Frederick Fyvie Bruce FBA (12 October 1910 – 11 September 1990), usually cited as F. F. Bruce, was a biblical scholar who supported the historical reliability of the New Testament. His first book, New Testament Documents: Are They Reliable? (1943), was voted by the American evangelical periodical Christianity Today in 2006 as one of the top 50 books "which had shaped evangelicals".
Bruce was born in Elgin, Moray, in Scotland, the son of a Christian Brethren (Plymouth Brethren) preacher and educated at the University of Aberdeen, Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, and the University of Vienna, where he studied with Paul Kretschmer, an Indo-European philologist.
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 on him in 1957. In 1959 he moved to the University of Manchester where he became Rylands Professor of Biblical Criticism and Exegesis. He wrote over 40 books and served as editor of The Evangelical Quarterly and the Palestine Exploration Quarterly. He retired from teaching in 1978.
Bruce was a 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 United States as Paul: Apostle of the Heart Set Free). He also wrote commentaries on many biblical books including Habakkuk, the Gospel of John, the Acts of the Apostles, Romans, 1 & 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Colossians, Philemon, 1 & 2 Thessalonians, the Epistle to the Hebrews, and the Epistles of John.
Most of Bruce's works were scholarly, but he also wrote many popular works on the Bible. He viewed the New Testament writings as historically reliable and the truth claims of Christianity as hinging 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 some 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. Bruce's colleague at Manchester, James Barr, considered Bruce a "conservative liberal".
Bruce was a friend and colleague of H.L. Ellison.
Bruce was in Christian fellowship at various places during his life, though his primary commitment was to the Open Brethren among whom he grew up. He enjoyed the fellowship and acceptance of this group, though he was very much a maverick in relation to his own personal beliefs. He never accepted a specific brand of dispensationalism usually associated with the Brethren, although he may have held a historic premillennialism akin to George Eldon Ladd and he was also an advocate of the public ministry of women – something that many Plymouth Brethren would still disapprove of today.
Bruce was honoured with two scholarly works by his colleagues and former students, one to mark his 60th and the other to mark his 70th birthday. Apostolic History and the Gospel: Biblical and Historical Essays Presented to F. F. Bruce on his 60th Birthday (1970) included contributions from E. M. Blaiklock, E. Earle Ellis, I. Howard Marshall, Bruce M. Metzger, William Barclay, G. E. Ladd, A. R. Millard, Leon Morris, Bo Reicke, and Donald Guthrie. Pauline Studies: Essays Presented to Professor F. F. Bruce on his 70th Birthday (1980) included contributions from Peter T. O'Brien, David Wenham, Ronald E. Clements, and Moisés Silva. C. F. D. Moule and Robert H. Gundry contributed to both volumes.
Bruce was elected a Fellow of the British Academy, and in 1965 served as President of the Society for Old Testament Study, and also as President of the Society for New Testament Study.
- New Testament Documents: Are They Reliable? Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1981. (First published in 1943 as Are the New Testament Documents Reliable?) ISBN 0-8028-2219-3
- The Hittites and the Old Testament. Tyndale Old Testament Lecture, 1947. London: The Tyndale Press, 1947. Pbk. pp.28.
- The Books and the Parchments. London: Pickering & Inglis, 1950 (2nd edn 1953; 3rd & revised edn 1963; paperback revised edition 1971 ISBN 0-7208-0216-4)
- The Acts of the Apostles: The Greek Text With Introduction and Commentary. Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans, 1951.
- The Book of the Acts (New International Commentary on the New Testament). Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans, 1954. ISBN 0-8028-2182-0
- The Epistles to the Colossians and the Ephesians. (New International Commentary on the New Testament) Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans, 1957. [title may be incorrect; Bruce wrote the Colossians commentary, and E.K. Simpson wrote the Ephesians commentary; see the 1984 replacement below entirely by Bruce]
- The Teacher of Righteousness in the Qumran Texts. London: The Tyndale Press, 1957. Pbk. pp.36.
- The Apostolic Defence of the Gospel. London: Inter-Varsity Press, 1959. ISBN 0-85110-306-5
- Biblical Exegesis in the Qumran Texts. London: The Tyndale Press, 1960. Pbk. pp.88.
