See Marcus Borg, “What Did Jesus Really Say?” BR 05:05, and Robert J. Miller, “The Gospels that Didn’t Make the Cut,” BR 09:04.


This number is rounded off slightly. My comparison assigns 130 passages—65 from Matthew and 65 from Luke—into one of four percentage categories: 1–24.9%, 25%–49.9%, 50%–74.9%, or 75–100%. Matthew 6:9–13 (the Lord’s Prayer), for example, shares 26 identical words with its counterpart in Luke 11:1–4. These 26 words are 43% of Matthew’s total of 61 words, but 59% of Luke’s total of 44 words. In this case the two parallel passages fit into different percentage categories. This pattern repeats itself in about a dozen of the 65 pairs. That is why we get 53 passages (out of the 130), an odd number, in the 25–49.9% category, and 29 passages (out of the 130) in the 50–74.9% category. These have been rounded to 26 out of 65 pairs of parallel passages and 15 out 65 parallel passages, respectively. Despite this complication we still get an accurate picture of the overall verbal correspondence between Matthean and Lucan passages alleged to reflect the common Q source. The numbers show that, overall, the correspondence is hardly overwhelming.



An Introduction to the Study of the Gospels, 7th ed. (London: Macmillan and Co., 1888). Westcott comments (p. xii): “My obligations to the leaders of the extreme German schools are very considerable, though I can rarely accept any of their conclusions.”


Die Spuchquelle der Evangelisten (Zürich: Theologischer Verlag, 1972).


Siegfried Schulz, Griechisch-deutsche Synopse der Q-Überlieferungen (Zürich: Theologischer Verlag, 1972), p. 5f.


Helmut Koester, Entwicklungslinien durch die Welt des frühen Christentums (Tübingen: J. C. B. Mohr [Paul Siebeck], 1971).


James M. Robinson, “The Sayings of Jesus: ‘Q’,” Drew Gateway (Fall 1983); Helmut Koester, Ancient Christian Gospels: Their History and Development (Philadelphia: Trinity Press International, 1990); John Kloppenborg, The Formation of Q (Philadelphia: Fortress, 1987); Arland Jacobsen, The First Gospel (Missoula: Polebridge, 1992); Burton Mack, Q—The Lost Gospel (San Francisco: HarperSan Francisco, 1993).


Stephen J. Patterson, “Q—The Lost Gospel,” BR 09:05. Subsequent references to this article will be given as BR.


See Craig Blomberg, “Where Do We Start Studying Jesus?” in Jesus Under Fire, Michael J. Wilkins and J. P. Moreland, eds. (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1995), pp. 17–50, esp. 19–25.


“Q—The Lost Gospel,” BR 09:05, quoting Mack, 8, 10.


“Q—The Lost Gospel,” BR 09:05 (Patterson quoting Mack, 4f.).


Arland Jacobsen, The First Gospel, p. 4, as cited in “Q—The Lost Gospel,” BR 09:05.


See, for example, Hans Herbert Stoldt, History and Criticism of the Marcan Hypothesis (Macon, GA: Mercer University Press, 1980), p. 48.


G. Kittel, loégia, in Theological Dictionary of the New Testament, vol. 4 (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1967), p. 141.


Stoldt, History p. 50.


Stoldt, History pp. 146–149, esp. 148.


See Eta Linnemann, Is There a Synoptic Problem? Rethinking the Literary Dependence of the First Three Gospels, trans. by Robert W. Yarbrough (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1992), pp. 68–70.


In the analysis below I follow the methodology of my book cited in the previous note. To avoid defining Q myself, I follow the Griechisch-deutsche Synopse der Q-Überlieferungen, corrected only as needed to conform to the text of Aland’s Synopsis Quattuor Evangeliorum, 11th edition.


John Wenham, Redating Matthew, Mark and Luke: A Fresh Assault on the Synoptic Problem (London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1991), p. 54.


Word counts from the New American Standard Version.


Linnemann, Synoptic Problem? pp. 182–185.


Linnemann, Synoptic Problem? pp. 185–191; fuller discussion and citations in D.A. Carson, Douglas J. Moo, and Leon Morris, An Introduction to the New Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1992), pp. 66–74, 92–95, 113–115, 138–157.


William R. Farmer, The Gospel of Jesus: The Pastoral Relevance of the Synoptic Problem (Louisville: Westminster/John Knox, 1994), p. 3f.


Farmer, Gospel of Jesus, p. 3.