David Seeley

[This article first appeared in New Testament Studies 38 (1992) 222-34;
it appears here by permission of Cambridge Universtiy Press.
The Greek of the original has been transliterated.]


The Sayings Gospel Q is notable for lacking an account of Jesus' death./1/ It is surprising that one early Christian document is apparently so indifferent to an event which plays a profound role in others (e.g., Romans, Mark). Scholars have, to be sure, observed that the issue of persecution and/or death is often referred to in Q, and many have come to believe that these references are casting an implicit glance at the death of Jesus himself. According to this line of thought, early Christians would have used the deaths of the prophets to connect Jesus' death with those of his followers. I do not intend to argue against this. Rather, I will propose that there is also another view according to which Q related Jesus' death and those of his followers. This view involved common, Cynic-Stoic ideas of the time.

The Deuteronomistic-Prophetic Understanding of Jesus' Death in Q

In Q, there are six passages which deal with the issue of violent persecution and/or death (Q 6:22-23, 6:27-29, 11:47-51, 12:4, 13:34-35, and 14:27)./2/ Three of these mention the prophets./3/ Q 6:22-23 cautions Jesus' followers not to sorrow over being persecuted, for the prophets received similar treatment. Q 11:47-51 refers to the deaths of the prophets and apostles. Q 13:34-35 refers to the deaths of the prophets alone. These verses imply that Q may have understood Jesus' death in terms of the deaths of the prophets. This implication has grown easier to follow in light of O. H. Steck's work. Steck has argued that, by the first century CE, two important ideas had coalesced: 1) a belief that prophets were habitually killed by the recalcitrant Israelites; 2) the deuteronomistic view of Israel's repeated disobedience against God's laws./4/ Steck has termed this coalescence the deuteronomistic-prophetic view. According to it, the Israelites would sin, God would send his messengers to admonish them, and the people, compounding their sin, would kill those messengers. Nehemiah 9:26 provides important evidence for Steck's argument: "[the Israelites] were disobedient and rebelled against thee [God] and cast thy law behind their back and killed thy prophets, who had warned them in order to turn them back to thee, and they committed great blasphemies."

Steck maintains that this outlook characterizes Q. He is uncertain whether it was an element of Jesus' own message, but he has no doubt it was present in "early, Palestinian, Jewish Christianity." The latter used the deuteronomistic-prophetic view to explain why its message had been rejected. Steck argues that this view was "probably" applied even to the death of Jesus himself./5/

The importance of this deuteronomistic-prophetic view for Q seems assured./6/ However, Steck's hesitation about how Q applies it to Jesus' death is still well taken. It has often been asserted of late that the deuteronomistic-prophetic view is the way Q made sense of Jesus' death./7/ Most recently, Dieter Lührmann has written that "in Q Jesus' death is seen in accordance with what has happened to the prophets . . . "/8/ This approach, however, risks throwing too wide a net over Q. For one thing, it can neglect the fact that not one of the passages in which prophets are mentioned (Q 6:22-23, 11:47-51, 13:34-35) refers to Jesus' death. Such a reference must be assumed. Q 6:22-23 notes only that Jesus' followers should be glad to be persecuted on his account. Their heavenly reward will be great for (gar) the prophets were treated with similar hostility. In Q 11:47-51, the Wisdom of God says she will send prophets and others (apostles in Luke, wise men and scribes in Matthew). Some of these will be killed, the result being that the present generation will have to pay for all the blood of the prophets (Luke) or righteous (Matthew) ever shed./9/ Q 13:34-35 laments that Jerusalem kills the prophets and stones the messengers./10/ Obviously, none of these passages talks about Jesus per se. One must infer that he is to be included in considerations about prophets and messengers. I will argue below that another Q verse, 14:27, comes closer than those just mentioned to addressing Jesus' death. I will argue also that 14:27 represents an interpretation of Jesus' death which does not involve the deuteronomistic prophetic view. Instead, this interpretation is indebted to Cynic-Stoic attitudes.

A Cynic-Stoic Understanding of Jesus' Death in Q

In examining Q 14:27, we must begin by taking into account not only the different Matthean and Lukan versions, but also the version in Gospel of Thomas 55, as well as Mark 8:34. While the Matthean and Lukan versions of this saying convey the same basic meaning, it is nevertheless true that some differences of vocabulary exist. In Matthew, Jesus says that whoever fails to take up his cross and follow "is not worthy of me" (ouk estin mou axios). In Luke, Jesus says that such a person "cannot be my disciple" (ou dunatai einai mou mathetes). If Thomas represents an independent tradition here, then it can suggest a reason for this difference./ll/ In Thomas, as in Matthew and Luke, the cross-saying of Q 14:27 follows a family-saying (Matt 10:37, Luke 14:26). Gos. Thom. 55 would suggest that Matthew has assimilated the family-saying to the cross-saying, using "worthy" for both, while Luke has assimilated the cross-saying to the family-saying, using "disciple" for both. Gos. Thom. 101 supports the suspicion that the family-saying used "disciple."

