The Book of Q and Christian Origins by Burton L. Mack
Note: Q is short for the German word Quelle (which is source). Q is one of the two sources for Matthew and Luke, the other being old Mark, but the unknown lost source is now named Q. While this subject comes up under the subject heading of Q hypothesis – (synoptics criticism), since the discovery of the Gospel of Thomas, it really isn’t a hypothesis anymore. But it looks like that subject heading will stick. But more and more books are indexing Q as Sayings Gospel Q. The first layer of Q is known as Q1.
June 11, 2005: Two years ago I wrote a bit about Christianity based on the research I had done up to that point. In recent months, I have revisited the subject at the suggestion of several people, one of whom promoted the book by Tony Bushby, The Bible Fraud. This book was already on hand in our library, but I had discarded it in disgust at the time I originally began to read it (in 2002, I believe) because I had noted a “twisting” of the facts in the first chapter. However, at the urging of a correspondent, I revisited this book, reading it through to the end. Indeed, there were a number of interesting references, but again I found it to be a frustrating read because these references were often used in a very loose way intended to support the incredible leaps of assumption, and a wholly fantastic story. Bushby, like so many others, began with the assumption that at least SOME of the “facts” of the narrative gospels were true, however distorted or misrepresented.
In any event, reading Bushby’s book started me off on the search for Christian origins again, and that led me to The Lost Gospel by Burton L. Mack. Let me say in advance that I highly recommend this book, and I hope that the excerpts I am going to present here will stimulate interest in the details that Mack presents in his fascinating discussion of the discovery of Q (the theorized source document for the basic ideas of Jesus) and the subsequent analyses that helped to extract the truth of early Christian history.