Casey's book on Q does indeed offer a
number of very valuable insights into
the possible development of the tradition
prior to its translation into Greek.
It does this not least in illuminating more clearly
the nature of the issues in some of
the controversies recorded in the
It makes a good case
that there is a prophetic protest
against the extension of purity requirements
where these conflict with other weightier
demands. It is not so clear that this
_all_ took place at the first rather than
the second stage of the tradition.
Were there no Aramaic
speaking disciples who ever clarified or
amplified this criticism in disputes with
those who held to the extended purity rules?
Was it only the evangelists who altered
the traditions, and not those who transmitted
the tradition between the first and the third stages?
Were there not some disciples who took a fiercer
line than their master when confronted by opposition?
(e.g. Lk 9.54)
C seems to assign almost all of the recovered
Aramaic stratum to the Sitz im Leben of Jesus,
but it is not clear that controversies which
fit the period of around +29 to +33 did not also
continue (in Aramaic) through the next
twenty or thirty years. After all the
issues of preservation of identity and of
hostility to Gentile domination were very
powerful factors, and were accentuated after
the death of Herod Agrippa.
David Mealand, University of Edinburgh
The University of Edinburgh is a charitable body, registered in
Scotland, with registration number SC005336.