Did Jesus Exit? – Part 16

Did Q represent Jesus as a male descendant of the Hebrew people?

We have previously seen that both Mark and Q represent Jesus as a devout Jew, i.e. as a devout follower of the religion of Judaism. But someone can be Jewish in this sense of being an adherent of the Jewish faith without being a descendant of the Hebrew people.

Q does represent Jesus as a male.

First, the name ‘Jesus’ was a common name of Palestinian Jewish males in the first century, and ‘Jesus’ was NOT a common name of Palestinian Jewish females in that time. It was the 6th most common name for Jewish males. So, the use of the name ‘Jesus’ in Q implies that the person in question was a male descendant of the Hebrew people. (Q 3:21, 4:1-13, 7:9, 9:58, etc.)

See Ben Witherington’s post on the Jesus Tomb for details on frequency of the name ‘Jesus’ and other names among Palestinian Jews:
Note: The names of Jesus’ family members given in Mark imply that Jesus was a male descendant of the Hebrew people.

Jesus left there and went to his hometown, accompanied by his disciples. When the Sabbath came, he began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were amazed.
“Where did this man get these things?” they asked. “What’s this wisdom that has been given him? What are these remarkable miracles he is performing? Isn’t this the carpenter? Isn’t this Mary’s son and the brother of James, Joseph, Judas and Simon? Aren’t his sisters here with us?” And they took offense at him.
(Mark 6:1-3, NIV)

‘Mary’ was by far the most common name for Jewish females in Palestine around the first century. ‘Simon’ was the most common name for Jewish males in Palestine;’Joseph’ was the second most common name for Jewish males in Palestine, and ‘Jesus’ was the sixth most common name for Jewish males in Palestine.

Second, Q uses masculine personal pronouns (translated as ‘he’ and ‘his’) in reference to Jesus (Q 3:16-17, 4:1, 6:20, 7:1&3, 7:18-23, etc.).

Third, in so far as Q represents Jesus as the promised Messiah (as we shall soon see to be the case), this is a strong indication that Jesus was both a male and a descendant of the Hebrew people, for it was commonly believed that the Messiah would be a male descendant of the Hebrew people.

Q represents Jesus as a descendant of the Hebrew people.

Although the words ‘Messiah’ and ‘Christ’ do not appear in Q, there are fairly clear indications that Jesus was viewed by the author of Q as being the promised Messiah of the Jews. Since being a male descendant of the Hebrew people was a basic requirement for being the Messiah, this implies that Jesus was a male descendant of the Hebrew people, at least as Jesus is represented by Q.

Q appears to represent Jesus as the promised Messiah:

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 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.
[John the Baptist appears to be asking whether Jesus is the promised Messiah, and Jesus refers to the fulfillment of Isaiah 61:1 in response, thus implying that Jesus is indeed the promised Messiah.]

Q 7:24-28 John — More than a Prophet
24 And when they had left, he began to talk to the crowds about John: What did you go out into the wilderness to look at? A reed shaken by the wind? 25 If not, what did you go out to see? A person arrayed in finery? Look, those wearing finery are in kings’ houses. 26 But «then» what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, even more than a prophet! 27 This is the one about whom it has been written: Look, I am sending my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your path in front of you. 28 I tell you: There has not arisen among women’s offspring «anyone» who surpasses John. Yet the least significant in God’s kingdom is more than he.
[Jesus indicates that Malachi 3:1 is a prophecy fulfilled by John the Baptist, thus implying that Jesus was the Messiah.]

Q 10:23-24 The Beatitude for the Eyes that See
23 Blessed are the eyes that see what you see .. . 24 For I tell you: Many prophets and kings wanted to see what you see, but never saw it, and to hear what you hear, but never heard it.
[Another indication that Jesus claimed to be the messiah]

Q 22:28, 30 You Will Judge the Twelve Tribes of Israel
28 .. You who have followed me 30 will sit .. on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.
[If Jesus’ disciples will one day be Judges over the tribes of Israel, then this implies that Jesus will be the King or ruler over Israel one day.]

In Q, as in the synoptic Gospels, ‘the Kingdom of God’ is a central theme of Jesus’ teachings. Given the context of Roman domination of the Jewish people in Palestine, talk about ‘the Kingdom of God’ seems a bit subversive, and would certainly have inspired Jewish Palestinians to think and talk about whether a Messiah or King of the Jews would soon arise, and who that Messiah might be, and what the Messiah would do about the Roman domination of Palestine. In the religious and political circumatances of first century Palestine, teaching about ‘the Kingdom of God’ would tend to focus attention on the idea of a coming Jewish Messiah.

