On: Kloppenborg's Q Stratification
Perhaps, having looked into "The Formation of Q" with indifferent result, I
might reply to my own request for clarification of three passages which
different respondents assign to different Kloppenborg strata.
My response is that perhaps it doesn't matter. However one classifies the
three passages, it seems abundantly clear from the undisputed others that,
if Kloppenborg's 3-layer stratification in time is correct, then the Thomas
material (if both stratified and linear) does not follow it. That is, the
"sapiential" material does not cluster in low-numbered Thomas sayings, nor
does the "apocalyptic" material cluster in high-numbered ones. So if (1)
there was a Q, and if (2) it had early and late layers as K suggests, then
(3) Thomas draws equally on the whole thing, and is thus post-Q3.
This is another way of saying that Thomas, as a whole and in its present
condition, is post-Synoptic. I put it this way to reserve the possibility
that, as DeConick and others have proposed, Thomas itself is stratified.
This opens the possibility that though part, perhaps much, of Thomas is
post-Synoptic (meaning in this case, post-Mt/Lk), other parts might be
NOTE ON TERMINOLOGY
Those of us who disbelieve in Q have a problem in referring to this
material. To use the term "Q" merely reifies that theory, so it would be
better to have a noncommittal name. Since the root of the idea refers to
material common to Mt and Lk but not in Mk (admittedly, that definition has
been subsequently expanded), and since on most people's understanding these
texts are post-70, and thus also post-Pauline, I propose the term "P" as
reminiscent of the phrase "post-Pauline."
If some parts of this material had earlier origins, that could always be
demonstrated. Kloppenborg, for instance, could make his argument that the
sapiential parts of the Mt/Lk material actually are earlier than Mt/Lk. But
the initial presumption would be that all of it arose in the post-Markan
period defined by Matthew and Luke.
E Bruce Brooks
Warring States Project
University of Massachusetts at Amherst