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165Re: Q yes or no?

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  • Mike Grondin
    Mar 7, 1998
      Brian - if you don't mind the interjection of a boring logician, I'd
      like to respond to the following passages:

      > J. S. Kloppenborg has written of "the viability of the Two Document
      > Hypothesis, upon which the very existence of Q is predicated" ("Q
      > Parallels", page xxi.). I understand this to mean that Q is defined as
      > that hypothetical documentary source which is presupposed by the Two
      > Document Hypothesis, so that if the Two Document Hypothesis is ruled
      > out, Q did not exist.
      > Taking this as a starting point, I would suggest we can decide whether Q
      > existed by (1) defining the Two Document Hypothesis, and (2) considering
      > whether the observable patterns of similarities and differences of
      > wording and order of material in the synoptic gospels are compatible
      > with the Two Document Hypothesis so defined.

      What you need for your argument, of course, is to first establish the
      truth of 'If not-2D, then not-Q'. To say as you do, however, that 2D
      'presupposes' Q is simply to say that 'If 2D, then Q', which is quite
      different from, and does not entail, 'If not-2D, then not-Q'.

      Nevertheless, the way Kloppenborg puts it _does_ seem to entail 'If
      not-2D, then not-Q'. So we must see if what he says is right. Certainly
      many 2D-theorists have seemed to argue that way, but there really isn't
      any logically-necessary connection between 2D and Q. What would be
      needed to establish that connection would be to prove that 'If Q, then
      2D' (which is logically equivalent to 'If not-2D, then not-Q'). In other
      words, we would have to show that if Q existed, then 2D is the correct
      theory about the formation of the Gospels. I think you'll agree there is
      little chance of _that_ being true. Hence your argument against 2D, as
      nice as it is, doesn't prove the non-existence of Q.

      Best wishes,
      Mike Grondin
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