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Frederick Fyvie Bruce was a famous evangelical Protestant Bible scholar of the twentieth century. He was professor of Biblical Criticism and Exegesis at the University of Manchester for a number of years during which he wrote a number of books on different New Testament topics including the apostle Paul.
F.F. Bruce was born in Elgin, Morayshire on the 12th of October 1910. He studied at a number of institutes including the University of Aberdeen, Cambridge University and the University of Vienna. After his studies he became a lecturer in ancient Greek at the University of Edinburgy, and later headed up the Department of Biblical History and Literature at the University of Sheffield. In 1959 he moved to the University of Manchester and worked as the Professor of Biblical Criticism and Exegesis. He retired from teaching in 1978. In his later life he was was elected a Fellow of the British Academy, and served as President of the Society for Old Testament Study, and also as President of the Society for New Testament Study. He is one of a handful of scholars thus recognised by his peers in both fields. Bruce died on the 11th of September, 1990.
F.F. Bruce was an evangelical Protestant Christian. He worshipped in an Open Brethren church for much of his life and he viewed the New Testament as historically reliable although he also recognized that this did not mean that the Bible was always precise.
During his career, F.F. Bruce wrote thirty-three books and served as the editor of The Evangelical Quarterly and the Palestine Exploration Quarterly. He is particular well known for his works on the life and ministry of Paul, writing numerous books on this topic inlcuding Paul, Apostle of the Heart Set Free (in the United Kingdom this was published with the title Paul, the Apostle of the Free Spirit). Bruce also wrote several commentaries including commentaries on the John, Acts, 1 Corinithans, 2 Corinthians, and the Epistle to the Hebrews.
Some of his books include
- The New Testament Documents: Are They Reliable? Eerdmans, 2003. ISBN 0802822193
- Paul, Apostle of the Heart Set Free. Eerdmans, 2000. ISBN 0802847781
- In Retrospect: Remembrance of Things Past. Marshall Pickering, 1980; Baker, 1994.
- A Mind for What Matters: Collected Essays of F.F. Bruce. Eerdmans, 1990.
- The Canon of Scripture. IVP, 1988.
- New Testament History. Doubleday-Galilee, 1983.
- Men and Movements in the Primitive Church. Paternoster, 1979. ISBN 0853647054
- Jesus and Christian Origins Outside the New Testament. Eerdmans, 1974. ISBN 0802815758
He wrote the following commentaries:
- Romans: An Introduction and Commentary. Tyndale New Testament Commentaries. Eerdmans, 1983; IVP Academic, 2008.
- The Gospel and Epistles of John. Eerdmans, 1994.
- The Epistles to the Colossians, to Philemon, and to the Ephesians. NICNT. Eerdmans, 1990.
- The Epistle to the Hebrews. NICNT. Eerdmans, 1990.
- Philippians. New International Biblical Commentary. Hendrickson, 1989.
- The Book of the Acts. NICNT. Eerdmans, 1988.
- The Epistles to the Colossians, to Philemon, and to the Ephesians. NICNT. Eerdmans, 1984.
A number of his articles are available online and include:
- "The Chester Beatty Papyri," The Harvester 11 (1934): 163, 164.
- "What Do We Mean By Biblical Inspiration?" Journal of the Transactions of the Victoria Institute 78 (1946): 121-139.
- "The Speeches In Acts: Thirty Years After," Robert Banks, ed., Reconciliation and Hope. New Testament Essays on Atonement and Eschatology Presented to L.L. Morris on his 60th Birthday. Carlisle: The Paternoster Press, 1974. pp.53-68.
- "The Background to the Son of Man Sayings," Christ The Lord. Studies in Christology presented to Donald Guthrie. Leicester: Inter-Varsity Press, 1982. Hbk. ISBN 0851117449. pp.50-70.
- "The Curse of the Law," M.D. Hooker & S.G. Wilson, eds., Paul and Paulinism. Essays in Honour of C.K. Barrett. London: SPCK. Hbk. ISBN 028103835X. pp.27-36.
- "Colossian Problems: Part 1: Jews and Christians in the Lycus Valley," Bibliotheca Sacra 141: 561 (1984): 3-13.
- "Colossian Problems: Part 2: The 'Christ Hymn' of Colossians 1:15-20," Bibliotheca Sacra 141: 562 (1984): 99-112.
- "Colossian Problems: Part 3: The Colossian Heresy," Bibliotheca Sacra 141: 563 (1984): 195-206.
- "Colossian Problems: Part 4: Christ as Conqueror and Reconciler," Bibliotheca Sacra 141: 564 (1984): 291-301.
- "Luke's Presentation of the Spirit in Acts," Criswell Theological Review 5.1 (1990) 15-29.]
F.F. Bruce on the reliability of the New Testament
- The evidence for our New Testament writings is ever so much greater than the evidence for many writings of classical authors, the authenticity of which no-one dreams of questioning. And if the New Testament were a collection of secular writings, their authenticity would generally be regarded as beyond all doubt. It is a curious fact that historians have often been much readier to trust the New Testament than have many theologians.