Note: Beware of a website proclaiming to be New Tribal Ventures/An Ishmael Community! Do not reply to any request for information. Our legitimate pages are available on our site here & on the navigation to the left.

DQ on Facebook!Follow Us on

What's new
Daniel Quinn
Daniel Quinn's books
Schools & courses
Telephone Conferences
This website
New Tribal Ventures
Ishmael's Annex
Speaking Invitations

Visit Guestbook
Find others
Help us
Order books
Contact us
Telephone Conferences
Special Requests

Answers to Questions
DQ's suggested reading
DQ's Blog

The Ishmael Companion
Beyond Civilization
 Study Guide

  The Ishmael Community: Questions and Answers

The Question (ID Number 209)...

    I've always found the fictional format of your books a distraction. I keep wishing there were a version that was just the arguments, without all the narrative framework.

    ...and the response:

    Most biblical scholars believe that the narrative gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John were preceded by a sayings gospel they refer to as Q. Q in effect presented just the arguments---and why wasn't this enough? It wasn't enough, because, outside the Jewish context in which the arguments originated, people didn't know how to react to the sayings alone. The narrative gospels supply this missing context. They surround Jesus with dissenters who challenge what he's saying and supporters who want amplification of what he's saying. This helped readers see how they should be receiving the sayings. When someone in the narrative is amazed by Jesus's words, the reader says to himself, Jesus must have said something amazing here. When someone reacts with consternation, the reader says to himself, Jesus must have said something outrageous here. Without these narrative cues, the non-Jewish reader might well fail to get the point (just as, without the laughter of those around him, an audience member might fail to get a joke). Because of the narrative elements in Ishmael, The Story of B, and My Ishmael, the reader is never alone with the ideas, the way he is in a book that is just argument; he's always in an audience, always learning from others how he should react to what he reads.

Go Back OR return to the Questions & Answers OR Browse to the Next Question
Site design and content, © 2018, Daniel Quinn