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Obituary: Neville Birdsall

We are sorry to have to report the death, on 1 July 2005, of the distinguished biblical scholar, Professor Neville Birdsall, who was a lecturer in the Department of Theology at the University from 1956 until the end of 1960, when he moved to the University of Birmingham. Professor Birdsall spent the remainder of his career at Birmingham, becoming Professor of New Testament and Textual Criticism. He was also deeply involved in AUT matters and served as branch president. Professor Birdsall is the author of some one hundred articles, including important studies of the Greek witnesses to the New Testament text, the Georgian version of the New Testament, and the theory of textual criticism. The time he spent in the 1970s as executive editor of the International Critical Greek New Testament Project was invaluable in preparing material for the volumes that were to appear under his successor as project editor, Keith Elliott, current Professor of New Testament Textual Criticism at Leeds.

Dr Malcolm Chase of Continuing Education has contributed the following personal reminiscence:

In retirement, Neville moved to Darlington and resumed his professional relationship with the University through the Schools Adult Education Centre in Middlesbrough, where I was the Co-ordinator. He worked as a part-time tutor of liberal adult education classes in New Testament Greek during the late 1980s and the early 1990s. A huge draw in recruiting terms was Nevilles promise that students who completed the course (of 24 weekly, two-hour classes) would comfortably be able to read St Marks Gospel in the original Greek. And they did. He was one of the most remarkable teachers I have ever encountered.

A full obituary was published in The Times on 15 July. An obituary is also expected to appear in The Independent within the next few days.

Published: 20 July 2005