- KC Hanson asks two questions:
"Can you comment on what you perceive to be the most important results of
your research regarding the social setting of Q?
"How does this impact our reading of Q: is it just more depth of what we
previously knew, or has this analysis substantively changed your own
perspective on Q?"
Chap. 5, on Reading Q in Galilee, gave me the opportunity to work through
various archaeological and social-historical analyses of the Galilee and to
wrestle with various conflicting characterizations. In the end, I found
myself in more agreement with Freyne and Arnal on seeing urbanization and
monetization as important factors (adversely) affecting the social and
political economy of the Galilee (from the point of view of the "Galileans",
not the various elites in whose interest it was to monetize and urbanize);
with S. Schwartz (and to some extent Horsley) on Jerusalem-Galilee tensions;
with Goodman on debt spirals; and in disagreement with Meyers and Sanders on
a Torah-true Galilee, and with Horsley on "social banditry." I was concerned
to reconstruct the social and economic situation of the Galilee(s)
independently of any reading of Q, and to "read Q in Galilee" only once the
reconstruction was done, as a kind of test to see whether Q's particular
rhetoric appeared to fit this situation. As it turned out, it seemed to me
that Q can be read sucessfully in Galilee, with Q's focus on issues such as
loans and debt forgiveness (not a problem exclusive to Galilee, but clearly
a problem there); its ambivalent attitudes toward Jerusalem, the Temple,
tithing, and purity distinctions; and Q's negative characterization of urban
This reading of Q, I think, gives some concreteness to a reading of Q and if
the reading is cogent, that is its advantage. The reconstruction of the
situation of the Galilee, caught politically between the pagan cities of the
coastal region (Ptolemais, Tyre, Sidon) to the north and west, and Jerusalem
to the south helps to make sense for me of certain elements of Q's rhetoric,
which plays Gentiles against Jews in its shaming strategy. A setting the
Galilee, where southern influence via the presence of Pharisees and others
was neither strong nor uniformly wecome, makes sense of other features of Q's
rhetoric. On the one hand, Q takes for granted the markers of Jewish
identity (circumcision; sabbath observance; some forms of purity
distinctions), but problematizes precisely those markers that were
associated with a temple-oriented economy: tithing; and purity of vessels
vs. the rapacity of representatives of the south.
My reading of Q and reconstruction of the situation of the Galilee certainly
does not solve all of the questions. I have wondered why Q shows so few
signs of the upheaval that characterized the first revolt. It take it that
the lack of such signs is an indication of a date prior to 66 CE.
Unfortunately, we know very little of the situation prior to Josephus' very
short sojourn in the Galilee in 66/67 (and very little about it thereafter).
This is the _Excavating Q_ Seminar (Oct. 23 -- Nov. 10 2000).
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