Stephen Carlson wrote:
> The placement of the Baptism in Q is not in the least problematic.
> It serves as a transition from introducing John to the Temptation
> narrative. The exordium of Q would otherwise be more disjointed and
> incoherent. Ordinarily, Q is more a collection of sayings than
> narrative, yet Q's beginning is consistent with that of other
> sayings collections, which can include a brief narrative
> The inclusion of much John the Baptist material in a collection of
> Jesus' sayings is less difficult if one supposes that the figure of
> John is somehow meant to validate Jesus's status (as his disciple?).
> Thus, some explicit connection between the two of them is helpful to
> that end. Not only does the Baptism help to connect John to Jesus,
> but the Baptism sets up the Temptation with the questions "if you
> are really the Son of God, ..." (Q 4:3 9).
Stephen -- I enjoyed your comments very much. I wonder if I too
might pick up on a passing comment. How far it is the case that Q
has a "brief narrative introduction"? Is it not rather (at least in
its final form) suffused with narrative? Consider, to begin with,
Q 3.2-3: appearance of John the Baptist in region of the Jordan
Q 3.21-22: Jesus is baptized by John
Q 4.1-13: Jesus is led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be
tempted by the devil who then leaves him
Q 4.16 Jesus is in Nazara [though only given a C rating by the IQP]
Q 6.20 (etc.): Jesus addresses his disciples
Q 7.1: after finishing his sermon, Jesus enters Capharnaum
Q 7.2-10: Jesus heals a Centurion's boy
Q.7.18-35: John sends disciples to Jesus with a question, which Jesus
The interesting thing to me is not only the number of narrative
settings for the material but also the clear narrative sequence.
Clearly John has to have been introduced (3.2-3) before one can have
his preaching. Likewise, his identity is taken for granted in the
baptism of Jesus (3.21-22) just as Jesus' identity as Son of God
(3.21-22) is taken for granted in the Temptation narrative (4.1-13,
"If you are . . .", as you point out). John's arrest and
imprisonment (clearly subsequent to John's ministry) is taken for
granted in 7.18-35, which pericope itself takes for granted a period
of preaching and healing by Jesus (provided in 6.20ff, 7.1ff etc.).
One cannot help thinking that it is an oversimplification to
characterise Q as a "sayings collection" when one has such clear
signs not only of narrative settings but also of narrative sequence
With good wishes
Dr Mark Goodacre M.S.Goodacre@...
Dept. of Theology, University of Birmingham