In Q ‘The Kingdom of God’ was a theme of Jesus’ teaching:

Q 7:24-28 John — More than a Prophet
Q 10:5-9 What to Do in Houses and Towns
Q 11:2b-4 The Lord’s Prayer
Q 11:14-15, 17-20 Refuting the Beelzebul Accusation
Q 11:46b, 52, 47-48 Woes against the Exegetes of the Law
Q 12:22b-31 Free from Anxiety like Ravens and Lilies
Q 13:18-19 The Parable of the Mustard Seed
Q 13:20-21 The Parable of the Yeast
Q 13:29, 28 Replaced by People from East and West
Q 16:16 Since John the Kingdom of God
Q 17:20-21‚ The Kingdom of God within You

We have previously seen that Q represents Jesus as being a devout follower of the Jewish religion. Q also represents Jesus as a person who lived in Palestine. The combination of these two claims implies that Jesus was a descendant of the Hebrew people. There were non-Hebrew people who accepted the Jewish religion, but in Palestine in the first century, most of the people who followed the Jewish religion were descendants of the Hebrew people. So in representing Jesus as a devout follower of the Jewish faith who lived in Palestine in the first century, Q strongly suggests that Jesus was a descandant of the Hebrew people.

Q represents Jesus as a person who lived in Palestine:

Q 10:13-15 Woes against Galilean Towns
13 Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the wonders performed in you had taken place in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago, in sackcloth and ashes. 14 Yet for Tyre and Sidon it shall be more bearable at the judgment than for you. 15 And you, Capernaum, up to heaven will you be exalted? Into Hades shall you come down!

Q 7:1, 3, 6b-9, ?10? The Centurion’s Faith in Jesus’ Word
1 And it came to pass when‚ he .. ended these sayings, he entered Capernaum. 3 There came to him a centurion exhorting him and saying: My‚ boy doing badly. And he said to him: Am I‚, by coming, to heal him? 6b-c And in reply the centurion said: Master, I am not worthy for you to come under my roof; 7 but say a word, and let‚ my boy be‚ healed. 8 For I too am a person under authority, with soldiers under me, and I say to one: Go, and he goes, and to another: Come, and he comes, and to my slave: Do this, and he does «it» . 9 But Jesus, on hearing, was amazed, and said to those who followed: I tell you, not even in Israel have I found such faith. ?10?

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 … .

Q 13:34-35 Judgment over Jerusalem
34 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, who kills the prophets and stones those sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her nestlings under her wings, and you were not willing! 35 Look, your house is forsaken! .. I tell you, you will not see me until «the time» comes when‚ you say: Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord!

Finally, Jesus speaks in negative terms about ‘Gentiles’ which implies that he himself was not a Gentile but rather was Jewish, i.e. a descendant of the Hebrew people.

In Q, Jesus expresses negative sentiments about ‘gentiles’:

Q 6:32, 34 Impartial Love
32 .. If you love those loving you, what reward do you have? Do not even tax collectors do the same? 34 And if you lend «to those» from whom you hope to receive, what you ?‚??? Do not even the Gentiles‚ do the same?

Q 12:22b-31 Free from Anxiety like Ravens and Lilies
22b Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you are to eat, nor about your body, with what you are to clothe yourself. 23 Is not life more than food, and the body than clothing? 24 Consider the ravens: They neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet God feeds them. Are you not better than the birds? 25 And who of you by being anxious is able to add to one’s stature a .. cubit? 26 And why are you anxious about clothing? 27 Observe‚ the lilies, how they grow: They do not work nor do they spin. Yet I tell you: Not even Solomon in all his glory was arrayed like one of these. 28 But if in the field the grass, there today and tomorrow thrown into the oven, God clothes thus, will he not much more clothe you, persons of petty faith! 29 So‚ do not be anxious, saying: What are we to eat? Or:‚ What are we to drink? Or:‚ What are we to wear? 30 For all these the Gentiles seek; for‚ your Father knows that you need them all‚. 31 But seek his kingdom, and all‚ these shall be granted to you.

New Testament
ethnos appears in the NT with two meanings, “nation” and “Gentile”. In the latter sense, it refers specifically to all non-Jews, that is, to people groups foreign to Israel…
(p.281 Mounces Complete Expository Dictionary of Old & New Testament Words, edited by William Mounce. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2006.)

