The “Q” Hypothesis
Is not a manuscript but a Living Source
Dr. John Paul Hozvicka D.D.
This is my work on Biblical criticism and my intent to introduce my hypothesis on what I call the Living “Q”. Biblical scholars have for decades believed that the Gospel of Mark was written first and that Matthew and Luke copied much from Mark gospel and added it to their own writings. This is why the three read alike in many of the passages, thus the scholars call the three gospels “Synoptic” which means to see alike. For decades Biblical scholar have been hypnotizing about another unknown, mysteries gospel that some call the “Q-gospel” taken from the German word “Quelle” which means “source.” a source that scholars believe that the apostle Mathew, a disciple of Jesus and Luke the traveling companion of the apostle Paul, obtain information about Jesus life and ministry that is a part of their gospels but is not found in the gospel of Mark or John.
Biblical scholars are looking to find some ancient codex or scroll that could be identified as the “Q” Gospel from which Matthew and Luke copy some of their passages from. They believe it is another lost text waiting to be found. However, the “Q” gospel may not be a codex or scroll or any other kind of writing source. The similar passages found in Matthew and Luke may come from a living source instead of a written text, I mean that “Q” may be a person or persons who related the information found in the gospel of Matthew and Luke.
On Pentecost Sunday, Mary the mother of Jesus was in the upper room when the Holy Spirit entered and came upon the 12 disciples of Jesus and upon Mary herself, appearing upon them as “tongues” of fire, filling them with the blessings and gifts of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:1-4). Each of the disciples went outward to various nations preaching the message of the Gospel, the good news, this was their mission given to them by Jesus Christ (Matt. 28:19-20). While in the upper room, Matthew had plenty of time to talk to Mary and hear her story of Jesus birth, the angel Gabriel, the visit of the wise men, and so on.
But what was Mary mission to God? It could be that her mission was too orally, through tradition, preserve the truth of everything that had happen that she witnessed and was part of or was told to her by Jesus and Joseph her husband. It is very much possible that Mary, the Mother of our Lord is the living “Q” sources; and why not, oral tradition was highly practice in Jesus days and I believed that Matthew and Luke both talked to Mary. After the ascension of Jesus into heaven (acts 1:9-11), it is fitting that Matthew would talk to Mary, the mother of Jesus about his birth. Was not Mary one of the members among the disciples when the Holy Spirit came and manifested tongues of fire that appeared upon each of them? Let me point out some interesting facts or if you would allow me, internal Biblical evidence that Mary talked; and may be the Living “Q” Source, if not the only living “Q.”
Biblical Evidence #1
Mary and Elisabeth
After the angel Gabriel visited with Mary, she decided to visit her cousin Elizabeth and then saw that the angel was right, Elisabeth was with child “And Mary arose in those days, and went into the hill country with haste, into a city of Juda; and entered into the house of Zacharias, and saluted Elisabeth. And it came to pass, that, when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit.” Luke 2:39-41. Only Mary is able to tell Luke of this event.
Biblical Evidence #2 &3
The Birth of Jesus
What inspired me to think that Mary is the living “Q” source was the opening statement of Luke gospel in his first three verses “Inasmuch as many have undertaken to draw up a narrative (Matthew, Mark and John) concerning the things that have been fulfilled among us, even as they who from the beginning were eyewitnesses (Mary and the Disciples) and ministers of the word have handed them down to us, I also have determined, after following up all things carefully from the very first, to write for thee (for us), most excellent Theophilus, an orderly (accurate) account…” Luke 1:1-3
It is very possible that Luke did talk with Mary, because no one but Mary and the angel Gabriel knew what happen and what was talked about at the annunciation written in Luke 1:26-32. How did Luke know of the annunciation if he did not talk to Mary and was told of it? It was Mary who told Matthew of the Bethlehem Star and the visit of the three wise men that came from the east which he records in his writing (Matthew in 2:1-2). These two events are not found in the gospel of Mark and Matthew and Luke were too young or not yet born to have witnessed this event first hand. The only way Luke and Matthew could have written in their gospel about the birth of Jesus was if they had talked with Mary “…but his mother (Mary) kept all these sayings in her heart.” Luke 2:51“But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.” Luke 2:19
Biblical Evidence #4
Massacre of the Infants of Bethlehem
We must agree that no one else can really tell of the event of the massacre of baby boys at Bethlehem by the decree of king Herod than by Mary the Mother of Jesus “Then Herod, when he saw that he was mocked of the wise men, was exceeding wroth, and sent forth, and slew all the children that were in Bethlehem …” Matt. 2:16 Yes, other people living in Bethlehem can remember this evil event, but they would not be able to tell Matthew of Joseph, Mary and Jesus flight to Egypt and returning after king Herod death and settling in Nazareth, no, only Mary could of told this event to Luke. Their flight to Egypt was a secrete one, less anyone whom they may have told would be forced to revel this secrete; and Joseph and Mary would have been stopped. No one in Bethlehem knew of their leaving at night and on their way to Egypt.
