Fortress Press

Excavating Q: The History and Setting of the Sayings Gospel

Excavating Q

The History and Setting of the Sayings Gospel

John S. Kloppenborg Verbin (Author)


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In this tour de force, the author offers a comprehensive introduction to the study of Q, the collection of Jesus' sayings long hypothesized as the source for the canonical gospels of Matthew and Luke. Part I deals with the methods for studying Q, their presuppositions, and a survey of current research. Part II addresses more theological and theoretical issues relevant to the Synoptic Problem, Q as a document, its redaction, and its social setting.
  • Publisher Fortress Press
  • Format Paperback
  • ISBN 9780800626013
  • Dimensions 6 x 9
  • Pages 416
  • Publication Date August 4, 2000


"Whilst it is designed in part to introduce readers to the subject, this book is in fact much more than this. It is a fascinating analysis of and reflection upon the current state of the debates about Q, and it pilots the way ahead for future debate. The social location of the Q people within Galilee, their distinctive theology and relation to Cynics, and the way in which Q raises questions about the historical Jesus will challenge scholars of all levels. It is essential reading for all interested in Christian origins."
— Ronald A. Piper, Editor, The Gospel Behind the Gospels: Current Studies on Q (1995)

"Excavating Q is a major synthesis, providing a meaningful integration of literary, archaeological, social, and theological concerns. By drawing together threads in the current discussion about the historical Jesus, first-century Galilee, and Q, Kloppenborg Verbin steps into the forefront of the discussion. This work makes lasting contributions to our understanding of the synoptic tradition and the social history of Jewish and Christian origins."
Douglas E. Oakman
coauthor of Palestine in the Time of Jesus

"Having launched the current resurgence of interest in Q with the publication of The Formation of Q (1987), Kloppenborg Verbin rode the crest of the Q movement as leader of the International Q Project; and now with his masterpiece, Excavating Q, he brings in the harvest of Q studies. This is without a doubt the most thorough, wide-reaching, and convincing analysis of Q, tracing the course of Q since its discovery in 1838 down through its central position in the new dimensions of theology for the coming millennium. From now on, Excavating Q is required reading for anyone wanting to discuss Q."
— James M. Robinson
Editor, The Critical Edition of Q

Table of Contents

    List of Figures

    Part I: Text and History
  1. Q and the Synoptic Problem
  2. The Character and Reconstruction of Q
  3. The Composition and Genre of the Sayings Gospel Q
  4. The Q Document and the Q People
  5. Reading Q in the Galilee

    Part II: Theology and Ideology
  6. The Jesus of History and the History of Dogma:
    Theological Currents in the Synoptic Problem
  7. Putting Q on the Map
  8. Making Difference
  9. Social Characterizations in Theological Perspective

    Sites and Geographical Features
    Works Cited
    Index of Authors
    Index of Ancient Texts
    Index of Subjects