Based on the above passages from Q, I conclude that Q represented Jesus as being a male descendant of the Hebrew poeple.

The passages quoted from Q above are from the reconstruction and translation of Q by the International Q Project:


  • Joseph O Polanco

    Not only is Q not extant “no one can prove that it ever existed! Its total disappearance is all the more remarkable because scholars claim that several copies of the document must have circulated. In addition, document Q is never quoted by the Church Fathers.”

    Moreover, “Ancient manuscripts of the Diatessaron provide definitive evidence that the four Gospels—and only the four—were already well-known and accepted as a collection by the middle of the second century C.E.

    Discovery of the Diatessaron and commentaries on it in Arabic, Armenian, Greek, and Latin led Bible scholar Sir Frederic Kenyon to write: “These discoveries finally disposed of any doubt as to what the Diatessaron was, and proved that by about A.D. 170 the four canonical Gospels held an undisputed pre-eminence over all other narratives of our Saviour’s life.””

    • Bradley Bowen

      It is true that no copies of Q have been found. However, the hypothesis of the existence of Q provides the best explanation for the common material between the gospel of Matthew and the gospel of Luke. So, there is good reason to believe that Q did exist, as most NT and Jesus scholars agree.

      Also, Q appears to be mainly a collection of sayings of Jesus, with no story about the crucifixion or resurrection of Jesus. Given that most of Q is incorporated into Matthew and Luke, and given that Q had no passion or resurrection narrative, it seems unlikely that Q would have been accepted as a gospel on a par with Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. So, the early four-gospel canon does not provide significant evidence against Q.

      • Joseph O Polanco

        A more plausible explanation is that each of the Gospels is a seperate eyewitness account of the life, ministry, death and resurrection of Christ (especially in light of the Diatessaron manuscripts.)

        What, then, do you make of the fact that, while the Gospel amanuensis may not have included their names in them, ancient history attributes these works to those bearing their names?

        Matthew: “From as far back as Papias of Hierapolis (early second century C.E.) onward, we have a line of early witnesses to the fact that Matthew wrote this Gospel and that it is an authentic part of the Word of God. McClintock and Strong’s Cyclopedia states: “Passages from Matthew are quoted by Justin Martyr, by the author of the letter to Diognetus (see in Otto’s Justin Martyr, vol. ii), by Hegesippus, Irenæus, Tatian, Athenagoras, Theophilus, Clement, Tertullian, and Origen. It is not merely from the matter, but the manner of the quotations, from the calm appeal as to a settled authority, from the absence of all hints of doubt, that we regard it as proved that the book we possess had not been the subject of any sudden change.””

        Mark: “According to Origen, Mark composed his Gospel “in accordance with Peter’s instructions.” (The Ecclesiastical History, Eusebius, VI, XXV, 3-7) In his work, “Against Marcion” (IV, V), Tertullian says that the Gospel of Mark “may be affirmed to be Peter’s, whose interpreter Mark was.” (The Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol. III, p. 350) Eusebius gives the statement of “John the presbyter” as quoted by Papias (c. 140 C.E.): “And the Presbyter used to say this, ‘Mark became Peter’s interpreter and wrote accurately all that he remembered, not, indeed, in order, of the things said or done by the Lord. . . . Mark did nothing wrong in thus writing down single points as he remembered them. For to one thing he gave attention, to leave out nothing of what he had heard and to make no false statements in them.’”—The Ecclesiastical History, III, XXXIX, 12-16.”

        Luke: ” The Gospel is attributed to Luke in the Muratorian Fragment (c. 170 C.E.) and was accepted by such second-century writers as Irenaeus and Clement of Alexandria. Internal evidence also points strongly to Luke. Paul speaks of him at Colossians 4:14 as “Luke the beloved physician,” and his work is of the scholarly order one would expect from a well-educated man, such as a doctor. His fine choice of language and his extensive vocabulary, larger than that of the other three Gospel writers combined, make possible a most careful and comprehensive treatment of his vital subject.”

        John: “The internal evidence that the apostle John, the son of Zebedee, was indeed the writer consists of such an abundance of proofs from various viewpoints that it overwhelms any arguments to the contrary. Only a very limited number of points are mentioned here, but the alert reader, with these in mind, will find a great many more. A few are:

        (1) The writer of the book was evidently a Jew, as is indicated by his familiarity with Jewish opinions.—Joh 1:21; 6:14; 7:40; 12:34.

