Baptists and Biblical Scholarship: Historical and Contemporary Reflections.

Date: 9th May 2024

Time: 10:00 am

Baptists care about the Bible, believing it is of utmost importance that the Bible is read and interpreted—as a source of faith and guidance for the church. Baptists have produced a number of notable biblical scholars, especially in the twentieth century, whose work has been widely read and influential in the academy. Some were appointed professors in their field in Manchester, King’s College London, and in the US. This one-day conference will focus on how Baptists have contributed to biblical scholarship and how this has been, and is still today, received by the academy and the church.

Free lunch and hot drinks included. BOOK HERE

Programme (click HERE for PDF):

Speakers are:

  • Professor Peter Oakes, University of Manchester
  • Rev Dr Steve Finamore, President, Baptist Union
  • Dr Deborah Rooke, University of Oxford
  • Dr Robin Routledge, Independent scholar
  • Rev Dr Helen Paynter, Director, Centre for the Study of the Bible and Violence
  • Rev Dr Simon Woodman, Bloomsbury Central Baptist Church, London

About the speakers and papers to be presented:

  • ‘Manchester Non-Conformity as a Context for Being a Baptist Biblical Scholar’ by Peter Oakes. After undergraduate theological training at London Bible College (London School of Theology), Peter Oakes studied for an Oxford doctorate on Philippians under N.T.Wright. He has been teaching at the University of Manchester since 1997, where he is Rylands Professor of Biblical Criticism and Exegesis. Peter is a member of Didsbury Baptist Church. Peter’s publications include Philippians: From People to Letter (2001), Reading Romans in Pompeii (2009), Galatians (2015), Empire, Economics, and the New Testament (2020) and, with Andrew K. Boakye, Rethinking Galatians (2021).
  • ‘“The Magistrate is Forbidden to Call Down Fire from Heaven”: Roger Williams, the Bible and the Far Right today.’ by Helen Paynter. Helen is Tutor in Biblical Studies and Director of Theological Education, and Director of the Centre for the Study of Bible and Violence, Bristol Baptist College. Helen’s publications include Reduced Laughter (2016) and Blessed are the Peacemakers (2023)
  • ‘G.R. Beasley-Murray and The Book of Revelation’ by Simon Woodman. Simon is the Minister of Bloomsbury Central Baptist Church in London, and the author of The Book of Revelation (2008) and co-editor of The “Plainly Revealed” Word of God? (2011).
  • ‘The chief and principal part of the Gospel’; Baptist Ecclesiology and the Authority of the Bible.’ by Stephen Finamore. Stephen was Principal of Bristol Baptist College for 17 years and is now Principal Emeritus. Steve has been a lawyer, led a community development project in inner London and worked for a rural development project in the Andes of northern Peru. He trained for Ministry and read theology in Oxford, and was pastor of Westbury-on-Trym Baptist Church. Steve has been a trustee of several organizations including Tearfund, BUGB, and Webnet. He has been elected to serve as President of Baptists Together for 2024–25. Stephen has written a number of books, and his short commentary on Romans is available free from the Bible Reading Fellowship. He is married to Rebecca and they live by the coast in Somerset.
  • ‘Baptists and the Old Testament.’ by Robin Routledge. Robin Routledge studied Maths at Cambridge University before training for the Baptist Ministry at Spurgeon’s College and has been a Baptist Minister in Rotherham from 1980 until 2024. His PhD on the Old Testament at Sheffield University was completed in 1989. In 2006 Robin began teaching full-time at Mattersey Hall College and was Academic Dean from 2010 until his retirement in 2019. He was an adjunct lecturer at IBTS in Prague for over ten years and as well as teaching in Anglican, Baptist and AoG colleges in the UK, has also taught in the United States, Malaysia, and South Africa. He still teaches at the Continental Theological Seminary in Brussels. Robin has written a number of articles and book chapters; his major publications include Old Testament Theology: A Thematic Approach (2008), Old Testament Introduction: Text, interpretation, structure, themes (2016), and the revised Tyndale OT Commentary on Hosea (2020). He is married to Ailsa, and has two children and four grandchildren.