Charlie (C.F.D.) Moule dies at age 98

I was saddened to read today in The Telegraph of the death of the Reverend Professor C.F.D. Moule. I correspondended briefly with Prof. Moule last year after contacting for permission to use his Ethel M. Wood lecture, which is mentioned in Telegraph obituary:

Rev. Canon C.F.D. Moule, Man and Nature in the New Testament. Some Reflections on Biblical Ecology. The Ethel M. Wood Lecture delivered before the University of London on 9 March 1964. London: The Athlone Press, 1964. Pbk. pp.22.

I am sure that he would not mind me sharing the contents of his second letter of 7th July:

Dear Mr Bradshaw,

Thank you for your letter of 5 July and for taking the trouble to follow-up my remark. I that that of all my books there are 3 I would venture to think not to have been superseded and out-dated; but, on further reflection, I believe that two are in fact in print. (My uncertainty and vagueness are due to the fact that, at 97 1/2, I am severely restricted in movement and almost bereft of books, and so unable to check up on the facts; but perhaps you may have means of ascertaining details.)

(1) The Origin of Christology (C.U.P.,? 1977; out of print).

(2) The Birth of the New Testament, 3rd revised edition (A. & C. Black [or perhaps another publisher, A. & C. Black puvlished 1st & 2nd editions]), about 1981. In print.

(3) The Holy Spirit went out of print from its original publishers, but was re-issued about 4 or 5 years ago by other publishers, using, I think, simply photographic reproduction.

If any of this is worth following up, I hope you might find the information, one way or another; and perhaps you will kindly let me know any proposal you may have.

Yours sincerely,

Charlie Moule

P.S. My concern for the Origin of Christology is that I am not aware of another book which assembles so much detail to refute the popular but (I believe) totally worthless theory that a ‘high’ Christology was reached by the enthusiastic exaggerations of imagination. I try to show that a ‘high’ Christology already existed in our earliest datable source, St. Paul, and is reflected also in sunsequent, but still early, sources.

In my reply, after speaking with his publishers, I was able to reassure Professor Moule that his books would be in-print for many years to come.

I feel privileged to have been able to exchange these brief letters with him.

Professor Moule’s article on the Holy Spirit is available on-line here:

C.F.D. Moule, “The Holy Spirit in the Scriptures,” Forgiveness and Reconciliation: Biblical and Theological Essays. London: SPCK, 1998. Hbk. ISBN: 0281051399. pp.119-131. = The Church Quarterly, 3 (1971), pp. 279-87.

A Visit to London’s Evangelical Library

Last Saturday I was able to spend the best part of the day at the Evangelical Library near Baker Street Station in London. Founded in the 1930’s by Geoffrey Williams the library holds over 80,000 books, plus numerous journals and periodicals. It was this collection of journals that prompted me to renew my membership after an interval of around 15 years and make the trip into the city centre.
I have to say that I was both impressed and slightly saddened by the experience. It was wonderful to be able to search through the journal room, buried deep within the library, which contains thousands of bound journal volumes, many dating from the 1800’s. The picture to the right and below left show the journal room. What saddened me was that such a great resource seems to be greatly under-used. Many of the recent journals I looked at seemed never to have been opened before. Like many Christian institutions the library appears to run on a shoe-string and does not have the resources to replace its ailing photocopier. Indeed the copies it produced were so poor that I bought a small scanner to work on my laptop computer and took that along. I am looking forward to spending another Saturday exploring the journal room later in the year. During the day I was able to scan quite a number of articles which will be appearing on-line in due course.
If you live within travelling distance of London I would highly recommend a visit. The library also offers a useful postal service for those who live further afield. Such resources deserve our support and should not be allowed to fall into disuse.

Tiny tablet provides proof for the accuracy of the Old Testament

Personally I don’t have any doubts that the Bible provides an accurate historical record of the people and events it describes. Even so, it is nice when someone comes up with yet another piece of hard evidence for this. The evidence doesn’t get any “harder” than than the 2,500 clay tablet discovered recently in the collection of the British Museum. This tablet is a receipt from one of the temples of Babylon to Nabu-sharrussu-ukin “chief eunuch” of Nebuchadnezzar. According to a recent article in The Daily Telegraph It is almost certain that this is the same person as is mentioned in Jeremiah 32:3:

Then all the officials of the king of Babylon came and took seats in the Middle Gate: Nergal-Sharezer of Samgar, Nebo-Sarsekim a chief officer, Nergal-Sharezer a high official and all the other officials of the king of Babylon. [NIV]

The find is being hailed as the most important find in Biblical Archaology for 100 years, Prof. Irving Finkel of the British Museum is quoted as saying:

This is a fantastic discovery, a world-class find, … If Nebo-Sarsekim existed, which other lesser figures in the Old Testament existed? A throwaway detail in the Old Testament turns out to be accurate and true. I think that it means that the whole of the narrative [of Jeremiah] takes on a new kind of power.

A writer who set out to write about the fall of Jerusalem might be expected to know the name of the Babylonian king that captured the city, but such secondary details demonstrate that the book is, as it claims, a contemporary eyewitness account.