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What Did John Hear?

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The Reconstruction of Q 7:18-19 and its Implications

image of Novum Testamentum

The passage of John the Baptist’s question (Matt 11:2-19 par. Luke 7:18-35) is a key text in the double tradition (and, therefore, in “Q”). When it comes to the narrative introduction (Matt 11:2-3 par. Luke 7:18-19), however, reconstructing a common Q text behind the two versions proves difficult, since both Matthew and Luke have reworked the introduction in their respective ways. Recent reconstructions prefer a “minimalist” solution that leaves the setting relatively open, with some narrative gaps. This article attempts to integrate these gaps into a meaningful reading of Q as a narrative. After giving an account of previous work on the reconstruction of this Q passage and discussing its central issues, a narratological approach to Q allows understanding the gaps in this Q passage as indicators of overarching narrative cohesion in Q.

Affiliations: 1: München


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