In recent years it has often been proposed that the sayings collection
Q originated in an urban Galilean setting in the mid-first century.
Sepphoris has often been put forward as a possible setting. However,
there is even more reason to consider Bethsaida as such a candidate.
It's one of the 3 towns on the northern edge of the Sea of Galilee. The
Woe saying reflects frustration over difficult times.I'll stop there
and move to the reason from John.
It is the fourth evangelist who has identified the continuity between
the followers of John and the followers of Jesus by identifying two of
Jesus' disciples as former disciples of John (Jn. 1:35-37). One is
explicitly identified as Andrew (John 1:40); the other is not named,
but may have been Philip (John 1:43) or John. Therefore, it is not
surprising that Q also preserves a series of sayings of John the
Baptist (Lk. 3:7-9; 16-17; 7:18-23). A possible connection of Bethsaida
with the Baptist is one further link to t he Q tradition and will
hopefully stimulate further exploration of the sayings of Jesus with
reference to the city of Bethsaida.
What do you think?