Granville Sharp’s Rule: A Rejoinder To Stan Porter -- By: Daniel B. Wallace

Journal: Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society
Volume: JETS 56:1 (Mar 2013)
Article: Granville Sharp’s Rule: A Rejoinder To Stan Porter
Author: Daniel B. Wallace


Granville Sharp’s Rule:
A Rejoinder To Stan Porter

Daniel B. Wallace

When a book review is particularly harsh and, in the view of the editors, perhaps unjustified, normal editorial policy is sometimes set aside, and the author may be invited to offer a response. The Journal of Theological Studies, for example, recently published a review of Chris Keith’s The Pericope Adulterae: The Gospel of John, and the Literacy of Jesus (Leiden: Brill, 2009) by J. K. Elliott.1 The review was so harsh and unlike any other review of the book2 that the editors invited Keith to write a response. It seems that the same situation has happened here. Porter complains that “[t]he 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.”3 Again, this is not entirely unprecedented. In 1978, a four-part exchange between Gordon Fee and Zane Hodges took place in the pages of JETS regarding NT textual criticism. Fee wrote first, to which Hodges responded, to which Fee wrote a rejoinder, to which Hodges wrote a surrejoinder.4 In the least, this present exchange allows both views to be presented and for the reader to see what the issues and arguments are. And that is in the spirit of collegial dialogue, which seems to be the overriding editorial policy of JETS.

Unfortunately, even in his response, Porter still does not grasp either Sharp’s rule or the evidence for its modification that I argued for in my monograph.5 But before I examine his major arguments I should address three minor critiques he makes of my work (though he calls all of these “major”).

First, he claims that my monograph was not a scholarly work because it did not have an up-to-date bibliography (few works cited after the mid- to late-1990s), included tangential discussions, and was polemical and even cavalierly dismissive of scholars who, in my view, misunderstood Sharp’s rule (Porter, “Response” 95–96).

My main focus in the bibliography was on ancient texts, the literature that discussed Sharp’s rule, and the exegetical and grammatical tradition regarding several NT passages relevant to my thesis. For this reason, the concentration needed to be on the past. Still, the 30-page bibliography of cited works included forty items from 1996 on. As for tangential discussions, I see most of them instead as offering th...

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