(published in n.s. 6 (1996), Thessaloniki, pp.111-30)

The proper understanding of the Eucharist has always been a stumbling block in christian theology and life; not only at the start of the christian community when the church had to struggle against a multitude of mystery cults, but also much later when scholastic theology (mostly in the West) has systematized a latent "sacramentalistic" view of the  Mystery par excellence  of the One undivided Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church.  In vain distinguished theologians of the East (most notably in the case of Cabasilas) attempted to redefine the christian sacramental theology on the basis of the Trinitarian theology. Seen from a modern theological perspective, this was a desperate attempt to reject certain tendencies which overemphasized the importance of Christology at the expense - and to the detriment - of the importance of the role of the Holy Spirit. The controversy between East and West on the issues of the filioque, the epiclesis etc. are well known[1], though their consequences to the sacramental theology of the Church have yet to be fully and systematically examined.  The tragic consequences of those tendencies were in fact felt a few generations after the final Schism between East and West with the further division of Western Christianity. One of the main focuses during the Reformation, and rightly so, was the "sacramentalistic" understanding of the Eucharist in Western Christianity which resulted,  among other things, in the departure of the mainstream protestant theology from the early  christian sacramental theology.  The dialectic opposition between "sacramentantalism" on the one hand, and "the complete rejection of sacraments" on the other, was the main reason of the tragic secularization of our society and the  transformation of the Church into a religion, in some cases a cultic religion. Unfortunately, this mounting sacramentalism of the medieval catholicism has also influenced Eastern Christianity too, if not in theology at least certainly in piety and liturgical practice[2].

In a recent study of mine on the johannine understanding of the Eucharist[3] I came to the following conclusion:

In John we have the beginnings of what has become axiomatic in Christian  theology:  To have eternal life -  in other words to live in a true and authentic way and not just live a conventional life -  one has to be in communion with Christ. Communion with Christ, however, means participation in the perfect communion, which exists within the Holy Trinity between the Father and the Son ("Just as the living Father sent me, and I live through the Father, he who eats me will live through me 6:57). What we have here in John, is in fact a parallel expression to the classic statement of II Peter " " (partakers of the divine nature, 1:4), which has become in later patristic literature the biblical foundation of the doctrine of divinization (). In the case of the Gospel of John, however, this idea is expressed in a more descriptive and  less abstract way that in II Peter. If we now take this argument  a little further, we can say that johannine theology more fully develops the earlier interpretation of the Eucharist as the continually repeated act of sealing the "new covenant" of God with his new people. This interpretation  is evidenced in the synoptic and pauline tradition, although there the covenantal interpretation of Jesus' death in the phrase "this is my blood of the covenant" (Mk 14:24 par and I Cor 11:25), is somewhat hidden by the soteriological formula "which is shed for you" (ibid.).[4]

What comes out of this understanding of the Eucharist by John with its more direct emphasis on the idea of the covenant, of communion, is the transformation of Jeremiah's vision - which was at the same time also a promise - from a marginal to a central feature. Just as in the book of Jeremiah, so also in John it is the ideas of a new covenant, of communion,  and of the Church as a people, that are most strongly emphasized. Listen to what the prophet was saying: "and I will make a covenant. . . a new covenant",  Jer 38.31; and "I will give them a heart ( ) to know that I am the Lord....and they shall be unto me a people",  Jer 24.7).

If any conclusion is to be drawn from the....analysis of the johannine eucharistic understanding, this is an affirmation of the ecclesiological dimension of...the Eucharist as a communion event and not as an act of personal devotion; an expression of the Church as the people of God and as the Body of Christ mystically united with its head, and not a sacramentalist quasi-magical rite[5]. More precisely, the eucharistic theology of the Gospel of John is beyond any notion related to sacramental practices of the ancient Mystery cults. The Eucharist as the unique and primary Sacrament of the Church cannot be related to "sacramentalism"; it is rather an expression of the communion of the people of God, which in turn is a reflection of the communion that exists between the persons of the Holy Trinity.[6]

This understanding of the Eucharist, not so much as a cult or rite, but primarily as a dynamic expression of the people of God and a proleptic manifestation of the Kingdom to come,  evidenced at the end of the apostolic era,  i.e. at almost the last end of the spectrum of the N.T. literature, if it is to be correct, or at least of some value for discovering the authentic character of Eucharist, it has to be tested by reference to the other end of the spectrum, the most ancient stage of primitive christianity, i.e. the Q-Document.[7]

 In a recent servey of the N.T. evidence on the Eucharist in the revised edition of The Study of Liturgy,[8] prepared by a the late Cheslyn Jones and slightly revised by C.J.A.Hickling, there is no mention at all the pre-pauline christianity. The common view till very recently was that there is no history, or more precisely the pre-history,[9] of Eucharist prior to Paul, i.e. prior to the mid-50s. However, there has been recently a great progress in N.T. scholarship, and especially in Q studies. Modern biblical theology more and more focus attention to Q, and the understanding of Church origins  has been undoubtedly determined by the hypothesis of the second  source of the Synoptic tradition, now lost, which expounds a radically different theological stance from the mainstream kerygmatic expression of the early Church. H.W.Attridge has stated that recent research on Q has revealed the complexity of early Christian literary activity and also contributed to a reassessment of the originating impulse(s) of the whole Christian movement.[10]


In a series of articles during the last two decades[11] I have considered the Q-Hypothesis from the literary critical point of view, and have claimed that St. Matthew and St. Luke had used independently of each other another common source beside Mark. This source, which is referred to as Q or Q-Source, but which is better attested as Q-Document, was a single written document, consisting of about 200 verses which form a literary whole.