As for Mark 8:34, Q 14:27 shows certain signs of assimilation to it./12/ Instead of bearing the cross "as I do" (Gos. Thom. 55), the subject of Q 14:27 is to follow or come "after me" (opiso mou). Matthew 10:38 also contains the Markan akoloutheo. The possibility that a late edition of Q picked up some influences from Mark 8:34 must therefore be reckoned with. Yet it is clear that a Q version of this saying did exist. The grammatical structure using "whoever does not" (Matt: hos ou; Luke: hostis ou; Gos. Thom.: peta an) was certainly a part of the Q version. This structure is quite different from Mark's "If any would . . . " (ei tis thelei . . . ). Kloppenborg reconstructs and translates the Matthean and Lukan versions of Q 14:27 as follows:

And whoever does not take
his cross and follow after
me is not worthy of me.
Whoever does not bear
his own cross and come after
me is not able to be my

The basic meaning of Q 14:27 (whether expressed in terms of worthiness or discipleship) also seems clear. Carrying the cross and walking in Jesus' footsteps is a sine qua non for associating with him in a valid, acceptable manner. As noted above, Jesus' death is not explicitly referred to in 14:27. This verse nonetheless has two important features absent in Q 6:22-23, 11:47-51, and 13:34-5. The first is that Jesus himself is explicitly at issue. Q 14:27 deals specifically with Jesus and his followers' relationship to him. The others do not. The second feature is that stauros is mentioned. The term could hardly be cited without calling to mind Jesus' death. However uninterested members of the Q community (or communities) may have been in Jesus' death, it is difficult to believe that they were unaware he had suffered crucifixion. Jesus' death is thus being held up as an example in so far as it is focussed on as the criterion of discipleship. The "like me" of Gos. Thom. makes this exemplary quality explicit, but even in Q, it is clear that from the true follower is expected a willingness to emulate Jesus' path to crucifixion.

In light of these two features, one may say that Q 14:26-27 is particularly important for the question of understanding Jesus' death. It comes nearer than any other verse in Q to addressing the issue squarely.

Having enumerated several elements present in Q 14:27 but absent in Q 6:22-23, 11:47-51, and 13:34-5, let us now turn to a motif conspicuously lacking in 14:27 but present in the others. This is the deuteronomistic-prophetic view. Q 14:27 links the possible deaths of followers to their master's death with no hint whatsoever of prophetic considerations. This opens up the possibility that the verse represents an understanding of Jesus' death different from the prophetic one. Can the few words contained in 14:27 be analyzed so as to make such an understanding clear? I believe they can.

My belief is based on the fact that 14:27, laconic though it is, nevertheless articulates a familiar position on the deaths of a master and his followers. That position is familiar from the popular, Cynic and Stoic philosophy of the day./14/ Nowhere else in contemporaneous literature do we find a call to be willing to follow a teacher or model in suffering and even death./15/ Nowhere else is the issue of such a willingness so central to the tradition that it could be used, as in 14:27, to separate that individual who is a follower from one who is not./16/

In order to explain why this issue played so central a role in first century CE Cynic and Stoic philosophy, it is necessary first to introduce some basic considerations regarding this sort of philosophy. Let us begin with the question of how a student of it came to be a good pupil or disciple. (We sometimes forget that mathetes can be translated as either of the two latter terms.) A disciple of the philosopher Epictetus (c. 50-120 CE) compiled a handbook to present his master's teachings succinctly. This handbook, or Encheiridion, begins quite simply. Some things are under our control, it says, and others are not. "Under our control are conception, choice, desire, aversion . . . not under our control are our body, our property, reputation, office . . . Remember, therefore, . . . if you think only what is your own to be your own, and what is not your own to be . . . not your own, then no one will ever be able to exert compulsion upon you . . . neither is there any harm that can touch you."/17/

Perceiving this distinction clearly and acting in accordance with it were considered the key to becoming a proper philosopher. Cynics and Stoics of the time were not, however, oblivious to the fact that such a course of action was more easily discussed than taken. The body, in particular, was a difficult item to regard as not one's own. The ability to do so seems to have become a kind of "acid test" for the philosopher. The attitude grew up that if one could properly -- not to say "stoically"-- face physical suffering and even death, then one was a true philosopher. Models who could demonstrate this course of action even in the worst of circumstances came to be highly regarded. Following them, or at least being prepared to do so, came to be seen as the true philosopher's path.

