(Originally published in New Dictionary of Theology.  David F. Wright, Sinclair B. Ferguson, J.I. Packer (eds), 496-499.  IVP.  Reproduced by permission of the author.) PAUL. This article presents an overview of Paul’s life and work, his theology, place in early Christianity, and significance for today.  1. Life and work The apostle Paul, a Jew from […]


(Originally published in New Dictionary of Theology.  David F. Wright, Sinclair B. Ferguson, J.I. Packer (eds), 359-361.  IVP.  Reproduced by permission of the author.) JUSTIFICATION denotes, primarily, that action in the lawcourt whereby a judge upholds the case of one party in dispute before him (in the Hebrew lawcourt, where the image originates, all cases […]


(Originally published in New Dictionary of Theology. David F. Wright, Sinclair B. Ferguson, J.I. Packer (eds), 348-351. IVP. Reproduced by permission of the author.) JESUS. Who is Jesus? How much can be reliably discovered about him? What is the significance of his ministry in 1st-century Palestine? Such are the questions posed by contemporary NT scholarship. […]

My Pilgrimage in Theology

(Originally Published in Themelios, January, 1993, 18.2, 35. Reproduced by permission of the author.) Tom Wright Most theological students associate John Wenham with Greek grammar.  Not me.  I was in an undergraduate audience which he addressed in 1970.  He urged Bible-loving Christians to consider theological study and a ministry of teaching and writing.  His model […]

Jesus’ Self-Understanding

[47] Jesus’ Self-Understanding (Originally published in The Incarnation, ed. S. T. Davis, D. Kendall, G. O’Collins 2002, Oxford: OUP, 47–61. Original pagination is retained in bold italicized numbers. Reproduced by permission of the author.) N. T. WRIGHT I INTRODUCTION (A): TODAY’S SITZ IM LEBEN As I prepared to write this short chapter on Jesus’ self-understanding, […]

Moral Climate Change and Freedom of Speech

speech in the House of Lords, February 9 2006 by the Bishop of Durham, Dr N. T. Wright My Lords, I am grateful to the noble Lady, Baroness Knight, for the opportunity offered by this debate to address some issues that have become urgent in our national life. It would be a mistake, my Lords, […]

Faith in Further Education?

Comments on the draft bill before the House of Lords, December 13 2006 by the Bishop of Durham, Dr N. T. Wright The Lord Bishop of Durham: My Lords, there are, as we have heard, several potentially controversial aspects of this Bill, to put it mildly, but I will focus mainly on an important lacuna. […]

Economy and Business: debate on the Queen’s Speech

Monday December 8 2008 Speech by the Bishop of Durham, Dr N. T. Wright My Lords, like I suspect many of us in this House I was delighted but not surprised to see that the Gracious Speech started with a clear stress on the stability of the British economy during the current global economic downturn. […]

Early Traditions and the Origins of Christianity

(Originally published in Sewanee Theological Review 41.2, 1998. Reproduced by permission of the author.) N.T. Wright Introduction I have so far endeavored to sketch a historical argument I have urged that the rise of early Christianity cannot be explained except on the basis upon which the early Christians themselves insist, namely, that Jesus of Nazareth, […]

Diocese of Durham: Diocesan Synod, May 21 2010

Presidential Address: The Bishop of Durham, the Rt Revd N. T. Wright, DD Some of you, older synodical hands than I, have seen bishops come and go over a long period, and no doubt you tick them off one by one in your mind, perhaps even carving another notch on the end of the pew. […]

On Dropping the Debt

A note on the subject of debt relief, 12 May 2008 by the Bishop of Durham, Dr. N. T. Wright In some of my writings and sermons I have emphasized the importance of cancelling Third World debts. A great deal of work at quite a high level of economic and financial expertise has been done […]

The Shape of Justification

(N.T. Wright, Bible Review, April 2001.  Reproduced by permission of the author.) A misunderstood term has caused great confusion in understanding Paul, and it’s time to get it right. Just before Christmas, Paul Barnett, an Australian bishop and a New Testament scholar, placed an article on his Web site entitled “Why Wright is Wrong.” (He […]

The Resurrection of Resurrection

(N. T. Wright, Bible Review, August 2000.  Reproduced by permission of the author) Christianity was born into a world where one of its central tenets, the resurrection of the dead, was widely recognized as false–except, of course, by Judaism. Jews believed in resurrection, Greeks believed in immortality.  So I was taught many years ago.  But […]

The New Inheritance According to Paul

(Originally published in Bible Review, 14.3, June 1998.  Reproduced by permission of the author.) The Letter to the Romans re-enacts for all peoples the Israelite Exodus from Egypt to the Promised Land — from slavery to freedom. By N.T. Wright Most of the major questions about Paul’s Letter to the Romans relate to Paul’s puzzling […]

Paul, Leader of a Jewish Revolution

(N.T. Wright, Bible Review, December 2000.  Reproduced by permission of the author.) Paul’s theology–grounded in Jewish thought and scriptures–propelled him to confront the powers of Rome and the pagan gods that stood behind them. Did Paul think Jesus was the long-promised Davidic Messiah? The first Christian writer seems to say so at the very start […]

