28 – Replaced by People from East and West.
Jesus references the Noah and the Ark story from Genesis in
Q 17:26-27, ?28-29?, 30 – As in the Days of Noah.
Jesus makes a reference to Abel from Genesis and Zechariah from Chronicles, and to unnamed “prophets” who lived between them (between the pre-historical period covered in Genesis and the end of the Old Testament history books) in
Q 11:49-51 – Wisdom’s Judgment on This Generation.
Comment on a similar passage from the Gospel of Matthew (Matt. 23:35):
…scholars generally understand this as a reference to the death of…Zechariah ben Jehoiada. As Abel was the first prophetic figure killed in the Hebrew Scriptures, and Zechariah ben Jehoiada was the last figure killed in those Scriptures, which conclude with 1 and 2 Chronicles, they represent the full historical scope of prophetic martyrdom.
Jesus refers to “The law and the prophets” which are the major sections of the Old Testament in
Q 16:16 – Since John the Kingdom of God.
Jesus speaks of “the law” of Moses as having authority in
Q 16:17 – No Serif of the Law to Fall.
Jesus speaks of prophets being sent to Jerusalem in
Q 13:34-35 – Judgment over Jerusalem.
Jesus appears to have had some involvement with Synagogues (Jewish houses of worship):
Jesus expected his followers to be brought before synagogues, which implies that they were Jews who would engage other Jews in discussions and debates about Jewish theology and ethics.
Q 12:11-12 – Hearings before Synagogues:
11 When they bring you before synagogues, do not be anxious about how or what you are to say; 12 for •the holy Spirit will teach‚ you in that .. hour what you are to say.
Q 11:?39a?, 42, 39b, 41, 43-44 – Woes against the Pharisees:
?39a? .. 42 Woe for you, Pharisees, for you tithe mint and dill and cumin, and give up‚ justice and mercy and faithfulness. But these one had to do, without giving up those. 39b Woe to you, Pharisees, for you purify the outside of the cup and dish, but inside •they are‚ full of plunder and dissipation. 41 Purify‚ .. the inside of the cup, … its outside … pure. 43 Woe to you, Pharisees, for love the place of honor at banquets and‚ the front seat in the synagogues and accolades in the markets.44 Woe to you, Pharisees,‚ for you are like indistinct tombs, and people walking on top are unaware.
Jesus and the Jewish Temple: Just one reference in Q:
Q 4:1-4, 9-12, 5-8, 13 – The Temptations of Jesus.
Jesus and Passover: No references in Q.
Jesus and the Sabbath: No references in Q.
Jesus was Baptized by a Jewish apocalyptic preacher:
Q 3:2b, 3 – The Introduction of John:
2b John in the wilderness .. 3 all the region of the Jordan .
Q 3:7-9 – John’s Announcement of Judgment:
7 He said to the crowds coming to be‚ baptized: Snakes’ litter! Who warned you to run from the impending rage? 8 So bear fruit worthy of repentance, and do not presume to tell yourselves: We have as «fore»father Abraham! For I tell you: God can produce children for Abraham right out of these rocks! 9 And the ax already lies at the root of the trees. So every tree not bearing healthy fruit is to be chopped down and thrown on the fire.
Q 3:16b-17 – John and the One to Come:
16b I baptize you in‚ water, but the one to come after me is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not fit to take off. He will baptize you in holy‚ Spirit and fire. 17 His pitchfork «is» in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor and gather the wheat into his granary, but the chaff he will burn on a fire that can never be put out.
Q 3:21-22‚ – The Baptism of Jesus:
21‚ … Jesus … baptized, heaven opened ..,‚ 22‚ and .. the Spirit … upon him … Son … .‚
Jesus shared the Jewish belief in a coming Messiah:
Q 7:18-23 – John’s Inquiry about the One to Come:
18 And John, on hearing .. about all these things‚, 19 sending through his disciples, said‚ to him: Are you the one to come, or are we to expect someone else? 22 And in reply he said to them: Go report to John what you hear and see: The blind regain their sight and the lame walk around, the skin-diseased are cleansed and the deaf hear, and the dead are raised, and the poor are given good news. 23 And blessed is whoever is not offended by me.
Jesus was an advocate of prayer, a practice promoted in the Jewish scriptures and the Jewish faith:
Q 6: 27-28, 35c-d – Love Your Enemies:
27 Love your enemies 28 and‚ pray for those persecuting‚ you, 35c-d so that you may become sons of your Father, for he raises his sun on bad and good and rains on the just and unjust‚.
Q 10:21 – Thanksgiving that God Reveals Only to Children.
Q 11:2b-4 – The Lord’s Prayer.
Q 11:9-13 – The Certainty of the Answer to Prayer.
Jesus believed in Angels, which is a belief promoted by the Jewish scriptures:
Q 12:8-9 – Confessing or Denying.
Q 15:8-10 – The Lost Coin.
Jesus promoted serving and obeying God, a central value of the Jewish scriptures and the Jewish faith:
Q 16:13 – God or Mammon:
13 No one can serve two masters; for a person will either hate the one and love the other, or be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and Mammon.
Q makes it clear that Jesus believed in the divine inspiration and the historicity of the Jewish scriptures, including not only the Pentateuch (the first five books of the O.T. attributed to Moses), but also the historical books and the books of prophecy in the Jewish religious tradition.
Jesus also believed in angels, and he promoted prayer and obedience to God, which were important Jewish beliefs and practices. Jesus believed in a coming Jewish Messiah. Jesus appears to have been a disciple of John the Baptist, a Jewish apocalyptic prophet and teacher who was clearly a devout follower of the Jewish faith. Thus Q, like Mark, represents Jesus as a devout Jew, as a follower of the religion of Judaism.
In the next post in this series, I will consider the question ‘Does Q represent Jesus as a male descendant of the Hebrew people?’