This attitude is especially clear in the twenty-fourth epistle of Seneca. The latter says he will conduct his addressee to peace of mind and a worry-free state. How? "Let your thoughts travel into any era of Roman or foreign history, and there will throng before you notable examples of high achievement or of high endeavour."/18/ What sort of "high achievement"? Enduring suffering and death. "Is there a worse fate that any man may fear than being burned or being killed?"/19/ No, and Rutilius, Metellus, Socrates, and Mucius are cited as good examples of how to face the worst nobly./20/ Seneca realizes that people may be sick of hearing about these examples of endurance. "'Oh,' say you, 'those stories have been droned to death in all the schools; pretty soon, when you reach the topic "On Despising Death," you will be telling me about Cato.'"/21/ So, Seneca proceeds to do exactly that. Cato nobly killed himself rather than face ignominious defeat./22/ To achieve his end, he had to rip out his entrails twice, but he finally triumphed. Now, Seneca is not "heaping up these illustrations for the purpose of exercising [his] wit," but rather for the purpose of bringing his friend to a proper frame of mind--one worthy of Socrates or Cato./23/

As the reader peruses the summary which Seneca provides of Cato's story, he or she must imaginatively re-enact the latter's grisly death. That imaginative re-enactment steels the reader's resolve, ideally enabling him, if necessary, to re-enact such a ghastly demise literally. To be constantly prepared to undergo even the most horrible death rather than forsake one's principles and morals means that one has become a true philosopher. One now regards even the body as "not one's own." This, then, is why the issue of following a model's suffering and even death is so central in first century CE, popular, Cynic and Stoic philosophy./24/

More examples are not difficult to find. Epictetus says, "I can show you a free man, so that you will never again have to look for an example (paradeigma). He then discusses Diogenes. " . . . if you had laid hold of his leg, he would have let his leg go; if of his whole paltry body, his whole paltry body . . . " Diogenes was faithful to his real "country," the cosmos, and to its ruler, God. " . . . nor could any other man have died (huperapothnesko) more cheerfully for his Country . . . "/25/ Diogenes, the archetypal Cynic, is clearly being held up here as a model of suffering and death. Indeed, the strong implication is that his status as such a model is what makes him so nearly perfect a Cynic./26/

This look at Epictetus and Seneca must be kept brief, but through it I am suggesting that, for Cynic or Stoic philosophers of the day, following a teacher in suffering and death was an extremely important idea./27/ And, this is precisely the idea which appears in Q 14:27. Surely it must be significant that 14:27, the Q verse which most forthrightly engages the issue of Jesus' death, has its closest parallels in contemporaneous Cynic and Stoic philosophy. Moreover, 14:27 contains an idea which is not peripheral to those schools of philosophy, but instead quite central./28/.

Here we must ask whether it was possible that so early a Christian document as Q contained an understanding of Jesus' death indebted to Cynic and Stoic philosophy. Such indebtedness would certainly mark a departure from the thoroughly Jewish matrix in which early Christianity is often placed./29/

Though an unlikely prospect to some, the notion does prove to be plausible. First century CE, lower Galilee can now be seen as interpenetrated -- and not simply surrounded -- by the Greco-Roman world. Between the 330s BCE and the 160s BCE, Palestine was ruled by first the Ptolemaic, and then the Seleucid, kingdoms. The native, Maccabean kingdom which held sway from the 140s BCE until the 60s BCE was, despite its indigenous roots, still open to various Hellenistic influences./30/ Beginning in the 60s BCE, Hellenistic culture returned in force with the Romans. Lower Galilee, where Jesus conducted most of his ministry, was a densely populated area, crossed by major trade routes and dotted with an exceptional number of urban settlements./31/ In such a small place, a relatively cosmopolitan ambience would have resulted, whatever the social or economic tensions that pertained./32/ Therefore, we may say that the sort of Hellenistic influence on Q which we are positing here was possible in a cultural sense.

