Book Announcement: Porter, New Testament Theology and the Greek Language

Book Announcement: Porter, New Testament Theology and the Greek Language

We are announcing a recently published book by Stanley E. Porter, New Testament Theology and the Greek Language: A Linguistic Reconceptualization (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2022). One might wonder what theology has to do with linguistics, especially since James Barr has warned us about theologizing Greek and Hebrew meanings. This, however, is not what Porter does in his book. He admits, “The more I thought about their relationship [between New Testament theology and Greek linguistics], the more I thought that I might have something constructive to say about the topic, even if the juxtaposition of the two is an unusual one” (Preface, ix). He also states: “I do not offer a New Testament theology—that would go far beyond the scope of this work—but I show how some of the principles of modern linguistics offer useful and constructive insights for refashioning and reconceiving the discipline of New Testament theology” (Preface, x).

Below is the blurb from Cambridge University Press:

In this book, Stanley E. Porter offers a unique, language-based critique of New Testament theology by comparing it to the development of language study from the Enlightenment to the present. Tracing the histories of two disciplines that are rarely considered together, Porter shows how the study of New Testament theology has followed outmoded conceptual models from previous eras of intellectual discussion. He reconceptualizes the study of New Testament theology via methods that are based upon the categories of modern linguistics, and demonstrates how they have already been applied to New Testament Greek studies. Porter also develops a workable linguistic model that can be applied to other areas of New Testament research. Opening New Testament Greek linguistics to a wider audience, his volume offers numerous examples of the productivity of this linguistic model, especially in his chapter devoted to the case study of the Son of Man.

This book is a product of a series of lectures that Stan gave at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in February–March 2019. Those interested in thinking more about New Testament theology (or about linguistics) should grab a copy of this book, especially since the SBL discount may still apply through this month.

— David I. Yoon


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