Apart from the historical value of this source, what is more important is its theological characteristics. Questions like "What was the document's theological character?" "Was it a document with any christological significance  or was just aimed for purely catechetical purposes?", "Is there any  relationship between Q and wisdom tradition?" "Is there any relationship between the Q-Document and the Gospel of Mark, our earliest written Gospel?", have puzzled N.T. scholars for more than two generations.[12] And if schorarly research on the various literary characteristics of the Q-Document went through different and sometimes contradictory stages to reach its almost final statement, the same procedure is inevitebly to be expected with regard to the debate on its theological character and function. Clues for these are only provided internally. Two points are particularly important: on the one hand, the prevailing view that Q consists almost entirely of sayings material, and on the other, the complete absence of any material concerning the passion Kerygma and the theologia crucis in general.

With the relationship between the Q-Document and the Gospel of Mark, a problem that is relevant to our subject, since Mark is considered the best attestation of theologia crucis, we dealt in another article[13]. After examining the different solutions proposed in the past, namely (a) The Q-Document's dependence on Mark[14], (b) Mark's dependence on the Q-Document,[15] (c) mutual independence of Mark and Q,[16] and (d) a compromise solution between b and c,[17] we came to the following conclusion: Despite the almost unanimously prevailed view in recent scholarship about the mutual independence of the two main sources of the synoptic tradition, the whole problem needs radical reconsideration. According to our view:

"two points at least seem quite clear: Firstly the Q-Document cannot have depended on Mark; and secondly, the relationship between Mark and Q has to be determined on grounds other than literary. The whole problem, therefore, would seem to reduce itself to the following questions: (i) Did St. Mark have any knowledge of Q-traditions? (ii) If he did, is there any explicit evidence that he was aquainted with the Q-Document itself? (iii) If he was, did he derive any material therefrom? and finally (iv) If so, was his attitude to the Q-materials receptive or critical?"[18]

Only such a procedure can lead us to a critically acceptable solution of the Q-Marcan relationships.[19]

The survey of the Q-Marcan relations gives us a taste of the investigation of the more general question on the theology of Q. This question during the last two decades came vigorously to the foreground, with the american school,  more precisely the Q Seminar of the Society of Biblical Literature,  which under the strong leadership of influential scholars like J.M.Robinson and H.Koester attempted a stratigraphic analysis and redactional division os the various stages or clusters of the entire non Marcan sayings material  loosly described as Q, most notably in the case of J.S.Kloppenborg[20]. In Europe P.Hoffmann, from the Catholic University of Bamberg, Germany, who is also engaged in the International Q-Project (together with Robinson and Kloppenborg[21]), has just published  his minor Q studies[22], in an attempt to repair, as he says, to a deficit in (his) Habilitationsschrift, Studien zur Theologie der Logienquelle.[23]

The history of investigation on the theology of Q is divided into four stages, the turning points of which were the monumental works of A.Harnack[24],  H.E.Tödt[25] and the joint volume by H.Köster and J.M.Robinson[26].

The conclusions I reached  in my doctoral thesis conducted almost twenty years ago under the supervision of Prof. S.Agouridis, are valid even today, being the consensus of the recent Q research. And they run as follows[27]:

1. One definite conclusion from the investigation into the Q-Document is that it can no longer be  considered as a Manual of Ethics. Apart from the fact that it also includes some narratives, either in integral form (cf. Lk 10.16ff. par), or as framing discourse material Lk 7.19ff. par; Lk 11.14ff. par.), a sufficient number of verses (cf. Lk 10.21f. par, Lk 4.1-13 par, Lk 11.14ff. par, Lk 7.18-35 par, i.e. passages with clear traces of christological colouring) suggest that the interests of the collector/compiler of the Q-Document, as well as of the community that lies behind it, were not didactic or hortatory. In addition, the familiar scene of the inauguration-call of the Prophets seems to have a parallel in the Temptation (and probably Baptism) story (Lk 4.1ff. par.). The similarities, however, of the Q-Document with the O.T. prophetic books does not necessarily mean that Q faithfully follows their pattern[28].

The eschatological element, which was neglected by Harnack, but accepted by Manson and so vigorously emphasized by Tödt and W.D.Davies is clearly prominent in Q. This applies both in the wider existentialist sence[29], i.e. the demand for a decision (cf. Davies' view)[30]. The strong expectation of the coming judgement in which Jesus will appear as Son of Man is to a considerable extent dominant in the Q-Document. Stanton's attack was succesful only in diminishing the strength of the argument. The formal evidence of the "eschatological correlative" structure to which Edwards has drawn attention may be adduced as a further argument.

The most important result, however, of Q-research at the present stage is certainly the christological significance of the Q-Document. The community behind this document, if not the document itself, was concerned with the vital question "Who was Jesus?". But to detect the answer to this question with any precision is an extremely difficult task. As Stanton has pointed out, the  Q-material is so varied that precludes a single solution. On the other hand all Q passages are available only in their Lucan or Matthaean edited form.

