The Original Jerusalem Gospel
Editor: J. M. C. Crum
Publisher: Macmillan, 1927
Briefly put, Q is a hypothesis. Q is something which we imagine to have existed once, because to imagine it did once exist, explains certain things which do exist: for example, the character of passages in Matthew and Luke.
A German scholar hypothesized that there once existed a source document for Matthew and Luke. He referred to it as Quelle, which means ‘source’ in German. The abbreviation Q was adopted from this word.
According to the hypothesis, someone wrote at Jerusalem in Aramaic a collection of Sayings of Jesus, and of stories which recalled some of the circumstances of the Sayings. Two editors – the editor of Matthew as we read it now, and the editor of Luke, as it was put out in the first edition, older than Luke as we read it now – took this Q as the written authority from which they could copy down authentic accounts.
According to The Two-Source Theory, Matthew and Luke made use of two written sources – Mark and the Sayings Gospel Q – in composing their gospels. According to The Four-Source Theory, Matthew used Mark, Q, and his own special source called M, while Luke used Mark and Q, and another source called L. The material in M and L probably comes from oral tradition.
The author of The Original Jerusalem Gospel has quoted a conjectural restoration of Q, as reprinted from The Hibbert Journal.
Where Mark and Q give the same sayings of Jesus, the reason for both giving it is not that one copied from the other, according to Crum. It is that Jesus actually said those words. The reason that one differs slightly from the other is that they are independent and authentic witnesses.
Following are passages from Matthew and Luke which can be arranged to show the likely original sequence:
Matt. 3:1-12 – Luke 3:7-17
Matt. 4:1-11 – Luke 4:1-13
Matt. 7:3-27 – Luke 6:43-49
Matt. 8:5-13 – Luke 7:2-9
Matt. 9:32, 33 – Luke 11:14-28
Matt. 12:22-45 – Luke 11:29-32
Matt. 11:2-19 – Luke 7:18-35
Matt. 8:19-22 – Luke 9:57-62
Matt. 9:37-10:25 – Luke 10:2-24
Matt. 10:26-33 – Luke 12:2-12
Matt. 6:25-34 – Luke 12:22:31
Matt. 18:6-21 – Luke 17:1-6
Matt. 23:27-39 – Luke 11:44-51; 13:34,35
Matt. 24:26:41 – Luke 17:23-37