Not Only That (οὐ μόνον), But It Has Been Said Before: A Response To Verlyn Verbrugge, Or Why Reading Previous Scholarship Can Avoid Scholarly Misunderstandings -- By: Stanley E. Porter

Journal: Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society
Volume: JETS 56:3 (Sep 2013)
Article: Not Only That (οὐ μόνον), But It Has Been Said Before: A Response To Verlyn Verbrugge, Or Why Reading Previous Scholarship Can Avoid Scholarly Misunderstandings
Author: Stanley E. Porter


Not Only That (οὐ μόνον), But It Has Been Said Before: A Response To Verlyn Verbrugge, Or Why Reading Previous Scholarship Can Avoid Scholarly Misunderstandings

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.

In the September 2011 issue of JETS, Verlyn Verbrugge claims to have made what is to him an unexpected discovery.1 On the basis of a statement by a former teacher that the use of οὐ μόνον in Rom 5:3 indicates that Paul is using indicative verbs in Rom 5:2b and 3, Verbrugge says he “figured” that his teacher’s “observation was commonly acknowledged in commentaries on Romans that deal with textual-critical issues. But as I began to do research in the critical commentaries, I discovered such is not the case” (p. 559). He also consulted “one of today’s top text critics, Daniel B. Wallace,” who is also reported never to have noticed the use of οὐ μόνον (p. 559, n. 3), which led to Verbrugge’s purported discovery that “even those commentaries that deal significantly with text-critical issues make no mention of οὐ μόνον as an interpretive element of their analysis and decision regarding ἔχομεν/ἔχωμεν or even regarding the mood of καυχώμεθα in 5:2b, 3” (p. 559, n. 3). Lastly, he claims to have discovered that “no one works back from deciding this issue to see what effect it might have on the ἔχομεν/ἔχωμεν issue in 5:1” (p. 560). Verbrugge cites commentaries by C. K. Barrett, Brendon Bryne [sic; Brendan Byrne], C. E. B. Cranfield, James D. G. Dunn, Joseph Fitzmyer, Everett F. Harrison and Donald A. Hagner, Ernst Käsemann, Leander E. Keck, Douglas J. Moo, John Murray, Anders Nygren, W. Sandy [sic; Sanday] and A. C. Headlam, Thomas Schreiner, and John Zeisler [sic; Ziesler].2 Many scholars have heard the legendary story of a scholar claiming to make a new discovery, only to have it later revealed that an obscure German scholar made the same discovery a century earlier. Unfortunately, in Verbrugge’s case at least two scholars have provided just the analysis that...

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