In these circumstances all that can be done is to spell out the most characteristic christological implications of Q. And in this respect the most prominent of all is undoubtedly the Son-of-Man christology. As it is well known, from all three kinds of the Son-of-Man sayings of the Gospel tradition, namely those referring to his earthly activity, his future coming and his passion and resurrection, the last one which is so prominent to the Gospel of Mark (and consequently to all our present Synoptics) is entirely absent from Q. However, the problem of the relationship between the Son of Man acting on earth and the coming one has not yet been solved.[31] What we can, therefore, say with a fair amount of certainty is that christology in Q was of a quite different kind from that of the mainstream primitive Orthodoxy.

To this very important characteristic of the Q-material one can also add the important notion of Jesus' rejection  by his own people[32]. However, so far as the Q-Document is concerned, this rejection has nothing to do with Jesus' giving voluntarily "his soul as a ransom for many" (Mk 10.45 par.). It is something which can be better understood on the analogy of the O.T. prophets[33], or even on the analogy of the ancient myth of the personified Wisdom. In Bultmann's words this myth runs as follows: "The pre-existent Wisdom, God's companion at creation, seeks a dwelling on earth among men; but she seeks it in vain; her preaching is rejected. She comes to her own, but her own do not receive her. She returns, therefore, to the heavenly world and dwells there in concealment"[34]. Of course, the Q community did not fully develop a wisdom christology, and in addition, the Sophia tradition is limited to only four or five passages (Lk 7.35 par; 10.21f. par; 11,49-51 par; 13.34f. par; and perhaps 11.31 par).[35] It is, however, to these passages, generally agreed to be of a wisdom influence, that the notion of Jesus' rejection is limited, too; and this can hardly be a coincidence. Nevertheless wisdom motifs, although undisputably present in Q, are not of primary significance.

Apart from these most important theological characteristics of the Q-Document, one should not forget that missionary motifs have also played a part at least in the collection of some Q materials. By putting the emphasis on the ecumenical character of the christian message the Q-Document gave a strong impetus on missionary activities in the Early Church.[36] We cannot also ingnore that, despite the non-catechetical character of the Q-Document, there is still much in it which presents Jesus as the teacher of the community, thus bringing in mind a parallel situation in the Qumran community. The Q community seems also to have been fully aware of the O.T. thought,[37] but the use of the LXX in Q is very limited.[38] In general, the Q-Document fits better in a Jewish - Syrian milieu, where, in addition, the prestige of John the Baptist was considerably high. We have elsewhere shown that the reference to the Baptist in Q covers about 1/10 of the whole document.[39] But "although John is presented in it as functioning in the context of Heilsgeschichte, he still remains outside the Christian Kerygma with a significance of his own".[40]

2. These are the most apparent indications of the theological characteristics of the Q-Document. However, to go any further and give a more accurate account of the theology of Q based solely on the extant readings of Matthew and Luke would be mere postulation. Since the Q sayings are now preserved only within their Matthaean and Lucan contexts, it is extremely difficult to know with some degree of certainty whether or not the emphasis, which the author (or the community) of Q put on certain logia, has been accepted by the later Synoptists.  N.T. criticism has reached the conclusion that at least in few cases (cf. e.g. Lk 11,49 par; Lk 7,35 par)[41]  there are obvious indications of a later redaction by one of the later Synoptists. With that in mind one can also account for certain theological expressions in Q which both the later Synoptists, and independently of each other, modified in the same or different directions. The fact that Q did not serve purely didactic purposes but rather theological ones favours such a view.

  One may question the current american trend to argue that the Q-Document should be read through Gnostic spectacles, and therefore be closely connected with later Gnosticism. That it belongs, however, to a tradition alien to what comes out of the Acts and Pauline evidence is a reasonably based hypothesis. Granted that the Q-Document did exist in a written form,[42] the lack of any reference to it in all early Christian literature supports the hypothesis. In addition, the insistence of the Gospel of Thomas, a non orthodox writing, that whoever finds the finds the explanation of these words (), will not taste death,[43] as well as the sharp distinction made by Polycarp of Smyrna, an admitted leader of early orthodoxy, between the theology of the Cross and the logia tradition in favour of the former,[44] strongly supports the view that the Q-Document did not develop along the lines of Pauline, or even Jerusalem theology. It is more likely t have been the product of a christian community which was outside the sphere of the direct influence of the Pauline and Jerusalem churches, i.e. of what has come to be called the Primitive Orthodoxy.

If, however, it is extremely difficult to go beyond the possible redaction made by both Matthew and Luke which could have perhaps enabled us to uncover the hidden theology of Q, there is another legitimate way forward: to consider the final arrangement and grouping of the Q materials. According to the preceedural principles set up by us[45] and accepted by J.S.Kloppenborg,[46] the Q-Document must have consisted originally of the following verses (we give below only the Lucan verses; those passages detected by the last two principles, and therefore less probable, are given in brackets): Lk. iii 7-9, 16b f.; iv 1-13; vi 20-23, 27-38, 41-49; vii 1-10, 18-20, 22-28 (Mt. xi 12f.), Lk. vii 31-35; ix 57-60a, (60b-62); x 2-3, (Mt. x 16b), Lk. x 4-16, (19-20), 21-24; xi (2-4), 9-26, (27f.), 29-32, 39-52; xii 2-12, 22-31, (32-38), 39f., 42-46, (49,51-56); xiii 18-21, (23-30), 34f.; xvii 23-37; (xxi 34-36). Unbracketed verses 175; Total verses 211. The above verses certainly form the core of the Q-Document. One possibility, nevertheless, has to be taken seriously into account; namely that some sayings, though not many, might have been totally eliminated by St. Matthew and St. Luke mainly because of the Q-Document's different theological orientation.[47]

