“I’m not really a scholar”–the Late J. Alec Motyer

I realize that–without really meaning to–I’ve developed an affinity for Anglican priest-scholar types. To name just a few: R.T. France, Fleming Rutledge, N.T. Wright.

Add to that list the late J. Alec Motyer. I can hardly imagine studying Isaiah without Motyer’s work. And his commentary on Zephaniah is a model of scholarship that praises God.

I recently came across this great quote from him:

I’m not really a scholar. I’m just a man who loves the Word of God.

J. Alec Motyer

I’m not sure I’m in danger of being called a scholar. All the same, his words resonate deeply with me, as what I aspire to.

4 thoughts on ““I’m not really a scholar”–the Late J. Alec Motyer

  1. Have you read Fleming Rutledge’s The Battle for Middle Earth? Marvelous. Last time I read it I went back and forth between it and the Lord of the Rings and it was a really nice experience.
    And I think that if you really love the word of God you don’t have to worry about whether you’re a scholar or not.

    1. I haven’t read that, and had forgotten she wrote it, so enraptured have I been with her books of sermons (and *The Crucifixion*). Thanks for the recommendation!

  2. Hello, Abram. Indeed, as a new and young Christian (age 21 in 1987, Scotland), I picked up one his IVP commentary ‘The Message of Amos.’ ignorant of anything Christian, I cut my teeth on some wonderful British theologians, the mark of which were to downplay any accolades (F. F. Bruce among them). Living in the U.S. now over 32+ years, I reflect upon those earlier days. While our world has changed dramatically in the last three decades, the Word of God remains the same. The admonition from Motyer via Amos: to leave behind “the crimes of Damascus” to become a greater human being through the Person of the Lord Jesus.

    1. This is great. Thanks for this comment, Alistair, and I love the idea of downplaying accolades (even as they continue to pursue rigorous and faithful scholarship).

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