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Revd Alan Garrow: What did Jesus really say?
March 17, 2018 @ 9:30 am - 12:00 pm
It might seem quite straightforward – Jesus said what he is reported as saying in the Gospels. At one level this is true. At another, however, things may be rather more complicated. A significant complicating factor is that, for more than a century, most scholars have suspected the existence of an entity known as Q. This Q is a hypothetical source that many scholars believe was copied by the authors of Matthew’s and Luke’s Gospels. If Q existed then, by definition, it predates those Gospels – so it might provide an even more accurate account what Jesus said, and what the first Christians believed about him, than the Gospels do. This could be significant because Q, as commonly understood, doesn’t include an account of Jesus’ death or resurrection.
But does the Q theory rest on a firm foundation? In this morning’s live lecture Alan Garrow will show that the idea of Q, as traditionally conceived, rests on two simple logical errors. And, when these errors are corrected, a very different picture of the relationship between the Gospels starts to take shape: the traditional Q theory collapses; previously overlooked pre-Gospel sayings of Jesus come to light; and Luke’s Gospel emerges as a particular source of insight into ‘what Jesus really said’.