Date of Award

2013

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Theology

Abstract

Q 10:21-22 is the famous "Johannine Thunderbolt," a passage whose precise meaning and role in Q have long been debated by New Testament scholars with seemingly no consensus reached to this date. This crux interpretum presents the readers with a thanksgiving prayer by Jesus that appears particularly puzzling in its present context in the reconstructed Q. In his prayer Jesus appears to express gratitude to God, whom he calls Father, for something that contradicts the very purpose of the immediately preceding mission discourse (Q 10:2-16). In a shocking turn of events, Jesus appears to rejoice over the selective disclosure of God to the group termed "children" and stresses his prerogative to reveal the Father to whom he wishes.

The placement of Q 10:21-22 at the conclusion of the mission discourse betrays its secondary compositional origin. As presently positioned, the couplet appears to provide a commentary which renders the mission's failure - a major redactional theme in Q - a part of God's original intention. Yet nowhere else in the document is such a retrospective change of heart on display. What is more, it clashes sharply with the redaction's more typical castigation of the opposition on the apparent assumption that the Q group's message should have been understood.

In the field of Q studies the work of John S. Kloppenborg constitutes the current Status Quaestionis on the document's compositional history and redaction. Working with Kloppenborg's stratification of the document, I make a literary-critical case to reassign Q 10:21-22 from its present location in the initial redactional layer (Q2) to the document's latest stratum (Q3). In the process, I coordinate Q 10:21-22 with the Temptation Story to propose a new theological rationale for the Q3 stratum.

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