We may now consider whether such influence was possible in a chronological sense. Seneca, to be sure, was born in 4 BCE and was thus a contemporary of Jesus. But Epictetus' birth probably occurred about twenty years after Jesus' death. Does this not preclude any use of him for explicating the Jesus tradition? The answer is: not necessarily. First, the concept of later texts incorporating earlier traditions is one that New Testament studies often accepts. We reconstruct Q on the basis of copies used around 80-85 CE by the authors of Matthew and Luke. We assume that those texts contained earlier traditions. Second, the Cynic-Stoic, popular, philosophical tradition seems to have been relatively stable at this time. No great uphevals or invasions by foreign elements threatened or altered it, as far as we know. Third and most important, earlier attestation of the importance of philosophical martyrdom can be found. The thought of Musonius Rufus, teacher to Epictetus and Dio Chrysostom, has come down to us only in fragments./33/ Several of these, however, suggest he accorded considerable importance to a death that could serve others as a model. Consider the following: "One who by living is of use to many has not the right to choose to die unless by dying he may be of use to more."/34/ Although this admonition is phrased negatively, it does show that Musonius believed one could help others by dying. How? For the answer, we may consider the sequence in which this fragment appears. Immediately preceding it is advice to the effect that one should die well (kalos) "lest shortly it may become necessary for you to die, but it will no longer be possible to die well."/35/ What did Musonius mean by this? Probably that one should end one's life before age or coercion forces one to die in a manner unbefitting a philosopher. This is supported in turn, by the fragment immediately preceding the one just quoted. Here Musonius warns, "if you choose to hold fast to what is right, do not be irked by difficult circumstances . . . "/36/ This returns us to our starting point, where it was explained that death is the acid test of the philosopher. If he can "hold fast to what is right" even in the face of death, he is authentic. Musonius' assertion that death can be beneficial to others shows how important he regards it. As the surest manifestation of a philosopher's worth, death demonstrates most clearly what it means to be a philosopher. No matter how difficult the circumstances threatening to close in, one can always die well and thus help others by proving that nothing can prevent a person from holding fast to what is right./37/ The ability to follow in the footsteps of philosophers who have died appropriately can thus be considered a test of whether one is a true student (mathetes) of philosophy.

The above reading of three of Musonius' fragments is buttressed by a passage from Epictetus, his pupil. The latter points out that Socrates did not care about saving his own skin or, indeed, about anything except "that which is increased and preserved by right conduct."/38/ When faced with the opportunity to escape, you or I would have waxed eloquent about how much use we would be to others alive. But "if we were useful to men by living, should we not have done much more good to men by dying when we ought, and as we ought? And now that Socrates is dead the memory of him is no less useful to men, nay, is perhaps even more useful, than what he did or said while he still lived."/39/

The memory of Socrates is useful because it shows that one can hold to what is right no matter what the circumstances. Nothing, it would seem, is more coercive or compelling than death. Yet Socrates resisted the fear of death, died well, and became useful because of the example he set. The similarity of this passage to the fragments from Musonius suggests that Epictetus drew his understanding of how important a philosopher's death could be from his teacher. That is to say, the progression of logic that is clear in Epictetus recommends itself as the context into which Musonius' fragments may be fitted. The latter make sense there, and we know that Epictetus was exposed to Musonius' thought. Therefore, we seem justified in clarifying the teacher with the help of the student.

Another passage from Musonius should be considered here, even though it does not exactly show us a model of philosophical death. Instead of presenting great figures whose end one may emulate, Musonius goes in the other direction, saying that even animals face death bravely. How much more then, should one who seeks the right:

At all events, cocks and quails, although they have no understanding of virtue as man has and know neither the good nor the just and strive for none of these things, nevertheless fight against each other and even when maimed stand up and endure until death so as not to submit the one to the other. How much more fitting, then, it is that we stand firm and endure, when we know that we are suffering for some good purpose, either to help our friends or to benefit our city, or to defend our wives and children, or, best and most imperative, to become good and just and self-controlled, a state which no man achieves without hardships./40/

More straightforward instances of a focus on the philosopher's death occur in Cicero (102-43 BCE) and Teles (fl. c. 250-240 BCE). The former tells of Theramenes and Socrates, "men preeminently famous for virtue (virtus) and wisdom (sapientia),"and of the fortitude with which they faced death./41/ Cicero also lauds Theodorus of Cyrene, "no mean philosopher (philosophus),"/42/ Diogenes,/43/ and various fighting men besides./44/ All are held up as admirable examples of rectitude in extremis, which one would evidently do well to adopt as models. Following in their footsteps would, no doubt, prove that one is a true philospher and seeker after what is right.

