A few people have asked, “how did you get the idea for this story?”
If one does any amount of reading outside the approved (dogmatic) literature of Christianity, and by that I mean other gospels or accounts by the earliest Christians, then also reads the later scholarly works that attempt to understand how the corpus of Christian literature came to be written over the centuries, you will find little agreement on the authenticity of the Christian stories. Stories, not story, since there are many accounts of the life and later deification of Jesus from Nazareth, all of which are different and none of which qualify as first-hand accounts, and certainly none that were penned by objective or disinterested observers.
Even more troubling, we have no material evidence of Jesus’ existence or to support the stories told about him later. To my knowledge the only material evidence we have that may relate to the Jesus story is a recently discovered marble stone at Caesarea Maritima that appears to reference Pontius Pilate. That does not say anything about the Jesus story, but may indicate that a Pontius Pilate was in Judea at the time.
Well, what would offer material and objective evidence for the Jesus story, or a Jesus story? There was nothing at all about Jesus or early Christians found in the Dead Sea Scrolls, discovered first in 1947. Nothing that directly and objectively related to Jesus stories in the Nag Hamadi documents either. This made me wonder if somewhere, some day, actual material, objective evidence would be discovered that would provide real information about Jesus from Nazareth and his life.
Rather than wait for such an unlikely event, I decided to write a story about what might happen if such evidence were found and proven to be authentic. To keep the tale “objective” I decided that the author of the evidence, the Q Manuscript, if you will, would be a disinterested party. In this case, a Roman and not a Jew or an early member of the Jesus movement.
So, the story turns around the discovery of heretofore unknown evidence, material evidence, that puts the life of Jesus in line with current historical and critical thinking on the origins and evolution of Christian theology, a theology that is primarily anecdotal, subjective and hostile to attempts to address its claims reasonably, logically and materially.
If the divinity of Jesus falls, then the structure and system built on that belief also must fall, or at the least, if it were to survive, change significantly to be relevant to the actual world we live in. To say that Jesus wasn’t divine isn’t to say that he was not important and had significant things to say to us about living as compassionate humans.
So, The Q Fragments, is a story about a story. How it might have happened that a decent, peasant teacher and faith-healer was executed for his beliefs, before his life and memory were twisted beyond recognition by certain power-hungry members of his followers and their descendants. And, in the tale’s conclusion, a foreshadowing of what might happen when the truth about Jesus from Nazareth comes to light.