The verses detected by our principles can be easily classified under the following headings (in each section we give only the first and last Lukan verses of the table including those in brackets): (i) Prologue: (a) John the Baptist and Jesus (Lk. iii 7-17); (b) The Confirmation of Jesus' authority: The Temptations (Lk. iv 1-13); (ii) Jesus' Teaching (Lk. vi 20-49); (iii) Response to Jesus' Teaching (Lk. vii i-ix 62); (iv) Jesus and his Disciples (Lk. x 2 -xi 13); (v) Jesus and his Opponents (Lk. xi 14 - xii 4); (vi) The Time of Crisis and Preparation for it (Lk. xii 5 - xiii 35); (vii) Epilogue: The Eschatological Discourse (Lk. xvii 23 - xxi 34).

If this procedure is at all sound, then the Q-Document must have run as follows: It starts with a reference to the Baptist's appearance followed by a short account of his eschatological teaching, and a confession of Jesus higher authority. This authority of Jesus is tested by a number of temptations which in fact bear witness to his origin (Son of God). After that confirmation, Jesus addresses the crowd with his authoritative teaching. The response of the people is immediate, ranging from some Gentiles to John's disciples and other individuals. Those who follow him and accept his teaching are involved in a mission to the world which also includes the healing of the sick. Jesus rejoices at the success of that mission. He thanks his Father, blesses his followers, and teaches them how to pray, ensuring at the same time God's response. On the other hand, those who reject him are confronted with him in a series of controversies which culminate with Jesus' denunciation of the scribes and Pharisses. This confrontation brings, in effect, crisis to Israel, the climax of which is to come at the End of the time, involving heavy persecutions for those who have followed him. Jesus exhorts them to stand firm and to confess fearlessly, and advices them not to care about earthly things; and of course, "to be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour, when (they) are not expecting him" (Lk 12.40=Mt 24.44). Jesus makes this clear in a series of parables and isolated sayings, at the end of which he weaps over Jerusalem because of the disobedience of her people. The entire document ends with an eschatological discourse which refers to the soon expected Day of the Son of Man.[48]

From the above reconstruction and classification of its material the Q-Document does not seem to reveal the historical interest our canonical four Gospels show. Its most important feature is the complete lack of the passion narrative. And not only that; it also lacks all references to the passion, either as direct predictions (Mk 8.31 par; 9.31 par; 10.33f par) or as indirect hints (Mk 10.38 par etc.). This is almost an evidence (though ex silentio) that the collector/compiler of the Q-Document had no interest on the historical basis of the christian message which culminates according to almost all canonical evidence to Jesus' Cross and Resurrection. It is also quite characteristic that the essential term é,[49]  which in both the Pauline and the canonical Synoptic tradition is connected with the kerygma about Jesus' earthly life, his Cross and Resurrection, is nowhere to be found in Q. Similarly, the Q-Document never refers to "the twelve,"[50] either by name or as a term designating the historical dimension of the christian message. In other words, the center of gravity in Q's theology  is the eschatological dimension of the christian movement.


At the first glance we get the impression that there is no reference to the Eucharist in Q. But this can hardly be a strong argument against,  since even the 4th Evangelist, who is rightly considered as the sacramental theologian par excellence,[51] omits e.g. the words of institution of the Eucharist.[52]  After all, we have to  remind ourselves  that in the entire N.T. we have only a skeletal pre-history of the liturgical praxis of the primitive church, based on small pieces of evidence, to be pieced together knowing that many of the bits are irretrievably lost.[53]

 The issue at stake here is whether the understanding of what is viewed as the expression the churchs identity  as a koinonia of the eschata, i.e. the Eucharist, is at all related to the "sacramentalistic" views both of the ancient, contemporary to the early Church, Hellenistic Mystery Cults, and also of some later christian practice. And with this in mind  one should consider the place of Eucharist in Q on a different level. The reconstruction of the Q-Document, we attemped above, if it is viewed as a guiding principle for uncovering the theological characteristics of the community behind it, it can also provide some hints for what we broadly call Eucharist.