As for Teles, he, too, focuses on the nearly archetypal character of Socrates. The latter refused to escape. He had three days in which to drink the hemlock, but did so on the first. He "cheerfully and contentedly . . . took the cup and drained it. Then dashing out the last drop, he said, 'This is for beloved Alcibiades.'"/45/ Teles adds, "Observe (hora) the casual ease and the playfulness."/46/ He wants the reader to be sure and catch the elan with which a real philosopher faces the end. Why? The above appears in an essay titled "On Self-Suffieciency" (peri autarkeias). The clear implication is that the reader should use Socrates' self-control as a model to attain the properly philosophical degree of self-sufficiency./47/

The above examples should be enough to demonstrate that a Cynic-Stoic focus on the death of a philosopher was by no means confined to the later first century CE. It appears to have a heritage stretching back long before the advent of Christianity.

Attention should also be given here to the social settings of the sources used to explicate Q 14:27. It might be said that the Greco-Roman texts referred to above represent upper-class, elite philosophizing which has nothing to do with the more popular style of a group like the Jesus movement. But Downing has demonstrated that boundaries separating the culture of the "elite" from that of the "popular" must be considered rather porous. The impression he gains is of "a very pervasive oral culture sharing much common content with the refined literature of the aristocracy."/48/ Dio Chrysostom, for example, presupposes a situation "where very similar material can be used for audiences from the whole range of places and social contexts; and one in which what is said to a fairly select group is almost certain to be disseminated much more widely."/49/ It appears, then, that class distinctions could be and were crossed by popular philosophical traditions.


This article has done three things. First, it has pointed out that Q 14:27 does not match the deuteronomistic-prophetic interpretation of Jesus' death, even though the verse seems to address that death more directly than other Q passages. Second, it has proposed that 14:27 does match Cynic-Stoic views on the nature of a teacher's death and its relationship to disciples' deaths. Third, the article has asserted that this kind of influence is plausible from a cultural, chronological, and social standpoint. Though the arguments presented here are obviously not the only ones that can be entertained concerning this verse, they nevertheless deserve serious reflection./50/


/1/ J. Kloppenborg, The Formation of Q (Studies in Antiquity & Christianity; Philadelphia: Fortress, 1987) 85-87.

/2/ This article employs the convention of referring to Q in accordance with the chapter and verse numbers of Luke. Thus, Q 13:34-35 indicates the Q passage which may be reconstructed on the basis of Lk 13:34-35 and its parallel, Mt 23:37-39.

/3/ Of the remaining two passages, one (Q6:27-29) will not be dealt with here. However, for a variety of Cynic and Stoic parallels to it, cf. F. G. Downing, Christ and the Cynics (JSOT Manuals 4; Sheffield: JSOT, 1988) 23-25.

/4/ O. H. Steck, Israel und das gewaltsame Geschick der Propheten (WMANT 23; Neukirchen Vluyn: Neukirchener Verlag, 1967).

/5/ Steck, Israel und das gewaltsame Geschick 288-89.

/6/ On Q and the issue of a generally prophetic outlook, cf. Now M. Sato, Q und Prophetie (WUNT, 2nd series, 29; Tuebingen: Mohr [Siebeck], 1988).

/7/ Cf. P. Hoffman, Studien zur Theologie der Logienquelle (NTABh 8; neue Folge; 2nd ed.; Munster: Aschendorff, 1972) 170-71; A. Jacobson, "The Literary Unity of Q," JBL 101 (1982) 386; S. Schulz, Q: Die Spruchquelle der Evangelisten (Zurich: Theologischer Verlag, 1972) 343; Kloppenborg, The Formation of Q 111-12, 201, 228-29; R. J. Miller, "The Rejection of the Prophets in Q," JBL 107 (1988) 225-40. Cf. Also A. Polag, Die Christologie der Logienquelle (WMANT 45; Neukirchen-Vluyn: Neukirchener Verlag, 1977) 91, 93.

/8/ D. Lührmann, "The Gospel of Mark and the Sayings Collection Q," JBL 108 (1989) 64. Emphasis his.

