Well I see that my esteemed colleague Pat McCullough has reviewed the “little” Q lecture I gave at UCLA yesterday. While Pat has provided a more thorough treatment of my lecture, I will provide some brief thoughts on it. Although 20 minutes is not a lot of time to spend on Q, I was able to present what Q is, question our current reconstruction of the document, discuss oral tradition, places limits on the types of analysis scholars can perform on a reconstructed document, and even work in a plug for Mark Goodacre’s work and book The Case Against Q (He should see a sharp spike in sales after this lecture). Most importantly after my 20 minutes was finished, not one student I noticed was asleep and many of them had interesting questions.
Pat has already mentioned my favorite question, but I will restate it anyway. A student asked if another gospel was found would it influence the current reconstruction of Q. I was a bit surprised by such a question and let him know that if a new gospel was found the entire landscape would change and nearly all work would be influenced by this discovery. In fact, I stated that scholars would probably do cartwheels in their offices!
Well I suppose the alert of my lecture reached everyone too late because I did not see any out of town travellers looking weary from a long flight and no sleep. That’s okay because there is always next year. Although I am a Q proponent, I will leave you today as I like to close this subject during a lecture: I often wonder if Q scholars working with this reconstructed document sometimes forget that the document they hold in their hands is actually a document which they created.