Exegetes, as well as liturgists, are still puzzled[54] about what it appears as a seeming dissimilarity between the N.T. evidence and our earliest account in the post-apostolic period, with regard to the process of events in the celebration of the Eucharist: first the eucharistic meal and then an extended period of common prayer and praise and of teaching (Synoptic Last Supper accounts and Paul, at least in Corinth), or the other way around (Justin, and the churchs practice thereafter). Jones-Hickling have stated that how and when this reversal took place we do not know; it turned out to be universal, and so it may have happened quite early, early enough to be reflected in Luke 24.25-35 and possibly in John 6, where extended teaching precedes the allusion to the Eucharist (if such it is) at vv. 51-58.[55]

The structure of the Q-Document exhibits a stiking parallel with the churchs celebration of the Eucharist, as first described by Justin Martyr in his 1st Apology  65, where the celebration was preceded by biblical readings, sermon and intercession. If we take the entire section of Q on Jesus Teaching together with the one on Response to Jesus Teaching as the universal christian liturgical rite which precedes the Eucharist proper, i.e. The Liturgy of the Word, then all one has to find is some connection of the following section (Jesus and his Disciples) with the Eucharistic Liturgy. It is indeed striking that Jesus Thanksgiving (eucharistia)  to the Father (Lk 10.21f. par) not only resembles to the liturgical anaphora  of  the later christian Eucharistic rite, but it is also structured in regard to the Lords Prayer  in exactly the same way with the post-anaphora rites. Both in the Q-Document and in the Eucharistic Liturgy the Lords Prayer follows the Anaphora.

The question which arises is whether the evidence allows the argument that the Q-Document is throughout structured according to the primitive churchs eucharistic practice. The answer to that question should be definitely no; but if we take the Eucharist neither as a cult nor as a ritual, but as the living expression of the ecclesiological identity of the early christian community as the koinonia of the eschata,[56] in other words as the vivid act of the community by which the faithful proleptically lived the coming Kingdom of God, then the answer could be: yes there some connection between the most eschatologically oriented document of the N.T. tradition  (Q) and the most eschatological act of the christian community (Eucharist).[57]



The Structure of Q

(with details of the Eucharistic Section)

                                                                              (N.B. : Chapters & vv. Lukan)

I. Prologue ...

 II. Jesus' Teaching ...                              (

                                                              }  (=T h e   L i t u r g y   o f   t h e   W o r d?)

III.  Response to Jesus Teaching  ...... ..(


IV. Jesus and his Disciples                     } (=T h e   E u c h a r i s t i c   L i t u r g y?)

      a.  Mission Charge

 10:2 e[legen de; pro;" aujtouv", O me;n qerismo;" poluv", oiJ de; ejrgavtai ojlivgoi: dehvqhte ou\n tou' kurivou tou' qerismou' o{pw" ejrgavta" ejkbavlh/ eij" to;n qerismo;n aujtou'.  uJpavgete: ijdou; ajpostevllw uJma'" wJ" a[rna" ejn mevsw/ luvkwn. mh; bastavzete ballavntion, mh; phvran, mh; uJpodhvmata, kai; mhdevna kata; th;n oJdo;n ajspavshsqe. eij" h}n d a]n eijsevlqhte oijkivan, prw'ton levgete, Eijrhvnh tw'/ oi[kw/ touvtw/. kai; eja;n ejkei' h\/ uiJo;" eijrhvnh", ejpanapahvsetai ejp aujto;n hJ eijrhvnh uJmw'n: eij de; mhv ge, ejf uJma'" ajnakavmyei. ejn aujth'/ de; th'/ oijkiva/ mevnete, ejsqivonte" kai; pivnonte" ta; par aujtw'n, a[xio" ga;r oJ ejrgavth" tou' misqou' aujtou'. mh; metabaivnete ejx oijkiva" eij" oijkivan. kai; eij" h}n a]n povlin eijsevrchsqe kai; devcwntai uJma'", ejsqivete ta; paratiqevmena uJmi'n, kai; qerapeuvete tou;" ejn aujth'/ ajsqenei'", kai; levgete aujtoi'", Hggiken ejf uJma'" hJ basileiva tou' qeou'. eij" h}n d a]n povlin eijsevlqhte kai; mh; devcwntai uJma'", ejxelqovnte" eij" ta;" plateiva" aujth'" ei[pate, Kai; to;n koniorto;n to;n kollhqevnta hJmi'n ejk th'" povlew" uJmw'n eij" tou;" povda" ajpomassovmeqa uJmi'n: plh;n tou'to ginwvskete o{ti h[ggiken hJ basileiva tou' qeou'. levgw uJmi'n o{ti Sodovmoi" ejn th'/ hJmevra/ ejkeivnh/ ajnektovteron e[stai h] th'/ povlei ejkeivnh/.

      b.  Woes to towns of Galilee

10:13  Oujaiv soi, Corazivn: oujaiv soi, Bhqsai>dav: o{ti eij ejn Tuvrw/ kai; Sidw'ni ejgenhvqhsan aiJ dunavmei" aiJ genovmenai ejn uJmi'n, pavlai a]n ejn savkkw/ kai; spodw'/ kaqhvmenoi metenovhsan.  plh;n Tuvrw/ kai; Sidw'ni ajnektovteron e[stai ejn th'/ krivsei h] uJmi'n.  kai; suv, Kafarnaouvm,

           mh; e{w" oujranou' uJywqhvsh/

                 e{w" tou' a{/dou katabhvsh/.

    O ajkouvwn uJmw'n ejmou' ajkouvei, kai; oJ ajqetw'n uJma'" ejme; ajqetei': oJ de; ejme; ajqetw'n ajqetei' to;n ajposteivlantav me.


      c.  Jesus Thanksgiving to the Father      } (=T h e   A n a p h o r a?)

