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4.0 out of 5 stars The challenge remains, 16 Jan. 2010
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This review is from: The Lost Gospel: The Book of Q & Christian Origins (Paperback)
Well it makes me smile a little when these kind of books are published, for many seem to think that here is some kind of knowledge hitherto kept secret by the authorities, now finally revealed. Dan Brown & co. have created a little bit of a wave of hysteria about this. But as Mack shows in this excellent study, textual analysis of the synoptic Gospels, and the reconstruction of the hypothetical source document 'Q' used by the authors of the Gospels of Matthew and Luke alongside that of Mark, has been going on for over 150 years.

As the "Christian Origins" of the subtitle suggets, Mack has an agenda here far beyond textual analysis. He presents several layers of construction of the Gospels, from several versions of the sayings document 'Q' through to extra layers of 'mythologising' (as Mack would have it) added as expectations of the early Christians did not come to fulfilment. Mack sees the historical Jesus as a "Cynic sage", delivering a challenge to society as to how to live their lives. Stripping the 'mythological' element almost makes what remains even more powerful, and the challenge remains even today in our modern world.

For some more scholarly analysis of the reconstructed content of Q in Greek, see for example The Sayings Gospel Q in Greek and English: With Parallels from the Gospels of Mark and Thomas, and Q-Thomas Reader.
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Location: Devon, UK

Top Reviewer Ranking: 149