        (2) He was a native dweller in the land of Palestine, as is indicated by his thorough acquaintance with the country. The details mentioned concerning places named indicate personal knowledge of them. He referred to “Bethany across the Jordan” (Joh 1:28) and ‘Bethany near Jerusalem.’ (11:18) He wrote that there was a garden at the place where Christ was impaled and a new memorial tomb in it (19:41), that Jesus “spoke in the treasury as he was teaching in the temple” (8:20), and that “it was wintertime, and Jesus was walking in the temple in the colonnade of Solomon” (10:22, 23).

        (3) The writer’s own testimony and the factual evidence show that he was an eyewitness. He names individuals who said or did certain things (Joh 1:40; 6:5, 7; 12:21; 14:5, 8, 22; 18:10); he is detailed about the times of events (4:6, 52; 6:16; 13:30; 18:28; 19:14; 20:1; 21:4); he factually designates numbers in his descriptions, doing so unostentatiously.—1:35; 2:6; 4:18; 5:5; 6:9, 19; 19:23; 21:8, 11.

        (4) The writer was an apostle. No one but an apostle could have been eyewitness to so many events associated with Jesus’ ministry; also his intimate knowledge of Jesus’ mind, feelings, and reasons for certain actions reveals that he was one of the party of 12 who accompanied Jesus throughout his ministry. For example, he tells us that Jesus asked Philip a question to test him, “for he himself knew what he was about to do.” (Joh 6:5, 6) Jesus knew “in himself that his disciples were murmuring.” (6:61) He knew “all the things coming upon him.” (18:4) He “groaned in the spirit and became troubled.” (11:33; compare 13:21; 2:24; 4:1, 2; 6:15; 7:1.) The writer was also familiar with the apostles’ thoughts and impressions, some of which were wrong and were corrected later.—2:21, 22; 11:13; 12:16; 13:28; 20:9; 21:4.

        (5) Additionally, the writer is spoken of as “the disciple whom Jesus used to love.” (Joh 21:20, 24) He was evidently one of the three most intimate apostles that Jesus kept nearest to him on several occasions, such as the transfiguration (Mr 9:2) and the time of his anguish in the garden of Gethsemane. (Mt 26:36, 37) Of these three apostles, James is eliminated as the writer because of his being put to death about 44 C.E. by Herod Agrippa I. There is no evidence whatsoever for such an early date for the writing of this Gospel. Peter is ruled out by having his name mentioned alongside “the disciple whom Jesus used to love.”—Joh 21:20, 21.

        The Gospel of John was accepted as canonical by the early Christian congregation. It appears in nearly all the ancient catalogs, being there accepted without query as authentic. The epistles of Ignatius of Antioch (c. 110 C.E.) contain clear traces of his use of John’s Gospel, as do also the writings of Justin Martyr a generation later. It is found in all the most important codices of the Christian Greek Scriptures— the Sinaitic, Vatican, Alexandrine, Ephraemi, Bezae, Washington I, and Koridethi codices—as well as in all the early versions. A fragment of this Gospel containing part of John chapter 18 is contained in the John Rylands Papyrus 457 (P52), of the first half of the second century. Also parts of chapters 10 and 11 are found in the Chester Beatty Papyrus No. 1 (P45), and a large part of the whole book is found in the Bodmer Papyrus No. 2 (P66) of the early third century.”

        • Bradley Bowen

          “A more plausible explanation is that each of the Gospels is a seperate eyewitness account of the life, ministry, death and resurrection of Christ”

          This explanation is very implausible in the view of most mainstream NT and Jesus scholars.

          The reasons and evidence you offer are nothing new. NT and Jesus scholars have heard all of this before. When you manage to persuade 25% of the experts on the NT and Jesus of your old rejected theories, please come back and try again. Right now, you are arguing for a Flat Earth type of theory, and I’m not interested in debating whether the Earth is Flat or Round.

          Also, you are not dealing with the key issue, which is the detailed similarities of words, word order, and of specific event details between Matthew, Mark, and Luke.

          The close, sometimes word-for-word similarities occur in Greek, but Jesus spoke Aramaic. So, even if the authors of these Gospels were eyewitnesses of most of the events and teachings they record, they still would not have had such similarity of words, and word order, and event details.

          The Gospels were written in Greek not Aramaic. So, you are suggesting that each of the authors just happened to remember the same Aramaic conversations and sayings and the same event details, and just happened to use the same Greek words and Greek word order to translate what they remembered and to describe the same event details. This is absurd!

