Casey, "An Aramaic Approach to Q"

a brief review

Valuable insights

Casey states (p.22) that "... the fact that Jesus spoke Aramaic ... creates a prima facie case for there having been Aramaic sources at some stage of the tradition, and for considering whether there is evidence of them in the Q material"


  1. His proposal for a five-part model of Q (p.189) is far too complex. The first three parts, each labelled: "A Greek Q", are better explained very simply by positing Luke's use of Matthew. The fourth part does not have any example of its posited contents, so assessment is impossible. The only credible part is the fifth, an Aramaic source containing (at least?) material from Luke 11 and Matthew 23.
  2. His most credible reconstruction, that of the woes to the scribes and Pharisees (pp. 64-65), completely misses the original poetically balanced stanzas that I have been able to reconstruct for the last woe saying, albeit only in an English language version - see saying D7 in: The Sayings of Jesus

Overall Assessment

Casey succeeds in making the case that NT scholars should pay more attention to the study of Aramaic, and the book is well worth studying for its refreshing approach to some of the gospel texts, as long as the reader bears in mind that several of Casey's detailed conclusions are questionable.