The 'Q' Source
There are identical verses in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke. The Markans claim both authors copied from Mark's Gospel. They further assert that Matthew and Luke had no knowledge of each other. So where did they obtain their many identical verses that were not present in Mark's Gospel? Markans say they copied from a lost document, which they call 'Q' from the German word 'Quelle' (Source).
There is not the slightest historical evidence, or even a hint, that 'Q' or its author ever existed. If 'Q' had existed, it would have been the most treasured, copied, precious scroll of Christianity during the first 50-70 years of the new religion. According to the Markans we owe the preservation of 'The Our Father' and 'The Beatitudes' to 'Q'. Mark did not bother to record them. If 'Q' had been the key document containing the sayings of Christ, it would have been passed from hand to hand and read at Services.
Markans want us to believe that the community that produced 'Q' made such few copies that none have been found or have been mentioned by historians. Yet the anonymous authors of the Gospels of Matthew and Luke, unknown to each other, found two rare copies and made them the basis of their writings. Then the communities of both Matthew and Luke lost 'Q'. If 'Q' was so important, multiple copies would have been made for many communities. Markans have not explained how all copies of this key Christian document were lost. Also, how did all knowledge of 'Q' disappear without leaving even a vague reference or echo in any piece of Christian or heretical literature?
Those who hold the Markan theory demand the most stringent proof for the historicity of the Gospels, for which we have much historical evidence. Yet they accept conjectures and theories about 'Q', based on further conjectures and theories for which there is no evidence at all. In reality 'Q' was created out of nothing by theologians in the 19th century, to fill a hole in the Markan priority theory.
Markans describe the period between the time of Christ and the writing of the Gospels as: 'A long dark tunnel'. They have spent years, at the expense of Universities, looking for 'Q' and its author in darkness. But historians tell us the period was short. The 'long' is not a fact, but a further creation. They are working in a long dark tunnel, because they refuse to turn on the lights provided by the ancient historians.
I have no wish to be facetious, but it is necessary to be blunt in order to bring home another important point. The use of familiar names to describe unknown alleged authors, clouds a clear understanding of what Markans wish us to accept.
They call the anonymous authors, they have invented, by the names of actual people (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John). This makes them sound familiar, real and comforting. But, if the Markans are correct, more appropriate names would be: Saints Tom, Dick, Harry and Janette, while not forgetting the venerable 'Q'.
Irenaeus, Eusebius, Tertullian and others had travelled throughout the Roman Empire, and were well educated. Why did they have no knowledge of the alleged anonymous authors or 'Q'? Why did the Jews, heretics and pagans never mention them or it? Why were all the ancient historians and theologians completely ignorant of 'Q'? Or the name of the genius, who had produced the key written account of the life and teaching of Christ? Also, why did all the historians of the period, alleged to have lived far apart, accept the gospels were written by four other men and agree their names and backgrounds?
In Matthew 24:15-16, Luke 21: 20-24 and Mark 13: 14, we read of Christ prophesying the destruction of Jerusalem and its Temple. Apart from Christ's death and resurrection, the destruction in 70 AD was the most momentous religious event in Jewish-Christian history. Yet there is not a word in the Gospels, Epistles or Acts of it having occurred. The conclusion must be that these books were written prior to the catastrophe taking place.
Markans claim prophesies were placed on the lips of Christ by anonymous authors after the destruction had occurred. The prophecies are said to be ex-eventu (i.e. after the event). This claim is made without any supporting evidence but is needed to uphold their theory. So let us look at their assertions.