Dr John Bimson, BA(Hons), PhD

A bit about me

I studied at Sheffield University in the 1970s, doing my degree and postgraduate research in the Department of Biblical Studies. There I developed an interest in the historical and archaeological background to the Old Testament, and firmly believe that knowing something of the ancient world in which the Old Testament was written is a vital aid to understanding it. I’ve taken part in excavations in Israel and find archaeology an exciting source of fresh insights as well as great fun. I’m passionate about the Old Testament’s continuing importance and relevance to the church.

I live with my wife Maya in the Cambrian Mountains in mid-Wales, where we run our house Bron y Llys as a B&B and mini-retreat centre. There I’m able to indulge my hobbies of birdwatching, writing and walking, and when there are no guests staying I can listen to loud music without disturbing anyone apart from a few sheep. Our two sons live in Spain and Scotland respectively, providing us with excellent holiday venues.

My research interests

My doctoral research was on the historicity and setting of the Exodus and Conquest, a contentious topic on which I continue to research and write. The Old Testament book that I love most is the book of Job, a book with limitless depths and amazing poetic beauty. I’ve taught a module on Job at Trinity for many years and hope to spend my retirement years writing about it.

I’m also very concerned about environmental issues and believe that creation care should be part of our Christian discipleship. Some of my recent thinking and research has been around exploring a biblical perspective on creation care. I’ve developed modules on the subject at Trinity and speak regularly on it at conferences and to church groups.

How to get in touch with me

Email me on j.bimson@trinitycollegebristol.ac.uk

Some highlights of my work

1995 Consulting Editor and contributor, Illustrated Encyclopedia of Bible Places (Leicester: IVP).

2001 ‘Old Testament History and Sociology’, in C. Broyles (ed.), Interpreting the Old Testament (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic), pp. 125-155.

2003 (When) Did it Happen? New Contexts for Old Testament History (Cambridge: Grove Books).

2003 ‘Joseph: an Egyptian vizier?’, ‘The Israelite Exodus: myth or reality?’, and ‘Who was “King Shishak of Egypt”?’, in B. Manley (ed.), The Seventy Great Mysteries of Ancient Egypt (London: Thames & Hudson).

2006 ‘Reconsidering a “Cosmic Fall”’, Science and Christian Belief 18/1, pp. 63-81.

2009 ‘Bringing the Past to Life’, ‘Nomadic Life’ and ‘Settled Life’, in P. Alexander &. D. Alexander (eds.), The Lion Handbook to the Bible (4th edition; Oxford: Lion Hudson).

2009 ‘Doctrines of the Fall and Sin after Darwin,’ in M. Northcott & R. J. Berry (eds.), Theology After Darwin (Milton Keynes: Paternoster), pp. 106-122.

2012 ‘Fierce Beasts and Free Processes: a Proposed Reading of God’s Speeches in the Book of Job’, in S. Finamore and J. Weaver (eds.), Wisdom, Science and the Scriptures: Essays in Honour of Ernest Lucas (Oxford: Regent’s Park College), pp. 16-33.

2013 My brief Bible Study notes on Job 38-39 and our place in creation can be read here

2015  ‘Shishak and Shoshenq: a chronological cornerstone or stumbling-block?’ and ‘Ramesses III as biblical Shishak? Some notes on the archaeological evidence’ in P. J. James and P. G. van der Veen (eds.), Solomon and Shishak: Current Perspectives from Archaeology, Epigraphy, History and Chronology. (Oxford: Archaeopress, 2015), pp. 3-9 and 98-116.

Latest blog posts

Habakkuk: Trusting God through injustice

Trinity Tutor in Old Testament Rev Dr David Firth discusses how Habakkuk wrestles with the difficulty of continuing to trust in God whilst living in a situation of ongoing oppression and injustice, with ideas as to how you might preach and teach this lesser known book. For those unfamiliar with Habakkuk, can you provide a […]

Race and the Church

During a diversity plenary week, Trinity students thought more deeply about issues related to disability, race, and the church. Three Trinity students shared their own personal reflections regarding race and church with our community. Mary Hotchkiss is an ordinand completing a Diploma in Theology, Ministry and Mission. No person of colour is the same, nor […]

New principal announced

We are delighted to announce that the Revd Dr Sean Doherty will be the next principal of Trinity College. The announcement was made today to students at college, with the opportunity afterward to meet and chat with Sean and his wife, Gaby. Sean has served as Tutor in Ethics at St Mellitus College in London […]

Retreat Day, through the eyes of our students

On Wednesday, 30 January, our students participated (along with students and faculty from Bristol Baptist College) in a college retreat day. They chose from among eleven options for the day, which included a cycling pilgrimage, an off-site Quiet Day, a Franciscan walk through Leigh Woods, an artistic session on Bible journalling, a songwriters’ retreat, a […]