David Catchpole argues that “in terms of the fundamental beliefs of Judaism the Q Christians were a conservative grouping”, marked by a concern for “inclusion and association and inseparability” from features of Judaism such as the temple.1 Though Pharisaism concerns them, the woes do not separate Q's community from either temple or law (p. 276). “The tradition seems throughout to be comfortable within Judaism, uneasy about Pharisaism, and, in view of the rarity of any comment on the authority of the law (Q 16:17), not at all preoccupied with the problem which threatened to tear apart other early Christian communities” (p. 277); “we have a picture of a community whose outlook was essentially Jerusalem-centred, whose theology was Torah-centred, whose worship was temple-centred, and which saw (with some justice) no incompatibility between all of that and commitment to Jesus” (p. 279).2 This conservatism should neither be equated with nor set against Pharisaism, nor any specific group within Judaism; it may merely express a “common— and conservative—Judaism”, characteristic of many Jews.3
The realia of early Christianity and second-Temple Judaism, as exposed in recent archaeological research in the Galilee and the Golan, suggest that Catchpole's views are correct.4 This present
1 David R. Catchpole, “Tradition and Temple”, chapter 9 in The Quest for Q
(Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1993) 256–79, originally published in W. Horbury, ed.,
Templum Amicitiae: Essays on the Second Temple presented to Ernst Bammel (JSNTSup 48;
Sheffield: JSOT, 1991) 305–29. This quotation is from pp. 256–7.
2 See also C.M. Tuckett, “Q (Gospel Source)”, in ABD 5.567–72, especially
570–71. “Q's polemic is directed against only a part of the Jewish community
among which the Q community existed” (p. 570).
3 E.P. Sanders, Judaism, Practice and Belief, 63 BCE-66 CE (London: SCM/
Philadelphia: TPI, 1992) Part II.
4 Peter Richardson, “Enduring Concerns: Desiderata for Future Historical-Jesus
Research”, in William E. Arnal and Michel Desjardins, eds, Whose Historical Jesus?
(ESCJ 7; Waterloo, ON: Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 1997) 296–307.