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Simon J. Gathercole

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Simon Gathercole is a British New Testament scholar, an elder at Eden Baptist Church in Cambridge, and Senior Lecturer in New Testament Studies and Director of Studies at Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge University. He was formerly Senior Lecturer in New Testament at the University of Aberdeen, Scotland for seven years. Gathercole received a MA at Cambridge, and later completed a MTh and PhD under James D. G. Dunn at the University of Durham,.[1]

Gathercole is particularly well known for his nuanced critique of the so-called New Perspective on Paul. Recently, in a substantial critique of N.T. Wright's Paul and the Faithfulness of God, Gathercole not only demonstrated his acclaimed knowledge of Second Temple Judaism; he also offered valid, nuanced and substantial criticisms of Wright's views on justification in Paul.[2]

His monograph Where is Boasting? (2002) was an examination of the theme of boasting in early Judaism and in Romans 1-5 against the backdrop of final judgement. This study also critically examined the strengths and weaknesses of the New Perspective on Paul. One significant weakness in the work of NPP scholars (particularly the work of Dunn and N.T. Wright) addressed by Gathercole is the virtually complete absence of engagement with Old Testament and Rabbinical literature where there is an explicit interplay between eschatology and Torah observance. His work The Pre-existent Son (2006) deals with the Christologies of the New Testament, specifically with regard to the notion of pre-existence within the Synoptic gospels. Going against James Dunn's Christology in the Making (1987), Gathercole argues that "the basic point that all four Gospels share the idea of preexistence is a valid one."[3] In 2012 one New Testament blog reported that this work is recommended reading in at least some parts of Germany.[4] Gathercole's most recent monograph The Composition of the Gospel of Thomas addresses two central questions in the current research on the Gospel of Thomas, namely, what its original language was and which early Christian works influenced it. At present, theories of Thomas as a Semitic work abound. Gathercole dismantles these approaches, arguing instead that Thomas is a piece of Greek literature, and that the matter of Thomas's original language is connected with an even more controversial question: that of the relationship between Thomas and the canonical New Testament. Gathercole develops a newly refined approach to how Thomas is influenced by the Synoptic gospels. Gathercole dedicated this monograph to his Durham PhD supervisor James D.G. Dunn.

From 2007 until 2013, Gathercole served as editor of the Journal for the Study of the New Testament.

Selected bibliographyEdit

  • The Gospel of Thomas: Introduction and Commentary (Brill, 2014)
  • The Composition of the Gospel of Thomas: Original Language and Influences (Cambridge, 2012)
  • The Gospel of Judas: Rewriting Early Christianity (Oxford, 2007)
  • The Pre-existent Son: Recovering the Christologies of Matthew, Mark, And Luke (Eerdmans, 2006). xi + 344pp.
  • Divine and Human Agency in Paul and his Cultural Environment. Edited with J.M.G. Barclay (London/New York: Continuum, 2006). x + 208pp.
  • The Book of Tobit: Texts, Comparisons, Lexicon and Concordance to the Aramaic, Hebrew, Greek, Latin, and Syriac Versions. Edited with L.T. Stuckenbruck & S.D.E. Weeks, eds. (Fontes et Subsidia ad Bibliam Pertinentes; Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 2004). x + 792pp.
  • Where is Boasting: Early Jewish Soteriology and Paul's Response in Romans 1-5 (Eerdmans, 2002).xii + 311pp.

Selected articles and essays

‘The Gospel of Judas’, Expository Times 118.5 (February 2007), pp. 209–215.

‘A Proposed Rereading of P. Oxy. 654 line 41 (G. Thom. 7)’, Harvard Theological Review 99 (2006), pp. 355–359.

‘Sin in God's Economy: Agencies in Romans 1 and 7’, in J.M.G. Barclay & S.J. Gathercole, eds. Divine and Human Agency in Paul and His Cultural Environment (Library of New Testament Studies; London/ New York: Continuum, 2006), pp. 158–172.

‘Paul’s Doctrine of Justification: A Proposal’, in B. McCormack, ed. Justification: From the 10th Rutherford House Conference in Christian Dogmatics (Grand Rapids: Brazos, 2006), pp. 219–241.

‘Tobit in Spain: Some Preliminary Comments on the Relations between the Old Latin Witnesses’, in M. Bredin, ed. Studies in the Book of Tobit: A Multidisciplinary Approach (Library of Second Temple Studies; London/ New York: Continuum, 2006), pp. 5–11.

‘The Pauline and Petrine Sola Fide’, in M. Bachmann, ed. Lutherische oder Neue Paulusperspektive? (WUNT; Tübingen: Mohr, 2005), pp. 309–327.

‘The Heavenly ανατολη (Lk. 1.78-79)’, Journal of Theological Studies 56 (2005), pp. 471–488.

‘Pre-existence, and the Freedom of the Son in Creation and Redemption: An Exposition in Dialogue with Robert Jenson’, International Journal of Systematic Theology 7.1 (2005), pp. 36–49.

‘On the Alleged Aramaic Idiom behind the Synoptic ηλθον-sayings’, Journal of Theological Studies 55.1 (2004), pp. 84–91.

‘Torah, Life and Salvation: Leviticus 18.5 in Early Judaism and the New Testament’, in C.A. Evans, J.A. Sanders, eds. From Prophecy to Testament: The Function of the Old Testament in the New (Peabody, Mass: Hendrickson, 2004), pp. 131–150.

‘Justified by Faith, Justified by his Blood: The Evidence of Rom 3.21-4.25’, in D.A. Carson, P.T. O’Brien, M.A. Seifrid, eds. Justification and Variegated Nomism. Volume 2: The Paradoxes of Paul (WUNT; Tübingen: Mohr, 2004), pp. 147–184.

‘Jesus’ Eschatological Vision of the Fall of Satan: Luke 10.18 Reconsidered’, Zeitschrift für die Neutestamentliche Wissenschaft 94.2 (2003), pp. 143–163.

‘The Justification of Wisdom (Mt. 11.19b/Lk 7.35)’, New Testament Studies 49 (2003), pp. 476–488. ‘A Law unto Themselves: The Gentiles in Rom 2.14-15 Revisited’, Journal for the Study of the New Testament 85 (2002), pp. 27–49.


  1. ^ "Dr Simon Gathercole — Faculty of Divinity". Retrieved 2015-04-05. 
  2. ^
  3. ^ The Pre-existent Son. p. 295
  4. ^ ": Why Germans recommend Gathercole, not Bultmann - a Münster experience!". 2012-07-06. Retrieved 2015-04-05. 

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