          • Joseph O Polanco

            Argumentum ad lapidem. You’ve not presented any evidence that dispels the arguments presented nor the facts that support them. Try again.

          • Bradley Bowen

            “Argumentum ad lapidem. You’ve not presented any evidence that dispels the arguments presented nor the facts that support them.”

            People who argue for the Flat Earth theory also give reasons and arguments for their position. They believe themselves to be a tiny minority of the only sane and rational people left on the planet.

            I have no obligation to respond to such reasons and arguments. That would be a waste of my time, because such people ignore the massive and compelling evidence for the Round Earth theory, and such people are, in any case, immune and impervious to facts and logic. They cling to their conclusion with desperate emotional need, and won’t let go, no matter what I might say, no matter what reasons or arguments I give for the Round Earth theory.

            It seems clear to me that you are much like an advocate of the Flat Earth theory. Yes, you present reasons and arguments for your position. But you present the same reasons and arguments that have been around for the past century or two, and you are ignoring the most obvious facts and arguments that contradict your position.

            I’m not going to kick a stone, and declare that I have refuted your arguments. I have not refuted your arguments, because I have not attempted to refute your arguments, because I have no interest in persuading a Flat Earth advocate that the world is round.

            You are free to go your way, believing whatever lunatic ideas you wish. Have a nice day!

          • Keith Parsons


            Exactly! Life is too short to spend time debating with those who claim to square the circle or trisect the angle. Save your breath for more worthwhile discussions.

          • Joseph O Polanco

            You claim, “I have no obligation to respond to such reasons and arguments,” but, if that’s true, what was all this folderol, http://www.patheos.com/blogs/secularoutpost/2013/10/13/did-jesus-exit-part-16/#comment-1094051320?

          • Bradley Bowen

            Joseph, I was just showing you (and others) that I do have reasons for my position. I’m not just blowing you off out of blind prejudice or dogmatism.

            However, it seems to me that you are an ignorant and dogmatic person who has no interest in truth or rationality, so I’m not going to waste my time carefully considering your arguments and making objections, and engage in a debate on this with you.

            If a more reasonable and better informed Christian believer comes along and wants to challenge the Q hypothesis, I might choose to engage in a discussion or debate with that person, but not with you. No thank you.

          • Joseph O Polanco

            Then you should stop trying to rebut my rejoinders …

          • Bradley Bowen


          • Keith Parsons


            I notice that you are accused of resorting to an argumentum ad lapidem, Actually you did not. You briefly mentioned evidence that should convince any rational and educated person. G.A. Wells notes:

            …any synopsis where parallel passages are set out in adjacent columns will show that the first three of the four canonical gospels have passages which are identical, down to the same Greek particles. For instance, Matthew’s account, in the material it shares with Mark, is abbreviated and Mark’s 11,078 words are represented by 8555 yet of these 4230 are identical both in form and sequence..the enormous number of identical phrases is not to be explained as being due to the community’s good memory of Jesus’ teaching, as more than half of such phrases are narrative, not the words of Jesus (The Jesus Legend, p.95).

            The idea is simply absurd that speech heard in Aramaic would be independently translated by separate eyewitnesses into Greek phrasing so extensively identical. Anyone who admits these (undeniable) parallels yet insists that they were independent productions either (a) knows nothing about how translation works or (b) is tacitly invoking divine guidance since only a miracle could produce such parallels in independent translations. Any student who turned in a term paper with that degree of identity with another source would be immediately and without hesitation be convicted of plagiarism.

            No, you did not employ an argumentum ad lapidem, but, in the future, I would advise you to do so. Fundamentalists want to deny the established results of 200 years of biblical scholarship. We atheists have NO responsibility to re-re-re-hash that massive body of evidence and argument. When somebody makes long-since refuted claims–that the gospels were eyewitness accounts, that evolution never occurred, that the earth is 6000 years old, that you can pray the gay away, etc. etc.–just ignore them. Curt dismissal is the correct response.

          • Bradley Bowen

            Thank you for your clear and to-the-point comments.

            I would not mind discussing whether the Earth is Flat or Round with a person who believes that the Earth is Flat, so long as that person was somewhat rational and open to the possibility that he/she was mistaken.

            What I do mind is when a Flat Earth advocate wants to lecture me about how I am deceived along with all of the deceived geologists and astronomers, and about all of the massive and compelling evidence there is for the Flat Earth view, especially if they ignore the obvious evidence against the Flat Earth view.

            Then I know I’m dealing with a crackpot or a troll. No thanks.