Hi Wil — Not entirely sure of the view of John in that link? Matthew was a rabbi, writing to the Jewish-Christian community in Syria. Mark (probably John Mark) is basically Peter's gospel, or rather his primary source is Peter. I quite like the idea that Mark wrote based on Peter's catechetical lectures when he was under house arrest in Rome. (This also explains the addenda to the end of the gospel.) Luke was addressed to a Gentile Christian community. John's audience I would have thought primarily Jewish — it assumes a knowledge of Hebrew scripture and history — and the supposed 'gnostic' themes (which actually pre-date the emergence of those themes in 'the Gnostics') are now seen to be there in Hebrew mystical speculation. The problem with all this is it's based on theory. Not bad in itself, but one has to be careful that a theory is not a construct that one shoe-horns the evidence into, to arrive at a neat solution. Consider: The earliest writings are Paul's, and Paul speaks about the gospel existing before he started preaching. Indeed, he had to contend that his message was as equal to the teaching the Christian communities had received. Consider: There are elements in John that appear more fully developed in the synoptics, and in any normal circumstance this is evidence that the John materials predate the synoptics. Some have put John as early as 50AD. The argument of an advanced Christology means it must be late falls in the face of the theology in Paul's Letter to the Romans, which is no less sophisticated. Consider: The 'Q' materials have no evidence, no provenance, nada. What makes the idea appealing is it offers a solution to the questions of origin, and in the absence of any other solution, suddenly Q assumes importance. To the point where one might say 'Q' must have existed, because we can't answer the question without it. The elephant in the room is, of course, oral transmission.