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HTS Theological Studies

Print version ISSN 0259-9422

Abstract

GRUNDEKEN, Mark R.C.. Herv. teol. stud. [online]. 2012, vol.68, n.1, pp. 40-48. ISSN 0259-9422.

The study underlying this article investigated the attitude of Sayings Source Q towards the Roman authorities and their representatives. It primarily aimed at contributing to scholarly discussions on the relationships between early Christianity and the Roman Empire, but it also attempted to put the research in a broader context of present-day discussions on the issue of 'church and state'. The first part of the study dealt with Q's views on the government. The second part studied Q's views on the emperor cult. The third and final part aimed at putting Q's views on the authorities and on the veneration of the emperor in the right context. It concluded that Q compromises between idealism and realism. Its attitude towards the government is quite hostile. It portrays worldly power as demonic (Q 4:5-6; 11:18, 20), it regards God as the only true Lord of heaven and earth (Q 10:21) and rejects the legitimacy of the imperial cult (Q 4:5-8). It fully focuses on the completion of the kingdom of God (Q 6:20; 7:28; 10:9; 11:2b). Yet, as a relatively small community (Q 10:2), the Q people seem to have realised that there was no point in standing up against the Roman authorities and their representatives. Q's propagated views on Roman power are not characterised by active resistance, but by passive dissidence (Q 6:22-23, 27-32; 12:4-5). Within the context of the Roman Empire, it was better to be a realist than a revolutionist.

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