 10:21  En aujth'/ th'/ w{ra/ hjgalliavsato ejn tw'/ pneuvmati tw'/ aJgivw/ kai; ei\pen,

     Exomologou'maiv soi, pavter,

               kuvrie tou' oujranou' kai; th'" gh'",

                         o{ti ajpevkruya" tau'ta ajpo; sofw'n kai; sunetw'n,

              kai; ajpekavluya" aujta; nhpivoi":

               naiv, oJ pathvr, o{ti ou{tw" eujdokiva ejgevneto e[mprosqevn sou

                    Pavnta moi paredovqh uJpo; tou' patrov" mou,

     kai; oujdei;" ginwvskei tiv" ejstin oJ uiJo;" eij mh; oJ pathvr,

kai; tiv" ejstin oJ path;r eij mh; oJ uiJo;"

          kai; w|/ eja;n bouvlhtai oJ uiJo;" ajpokaluvyai.

      d.  Jesus   Blessing of his Disciples

 10:23 Kai; strafei;" pro;" tou;" maqhta;" kat ijdivan ei\pen, Makavrioi oiJ ojfqalmoi; oiJ blevponte" a} blevpete.  levgw ga;r uJmi'n o{ti polloi; profh'tai kai; basilei'" hjqevlhsan ijdei'n a} uJmei'" blevpete kai; oujk ei\dan, kai; ajkou'sai a} ajkouvete kai; oujk h[kousan.

           e. The Lords Prayer   (=T h e   P o s t - a n a p h o r a   L o r d s   P r a y e r?)

 11:2 ei\pen de; aujtoi'", Otan proseuvchsqe, levgete,

     Pavter, aJgiasqhvtw to; o[nomav sou:

            ejlqevtw hJ basileiva sou:

              to;n a[rton hJmw'n to;n ejpiouvsion divdou hJmi'n to; kaq hJmevran:

         kai; a[fe" hJmi'n ta;" aJmartiva" hJmw'n,

             kai; ga;r aujtoi; ajfivomen panti; ojfeivlonti hJmi'n:

                 kai; mh; eijsenevgkh/" hJma'" eij" peirasmovn.


               f.  Gods answering of Prayer


11:9 kajgw; uJmi'n levgw, aijtei'te, kai; doqhvsetai uJmi'n: zhtei'te, kai; euJrhvsete: krouvete, kai; ajnoighvsetai uJmi'n. pa'" ga;r oJ aijtw'n lambavnei, kai; oJ zhtw'n euJrivskei, kai; tw'/ krouvonti ajnoighvsetai. tivna de; ejx uJmw'n to;n patevra aijthvsei oJ uiJo;" ijcquvn, kai; ajnti; ijcquvo" o[fin aujtw'/ ejpidwvsei  h] kai; aijthvsei wj/ovn, ejpidwvsei aujtw'/ skorpivon  eij ou\n uJmei'" ponhroi; uJpavrconte" oi[date dovmata ajgaqa; didovnai toi'" tevknoi" uJmw'n, povsw/ ma'llon oJ path;r oJ ejx oujranou' dwvsei pneu'ma a{gion toi'" aijtou'sin aujtovn.




V. Jesus and his  Opponents ....

 VI.The Time of Crisis and Preparation for it....

 VII. Epilogue. The Eschatological Discourse (The Coming of the Son of Man).

*A lecture given to the faculty and post-graduate students of the University of Lund, during my official visit as a guest professor, April-May 1995. 

[1]Cf. my "Orthodox Theology Facing the 21st Century," GOTR  34  (1990) 139-150; also my "Orthodoxy and the West," Orthodoxy at the Crossroad, Thessaloniki 1992, 91ff. (in Greek).

[2]Cf. my Eucharistic and Therepeutic Spirituality, Lex Orandi. Studies  of Liturgical Theology, Thessaloniki 1994 107-135.

[3]The Meaning of Sacrament in St. Johns Gospel, Orthodoxy at the Crossroad, pp. 169-190.

[4]More on this in myCross and Salvation, Thessaloniki 1983 (in Greek), an english summary of which can be found in a paper of mine delivered at the 1984 annual Leuven Colloquium (: Centre of the Pauline Soteriology and Apostolic Ministry, A.Vanhoye [ed.], LApôtre Paul. Personnalité, Style et Conception du Ministère, BETL LXXIII, Leuven U.P. 1986, 246-253).

[5]Cf also J.Zizioulas affirmation that "when it is understood in its correct and primitive sense - and not how it has come to be regarded even in Orthodoxy under the influence Western scholasticism - the eucharist is first of all an assembly (), a community a network of relations..."(Being as Communion. Studies in Personhood and the Church,  New York, SVS Press 1985, p.60). Cf. also his interesting remark:"the Fourth Gospel identifies eternal life, i.e. life without death, with truth and knowledge, (which) can be accomplished only if the individualization of nature becomes transformed into communion - that is if communion becomes identical with being. Truth, once again, must be communion if it is to be life" (p. 105).

[6]The Meaning of Sacrament in St. Johns Gospel, pp. 188ff.

[7]An updated bibliography on Q - though  covering only the scholarly research in North America, Great Britain and Germany -  is found in the 1991 special issue of Semeia 55 (pp. 245-265), which under the title, Early Christianity, Q and Jesus , was devoted to the 1983-1989 work of the Q Seminar. A full and updated bibliography on Q is about to be published by the International Q Project.

