Original Research - Special Collection: Foundation subjects, Old and New Testament Studies

Measuring and weighing psychostasia in Q 6:37–38: Intertexts from the Old Testament

Llewellyn Howes
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 70, No 1 | a1952 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v70i1.1952 | © 2014 Llewellyn Howes | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 06 March 2013 | Published: 20 February 2014


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Abstract

This article is the first of three on the relationship between the Sayings Gospel Q and the ancient concept of ‘psychostasia,’ which is the ancient notion that a divine or supernatural figure weighed people’s souls when judging them. The ultimate goal of all three articles is to enhance our understanding of Q 6:37–38, as well as of the Q document as a whole. In the current article, attention is focused on intertexts from the Old Testament, and the occurrences therein of the word ‘measure’ and the concept of ‘psychostasia’. The implications of these results for our interpretation of Q 6:37–38 are briefly noted. A second (future) article will focus on intertexts in apocryphal and pseudepigraphical writings from Second Temple Judaism dealing with ‘psychostasia’. A third study will ultimately spell out in more comprehensive detail the implications of the foregoing intertextual investigations on both our understanding of Q 6:37–38 and our understanding of the Sayings Gospel Q as a whole.

Keywords

The Sayings Source Q; Q 6:37–38; psychostasia; Hebrew Scriptures; weighing of souls

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