Jesus, Q, and the Dead Sea Scrolls

(Mohr Siebeck, 2012)

Jesus, Q, and the Dead Sea Scrolls is a revision of my 2010 Ph.D. dissertation at Claremont Graduate University, a critical comparative study of early Jewish texts and traditions. Between 2004 and 2010, I had the privilege of working with James M. Robinson, a world-renowned expert on Q. Dr. Robinson not only directed my Q Studies and served on my dissertation committee. He also provided my first book with its first blurb: “A new stage in the academic study of first century Judaism and Christianity.”


“Prof. Simon Joseph’s trenchant probe into the origins and development of Q has convincingly shown that Q derived from a Judaean Jesus movement . . . (and) that the supposed Q document of the early Jesus movement was influenced by “Essene” teaching and thought.”

—James A. Sanders
Claremont School of Theology
Ancient Biblical Manuscript Center

“An informed, well-argued, methodologically sophisticated, and up-to-date contribution to the study of earliest Jewish Christianity . . . a thoroughly enjoyable work which rightly questions some common assumptions about Q and Galilee and opens up some new lines of research, among them the nature of Q’s christology..”

—Dale C. Allison Jr.
Princeton Theological Seminary

“Simon Joseph’s learned study brings a much needed correction to ‘mainstream’ Q scholarship . . . an important and welcome contribution to Jesus research.”

—Craig A. Evans,
Acadia Divinity College

“Thoughtful, daring, and incisive . . . a creative and significant service to the discipline.”

—Bruce D. Chilton
Bard College


“In seven densely packed chapters reflecting mountains of research in multiple areas of biblical scholarship, J. advocates a new perspective and new models of inquiry in which Q, the historical Jesus, and important strains of the early Jesus tradition are understood in terms of specifically Judean forms of Judaism influenced by Essene ideas, practices, and exegetical strategies . . . an impressive piece of scholarship with which all Q scholars and students of Christian beginnings should become familiar. The extensive bibliography alone is worth the price of admission.”

—Barry Crawford,
Washburn University
Catholic Biblical Quarterly

“This volume constitutes an important contribution to Q scholarship, confirming that Q’s origins lie at a time and a place in which the Jesus movement, or a branch of it at any rate, has not fully differentiated itself from the Palestinian Jewish milieu. Joseph’s work will move research in this direction forward in a number of important respects.”

—Alan Kirk
James Madison University
Journal of Theological Studies 

“Joseph’s claims are disciplined and carefully nuanced . . . the volume deserves a careful reading from scholars in the field, and it should take its place as one of the leading theories for the origins of Q.”

—Thomas E. Phillips
Claremont School of Theology
Religious Studies Review 

“This work is thoroughly researched and copiously annotated . . . a very welcome contribution to scholarship on John the Baptist, the Jesus movement, Q and Essenism.”

—Nicholas H. Taylor
Journal for the Study of the New Testament