[8]C.P.M.Jones (revised by C.J.A.Hickling), The Eucharist: I. The New Testament, The Study of Liturgy. Revised Edition, SPCK London 1992, pp. 184-209.

[9] A.C.Couratin, "Liturgy," in The Pelican Guide to Modern Theology, vol. 2, Historical Theology, 1969, pp. 131-240.

[10]H.W.Attridge, Reflections on Research into Q, Semeia  55 (1991) 223-34, p.223.

[11]"Did Q Exist?",\E d 1 (1980) 287-327; "The Nature and Extent of the Q-Document", NT 20 (1978) 49-73. (The above articles are the english versions of my doctoral dissertation in modern Greek: H , Athens 1977. Some paragraphs of what follows is an English version of ch. III of that dissertation); The Original Order of Q. Some Residual Cases, J.Delobel (ed.), Logia, Leuven 1982, 379-387.

[12]P.Vassiliadis, "Prolegomena to a discussion on the Relationship Between Mark and the Q-Document", B M  3 (1975) 31-46.


[14] This view was put forward by J.Wellhausen and A.Julicher (ibid, pp. 32-33).

[15] This was maintained on literary grounds by B. Weiss, A. Loisy, M. Goguel, W. Sanday, B.W. Bacon and F.C. Grant (ibid, pp. 33-36).

[16] This was first maintained by A.Harnack, J.Moffatt, B.H.Streeter and B.H.Throckmorton (ibid, pp.  36-39).

[17] A.Meyer, A.E.J.Rawlinson and T.E.F.Honey have maintained that Mark had used not the Q-Document itself but a source similar to it (QR, q etc.)

[18]P.Vassiliadis, "Prolegomena...", p. 45.

[19]Cf. also most recently B.L.Mack, Q and the Gospel of Mark: Revisiting Christian Origins, Semeia 55 (1991), pp. 15-39; and J.Schüling, Studien zum Verhältnis von Logienquelle und  Markusevangelium, Würzburg 1991.

[20]From an extensive list of his studies I put aside his major work The Formation of Q: Trajectories in Ancient Wisdom Collections, Philadelphia 1987, which was characterized by Robinson in the forward as the latest word on the Q scholarship; cf. also the special issue of Semeia 55 (1991), which under the title, Early Christianity, Q and Jesus , was devoted to the 1983-1989 work of the Q Seminar.

[21]Under preparation is a complete list of the Q bibliography and a critical edition of Q text.

[22]Tradition und Situation. Studien zur Jesusüberlieferung in der Logienquelle und den synoptisvhen Evangelien, NTA n.F. 28, Münster 1995

[23]Münster 31982. The quotation from p. 159 of his recent article The Radaction of Q and the Son of Man: A Preliminary Sketch, R.A.Piper (ed.), The Gospel Behind the Gospels. Current Studies on Q, E.J.Brill, 1995, 159-198.

[24]Sprüche und Reden Jesu: Die zweite Quelle des Matthäus und Lukas, Leipzig, 1907, translated into English under the title The Sayings of Jesus , London, 1908.

[25]Der Menschensohn in der synoptischen Uberlieferung , Gutersloh, 1959, translated into English under the title  The Son of Man in the Synoptic Tradition,  London, 1965. Tödt deals with Q in detail in pp. 232ff.

[26]Trajectories Through Early Christianity,  Philadelphia, 1971, pp. 71-113

[27]What follows is an almost verbatim translation of the conclusions (pp. 143ff.) of ch. III of my , where I reviewed the scholarship on the theological characteristics of Q up to that period.

[28]See also G.N.Stantons remarks ("On the Christology of Q," B. Lindars-S.Smalley (eds.), Christ and Spirit in the N.T.: Studies in Honour of  C.F.D.Moule, Cambridge 1973, 27-42, p. 39).

[29]We are following here O.Cullmann's terminology (Salvation in History, ET London 1967, pp. 78-79).

[30]According to S.Agourides ( , Athens 1975) Jesus demands from his disciples "either all or nothing".

[31]Cf. R.H.Fuller, The New Testament in Current Study, London 1963, p. 91.  Most recently  J.M.Robinson (The Son of Man in the Sayings Gospel Q, C.Elsas and others (eds.), Tradition and Translation . Festschrift für C.Colpe zum 65. Geburstag, Walter de Gruyter Berlin & New York 1994 315-335) has argued that Q tended to indicate the initial stages of the christological development from a non-titular, non-apocalyptic idiom of a generic meaning, that by implication could have especially the speaker in mind, as used by Jesus (p. 335).

[32]D.Lührmann,Die Redaktion der Logienquelle, Neukirchen 1969,expresses the same view by referring to the tension between Jesus and this generation (   pp. 24ff ).

[33]Cf. O.H.Steck, Israel und das gewaltsame Geschick der Propheten, Neukirchen 1967, esp. p. 253ff.

[34]R.Bultmann, "Die religionsgeschichtliche Hintergrund des Prologs zum Johannesevagelium", EYXAPITHPION: Studien zur Religion und Literatur des Alten und Neuen Testaments. H. Gungel zum 60. Geburtstag II (1923), pp.10f.

[35]Cf.F.Christi, Jesus Sophia:Die Sophia-Christologie bei den Synoptikern, Zürich 1970, pp.61f; cf. also Lk 9.58=Mt 8.20.

[36]S.Agourides, E .., Athens 1971, 108.

