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The Criterion of Greek Language and Context: A response to Stanley E. Porter

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This essay examines Stanley E. Porter's proposed new criterion of authenticity, the criterion of Greek language and context. This criterion attempts to recover the Greek words of Jesus embedded in the Gospels. Porter presents a robust case for a multilingual Palestinian environment and highlights the value of language tools for historical-Jesus study. Despite this, Porter's proposed new criterion is questionable for several reasons. (1) The character of the Jesus tradition is not conducive to a recovery of the purported Greek words of Jesus; (2) the extent that Greek was spoken in Galilee remains debatable; (3) Porter risks the fallacy of moving from the general to the particular; (4) the Greek-speaking background of Jesus’ dialogue partners does not require that conversations transpired in Greek; and (5) Porter remains dependent upon additional criteria to establish the authenticity of a given logion or pericope.

Affiliations: 1: Highland Theological College, Dingwall, Scotland, UK

10.1177/1476869006061778
/content/journals/10.1177/1476869006061778
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/content/journals/10.1177/1476869006061778
2006-01-01
2016-09-26

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