The people of Q had constructed a very dangerous world in which to live....
Some of these teachings are no doubt much earlier and much more authentically from Jesus/Yeshua than other words that were attributed to him by later persons with a certain religious-political agenda.
On this page, let us explore the sayings and counsels ascribed to Jesus.
(For instance, note the clearly inauthentic, long-winded diatribes against the Pharisee Jews put into Jesus' mouth in the Gospel of Matthew—when Jesus was himself a Pharisee Jew, not an Essene, Zealot, or Sadducee Jew.) For these teachings from rabbi Jesus we draw on the six best sources in our possession today—the reconstructed "Q-text," the crucially important Gospel of Thomas, as well as the well-known synoptic texts Gospel of Mark, Gospel of Luke, and Gospel of Matthew, and, finally, the well-known yet enigmatic Gospel of John.
+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + This no-longer-extant text, named by modern scholars after the German word Quelle, “Source,” was, according to these scholars, a real, written text circulating around 50-85 CE (Common Era).
It was later used by the compilers of the Matthew and Luke Gospels to form their common source of Jesus’ sayings (e.g., see the similarities between Luke, chapter 6 and Matt. A number of Q-sayings parallel those in the Gospel of Thomas.
If we accept the arguments for the existence of this “Book of Q,” then this Q text is, along with much of the material in the Gospel of Thomas, evidently the earliest authentic record we have concerning what Jesus might have taught.
In the Book of Q, Jesus is a sage of “engaged spirituality,” a Jewish-world equivalent of the Greek Cynic sages, who stood in solidarity with the poor and downtrodden, and courageously dared to speak out about injustice, “speaking truth to power,” “comforting the afflicted and afflicting the comfortable.” In the Book of Q, Jesus is also a mysterious figure speaking in various ways about the Kingdom of God (basileia tou theou).
One scholarly camp finds in the Q-text different layers of teachings, all ascribed to Jesus, built up over time as the Q community of Jesus-people (who preserved, interpreted and added to this tradition) underwent various ups and downs, trials and tribulations.
The Q-community seems to have been subject to rejections by outsiders and they themselves rejected those persons (especially Pharisee Jews) critical of the movement or not loyal to the movement and/or Jesus.