Thursday, July 13, 2006

Outrageous Questions

Many of the books that I have read [Johnson, Davids, et. al.] refer to the possibility of James having the same provenance as the infamous "Q" source [P.J. Hartin James and the Q Sayings of Jesus (Sheffield: JSOT press, 1991), Martin, James, lxxvi]. Given the allusions and possible quotations that James has to Matt & Luke, what is the relationship between James and Q? I have only questions at this stage, and they are pretty outrageous questions!
    1. Did Q look like James in its structure and content? [Will Kloppenberg's forthcoming commentary on James argue this?]
    2. Did James have access to Q when he wrote his letter? [Will Allison's forthcoming commentary argue this? As does P.J. Hartin James and the Q Sayings of Jesus (Sheffield: JSOT press, 1991)]
    3. Was James the collator/redactor of Q ? [a PhD idea for some poor soul?]
    4. Or worse [better?], did James author Q ? [Who's brave enough to suggest that?]

But, given the fact that I am a Q sceptic, like Mark Goodacre [See The Case Against Q], how do those who reject the existence of a documentary Q, explain the Jesus tradition in James?

    1. What is the relationship between Matt and James? [There's more likely a relationship between Matt/James then Luke/James, or did I miss something?]
    2. Was Matthew, James' scribe? Or vice versa?
    3. Or, if Martin [James, lxxvii] is right about the two stage production of James, did Matt edit James? [Martin proposes an Antiochene provenance based on Zimmermann's Die urchristlichen Lehrer (Mohr, 1984)]
    4. Is there space for James in the Synoptic Problem? (Did Matthew have access to James?) [According to the Blog Father, Michael Goulder actually proposed that James had access to Matt. But when do we date them then?]
    5. Could one postulate an early date for the gospel of Matthew, based on the early dating of James? [Who could propose this argument and actually get away with it? Bauckham? Hengel? Wenham?]
    6. Or do we just assume it's oral tradition and carry on as usual? [This appears to be the view of Brosend, James and Jude, pg. 11]
    7. What could be the possible criteria for postulating these theories? How would we judge them?

There seems to be a real hesitancy for scholars to engage these questions. So why not just expand your mind and let your presuppositions go, and imagine quite a few variant scenario's for the relationship between James and the Jesus traditions... Which one's are more plausible or probable than others? And why?

A future blog will hopefully catalogue the various sayings of Jesus compared with James. I'm trying to get my hands on Dean Deppe's study [The Sayings of Jesus in the Epistle of James], which most regard as very influential in this realm of Jacobean studies.


jdarlack said...

Hmm. I have not pondered these things too much, though I've been pondering James' possible link to Luke (my thesis on Elijah in James can't ignore that Luke's account of Jesus' sermon in Nazareth states that Elijah's drought lasted 3.5 years (Luke 4:25-27) as does James (5:17-18). I don't know how to particularly judge whether James was borrowing from Luke directly or from the Jesus tradition here - or from Jewish tradition. Nickelsburg, if I recall correctly, states that James' treatment of the rich/poor seems to have more in common with Luke (and interestingly enough 1 Enoch 92-105) than Matthew. See his articles: "Riches, the Rich, and God's Judgment in 1 Enoch 92-105 and the Gospel According to Luke." New Testament Studies 25 (1979): 324-344; "Revisiting the Rich and the Poor in 1 Enoch 92-105 and the Gospel According to Luke." Society of Biblical Literature Seminar Papers 37, pt. 2 (1998): 579-605. These have been reprinted in George W. E. Nickelsburg in Perspective, vol. 2. Leiden; Boston: Brill, 2003, pp. 521-588, along with a response by Kloppenborg and Nickelsburg's counter response. It's been a while since I've read this, so I can't elaborate. I'll try to track down my copies.

Also, to gain a copy of Deppe's thesis, try to contact Deppe directly. Not long ago he was selling copies.

J. B. Hood said...

Interesting questions Sean, though I think that an early date for one text has almost no bearing on a (very) early date for another; i.e., Crossley's date on Mark is not necessarily an argument for a pre-70 date for Matthew, beyond the question of source availability.

J. B. Hood said...

Don't forget to bring the Didache into the question--I myself dont' think it influenced Matt or James (too late), but some have argued recently that it influenced Matthew.