Q, the Earliest Gospel: An Introduction to the Original Stories and Sayings of Jesus

By John S. Kloppenborg (Author)

Estimated to date back to the very early Jesus movement, the lost Gospel known as Q offers a distinct and remarkable picture of Jesus and his significance–and one that differs markedly from that offered by its contemporary, the apostle Paul.

Q presents Jesus as a prophetic critic of unbelief and a sage with the wisdom that can transform. In Q, the true meaning of the “kingdom of God” is the fulfillment of a just society through the transformation of the human relationships within it.

Though this document has never been found, John Kloppenborg offers a succinct account of why scholars maintain it existed in the first place and demonstrates how they have been able to reconstruct its contents and wording from the two later Gospels that used it as a source: Matthew and Luke. Presented here in its entirety, as developed by the International Q Project, this Gospel reveals a very different portrait of Jesus than in much of the later canonical writings, challenging the way we think of Christian origins and the very nature and mission of Jesus Christ.

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Additional reading and viewing

Quoting from the book one of the arguments of the author, page 73 of paperback edition from 2008:

Perhaps the most striking difference between Q and he Synoptic Gospels is its lack of an explicit narration of Jesus’ death and resurrection. Before the discovery of the Gospel of Thomas scholars took for granted that Jesus’ death was the one critical datum that every early Christian Gospel writer would narrate and interpret. For that reason, few before the 1950s dared to call Q a ‘gospel,’ since it lacked what was deemed essential to any ‘gospel,’ Q could only be conceived as a supplement, intended for those who already knew the story of Jesus’ passion and resurrection. This in turn presupposed a hierarchy of Christian beliefs — those beliefs that were essential to Christian belief and others that were derivative or supplementary. As T. W.

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