/9/ For our purposes here, it is not necessary to arrive at a precise reconstruction of this pericope. On reconstructing Q, cf. A. Polag, Fragmenta Q: Textheft zur Logienquelle (Neukirchen-Vluyn: Neukirchener Verlag, 1979). Polag's reconstruction is reprinted in translation by I. Havener, Q: The Sayings of Jesus (Good News Studies 19; Wilmington: Michael Glazier, 1987). Cf. also J. Kloppenborg, Q Parallels (Sonoma, CA: Polebridge, 1988), idem., "The Sayings Gospel Q: Translation and Notes," in J. S. Kloppenborg, M. W. Meyer, S. J. Patterson, and M. G. Steinhauser, Q-Thomas Reader (Sonoma, CA: Polebridge, 1990). Note, as well, the ongoing work of the Society of Biblical Literature Q Section (chaired by Kloppenborg), and of the International Q Project, jointly sponsored by the SBL Research and Publications Committee and the Institute for Antiquity and Christianity. On reconstructing Q 6:22-23, cf. J. Kloppenborg, "Blessing and Marginalilty: The 'Persecution Beatitude' in Q, Thomas & Early Christianity," Forum 2 (1986) 3-56. On reconstructing Q 11:47-51, cf. Kloppenborg, The Formation of Q 141. 47. On the integrity of 11:47-51, cf. Miller, "The Rejection of the Prophets in Q" 235-38; Shulz, Q 340. On reconstructing Q 13:34-35, cf. the literature cited by Kloppenborg, The Formation of Q 227 n. 229.

/10/ The lament over Jerusalem is often placed in the mouth of a personified Wisdom. However, the presence of a wisdom motif in 13:34-35 has now been challenged by Miller ("The Rejection of the Prophets in Q" 235-38)

/11/ The question of Thomas' relationship to the canonical Gospels continues to be debated. For a survey of the scholarship, cf. F. T. Fallon and R. Cameron, "The Gospel of Thomas: A Forschungsbericht and Analysis," ANRW II 25, 6 (eds. W. Haase and H. Temporini; Berlin and New York: de Gruyter, 1988) 4213-24. More recently, C. W. Hedrick ("Thomas and the Synoptics: Aiming at a Consensus," Second Century 7 [1989-90] 39-56) and S. J. Patterson ("The Gospel of Thomas: Introduction," in Q--Thomas Reader 86-88) argue for the independence of Thomas. K. R. Snodgrass ("The Gospel of Thomas: A Secondary Gospel," Second Century 7 [1989-90] 19-38) argues that Thomas is not dependent on canonical Gospels in a direct, literary fashion, but is dependent on the same, general, oral tradition. C. M. Tuckett ("Thomas and the Synoptics," NovT 30 [1988] 132-57) argues that Thomas is dependent on the Synoptics.

/12/ This is not to say Mark 8:34 has influenced Q here; it merely raises the possibility. In any event, the meaning of Q 14:27 is not seriously affected either way.

/13/ Kloppenborg, Q--Thomas Reader 67.

/14/ I do not feel it is necessary to distinguish between Cynic and Stoic elements in treating the philosophers pertinent to this study. A. J. Malherbe has articulated a number of differences between Cynicism and Stoicism ("Pseudo-Heraclitus Epistle 4: The Divinisation of the Wise Man," JAC 21 [1978] 42-64; idem., "Self-Definition among Epicureans and Cynics," Jewish and Christian Self-Definition, Volume 3: Self-Definition in the Greco-Roman World [eds. B. F. Meyer, E. P. Sanders; Philadelphia: Fortress, 1982] 46-69). Such differences do not militate against the present argument, however, since the issues addressed appear to be common to both schools of thought. The ideas which are relevant for our purposes can be found in a philosopher who considered himself a Stoic, like Seneca, and in one who considered himself a Cynic, like Dio Chrysostom. These ideas seem ultimately most at home in a Cynic context. If one were to draw lines of influence with respect to these ideas, they would almost certainly run from Cynicism to Stoicism. However, first century CE, Greco-Roman, popular philosophy was an eclectic mix in any case, and my concern here is not to label Q "Cynic" or "Stoic." Labeling it in this way is unnecessary to show that it seems to be using ideas drawn from the general ideological stock of Greco-Roman, popular philosophy. C. M. Tuckett ("A Cynic Q?," Biblica 70 [1989] 351-55) takes certain commentators on Q to task for making an inadequate distinction between Cynicism and Stoicism. He may well be right on this score, but I fail to see how the issue detracts from basic claims that Q often points in a Greco-Roman, philosophical direction rather than, say, an Old Testament direction. Indeed, if Q echoes ideas found in both Cynicism and Stoicism of that time, it simply shows how deeply embedded those ideas were in Greco-Roman, popular philosophy. More precision between Cynicism and Stoicism may be needed when discussing Q, but that need does not obviate the overall argument. For more on this issue, cf. F. G. Downing, "The Social Contexts of Jesus the Teacher: Construction or Reconstruction," NTS 33 (1987) 446; idem, "Quite Like Q. A Genre for 'Q': The 'Lives' of Cynic Philosophers," Biblica 69 (1988) 203-4 n. 25.

