Granville Sharp’s Rule: A Response To Dan Wallace, Or Why A Critical Book Review Should Be Left Alone -- By: Stanley E. Porter

Journal: Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society
Volume: JETS 56:1 (Mar 2013)
Article: Granville Sharp’s Rule: A Response To Dan Wallace, Or Why A Critical Book Review Should Be Left Alone
Author: Stanley E. Porter


Granville Sharp’s Rule: A Response To Dan Wallace, Or Why A Critical Book Review Should Be Left Alone

Stanley E. Porter*

* Stanley Porter is president, dean, and professor of New Testament at McMaster Divinity College, 1280 Main Street West, Hamilton, ON L8S 4K1, Canada.

My review of Dan Wallace’s monograph, Granville Sharp’s Canon and Its Kin: Semantics and Significance,1 appeared in the December 2010 issue of JETS.2 The published version was about 2,700 words. At the time, I agreed to the Journal’s editors shortening the review from its original approximately 4,100 words. I could understand if Wallace were allowed to publish a similarly-lengthed response to my review, with the chance of my further (and final) response. However, that is not the case. The editor of JETS, in what I consider to be an unfortunate decision, has allowed Wallace to publish a (repetitious) response of 7,200 words. The editor has invited my further response, but, in what I consider to be a further violation of their own editorial policies, is allowing Wallace the final word. This makes no real difference, however, as Wallace’s book is still, unfortunately, the same volume that it was when it was published, and his response does not improve either the book or his own position in relation to it.

Let me begin with four further objections to his work that I did not include (or rather were edited out with my consent by the editors, here presented in revised, adapted, and somewhat expanded form) in the initial review, before turning to Wallace’s response.

As noted in my original review, Wallace endorses a revised and narrowed form of Sharp’s rule not only as valid, but as an “absolute principle of NT grammar” (p. 233). I question whether it is absolute for the NT, and, by Wallace’s own admission, note that it is not absolute outside the NT (I will return to these issues below). Nevertheless, Wallace also contends that even if the exceptions to Sharp’s rule are granted (discussed by Wallace, my review, and again below), the Christological texts are not affected. Even regarding the Christological texts, however, we need to question Wallace’s analysis. Wallace identifies the eight Christologically significant texts for Sharp: Acts 20:28; Eph 5:5; 2 Thess 1:12; 1 Tim 5:21; 2 Tim 4:1; Titus 2:13; You must have a subscription and be logged in to read the entire article.
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