J K Elliott has asked me to post his response to the reactions to his review of Harold Greenlee's book (see here and here):
J K Elliott writes:
I have been following the various reactions to my review in RBL of Harold Greenlee's book: they have been a pleasant accompaniment to my pre-prandial manzanilla (very dry) each evening, although I have been suspicious of those who conceal their po-faced comments behind a mask of anonymity.
I was sorry my friend Tommy Wasserman had to censor some contributions. It would have been nostalgic for me to read such rantings as I recalled the vindictive and vitriolic vituperation (if I may be permitted to use such alliterations in this context) that used to assail me from the erstwhile Dean Burgon Society many years ago when a Dr Jay Green (Senior!) used to conduct slanging matches against any fellow-Christians who disagreed with him.
I thank another old friend, Peter Head, for pointing out typos in my RBL piece. The English version should be REB (= Revised English Bible) as in the previous line. Ephraem: yes. My apologies for the slip-up re Mk 1:1. Dr Greenlee did indeed deal with that. It is as well Feb 25 approaches: I can apply more ashes, if not sackcloth.
Those who know my reviews from NovT and JTS will be aware that I tend to write positive, supportive reviews. It gave me no pleasure to have to write a negative review of Greenlee's book. He graciously contributed an article to the Kilpatrick Festschrift that I edited many years ago and I was a contributor to his own Festschrift more recently. It is a pity we have never met at, say, a meeting of SBL. But his book was disappointing: I maintain that by selecting so many innocuous v.ll. and by avoiding troublesome readings like 1 Cor 15:51, or Jesus' sayings on divorce and others I listed he gives the newcomers he is aiming his book at a false sense of security.
Yes, I bridled at the pious sentiments - quite uncalled for in what otherwise is a scholarly book. Whether that tells readers more about me than him, I know not, but I am not used to hearing such parti pris views in, say, SBL text-critical seminars, in SNTS papers nor in meetings with respected text-critics in say Muenster, or in Italy, Spain, France, or N. America. Academic books and discourse do not need fundamentalist Bible-belt platitudes - sorry!!
Professor Emeritus) J Keith Elliott
Dept. of Theology
University of Leeds