The Lectures That Led to “How We Got the New Testament: Text, Transmission, Translation” by Dr. Stanley E. Porter

Stanley E. Porter is Dean and President of McMaster Divinity College in Hamilton, Ontario, a noted New Testament scholar, and a prolific author.  His book, How We Got the New Testament: Text, Transmission, Translation (Acadia Studies in Bible and Theology), published in 2013, had its genesis in a series of three lectures delivered in 2008 at Acadia Divinity College in Wolfville, Nova Scotia.  The Hayward Lectures are an annual affair at Acadia and have featured many noted scholars over the years, many of which can be viewed in Acadia’s video library.

There are three sections in Porter’s book, which correspond to the three lectures he gave.

The Text of the New Testament

Explanation and history of the Hayard Lecture series begins at 00:00.  Introduction of Stanley Porter begins at 3:48.  And Porter himself begins speaking at 6:47, and he begins the lecture proper at 7:15.  The lecture ends at 1:03:14, with the remaining time given to questions and answers.

Porter ends his lecture with the proposal that we use the oldest complete text rather than the eclectic text, but without making an extensive argument for it.

Other notable statements:

We’ve never found a copy of the Gospel of John that doesn’t have chapter 21.

[Speaking of the variants in New Testament manuscripts], the situation is getting better with the discovery of new manuscripts, not worse.  (about 46:50)  This is book production, remember this is all copying done by hand, that I would say, rivals that found today in modern print. (about 47:40)


 The Transmission of the New Testament

Dr. Craig A. Evans begins his personal introduction of Dr. Porter at 00:00.  Porter begins speaking at 5:20, and the lecture proper begins at 6:00.


The Translation of the New Testament

 After a brief introduction by Dr. Christopher Killacky, Dr. Porter begins speaking at 1:02 and begins the lecture proper at 1:30.


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