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Graham Norman Stanton (1940–2009) was a New Zealand biblical scholar who taught at King's College, London, and as Lady Margaret's Professor of Divinity at the University of Cambridge. A New Testament specialist, Stanton's special interests were in the Gospels, with a particular focus on Matthew's Gospel; Paul's letters, with a particular focus on Galatians; and second-century Christian writings, with a particular interest in Justin Martyr.

Graham Stanton
Graham Norman Stanton

(1940-07-09)9 July 1940
Christchurch, New Zealand
Died18 July 2009(2009-07-18) (aged 69)
Cambridge, England
NationalityNew Zealander
TitleLady Margaret's Professor of Divinity
Valerie Douglas (m. 1965)
Academic background
Alma mater
ThesisThe Primitive Preaching and Jesus of Nazareth[2] (1969)
Doctoral advisorC. F. D. Moule[1]
Academic work
DisciplineBiblical studies
Sub-disciplineNew Testament studies
Main interests
Notable works
  • The Gospels and Jesus (1989)
  • Gospel Truth? (1995)


Stanton was born on 9 July 1940 in Christchurch, New Zealand. He came to Cambridge in 1966 to study under C. F. D. Moule (at Westminster College and as a member of Fitzwilliam College), his dissertation was completed in 1969 and published in 1974. From 1970 to 1998 he served as lecturer and (from 1977) as Professor of New Testament at King's College, London. In 1998 he returned to Cambridge as Lady Margaret's Professor (and as a Fellow at Fitzwilliam College).

For the year 1996–97, Stanton was the President of the Studiorum Novi Testamenti Societas, a society of New Testament scholars. For nine years (1982–1990) he was editor of the journal New Testament Studies and of the associated monograph series (1982–1991), and was a General Editor of the International Critical Commentaries (from 1984 until 2009).

Among other honours Stanton was awarded an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree from the University of Otago in 2000;[3] in 2005 he was honoured with a Festschrift to mark his sixty-fifth birthday in 2005: The Written Gospel eds. M. Bockmuehl and D. Hagner, Cambridge University Press – this includes a bibliography of Stanton's books and articles up to 2005 (9 authored books, 6 edited books, 60 authored articles or chapters). In 2006 he was awarded the Burkitt Medal by the British Academy for his contribution to biblical studies in the UK.[4]

Stanton died on 18 July 2009 in Cambridge.[5] In 2011, a collection of essays discussing various aspects of Stanton's work was published in his memory.[6]

Criticism of the Christ myth theoryEdit

Stanton had criticized the arguments of Christ myth theorists. In his book The Gospels and Jesus, he wrote:

Today, nearly all historians, whether Christians or not, accept that Jesus existed and that the gospels contain plenty of valuable evidence which has to be weighed and assessed critically. There is general agreement that, with the possible exception of Paul, we know far more about Jesus of Nazareth than about any first or second century Jewish or pagan religious teacher.[7]



  • Stanton, Graham N. (1974). Jesus of Nazareth in New Testament Preaching. Society of New Testament Studies: Monograph Supplement. 27. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9780521204651. OCLC 1166777.
  • ——— (1989). The Gospels and Jesus. Oxford Bible Series. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780191586385. OCLC 43477458.
  • ——— (1992). A Gospel For A New People: Studies In Matthew. Edinburgh: T&T Clark. ISBN 9780567095350. OCLC 21596331.
  • ——— (1995). Gospel Truth?: new light on Jesus and the Gospels. London: HarperCollins. ISBN 9780006279631. OCLC 246873785.
  • ——— (2004). Jesus and Gospel. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9780521810326. OCLC 475052307.
  • ——— (2013). Bockmuehl, Markus; Lincicum, David (eds.). Studies in Matthew and Early Christianity. Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament. 309. Tubingen, Germany: Mohr Siebeck. ISBN 9783161525438. OCLC 854556985.

Edited worksEdit

Articles and chaptersEdit

  • ——— (January 1995). "Matthew's Gospel: A Survey of Some Recent Commentaries". Bible Translator. 46 (1): 131–140.



  1. ^ "Professor Graham Stanton (1940 - 2009)". Cambridge University. 22 July 2009.
  2. ^ Stanton, G. N. (1969). The Primitive Preaching and Jesus of Nazareth: The Origin and Nature of Interest in the Character of Jesus (doctoral thesis). Cambridge, England: University of Cambridge. OCLC 500570772.
  3. ^ "Celebrated Alumni of the University of Otago".
  4. ^ "Burkitt Medal for Biblical Studies 2006 Awarded to Professor Graham Stanton". Archived from the original on 17 August 2013.
  5. ^ Thompson, David M. (16 October 2009). "Professor Graham Stanton: Biblical scholar who helped guide New Testament studies at Cambridge into the 21st century". The Independent. Retrieved 28 January 2013.
  6. ^ D.M. Gurtner; J. Willits; R.A. Burridge, eds. (2011). Jesus, Matthew’s Gospel and Early Christianity: Studies in Memory of Graham N. Stanton. Library of New Testament Studies. 435. London: T&T Clark.
  7. ^ Stanton, Graham (2002). The Gospels and Jesus (2nd ed.). Oxford University Press. p. 145. ISBN 978-0199246168

External linksEdit

Academic offices
Preceded by
Morna Hooker
Lady Margaret's Professor of Divinity
Succeeded by
Judith Lieu
Professional and academic associations
Preceded by
Albert Vanhoye
President of the Studiorum
Novi Testamenti Societas

Succeeded by
Ulrich Luz
Preceded by
Pierre-Maurice Bogaert
Burkitt Medal
Succeeded by
Alberto Soggin