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Post-Mortem Vindication of Jesus in the Sayings Gospel Q (Library of New…
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Q 13:34-35, the Jerusalem Logion, aligns the rejection of the speaker by Jerusalem both with the abandonment of Jerusalem's house and with the future invisibility and return of the speaker: 'You will not see me until you say, Blessed is the Coming One in the name of the Lord' (13:35b). The coincidence of not seeing language with a reference to a future coming is reminiscent of the connection, in Jewish literature especially, between the assumption and eschatological function. The book proposes that this reference to Jesus' assumption is a clue to how Q conceives of the post-mortem vindication of Jesus, since numerous Q sayings presuppose a knowledge of Jesus' death. In support of this, the book argues that in Hellenistic Jewish writings assumption was not always considered to be an escape from death (as in the biblical instances of Enoch and Elijah), but could happen at or after death, as was more clearly the case in Greek thought.
Such a strategy of vindication is necessary for Q because it evidences a belief in Jesus' ongoing existence and future return as the Son of Man, and because resurrection though a feature of Q's eschatology is not individually applied to Jesus. A similar view is presupposed by the pre-Markan empty tomb tradition, which describes the disappearance of Jesus' body but narrates neither the resurrection itself nor an appearance of the risen Jesus. The book also draws out implications of the thesis for the place of the Sayings Gospel Q within the early Christian movements, particularly vis-vis the vindication of Jesus.
(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:22:48 -0400)
The Sayings Gospel Q, which is conspicuously silent on the issues of Jesus' death and resurrection, nonetheless shows evidence of a knowledge of Jesus' death and of a strategy for accounting for Jesus' vindication. The dissertation argues that Q thinks of Jesus' end as an assumption, a bodily removal from earth to heaven, as happened to figures such as Enoch and Elijah in Jewish tradition. Q 13:34-35, the Jerusalem Lament (Matt 23:37-39 par. Luke 13:34-35), is the central text examined. In this saying, Jesus predicts that "You will not see me until you say, 'Blessed is the Coming One in the name of the Lord'" (Q 13:35b). The language of "not seeing" or disappearance was a consistent feature in Hellenistic assumption narratives, and in Jewish tradition a special eschatological function was typically accorded to those taken away by God in this way. The connection between assumption and eschatological function is seen in Q not only in the reference to the "Coming One" in Q 13:35 (a citation of Ps 118:26), but also in the redactional connections made by Q between materials dealing with an absent master and a suddenly returning Son of man (Q 12:39-40, 12:42b-46; Q 17 'passim' and Q 19). Since Q apparently knows about Jesus' death; yet contains no hint of resurrection theology, the possibility arises that assumption, not resurrection, was how the Q people understood Jesus' vindication by God after his death. The thesis evaluates scholarship on related issues, the death of Jesus in Q and the possibility of an "Easter faith" in Q (Chapter One), and discusses the most significant contributions to the understanding of the Jerusalem Lament as a piece of Q material (Chapter Two). Chapter Three surveys assumption theology in Greco-Roman, Jewish, and early Christian sources. Chapter Four discusses in detail the presence of assumption theology in Q 13:34-35, and Chapter Five investigates the implications of the central thesis for Q as a whole. Finally, other early Christian texts which might betray a similar perspective on Jesus' post-mortem vindication are discussed (Chapter Six).
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