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 john.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

Read our autumn newsletter

You can download a pdf to read the entire autumn 2019 Trinity News, and if you haven’t seen our new video yet you can click the link here. This issue includes: Going greener: Trinity students are finding ways to connect with and care for the world around them. The pain and gain of learning Greek: […]

Trinity students engage with practitioners during Workshop Week

Last week, Trinity’s Student Exec welcomed several speakers to college as part of a Workshop Week. Ordinand Leah Thompson coordinated the week as part of her responsibilities as Spirituality and Leadership Rep, a new role on the Student Exec this year. Speakers were chosen in part based on a survey completed by students last year, […]

Watch our new video (1:56)

How might it change you, as a person and as a Christian leader, to learn more about Jesus in the context of an intentional community? Find out more about what it means to train residentially at Trinity. If you’d like to learn more about Trinity and the programmes we offer, or if you’d like to […]

Welcome BBQ for new students

This autumn, we welcomed 52 new ordinands and 18 independent students, with many of them and their families joining us for a barbecue on the lawn to celebrate the start of term.   Posted September 2019