- Paul and his Converts. Cambridge: Lutterworth Press, 1962. ISBN 0-7188-0072-9
- Romans (Tyndale New Testament Commentaries). Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans, 1963. ISBN 0-8028-1405-0
- Israel and the Nations. Exeter: Paternoster Press, 1963. ISBN 0-85364-150-1
- Epistle to the Hebrews (New International Commentary on the New Testament). Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans, 1964.
- This is That. Exeter: Paternoster Press, 1968. ISBN 0-85364-168-4 (published in the USA as New Testament Development of Old Testament Themes. Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans, 1968. ISBN 0-8028-1729-7)
- New Testament History. London: Oliphants, 1969. ISBN 0-551-00799-0
- The Acts of the Apostles: The Greek Text With Introduction and Commentary, 2nd ed. Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans, 1970.
- An Expanded Paraphrase of the Epistles Of Paul. R.N. Haynes Publishers; 1st USA edition (1981) 323 pages. ISBN 978-0-88021-016-4
- Galatian Problems. John Rylands Library, 1971.
- Answers to Questions. Exeter: Paternoster Press, 1972. 0-85364-101-3
- The 'Secret' Gospel of Mark. The Ethel M. Wood lecture delivered before the University of London on 11 February 1974. London: The Athlone Press, 1974. Pbk. ISBN 0-485-14318-6. pp.20.
- Jesus and Christian Origins Outside the New Testament. Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans, 1974. ISBN 0-8028-1575-8
- Paul: Apostle of The Free Spirit. Exeter UK: Paternoster, 1977. ISBN 1-84227-027-3 (published in the USA as Paul: Apostle of the Heart Set Free. Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans,1977. ISBN 0-8028-4778-1)
- History of the Bible in English. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 1978. ISBN 0-19-520088-8
- The Epistles of John. Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans, 1979. ISBN 0-8028-1783-1
- Men and Movements in the Primitive Church. Exeter: Paternoster, 1979. ISBN 0-85364-705-4
- I & II Corinthians (New Century Bible Commentary). Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans, 1980. ISBN 0-8028-1839-0
- The Spreading Flame. Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans, 1980. ISBN 0-8028-1805-6
- Bible History Atlas. N.Y.: Crossroad, 1982. ISBN 0-8245-0418-6
- Epistle to the Galatians (New International Greek Testament Commentary). Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans, 1982. ISBN 0-8028-2387-4
- 1 & 2 Thessalonians (Word Biblical Commentary). Thomas Nelson, 1982. ISBN 0-8499-0244-4
- Hard Sayings of Jesus. Inter-Varsity, 1983. ISBN 0-87784-927-7
- Jesus and Paul: Places They Knew. Thomas Nelson, 1983. ISBN 0-8407-5281-4
- Abraham and David: Places They Knew. Thomas Nelson, 1984. ISBN 0-8407-5402-7
- The Epistles to the Colossians, to Philemon, and to the Ephesians. (New International Commentary on the New Testament). Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans, 1984. ISBN 0-8028-2510-9 [This is Bruce's new commentary on Ephesians and Philemon along with a revision of his 1957 commentary from the Simpson and Bruce volume above]
- The Gospel of John. Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans, 1984. ISBN 0-8028-0883-2
- Jesus: Lord & Savior. Inter-Varsity (US), 1986.
- The Message of the New Testament. Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans, 1986. ISBN 0-8028-1525-1
- Romans (Tyndale New Testament Commentary), revised. Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans, 1986. ISBN 0-8028-0062-9
- Second Thoughts on the Dead Sea Scrolls. Attic Press, 1986. ISBN 0-85364-017-3
- The Canon of Scripture. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1988. ISBN 0-8308-1258-X
- The Book of the Acts, revised (New International Commentary on the New Testament). Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans, 1988. ISBN 0-8028-2505-2
- Philippians, (New International Biblical Commentary), 1989. Hendricksen. ISBN 0-943575-15-X
- Epistle to the Hebrews, revised. (New International Commentary on the New Testament) Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans, 1990. ISBN 0-8028-2514-1
- The Acts of the Apostles: The Greek Text With Introduction and Commentary, 3rd ed. Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans, 1990. ISBN 0-8028-0966-9
- A Mind For What Matters: Collected Essays. Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans, 1990. ISBN 0-8028-0446-2
- Kaiser, Walter C., Peter H. Davids, F. F. Bruce, and Manfred Brauch. Hard Sayings of the Bible. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1996. ISBN 0-87784-927-7
- "The Chester Beatty Papyri," The Harvester 11 (1934): 163, 164.