/15/ Although this call is, as indicated, couched in terms of a willingness to die, we should not be indifferent to the occasions on which philosophers actually lost their lives. Cf. especially Tacitus, Annals 15:60-64; M. Avi-Yonah, Hellenism and the East (Ann Arbor, MI: Published for the Institute of Languages, Literature and the Arts, The Hebrew University, Jerusalem, by University Microfilms International, 1976) 54-55; D. R. Dudley, A History of Cynicism (London: Methuen, 1937) 137.

/16/ Perhaps the reader is thinking here of 2 Macc. 6:28 and 4 Maccabees. In those texts, we do find such a call. But the setting is quite different. In Q 14:27, the notion that one must suffer and perhaps even die with Jesus is put forward in an implicit, almost casual manner, as if such a thing is to be understood as a matter of course. To be a true Christian, one must of course follow Jesus on the way of the cross. In the Maccabean literature, on the other hand, a very peculiar, indeed, virtually unique set of circumstances pertains. The Jews are facing one of the most poignant, murderous threats of their existence as a people. The call to follow a model in suffering and death is voiced in response to that particular set of circumstances. It is by no means the case that the call is offered as a basic, implicit sine qua nonfor being a Jew in general. Rather, the call is the only, desperate solution to a dire threat. I will argue below that one need not see Q 14:27 as a response to a similarly desperate persecution of Christians. It is more likely that Q is echoing here the philosophers' sense that one must simply be ready, as a matter of course, to treat the body as "not one's own" and suffer pain and death. In any event, it seems clear that both 2 Maccabees 6:28 and 4 Maccabees are themselves under the influence of popular, Greco-Roman philosophy in this regard. Cf. my treatment of them in The Noble Death: Graeco-Roman Martyrology and Paul's Concept of Salvation (JSNTSup 18; Sheffield: JSOT, 1990) 87-99.

/17/ Epictetus, The Discourses as Reported by Arrian, the Manual, and Fragments (LCL; 2 vols.; London: Heinemann; Cambridge, MA: Harvard, 1928) Encheiridion 1-3.

/18/ Seneca, Ad Lucilium Epistulae Morales (3 vols.; London: Heinemann, N. Y.: Putnam's, 1925-43) XXIV.3.

/19/ Seneca, Ad Lucilium XXIV.3.

/20/ On the general reception of Socrates by the later philosophical tradition, cf. K. Doering, Exemplum Socratis (Hermes Einzelschriften 42; Wiesbaden: Steiner, 1979); A. A. Long, "Socrates in Hellenistic Philosophy," CQ 38 (1988) 150-71.

/21/ Seneca, Ad Lucilium XXIV.6.

/22/ Seneca, Ad Lucilium XXIV.6-7.

/23/ Seneca, Ad Lucilium XXIV.9.

/24/ For other pertinent passages in Seneca, cf. "De Providentia," Moral Essays (LCL; 3 vols.; London: William Heinemann; N. Y.: Putnam's, 1928-58) III.2-8; Ad Lucilium 67.7-15; 98.12-14.

/25/ Epictetus IV.I.152-54.

/26/ In Epictetus, cf. also III.XX.13 and IV.VII.29-31.

/27/ I will refrain from presenting more first century CE, Cynic-Stoic models of suffering and death because I discuss the issue at length and give numerous examples in The Noble Death 113 41. For further evidence, cf. also F. G. Downing, Christ and the Cynics, 21, 23-25.

/28/ It should be noted here that Q 14:26 has a definite Cynic flavor. Epictetus advises that the Cynic not marry and have children, so as not to be burdened by them in his philosopher's mission (III.XXII.69). Elsewhere, Epictetus portrays the ideal philosopher as saying, "Look at me . . . I am without a home, without a city . . . I sleep on the ground; I have neither wife nor children . . . (III.XXII.47; cf. also III.III.5-7; III.XXI.5, III.XXIV.14-16, III.XXIV.85-87, IV.I.87, IV.I.100, IV.I.111, IV.I.159, IV.I.166, IV.VII.5, IV.VII.35, IV.VIII.31, Fragment 4, Encheiridion 7, 11, 18, 26). Musonius Rufus, Epictetus' Stoic teacher, has some very positive things to say about families. Still, when the question of a choice between family or God comes up, his response is ultimately as unequivocal as that of his student (C. A. Lutz, Musonius Rufus: "The Roman Socrates" [New Haven: Yale University Press, 1947] XVI). The view that one's loyalty to what is right supersedes loyalty to family seems deeply imbedded in the philosophical tradition (cf. Diogenes Laertius VI.72, VI.88; Dio Chrysostom 20.11 [on the philosopher's need for a quiet, retired life]; Lucian, "Demonax," 55; Pseudo-Diogenes Epistle, 47.) Hommel traces the sentiment back through Socrates to Democritus (H. Hommel, "Herrenworte im Lichte sokratischer Ueberlieferung," ZNW 57 [1966] 10-11).

