Revd Dr Peter Hatton

A bit about me

My roots are in the North of Ireland but my family left the province while I was very young and, after a spell in Germany, I was raised in the beautiful ancient town of York. I read English Literature at Cambridge and then worked as a banker in London for eight years before training as a Methodist minister.  The next twenty-five years saw ministry in a variety of, mostly large and growing (by Methodist standards) churches in England while completing a Doctorate part-time at the University of Birmingham on the Book of Proverbs. In 2010 I was appointed as a tutor at Wesley College Bristol but returned briefly to pastoral work when it closed. In 2013 Bristol Baptist College offered me the post of Biblical Tutor and Co-ordinator of Theological Education and I spent eight very happy years there, working closely with Trinity—the two colleges function academically as a single Theological Education Institution.

I believe profoundly that all inspired Scripture is a reliable, authoritative guide for Christian discipleship and that neglect of its study, and in particular, the modern tendency to neglect the Old Testament, is one major reason why churches in the West are in decline. It has been such a joy to witness, while teaching in the Bristol colleges, the way that many students have reclaimed their confidence in the ‘full counsels of God’.

My wife Sue is an expert on Autism with several publications to her credit and an award for lifetime achievement from her colleagues in the sector. My son, Tom, leads a child protection team in a tough South London borough and my daughter, Naomi, teaches in Kingswood, Bristol while bringing up four children (it is a privilege to see a lot of them!).

My research interests

My teaching has covered most of the Old Testament over the years with a particular interest in the Wisdom books, especially Proverbs. Other interests include hermeneutics and biblical Theology and I have supervised doctoral students whose theses have been focused in those areas.  Recently I have become increasingly drawn to an investigation of the Bible’s covenant theology and to what it implies about the relationship between the Old Testament and the imperial systems of the ancient Near East.

I am, however, interested (like the wisdom books of the Bible themselves) in a wide variety of topics including mystical theology and homiletics.

How to get in touch with me

Some highlights of my work

2022 ‘Reward and Retribution’ in The Cambridge Companion to Biblical Wisdom Literature

2022 ‘The Play’s the Thing: Girard’s Shakespeare’ in Attending to the Margins; Essays in Honour of Stephen Finamore.

2020 ‘No Condemnation? The Old Testament’s puzzling treatment of Persian Violence’ in The Bible on Violence

2011 ‘A Cautionary Tale; The Acts-Consequence “Construct”’ JSOT (35)

2008 Contradiction in the Book of Proverbs

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