Review of Granville Sharp’s Canon and Its Kin

11 01 2010

Allow me to share the (unedited) conclusion of my review of Dan Wallace’s new book. I’ve already offered a few thoughts about the book here, and the rest of the review will be found in the Themelios journal later in the year. Yes, I know it’s a bit gushing, but it reflects my honest opinion!

It is rare to be invited to review a book that is both a landmark and robust to the point of seeming virtually irrefutable. It is a landmark book because it has in my opinion put to rest the debate about Sharp’s rule, and has shown that it is of enormous importance both to Greek syntax and to theological exegesis of the New Testament. Truly, the humble Greek article reaches the heights of the deity of Christ! The book is robust in that it is difficult to imagine its key conclusions being overturned any time soon, if ever. If such claims appear grandiose, the following is more so: this book will stand the test of time as one of the best contributions to Greek syntax of the twentyfirst century. Dr Wallace is to be congratulated, and all serious students of the Greek New Testament should read his book, and will do so to great profit.

Now, go read the book!

Posted by Con Campbell

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Reading Granville Sharp’s Canon and Its Kin, by Daniel B. Wallace

7 12 2009

I’ve been asked by Themelios to review Dan Wallace‘s new book in the Studies in Biblical Greek series, called Granville Sharp’s Canon and Its Kin: Semantics and Significance.

I read about a third (120+ pp) of the book today and thought I’d share what I think so far.

First, who would have thought that a book about one function of one element of the Greek language (the article) would be so enthralling! Wallace demonstrates from the outset that the exegetical and theological significance of the TSKS construction (article-substantive-καί-substantive) is of utmost importance, applying to NT christological texts that (if Sharp’s rule is correct) explicitly call Jesus God. The book is exciting, and well written.

Second, Wallace is thorough, possibly to the extreme. An example of this is the mini-biography of Granville Sharp that is offered in the historical section of the book. I would argue this is not really needed, and will probably not significantly affect the thesis of the book (in spite of Wallace’s claim to the contrary), but it is so interesting that the reader will quickly forgive this indulgence.

Third, the historical survey is very useful, as it answers one question that I’ve held for some time: if Granville Sharp’s rule is both correct and important, why has it been so neglected in Greek grammars and NT commentaries? Wallace convincingly argues that it is basically Georg Winer’s fault. As the preeminent Greek scholar of the nineteenth century, his almost off-hand (and theologically prejudiced) comments on Titus 2:13 set a pattern of neglect of Sharp’s rule through to the present day.

There’s more to be said about what I’ve read so far, but I will save it for the formal review in Themelios.

More to come in one or two future posts.

Posted by Con Campbell