The Great Debate

(N.T. Wright, Bible Review.  Reproduced by permission of the author.) Jesus doesn’t really matter in Britain, but he clearly does in America. Why? They came, to my surprise, by the hundreds. Serious-minded folks from Washington, D.C., to San Francisco seemed keen to spend an evening listening to two Jesus scholars–Marcus Borg and me–continue in public […]

The Bishop’s Ministry at Auckland Castle

Meeting of Church Commissioners and Auckland Castle Trustees, Directors and Supporters Auckland Castle, July 13 2005 Briefing paper from the Bishop of Durham Introduction In his briefing paper, the Secretary to the Commissioners has highlighted as the principal question before us: ‘how do the retention of the [Zurbarán] paintings, and the Bishop and his family […]

Freedom and Framework, Spirit and Truth: Recovering Biblical Worship

(Originally published in Studia Liturgica 2002, 32, 176-95.  Reproduced by permission of the author.) by N. T. Wright* I. Introduction “Biblical worship” is a huge topic, and one on which I am not really qualified.  I am neither a liturgist, nor a liturgiologist.  I am simply a New Testament scholar working in a community whose daily […]


Reflections by the Bishop of Durham June 30 2008 I spent this last week in a great celebration of the love and power of God in the gospel of Jesus Christ. I confirmed many new believers. I installed a dynamic new rector in a key parish. I assisted in consecrating a wonderful man as the […]

Ad Clerum, December 2005

By the Bishop of Durham, the Rt. Rev. Dr. Tom Wright 12. xii. 05 Dear Friends Warm greetings to you all on a chilly December day. I have been sparing with the Ad Clerum genre over the last two years, but I think it’s time to start making amends. And there is a pressing matter […]

Speaking of Good and Evil

Originally published in Bible Review.  Reproduced by permission of the author. How can we gain a biblical understanding of the social and political events of our day? How should we speak of God?  Theologians have struggled for years with this question, wondering whether God should be described metaphorically, literally or, perhaps, some other way altogether.  In recent weeks, […]

Kingdom Come: The Public Meaning of the Gospels

In his new book, The Great Awakening, Jim Wallis describes how as a young man growing up in an evangelical church, he never heard a sermon on the Sermon on the Mount. That telling personal observation reflects a phenomenon about which I have been increasingly concerned: that much evangelical Christianity on both sides of the Atlantic […]

New Testament Scholarship and Christian Discipleship

The Moule Memorial Lecture. Originally delivered on Thursday, June 5, 2008. Introduction Thank you for your welcome, and for the invitation to give this lecture, which of course makes me both sad and proud. Sad because Charlie’s death last autumn was not only a defining moment, the end of an era, but for me, as […]

Reason to Be Cheerful

When I was an undergraduate, I read a book called Clarity Is Not Enough. It challenged the prevailing linguistic philosophy which said less and less with more and more precision. Yes, we have to think and speak accurately, otherwise we go round in circles, but philosophy must be about something – life, meaning, ethics, truth. […]

Shipwreck and Kingdom: Acts and the Anglican Communion

Closing address to the meeting of the Anglican Consultative Council When I heard that you had been studying Acts in your time together, my mind went, for some reason, to acronyms. I imagined myself coming to address the Anglican Communion Theological Society, or perhaps the Anglican Council for Tea and Sympathy, which goodness knows you […]

Paul in Different Perspectives

Delivered at Auburn Avenue Presbyterian Church (Monroe, Louisiana) Lecture 1: Starting Points and Opening Reflections Introduction Thank you for your warm welcome and generous hospitality. It is an enormous pleasure for Maggie and myself to be here in Monroe for the first time. I am particularly grateful to those who have worked very hard to […]

Freedom and Framework, Spirit and Truth: Recovering Biblical Worship.

Originally published in Studia Liturgica 2002, 32, 176–195. Reproduced by permission of the author. Introduction “Biblical worship” is a huge topic, and one on which I am not really qualified.  I am neither a liturgist, nor a liturgiologist.  I am simply a New Testament scholar working in a community whose daily life is structured around public and corporate worship, […]

Paul’s Gospel and Caesar’s Empire

Written in Reflections, vol. 2, 1998 If Paul’s answer to Caesar is the empire of Jesus, what is an empire under the rule of this new lord? How does Paul’s gospel line up with Caesar’s empire? I am honoured to be lecturing in this famous institution, and my wife and I are deeply grateful for the […]

The Most Dangerous Baby

How an infant in a cow shed overturns the brute force of Caesar. By the time Jesus was born, Augustus had already been monarch for a quarter of a century. King of kings, he ruled from Gibraltar to Jerusalem and from Britain to the Black Sea. He had done what no one had done for […]

Jesus, Israel and the Cross

Originally published in SBL 1985 Seminar Papers, pp. 75–95. Reproduced by permission of the author. I Like naughty children whispering after a command to silence, and then, greatly daring, talking openly and with increasing volume, New Testament scholars, so long forbidden to talk about Jesus of Nazareth, have begun in the last decade to do so […]