Welcome—and thanks for visiting!

My most recent publication is the Tyndale New Testament Commentary on the Book of Revelation. You can order it from Amazon and other online retailers (make sure you order mine, and not the previous edition by Leon Morris!), or directly from the publisher on the IVP website.

My other recent publications include:


How did John influence the Synoptic gospels?

If that sounds like an odd question to you, then you need to know that someone once wrote a PhD on the influence of T S Eliot on Shakespeare. The thesis was of course on how our reading of Eliot creates a lens through which we then read Shakespeare (I am assuming, dear reader, that you are aware that Eliot lived some 400 years later than WS…!), so that Shakespeare as we read it is shaped by the assumptions that might have been formed by the influence of Eliot on our own outlook. But some have argued that the Johannine tradition might in fact have pre-dated the writing of the Synoptics, mostly because of one particular verse.

That verse is sometimes called ‘the Johannine bolt from the Synoptic blue’ (or ‘the bolt from the Johannine blue’ though I think that verse gets the metaphor the wrong way around):

All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him. (Matt 11.27)

All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows who the Son is except the Father, and no one knows who the Father is except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him. (Luke 10.22)
It is immediately apparent why this looks rather Johannine. First, the Father and Son are talked of in absolute terms, rather than the more usual Synoptic was of Jesus talking about ‘my’ Father or ‘our’ Father; secondly, the mutual knowledge of the Father and Son uniquely of each other, which sounds similar to ‘the Son only does what he see the Father doing’ in John 5.19; and the sovereignty of both in revelation, which sounds similar to John 6.44. To illustrate this, I often have read the verse without the reference to a class, and asked them to identify which chapter of John this comes from—and they work hard to fit it in John, sometimes identifying chapter and verse with some confidence!

 

Fourth Festival of Theology Tuesday 9th June 2020

As part of building a community of reflection related to the blog, I have previously hosted three one-day Festivals of Theology during 2018 and 2019. On each occasion we had a great time of listening, learning, reflection and discussion, with around 100 people attending on each occasion. As a result I am planning a fourth Festival on Tuesday 9th June again here in Nottingham at Christchurch, Chilwell.

As before, the plan will be to listen to 15- to 20-minutes presentations on a range of subjects, with time for response, interaction and discussion. The day will start with coffee at 10.00 am, with the welcome and first presentation at 10.30. With an hour’s break for lunch, we will plan to finish at 3.30 pm, which will allow for seven presentations.

The presentations will match the areas that the blog explores—the way the Bible is read and understood within the church, aspects of ministry including preaching, questions of contemporary ethics, and mission strategy and effectiveness. 

If you would like to offer a presentation, please email me on [email protected] with the subject line Festival of Theology or use the contact form, explaining the area you would like to offer a presentation and what you would be wanting to say.

To see the range of things we covered previously, do look through the programme for the first, the second and third festivals. I am sure that presentations will be stimulating and provocative as they have been before—so do feel free to offer something that you think I will disagree with! If there are topics you would like to see covered, please suggest them by commenting below.