Biblical Evidence #5
Jesus in the Temple
When Jesus was a boy, he and his parents attended the Feast of the Passover in Jerusalem. After the feast Joseph and Mary started to return home to Nazareth, half way through their travel discover that Jesus was not with them and return to Jerusalem to look for him. They found Jesus teaching the elders in the temple. “…”Son, why hast thou thus dealt with us? Behold, they father and I have sought thee sorrowing. And he said unto them, how is it that ye sought me? Know ye not that I must be about my Father’s business” Luke 2:48-49. The key word that Mary speaks are “…but his mother kept all these saying in her heart.” Luke 2:51 Mary was the living Q in this passage that told Luke about this event in which Luke then recorded it in his gospel.
Luke talks to Eye Witnesses
After Paul death, Luke met Peter in Rome and stayed together for a time and then started out to meet some of the other eye witnesses to make a recording of all these events so that future generation would know of the truth about Jesus life; before everything is lost to time. Who, as eye witness can better testify the truth about Jesus than the apostles themselves and Mary the Mother of God. Luke must have talked with Mary, the mother of Jesus. This is self-evidence by the five examples I listed above.
Biblical Evidence #6
Jesus Rejection at Nazareth
This is Mary home town and she was there to witness Jesus being thrown out of the Synagogue and being rejected as the Messiah “And all they in the synagogue, when they heard these things, were filled with wrath, and rose up, and thrust him out of the city, and led him unto the brow of the hill whereon their city was built, that they might cast him down headlong” Luke 4:28-29. I’m not saying that Mary was the only living “Q” source, but that there were other eye witnesses whom make up the living “Q.” At this time Andrew and Pjilip was there to witness Jesus being throwen out and rejected, they could of tlked to Luke and told him of this event.
Biblical Evidence #7
Peter talks to Luke
It may also be that Luke may have talked to Simon who later was called Peter, about how Peter met Jesus, who is found only in the gospel of Luke 5:1-11, and not found in Matthew, Mark or John; who else could have told him this event but Peter himself. After Paul was martyr, Luke may have stayed for a time and met Peter, talked and learn how Peter met Jesus. The two great Cities the apostles would come back to from time to time and meet and talk to each other of their ministry was either Antioch or Jerusalem. As Paul had three missionary journeys only to return to Antioch and Jerusalem, I believe many of the other apostles did the same, return to see their family and to report to the Church of their mission.
We have no external evidence, however, it is very possible that while he was searching out these eye witnesses he could have met Matthew and they talked and Matthew told Luke things he recalled from memory about Jesus that Mark was not aware of and this is why there are similar events found in Matthew and Luke, but not found in Mark. It maybe that Matthew already wrote his gospel and allowed Luke to examine, read, and copy from it.
I really don’t hold to the theory that Matthew and Luke copied there material from Mark, this is not the action of honest men, believers in the word and they do not steal another person material and works. And I don’t believe that “Q” is a written text waiting to be discovered. I believe that each author wrote from living memory to the eye witness they themselves lived and experience. Four gospels written by four authors, each writing from different frame of thought and interest, from different light to their understanding according to their conscience, but all contributing to the richness and fullness of what Jesus was like; through their own personally and through the guidance of the Holy Spirit “But the comforter, which is the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.” John 14:26
Luke and Mark Talk
I would like to remind my scholar friends that Mark first started out as a traveling companion of Paul and Barnabas, on Paul first missionary journey to Asia Minor; and later Mark becomes a disciple of Peter. I would like to think that Mark learned much from Peter of Jesus life, and later educated Luke of what Peter taught him when Mark visited Rome to see Paul, before Paul was put to death. Here Luke stayed for a time in Rome and talked with Mark until Peter came to Rome and met with Luke himself. Remember, Paul had writing material and from Rome Paul writes some of his letters to the established churches he founded. Both Mark and Luke stayed in Rome until Peter was finally put to death. After Peter death, both Luke and Mark return to their home country.
Why is it so strange that the Q source can be a living person or persons, and not a scroll or manuscript? I have stimulated some thought here in the hopes that others can add on to and expand this theory to a greater level. I invite other Biblical scholars, theologians and independent scholars to provide evidence, internal or external; to help clear up the mystery of the Q source.