An interview with Stanley Porter on the Book of Acts, and Textual Criticism

Mike Bird interviewing Stanley Porter.

These are the questions ask. Read the responds.

(1) Dr. Porter, you mentioned at your recent SBL presentation at the Acts seminar that there was little point writing a commentary using the NA27 or UBS4 editions, since the reconstructed texts do not correspond to any extant manuscript. Do you think that it is more viable to write commentary on Acts using the Alexandrian or even the Byzantine text-type as a “template”?

(2) This goes against the trend in recent commentaries that simply assume NA27 or UBS4. What made you come to this conclusion?

(3) Have commentary writers become too dependent upon Bruce Metzger’s A Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament? If so, how can this be avoided?

(4) The text of Acts represents a whole host of text-critical problems, especially the differences between the Western and Alexandrian texts. What do you think is the best way of accounting for this divergence in the witnesses of Acts?

(5) W.A Strange The Problem of the Text of Acts (SNTSMS 71; Cambridge: CUP, 1992) theorizes that Luke left Acts unfinished at his death, and that Acts was posthumously completed and published by editors who performed independent revisions of the text. Are such theories helpful or needlessly speculative?

(6) What contribution can discourse analysis make to textual criticism?

(7) Out all the Acts commentaries available at the moment, which one would you recommend to seminary and university students for a concise study of textual issues relating to the Book of Acts?

Stanley E. Porter, Ph.D is President, Dean and Professor of New Testament at McMaster Divinity College. He is writing a commentary on the Acts of the Apostles for the NIGTC series.

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