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Document Details :
Title: The Disappearance of Jesus in Q
Subtitle: A Response to Harry T. Fleddermann
Author(s): SMITH, Daniel A.
Journal: Ephemerides Theologicae Lovanienses
Volume: 92 Issue: 2 Date: 2016
In a recent article in this journal, Harry T. Fleddermann contends that Q is not the literary production of a 'second sphere' in earliest Christianity in which the passion-resurrection kerygma was unknown or disregarded. Against the view that Q conceives of Jesus’ post-mortem vindication using the category and language not of resurrection, but assumption, Fleddermann argues that whereas the evidence in Q is slight for the alternative theory, Q actually refers to resurrection many times and leads its readers to infer that Jesus’ vindication comes by means of the resurrection. Yet Fleddermann’s case is not as strong as he claims, for it depends on inferences, narrative gaps, and multivalent language. Q nowhere unambiguously refers to the resurrection of Jesus, whereas the language and associated motifs of disappearance and assumption seem to have made a significant impression on the document, and even (via Mark’s empty tomb story) on later narrative depictions of the resurrection of Jesus. Furthermore, although assumption makes sense as a strategy for authorizing Q’s Jesus and his sayings, Fleddermann’s case for resurrection in Q leaves unanswered why the author would bury the idea of individualized resurrection in implicit connections and enigmatic statements, if in fact, like Paul and others, he inherited and valued the passion-resurrection kerygma. In the end, what is at stake is the extent and nature of the diversity of theological reflection in early Jesus – and Christ – movements.