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The Lost Gospel: The Book of Q & Christian Origins Paperback – 1 May 1994


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Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: HarperOne; Reprint edition (1 May 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060653752
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060653750
  • Product Dimensions: 15.6 x 1.7 x 23.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 183,756 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By M. G. KETTERIDGE on 27 Jun. 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Theologians have observed for many decades that two of the synoptic gospels (Matthew, and Luke)dozens of similarities.
In actual fact, the writings have many dozens of phrases and sentences that are identical.
This observation led to the proposition that both gospels were based largely on an earlier document, which has been lost.
It is called "Q" meaning "Quelle," German for "source."
Various liberal theologians have therefore been able to reconstruct the gospel.
Some postulate that it was written in three stages:
Q1, written circa 50 CE, which portrayed Jesus as as a Jewish philosopher-teacher.
Q2, written during the 60's CE, which portrayed Jesus as a Jewish apocalyptic prophet.
Q3, written during the mid 70's at a time of turmoil in Palestine with Jesus portrayed as a near-deity who conversed with God and Satan.

The authors of the Gospels of Matthew (circa 80 CE) and Luke (circa 90 CE) wrote their versions using text from Q, Mark and their own unique traditions.
The author of the Gospel of Thomas also used portions of Q1 and Q2 in his writing, but seems to have been unaware of Q3.
This gospel was widely circulated within the early Christian movement but did not make it into the Christian Scriptures

As with so many aspects of Christianity, religious conservatives and liberals take opposing views about Q:
Religious conservatives tend to ignore and turn a blind eye to the Gospel of Q and its surrounding controversy.
Some even believe that the book does not exist.
They believe that God might have caused Matthew, Mark, and Luke to write similar passages when he directly inspired the gospel authors.
Others say that the Gospel of Q may have existed but tell themselves that it is unimportant.
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28 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Stephen A. Haines HALL OF FAME on 3 Mar. 2005
Format: Paperback
The great structure of Christianity rests on four books. Four men, living at different times and in different places, each implying they were present during Jesus' travels and travails, penned their accounts of his life. From these narratives, dogmas were set and an orthodoxy established that has lasted for two millennia. When closely examined, these stories proved to have been written long after Jesus had died. What happened in the ensuing years?
According to Mack, after Jesus died [or disappeared], followers of this teacher formed "study groups" centred in Galilee and southern Syria. They devised sayings attributed to the teacher, exchanged texts, debated meanings, and discussed what they felt significant about his pronouncements. Analysis of the four books revealed some of these writings buried within the larger story. Excavated from the Gospels, these "Q" writings have marginalised the "historical" role of the four books. There must have been many versions of "Q" composed by the members of what Mack calls the "Jesus groups". Whether they were ever collated into a single document will likely never be known, but it's clear the "gospel" writers were aware of them and utilised them.
Resting much of his presentation on the work of John Kloppenborg, Mack shows the likely development of the Q writings in a solid historical setting. With Hellenistic scholars setting the norms for education and intellectual discourse, it's easy to see how the "Q" sayings were formulated. A glance at the social upheavals of the period reveals the environment that caused them to be written. Mack weaves these threads together effectively to produce a vivid picture of the times and the course the writings followed as events unfolded.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By sleepyvinny on 22 April 2007
Format: Paperback
A fascinating voyage of discovery into early and pre-Christianity: one of the most profoundly important periods in human history. There is a lot of detail in this book, yet it is layed out and described very clearly, easily readable for the layman. It comes from a theological historian's point of view, rather than from a purely religious one, and shows many things in a whole new light.

The people of the time of Jesus were facing various socio-political and existential struggles which are very much relevant to the world today, and this book offers a little extra insight into the events of the day, and how movements such as the Greek Cynics attempted to deal with them. It also deals bravely but sensibly with the rather contentious issue of 'who was Jesus?' and what part he played in the events of the times.

One of the main questions left open by the book, is the issue of how to preserve what is good? how to maintain a vibrant set of social values which are full of life, vitality and creativity, without leaving them open to corruption, destortion and decay?

Rather than give away the punchline to the book, I will just say that it is a very credable study which, if taken as seriously as it is due, opens up a whole new can of worms regarding the already checkered history of western religion and the Bible, and its use and abuse by various individuals and political entities for their own ends.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By M. B. P. Lee on 8 April 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Introduction

Like some others, I began to search for the "Historical Jesus" and the "Historical Gospel Authors" in my quest to rationalise the Biblical stories found in the Gospels and to my surprise I discovered that many theologians and academics had already been along this same path in recent years. But this continued search for the origins and truth of our Biblical history has only surfaced in more recent years with the majority of theologians and scholars confining their search from within the 'box,' Biblical writings, so that they would not be immediately rejected as heretics. Authors like D.M.Murdock who wrote, "The Origins of Christianity and the Quest for the Historical Jesus Christ" was published in January 2011, or James K. Bielby and Paul R. Eddy who wrote, "The Historical Jesus: Five Views," in Feb 2010, or Washington Gladden who wrote, "Who Wrote the Bible? A Book for the People" in July 2008, all stayed well within the 'box,' the Gospels, and thus were not able to throw much new light on the "historical Jesus" that was not already obvious. The Gospels have always been accepted by evangelicals as the "historical stories?" of Jesus, his miracles, his resurrection, his being the son of God, and his being the Messiah without question. The Gospels, and her editors have created a masterpiece with their literary skills to present today's edited and re-edited works into a polished book accepted by Christians all over the world. But there still exists sceptics even among scholars and theologians and the lay public.

One such scholar of early Christian history and the New Testament, and Wesley Professor emeritus, who was sceptical of of traditional Christian New Testament was Professor Burton L Mack.
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