(1) Thom 79:1-2
(2) 1Q?: Luke 11:27-28
(3) ? John 13:17
(4) ? James 1:25b
/1/ A woman in the crowd said to him, "Lucky are the womb that bore you and the breasts that fed you." /2/He said to [her], "Lucky are those who have heard the word of the Father and have truly kept it. /3/ For there will be days when you will say, 'Lucky are the womb that has not conceived and the breasts that have not given milk.'" [Complete Gospels]
/27/ While he was saying this, a woman in the crowd raised her voice and said to him, "Blessed is the womb that bore you and the breasts that nursed you!" /28/ But he said, "Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it!"
For related themes, see also:
/46/ "Why do you call me 'Lord, Lord,' and do not do what I tell you? /47/ I will show you what someone is like who comes to me, hears my words, and acts on them."
/19/ Then his mother and his brothers came to him, but they could not reach him because of the crowd. /20/ And he was told, "Your mother and your brothers are standing outside, waiting to see you." /21/ But he said to them, "My mother and my brothers are those who hear the word of God and do it."
/17/ If you know these things, you are blessed if you do them.
/22/ But be doers of the word, and not merely hearers who deceive themselves. /23/ For if any are hearers of the word and not doers, they are like those who look at themselves in a mirror; /24/ for they look at themselves and, on going away, immediately forget what they were like. /25/ But those who look into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and persevere, being not hearers who forget but doers who act--they will be blessed in their doing.
John Dominic Crossan
Attestation : Multiple [?? John 3:17 and James 1:25]
Stratum : I (30-60 CE)
Historicity : +
Crossan sees 24 Blessed the Womb as a twin to 105 Jesus' True Family, and considers them together when discussing Jesus' attitude towards traditional (patriarchal) family life [Historical Jesus, 299]. In both cases the tradition is shaped as a dialogue rather than a simple aphorism. Other clusters that relate to Jesus' attitude towards the biological family are 74 Peace or Sword, 89 Hating One's Family, and 15 Against Divorce.
Color Thom 79
Gray Luke 11:27-28
Black Luke 6:46
Gray Luke 6:47-49
Black Luke 8:21
Gray* John 13:17
Black Jas 1:25b
* Despite the notation (Five Gospels, 553] asserting that Thom 42, Become Passers By, was the only saying on which the Fellows split 50/50, the vote on Luke 8:21 had 60% voting Red or Pink and yet a weighted average of 0.50. This is a reminder of the limitations inherent in the Seminar's statistical processes.
The commentary on Luke 11:27-28 in The Five Gospels [p. 331] observes:
The Fellows of the Seminar were divided on the authenticity of the various versions of the saying on hearing and doing. Some versions commanded a pink weighted average (Matt 12:50; Thom 99:2), others fell into the gray area (Luke 8:21; Luke 11:28; Thom 9:2), and still others were designated black (Luke 6:47; Matt 7:21). The vote in all these instances undoubtedly reflects some judgment about the context in which the particular version occurs, as well as judgments about specific words. The Fellows were of the opinion, for example, that in this context Jesus would have been more likely to use the phrase "my Father" than to employ the term "God." The saying in Thom 79:1-2 and Luke 11:27-28 received a gray vote, because many of the Fellows doubted that the narrative setting recalls an actual situation in the life of Jesus.
Luedemann [Jesus, 339] states tersely:
Verse 27b was not spoken in the lifetime of Jesus, but probably later, to glorify his mother. In any case the present scene has no claim to historicity.
Meier refers to this cluster, including the Johannine and Jacobean versions, when considering the wider question of Jesus' beatitudes in the Q tradition [Marginal Jew II,325-333]. He notes that Q, M, L, John, James and 1Peter all provide evidence for Jesus having spoken beatitudes, but that the historicity of any particular saying must be judged on its own merits as they represent a popular form of expression long before and long after the time of Jesus.
In Marginal Jew III,70 (see also n. 102 on page 113), Meier notes the brusque and negative tone that this saying must have had "when it circulated as a stray nugget in the oral tradition" prior to Luke's softening redaction.