- "What Do We Mean By Biblical Inspiration?" Journal of the Transactions of the Victoria Institute 78 (1946): 121–139.
- "The Speeches In Acts: Thirty Years After," Robert Banks, ed., Reconciliation and Hope. New Testament Essays on Atonement and Eschatology Presented to L. L. Morris on his 60th Birthday. Carlisle: The Paternoster Press, 1974. pp.53–68.
- "The Background to the Son of Man Sayings," Christ The Lord. Studies in Christology presented to Donald Guthrie. Leicester: Inter-Varsity Press, 1982. Hbk. ISBN 0-85111-744-9. pp.50–70.
- "The Curse of the Law," M. D. Hooker & S. G. Wilson, eds., Paul and Paulinism. Essays in Honour of C. K. Barrett. London: SPCK. Hbk. ISBN 0-281-03835-X. pp.27–36.
- "Colossian Problems: Part 1: Jews and Christians in the Lycus Valley," Bibliotheca Sacra 141: 561 (1984): 3–13.
- "Colossian Problems: Part 2: The 'Christ Hymn' of Colossians 1:15–20," Bibliotheca Sacra 141: 562 (1984): 99–112.
- "Colossian Problems: Part 3: The Colossian Heresy," Bibliotheca Sacra 141: 563 (1984): 195–206.
- "Colossian Problems: Part 4: Christ as Conqueror and Reconciler," Bibliotheca Sacra 141: 564 (1984): 291–301.
- "Luke's Presentation of the Spirit in Acts," Criswell Theological Review 5.1 (1990) 15–29.
- annual Rylands lectures at the John Rylands Library, Manchester (published in Bulletin of the John Rylands Library, vols. 43–60; including "Galatian problems", 5 pts, and "St Paul in Rome", 5 pts.)
- ^ Grass, Tim (2012). F. F. Bruce: A Life. Milton Keynes: Paternoster. p. 40. ISBN 978-0-8028-6723-0.
- ^ Hippenhammer, Craighton T., "F.F. Bruce: A Life, by Tim Grass" (2013). Faculty Scholarship – Library Science. Paper 15. http://digitalcommons.olivet.edu/lsci_facp/15.
- ^ W.W. Gasque, "Bruce, F(rederick) F(yvie)", Historical Handbook of Major Bible Interpreters, ed. Donald K. McKim, InterVarsity Press, 1998, p. 444.
- ^ "F. F. Bruce a life". The Gospel Coalition. Retrieved 2015-12-17.
- ^ Iain Murray, Evangelicalism Divided, Edinburgh: Banner of Truth (2000), p. 181; John Wenham, Facing Hell: An Autobiography, Carlisle: Paternoster Press (1999), p. 195.
- ^ Arnold Pickering, "F.F. Bruce as a Fellow-Elder", Christian Brethren Research Fellowship Journal 22 (Nov. 1971), p. 15f.
- ^ F.F. Bruce, "The End of the First Gospel", The Evangelical Quarterly 12 (1940), pp. 203–214.
- ^ "AntiChrist Comes First". Archived from the original on 16 February 2005. Retrieved 25 December 2015.
- ^ Grass, Tim (2012). F. F. Bruce: A Life. Milton Keynes: Paternoster. pp. 37–38. ISBN 978-0-8028-6723-0.
- ^ see http://answers.net.nz/Other/bre.3.htm for a criticism of Bruce for supporting Women's Ministry based on a review of one of his articles
- ^ Grass, Tim (2011). F. F. Bruce: A Life. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans. p. 229. ISBN 9780802867230.
- W. Ward Gasque & Ralph P. Martin (eds). Apostolic History and the Gospel: Biblical and Historical Essays Presented to F. F. Bruce on his 60th Birthday. Exeter: Paternoster; Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans, 1970. ISBN 0-85364-098-X
- D. A. Hagner & M. J. Harris (eds). Pauline Studies: Essays Presented to F. F. Bruce. Exeter: Paternoster; Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans, 1980. ISBN 0-8028-3531-7
- F. F. Bruce. In Retrospect: Remembrance of Things Past. Revised edition. Grand Rapids: Baker, 1993. ISBN 0-8010-1055-1
- Tim Grass. F. F. Bruce. A Life. Milton Keynes: Paternoster, 2012. ISBN 978-1-84227-737-9