Abbreviation of the German Quelle, meaning “source,” used to designate the hypothetical common source of over 200 verses found in Matthew and Luke but not in Mark. According to the two-document hypothesis, Matthew and Luke inserted sayings material stemming from Q into Mark's narrative framework of the Jesus story (cp.
Luke 1:1 for evidence of previous sources). Verbatim agreements in the double tradition (material shared by Matthew and Luke but not Mark), common sequence of sayings within blocks of materials, and doublets (repetition) of sayings found but once in Mark point to the common source. A common version of the Q hypothesis regards Q as written in Greek in Palestine, perhaps Caesarea, between a.d. 50–60. Luke is held to have preserved the overall order of the Q sayings better, while Matthew felt free to rearrange much of the shared material to form his five major discourses. Some scholars are so confident in their ability to decipher Q that they have written commentaries and theologies of the alleged source. Others prefer to think of Q as an “oral” source. Still others remove any need for a common source for the double tradition by arguing for the priority of Matthew. See Harmony of the Gospels.