In New Testament scholarship the sayings of Jesus are referred to as logia (or logion in the singular form). Logia is not to be confused with agrapha which defines sayings of Jesus not found in the four canonical gospels but found elsewhere in the New Testament, early Christian writings.
Papias and Logia
- Main Article: Q source
The Q source (also known as Q document, lost sayings of Q or just Q) is a hypothesized concept used by biblical and New Testament scholars to suggest a (non-existent) manuscript as the source of common material (sayings of Jesus or logia) found in the gospels Matthew ("M") and Luke ("L") but not the Gospel of Mark. John S. Kloppenborg, James M. Robinson and Burton Mack, according to Michael Licona (Research Professor of the NT), refer to the Q source as a "sayings gospel" or "Q gospel" with Mack particularly overreaching by concluding that Q is wholly different, in fact alien, from important events recorded in the canonical gospels like the resurrection. The Q document is thought to be constituted of logia. Source criticism supporting Q also generally supports Markan priority, or the position that Mark was the first written of the canonical gospels. Accordingly if a tradition or particular logia is found consistent with all three synoptic gospels then Mark is considered the source not Q. Therefore depending on the variation of argument, not just Q, but Q and Mark were source material for Matthew and Luke and is referred to as the QM theory or two-document hypothesis.
Examples of Logia
There have been reconstructions of what the hypothetical Q document may have contained in its entirety, but an example of one consistent logia (sayings of Jesus) found in Matthew and Luke but not in Mark are Matthew 3:7-10 and Luke 3:7-9. Those two scriptures coupled with many other examples classified as highly probable by scholars present a defense of the idea that the authors drew from Q to construct what is basically the same account of what Jesus said.
7 But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming for baptism, he said to them, “You brood of vipers, who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? 8 Therefore bear fruit in keeping with repentance; 9 and do not suppose that you can say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham for our father’; for I say to you that from these stones God is able to raise up children to Abraham. 10 The axe is already laid at the root of the trees; therefore every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Matthew 3:7-10 (NASB)
7 So he began saying to the crowds who were going out to be baptized by him, “You brood of vipers, who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? 8 Therefore bear fruits in keeping with repentance, and do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham for our father,’ for I say to you that from these stones God is able to raise up children to Abraham. 9 Indeed the axe is already laid at the root of the trees; so every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.” Luke 3:7-9 (NASB)
- "Logia" on Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary  Accessed June 5, 2011.
- Maas, A. (1910). Jesu Logia ("Sayings of Jesus"). In The Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. Retrieved June 3, 2011 from New Advent: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/09323a.htm
- Maurice Casey, An Aramaic Approach to Q Sources for the gospels of Matthew and Luke (Cambridge University Press 2002), pg 2
- Craig A. Evans, Ancient Texts For New Testament Studies: A Guide To The Background Literature (Hendrickson Publishing 2005), pg. 258
- Michael R. Licona, The Resurrection of Jesus: A New Historiographical Approach (IVP Academic 2010) pg. 212
- The Gospel Source Q By The Open Court. Volume XXIV. 1910, The Open Court Publishing Company
- The Contents of Q 2001 Peter Kirby. last updated on: 05/12/2011 15:00:22