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Q, The book of

The Book of "Q"

The Book of "Q" is derived from extruding texts that appear in both the Gospels of Matthew and Luke and then deleting any text which is also found in the Gospel of Mark. Along with the Gospel of Thomas, these sayings are thought to actually be attributable to Jesus. Many of the sayings show a distinct influence from a specific group of Greek philosophers known as the Cynics. These Cynics would have been present on the streets of Jerusalem when Joseph would have been in the city working as a carpenter. There are three versions of "Q". The one listed below is the most concise. The other two contain additional elaborations on the text that were added by other writers at later dates. This text is thought to have been written in about the year 50 of the first century. The label "Q" comes from the German word "quella" which means "source". No actual copy of this text has ever been found.


These are the teachings of Jesus:


Seeing the crowds, he said to his disciples, “How fortunate are the poor; they have God's kingdom. How fortunate the hungry; they will be fed. How fortunate are those who are crying; they will laugh.”

“I am telling you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. If someone slaps you on the cheek, offer your other cheek s well. If anyone grabs your coat, let him have your shirt as well. Give to anyone who asks, and if someone takes away our belongings, do not ask to have them back. As you want people to treat you, do the same to them.”

“If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even tax collectors love those who love them, do they not? And if you embrace only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Doesn't everybody do that? If you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even wrongdoers lend to their kind because they expect to be repaid. Instead, love your enemies, do good, and lend without expecting anything in return. Your reward will be great, and you will be children of God. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good; he sends rain on the just and on the unjust.”

“Be merciful even as your Father is merciful. Don't judge and you won't be judged. For the standard you use [for judging] will be the standard used against you.”

“Can the blind lead the blind? Won't they both fall into a pit?  A student is not better than his teacher. It is enough for a student to be like his teacher.”

“How can you look for the splinter in your brother's eye and not notice the stick in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, 'Let me remove the splinter in your eye/ when you do not see the stick in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the stick from your own eye, and then you can see to remove the splinter that is in your brother's eye.”

“A good tree does not bear rotten fruit; a rotten tree does not bear good fruit. Are figs gathered from thorns, or grapes from thistles? Every tree is known by its fruit. The good man produces good things from his store of goods and treasures; and the evil man evil things. For the mouth speaks from a full heart.”

“Why do you call me ‘Master, master’, and do not do what I say? Everyone who hears my words and does them is like the man who built a house on a rock. The rain fell, a torrent broke against the house, and it did not fall, for it had a rock foundation. But everyone who hears my words and does not do them is like a man who built a house on sand. The rain came, the torrent broke against it, and it collapsed. The ruin of that house was great.”

“When someone said to him, ‘I will follow you wherever you go,’ Jesus answered, ‘Foxes have dens, and birds of the sky have nests, but the son of man has nowhere to lay his head.’”

“When another said, ‘Let me first go and bury my father.’ Jesus said, ‘Leave the dead to bury their dead.’”

Yet another said, “I will follow you, sir, but first let me say goodbye to my family.” Jesus said to him, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and then looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.”

He said, “The harvest is abundant, but the workers are few; beg therefore the master of the harvest to send out workers into his harvest.”

“Go. Look, I send you out as lambs among wolves.”

Do not carry money, or bag, or sandals, or staff; and do not greet anyone on the road.

Whatever house you enter, say, 'Peace be to this house!' And if a child of peace is there, your greeting will be received [literally, "your peace will rest upon him"]. But if not, let your peace return to you.

And stay in the same house, eating and drinking whatever they provide, for the worker deserves his wages. Do not go from house to house.  And if you enter a town and they receive you, eat what is set before you. Pay attention to the sick and say to them, 'God's kingdom has come near to you.' But if you enter a town and they do not receive you, as you leave, shake the dust from your feet and say, 'Nevertheless, be sure of this, the realm of God has come to you."

“When you pray, say, Father, may your name be holy. May your rule take place. Give us each day our daily bread. Pardon our debts, for we ourselves pardon everyone indebted to us. And do not bring us to trial [into a trying situation].'”

"Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened for you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks the door will be opened. What father of yours, if his son asks for a loaf of bread will give him a stone, or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? Therefore, if you, although you are not good, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the father above give good things to those who ask him!"

“Nothing is hidden that will not be made known, or secret that will not come to light. What I tell you in the dark, speak in the fight. And what you hear as a whisper, proclaim on the housetops.”

“Don't be afraid of those who can kill the body, but can't kill the soul.”

“Can't you buy five sparrows for two cents? Not one of them will fall to the ground without God knowing about it. Even the hairs of your head are all numbered. So don't be afraid. You are worth more than many sparrows.”

Someone from the crowd said to him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.” But he said to him, “Sir, who made me your judge or lawyer?”

He told them a parable, saying, “The land of a rich man produced in abundance, and he thought to himself, 'What should I do, for I have nowhere to store my crops?' Then he said, 'I will do this. I will pull down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I will say to my soul, Soul, you have ample goods stored up for many years. Take it easy. Eat, drink, and be merry/ But God said to him, 'Foolish man! This very night you will have to give back your soul, and the things you produced, whose will they be?' That is what happens to the one who stores up treasure for himself and is not rich in the sight of God.”

“I am telling you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat, or about your body, what you will wear. Isn't life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Think of the ravens. They do not plant, harvest, or store grain in barns, and God feeds them. Aren't you worth more than the birds? Which one of you can add a single day to your life by worrying? And why do you worry about clothing? Think of the way lilies grow. They do not work or spin. But even Solomon in all his splendor was not as magnificent. If God puts beautiful clothes on the grass that is in the field today and tomorrow is thrown into a furnace, won't he put clothes on you, faint hearts?”

“So don't worry, thinking, 'What will we eat,' or 'What will we drink,' or 'What will we wear?' For everybody in the whole world does that, and your father knows that you need these things. Instead, make sure of his rule over you, and all these things will be yours as well.”

“Sell your possessions and give to charity [alms]. Store up treasure for yourselves in a heavenly account, where moths and rust do not consume, and where thieves cannot break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will also be.”

He said, “What is the kingdom of God like? To what should I compare it? It is like a grain of mustard which a man took and sowed in his garden. It grew and became a tree, and the birds of the air made nests in its branches.”  He also said, “The kingdom of God is like yeast which a woman took and hid in three measures of flour until it leavened the whole mass.”

"Everyone who glorifies himself will be humiliated, and the one who humbles himself will be praised."

“A man once gave a great banquet and invited many. At the time for the banquet he sent his servant to say to those who had been invited, 'Please come, for everything is now ready.' But they all began to make excuses. The first said to him, 'I've bought a farm, and I must go and see it. Please excuse me.' And another said, 'I've just bought five pair of oxen and I need to check them out. Please excuse me.' And another said, 'I've just married a woman and so I can't come.' The servant came and reported this to his master. Then the owner in anger said to his servant, 'Go out quickly to the streets of the town and bring in as many people as you find.' And the servant went out into the streets and brought together everybody he could find. That way the house was filled with guests.”

“Whoever does not hate his father and mother will not be able to learn from me. Whoever does not hate his son and daughter cannot belong to my school. Whoever does not accept his cross [bear up under condemnation] and so become my follower, cannot be one of my students. Whoever tries to protect his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life on account of me will preserve it.”

“Salt is good; but if salt loses its taste, how can it be restored? It is not good for either the land or the manure pile. People just throw it out.”

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