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The Q – Star Trek’s mythic gods

Q (Star Trek)

Q (Star Trek) – Photo Wikipedia

The Q is a fictional group entity in Star Trek TOS spin-offs and films. Members reside in an eternal field of space-time called the Q-continuum. Like the avatar in Hinduism, the Q appear in specific moments of space-time to apparently regulate the ebb and flow of events in the universe.

The manifestation of Q that usually appears in the Star Trek franchise is male and played by actor John de Lancie. Simply called “Q,” he conforms to the trickster archetype.

Like most mythological deities, the manifest aspect of Q uses supernatural powers to baffle, vex and test human beings to the point of distraction. And like most otherworldly pantheons, there is a faction of rebellion within the Q-continuum. The rebels are tired of being “good” and politically correct at the expense of enjoying their free will and vitality. These dissenters are prohibited and disciplined through punishment by the Q moral majority.

Here’s how I put it in my entry for Star Trek: The Next Generation, the series in which he first appears:

And then there was “Q,” played by actor John de Lancie, who was something akin to a classical Greek god in that he had powers and knowledge extending beyond our normal conception of space and time. Also like the Greek gods, he often abused these powers in childish ways and even challenged the authority of the Q Continuum (the ruling body of the Q, representing its status quo), resulting in his frequent punishment.

More recently Wikipedia notes that:

The similarity between Q and Trelane, the alien encountered in the Star Trek episode “The Squire of Gothos“, inspired writer Peter David to establish in his 1994 novel Q-Squared that Trelane is a member of the Continuum, and that Q is his godfather.¹

Trelane - with harpsichord (under his arm...)

Trelane – via startrek.com

I’m not sure if this interpretation of Trelane (one of my favorite characters in the original Star Trek) is endorsed by those who define the Star Trek canon. But the literary device of retroactive continuity certainly has become a mainstay in the Star Trek universe.

¹ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Q_(Star_Trek)

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Gospel of Matthew

English: fragment of the Gospel of Matthew

Fragment of the Gospel of Matthew via Wikipedia

The Gospel of Matthew is one of the synoptic gospels of the New Testament (NT).

Although it appears first in the NT, it was written after Mark. Scholars date it from 60-100 CE. This would make it improbable but not impossible that Matthew, himself, wrote it.

Matthew is generally believed to be based on at least two sources: The Gospel of Mark and a hypothesized but entirely undiscovered document simply called “Q” (from the German quelle, meaning “source”).

Papias, said to be Bishop of Hieropolis (60-130 CE), apparently wrote that Matthew kept an account of the life and sayings of Christ. But Papias’ document has been lost. The early historian Eusebius (260-340 CE), however, mentions Papias’ book, The Sayings of the Lord Explained, which claims that Matthew wrote about Christ in Aramaic.

The Wikipedia entry sums up our current state of knowledge this way:

“Matthew” probably originated in a Jewish-Christian community in Roman Syria towards the end of the 1st century.[1] The anonymous author probably drew on a number of sources, including the Gospel of Mark, the sayings collection known as the Q source, and material unique to his own community, as well as his own experience.¹

Regardless of who wrote it and how, Matthew tells us about the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

¹ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gospel_of_Matthew