[37]J.C.Hawkins, "Probabilities as to the so-called Double Tradition of St.Matthew and St,Luke," W.Sanday (ed.), Oxford Studies on the Synoptic Problem, 95-138, p. 128.

[38]The use of LXX apart from Lk 7,27 is limited only to the narrative of Temptation. S.E. Johnson ("The Biblical Quotations in Matthew," HTR 36 (1943), 135-53, esp. pp. 144f.) has argued that the Q-Document, before its use by the later synoptists, had been influenced by LXX. Cf. also idem, "The LXX and the New Testament", JBL 56 (1937), 331-45.

[39]P.Vassiliadis, "The Function of John the Baptist in Q and Mark", 46 (1975), 406.

[40]Ibid. 412, 408.

[41]In the first instance St. Matthew has changed the more authentic (Lk 11.49a) with the word "" (Mt 18.34), thus identifying Jesus with the personified Wisdom. Similarly in the second case "" (Lk 7.35) has been replaced by "" in Mt 11.19.

[42] The Nature and Extent of the Q-Document;  also The Original Order of Q.

[43]This is the introductory logion of the Gnostic Gospel of St. Thomas, also to be found in Greek in the 654th Oxythynchus papyrus; cf. J.A. Fitzmyer, "The Oxyrhynchus Logoi of Jesus and the Coptic Gospel according to Thomas", TS  20 (1959) 505-60.

[44]Cf. .. (Phil VIII,1; italics  mine).

[45] "The Nature and Extent of the Q-Document", pp. 66ff.

[46]The Formation of Q, pp. 83ff.(sound and responsible criteria, p. 84; application of the criteria suggested by Vassiliadis lead to the conclusion.., p. 88).

[47]After examining the role John the Baptist plays in Q and Mark ("The Function of John the Baptist in Q and Mark,"), as well as the alleged anti-Baptist attitude of the 4th Gospel, ("The Problem of John the Baptist in the Fourth Gospel", B M  4 [1976],  pp. 99ff.), we started becoming more and more convinced that the Q-Document contained some version of Jesus' Baptism. However, the structure of the Marcan Version of Jesus' Baptism (see "The Function...," p. 412), as well as the 4th evangelist's opposition to the overestimation of John which was directed, in our view, not against the fictitious Baptist sect but against the Q-community located at Ephesus, makes us believe that the Q version of Jesus' Baptism differed widely from that of the canonical Synoptics; perhaps the role of John in it was somewhat overtoned at the expense of Jesus.

[48] The above construction of the document shows how indispensible the Q-Hypothesis is. For the order of the sections is quite intellible; each section shows affinities with both the preceeding and the following one. Moreover, all sections end in the same formal way (namely with sayings which sum up the whole section) making the passing from one section to the other natural and smooth" ("The Nature and Extent of the Q-Document," pp.72f. and n. 128).

[49]Cf. 1 Cor 15.1; Gal 1.11; 1 Thess 1.5 etc. Also the use of the terms "" (in Mark and Matthew) and (in Luke).

[50]Cf. A. Harnack, The Sayings,  p. 153.

[51]Cf. O.Cullmann, Les Sacraments dans l'Evangile Johannique 1951, incorporated in his Early Christian Worship, 1953. The rediscovery of the sacramental characteristics in St.John's Gospel has in fact a long history in modern biblical scholarship; cf. C.T.Craig, "Sacramental Interest in the Fourth Gospel," JBL 58 (1939) 31-41; also J.M.Creed, "Sacraments in the Fourth Gospel,"The Modern Churchman 16 (1926) 363-372. More on this in my The Meaning of Sacrament in St. Johns Gospel.

[52]One can only read carefully the reference to the new commandment of love (13:34-35), and will immediately recall the institution narrative, since the (the new commandment) sounds very similar to the (the new testament) of the synoptic tradition. Furthermore the symbolism of the vine and the branches in the "Farewell Discourse" (ch. 15), the washing of the disciples feet (ch. 13), which actually replaces the synoptic account of the so-called Institution of the Eucharist, the  flow of blood and water from the pierced side of the crucified Jesus (19:34) and above all Chapter 6  with its "Eucharistic Discourse" (especially 6:51b-58); they all make the sacramental, or rather eucharistic, character of the Fourth Gospel more than inescapable. Not to mention, of course, the miraculous change of the water into wine at the Wedding in Cana (2:1-11) at the outset of Jesus' earthly ministry, as well as many other cases.

[53]Cf. A.C.Couratin, "Liturgy,"  pp.154f.

[54] See C.P.M.Jones (revised by C.J.A.Hickling), The Eucharist: I. The New Testament, p.204.


[56]P.Vassiliadis, The Biblical Background of the Eucharistic Ecclesiology, Lex Orandi. Studies of Liturgical Theology, Thessaloniki EKO 9 1994, 29-53, p. 49 (in Greek). In this article, contrary to the wider held scholarly view, I have argued for the holistic or eschatologi-cal consecration of the Sacrament of the Eucharist, not for the linear one based on the so-called institutional sayings of Jesus (p.50). 

[57]On the eschatological character of the Eucharist see J.Zizioulas, Being as Communion;  and  D.Passakos, The Eucharist in the Pauline Mission. Sociological Approach, Thessaloniki, 1995.