/29/ Cf., e.g., E. P. Sanders, Jesus and Judaism (Philadelphia: Fortress, 1985); J. H. Charlesworth, "The Historical Jesus in Light of Writings Contemporaneous with Him," ANRW II 25, 1 (ed. W. Haase; Berlin: de Gruyter, 1982) 451-76.

/30/ Cf., e. g., E. Bickerman, From Ezra to the Last of the Maccabees (N. Y.: Schocken, 1962) 153-65; M. Hengel, Judaism and Hellenism (2 vols.; Philadelphia: Fortress, 1974) 1.103; W. Meeks, The Moral World of the First Christians (Library of Early Christianity; Philadelphia: Westminster, 1986) 65. Cf. also M. Hengel, The "Hellenization" of Judaea in the First Century after Christ (Philadelphia: Trinity Press International, 1990).

/31/ D. R. Edwards, "First Century Urban/Rural Relations in Lower Galilee: Exploring the Archaeological and Literary Evidence," Society of Biblical Literature 1988 Seminar Papers (Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1988) 169-82; J. A. Overman, "Who Were the First Urban Christians? Urbanization in Galilee in the First Century," (Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1988) 160-68; J. E. Stambaugh and D L. Balch, The New Testament in its Social Environment (Library of Early Christianity; Philadelphia: Westminster, 1986) 93.

/32/ Overman, "Who Were the First Urban Christians?" 161. Cf. also S. Freyne, Galilee, Jesus and the Gospels (Philadelphia: Fortress, 1988) 171. Cf. also J. L. Kinneavy, Greek Rhetorical Origins of Christian Faith: An Inquiry (Oxford: Oxford University, 1987) 56-82. On the continuing excavations of the Hellenistic city Sepphoris, cf. E. M. Meyers, E. Netzer, C. L. Meyers, "Sepphoris--'Ornament of All Galilee,'" BA 49 (1986) 4-19; idem, "Artistry in Stone: The Mosaics of Ancient Sepphoris," BA 50 (1987) 223-231; Overman, "Who Were the First Urban Christians?" 164-68; M. Wilcox, "Jesus in the Light of his Jewish Environment," ANRW (II 25, 1; ed. W. Haase; Berlin: de Gruyter, 1982) 145. On possible connections between Jesus and Sepphoris, cf. R. A. Batey, "Jesus and the Theatre," NTS 30 (1984) 563-74; W. Boesen, Galilaea als Lebensraum und Wirkungsfeld Jesu (Freiburg, Basel, Vienna: Herder, 1985) 70-72.

/33/ Musonius was born "probably sometime before 30 A.D." (Lutz, Musonius Rufus14).

/34/ Lutz, Musonius Rufus, "Fragments" XXIX.

/35/ Lutz, Musonius Rufus, "Fragments" XXVIII.

/36/ Lutz, Musonius Rufus, "Fragments" XXVII.

/37/ Cf. Seeley, The Noble Death.

/38/ Epictetus IV.I.163.

/39/ Epictetus IV.I.168-69.

/40/ Lutz, Musonius RufusVII.

/41/ Cicero, Tusc. I.XLII.100.

/42/ Cicero, Tusc. I.XLIII.102.

/43/ Cicero, Tusc. I.XLIII.104.

/44/ Cicero, Tusc. I.XLII.100-102.

/45/ Teles, Teles (The Cynic Teacher) (Society of Biblical Literature Texts and Translations 11; Graeco-Roman Religion Series 3; ed. and trans. E. O'Neil; Missoula, MT: Scholars, 1977) 17H.

/46/ Adapted from O'Neil's translation, 18H.

/47/ Cf. also Xenophon, Hellenica II.III.56.

/48/ F. G. Downing, "A bas les Aristos: The relevance of Higher Literature for the Understanding of the Earliest Christian Writings," NovT 30 (1988) 222.

/49/ Downing, "A bas les Aristos" 221.

/50/ I acknowledge here the help of Ron Cameron (Wesleyan University), Burton Mack (Claremont Graduate School), and Robert J. Miller (Midway College).