F. F. Bruce

Frederick Fyvie Bruce (12 October 1910 – 11 September 1990) was a Biblical scholar, and one of the founders of the modern evangelical understanding of the Bible. His work New Testament Documents: Are They Reliable? is considered a classic in the discipline of Christian apologetics.



He was born in Elgin, Moray, in Scotland, and was educated at the University of Aberdeen, Cambridge University and the University of Vienna. After teaching Greek for several years first at the University of Edinburgh and then at the University of Leeds he became head of the Department of Biblical History and Literature at the University of Sheffield in 1947. Aberdeen University bestowed an honorary "Doctor of Divinity" degree upon him in 1957.[1] In 1959 he moved to the University of Manchester where he became Rylands Professor of Biblical Criticism and Exegesis. In his career he wrote over forty books and served as editor of The Evangelical Quarterly and the Palestine Exploration Quarterly. He retired from teaching in 1978.

Bruce was a distinguished scholar on the life and ministry of Paul the Apostle, and wrote several studies the best known of which is Paul: Apostle of the Free Spirit (published in the USA as Paul: Apostle of the Heart Set Free). He also wrote commentaries on several biblical books including Romans, Acts of the Apostles, 1 & 2 Corinthians, The Gospel and Epistles of John, and the Epistle to the Hebrews.

Bruce was in Christian fellowship at various places during his life, including both the Exclusive and Open Plymouth Brethren.[2] However he did not affirm the dispensationalism[3] and pretribulationism usually associated with the brethren.

Most of his works were scholarly, but he also penned several popular works on the Bible. He viewed the New Testament writings as historically reliable and the truth claims of Christianity as hingeing on their being so. To Bruce this did not mean that the Bible was always precise, or that this lack of precision could not lead to considerable confusion. He believed, however, that the passages that were still open to debate were ones that had no substantial bearing on Christian theology and thinking.

He was honoured with two scholarly works by his colleagues and former students, one to mark his sixtieth and the other to mark his seventieth birthday. He 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.


This is an incomplete list of his publications :




  1. W.W. Gasque, "Bruce, F(rederick) F(yvie) Historical Handbook of Major Bible Interpreters, ed. Donald K. McKim, InterVarsity Press, 1998, p. 444.
  2. Microsoft Word - elder_pickering.doc
  3. Microsoft Word - 1st-gospel_bruce.doc