On Porter’s Recent Review of Campbell

For those who are interested, Stanley Porter has finished his final installment in a rather crushing series of critiques of Constantine Campbell’s new “Advances in the Study of Greek”. Now, others have echoed many of Porter’s key critiques (see Ellis and Aubrey’s appreciative-yet-critical review in Themelios, Campbell’s subsequent response to Ellis and Aubrey, and a discussion between Campbell and Yoon in the comments section at Nasselli’s blog). My point is not to create a bibliography of the various levels of disappointment Greek linguists have registered with Campbell’s book. What I would like to point out is how uncharitable and unnecessary Porter’s invariably-vicious critiques are. It is right to insist that Campbell have mastered the relevant research literature before writing an introduction to it. It is also right to examine Campbell’s claims against the linguistic evidence, and to strongly suggest additional editing of the work. What I found deeply distasteful, however, was the ethos with which Porter engaged the weaknesses in Campbell’s book. It seemed as if Porter was attempting to dismantle Campbell’s credibility as a contributor to the field. I am sure this is not the case, but with many of Porter’s awry comments (some of which were downright dishonoring and condescending to a fellow brother in Christ), I found myself cringing. Can Stanley Porter not identify a fellow scholar’s misjudgment—or else voice his deep concern with it—without systematically belittling their pedigree?

Scholarly excellence is a virtue. Yet, so is love. “τῇ φιλαδελφίᾳ εἰς ἀλλήλους φιλόστοργοι, τῇ τιμῇ ἀλλήλους προηγούμενοι. . .”

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