New Release: How We Got the New Testament, by Stanley Porter

Cover ArtHow We Got the New Testament offers a historical understanding of the writing, transmission, and translation of the New Testament and provides cutting-edge insights into how we got the New Testament in its ancient Greek and modern English forms.

Responding to those who question the New Testament’s reliability, Stanley Porter rigorously defends the traditional reason for textual criticism–to establish the original text or get as close to it as possible–and shows that this is still a reasonable goal. He reveals fascinating details about the earliest New Testament manuscripts and argues that the textual evidence supports an early date for the New Testament’s formation. Porter concludes by exploring the vital role translation plays in biblical understanding and evaluating various translation theories.


“Misinformation abounds among both the general public and even some scholars about how carefully the text of the New Testament has been preserved, copied, and translated. Stanley Porter sets the record straight….Highly recommended.” – Craig L. Blomberg, Denver Seminary

“Porter offers both nonspecialists and seasoned scholars new insights about the stability of the Greek text, the early formation of the canon, and the rich variety of translation theories. There are also provocative new theses, suggesting different ways to frame these subdisciplines, as well as paths for breaking stalemates and moving forward.” – N. Clayton Croy, Trinity Lutheran Seminary

“From the opening story about John Brown’s life quest to the final chapter describing Christendom’s twenty-one centuries of translating sacred texts, this book is filled with personal stories rarely heard, international scholarship seldom reviewed, familiar evidence freshly viewed, and innovative theories in compelling purview….But what makes this book needed is not its extensive footnotes, not the sweep of its discussion of ancient manuscripts, not the playful command of the history of text criticism or theories of text transmission, not even the respectful retelling of the drama of translation since the LXX. All of these things make the book useful. What makes it needed is the prospective courage, the independent thought, and the gentle but deadly criticism of so many scholarly commonplaces in these fields of research.” – C. Michael Robbins, Azusa Pacific University

“With his typical breadth of knowledge, Stanley Porter offers us another helpful volume to frame our understanding of the background of the New Testament….This is a solid resource for the educated layperson and a good introductory textbook for the college and seminary classroom.” – Jonathan T. Pennington, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

“[A] welcome addition to the growing body of recent literature dealing with New Testament textual criticism and its corollaries canon formation and Bible translation….Porter’s work not only serves as a helpful contribution to the ongoing discussions related to text-critical methodology but also seeks to extend the conversations originally framed by the luminous studies of individuals like Elliott, Epp, Holmes, Hurtado, Nida, and Parker.” – Kent D. Clarke, Trinity Western University


Stanley E. PorterStanley E. Porter (PhD, University of Sheffield) is president, dean, and professor of New Testament at McMaster Divinity College in Hamilton, Ontario. A prolific scholar, he has authored or edited dozens of books, including Fundamentals of New Testament Greek. He is also editor of the Library of Pauline Studies series.

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