End of an Era in Sheffield?

Last year when I was in Buckie, Scotland, I wrote a couple of posts about F.F. Bruce, who grew up in nearby Elgin (here and here).   I noted that he helped establish the department of Biblical Studies at the University of Sheffield and that he adopted a historical, non-sectarian, and “secular” approach to the Bible.  Bruce himself was a devout believer, but he believed he could approach the Bible in the University as a historian and work with other historians apart on a neutral playing field.

Evidently there is a plan underway by the administration of the University to end the undergraduate program in Biblical Studies.  Mark Goodacre at Duke University  and Jim West from Volunteer country are urging concerned colleagues to make their voice known.

One of my colleagues, by the way, Dr. Don Leach, took a course under professor Bruce several years ago.  He presented the professor with a copy of J.W. McGarvey’s commentary on the book of Acts.  McGarvey wrote his famous commentary during the American civil war, and F.F. Bruce tells how he relieved many hours of war time tedium working on his commentary on Acts during the second world war.