Graham Stanton

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Graham Stanton
Born9 July 1940
Christchurch, New Zealand
Died18 July 2009 (aged 69)
NationalityNew Zealander
TitleLady Margaret's Professor of Divinity
Academic background
Alma materKnox College, Otago
Westminster College, Cambridge
ThesisThe primitive preaching and Jesus of Nazareth: the origin and nature of interest in the character of Jesus (1970)
Doctoral advisorC. F. D. Moule[2]
Academic work
InstitutionsCambridge University

Graham Norman Stanton (9 July 1940 – 18 July 2009) was a New Zealander who became a prominent and widely respected New Testament scholar in a teaching career at King's College London and as Lady Margaret's Professor of Divinity at Cambridge University. Stanton's special interests were in the Gospels, with a particular focus on Matthew's Gospel; Paul's letters, with a particular focus on Galatians; and second century Christian writings, with a particular interest in Justin Martyr.


Stanton came to Cambridge in 1966 to study under Professor C.F.D. Moule (at Westminster College and as a member of Fitzwilliam College), his dissertation was completed in 1969 and published in 1974. From 1970-1998 he served as lecturer and (from 1977) as Professor of New Testament at King's College, London. In 1998 he returned to Cambridge as Lady Margaret Professor (and as a Fellow at Fitzwilliam College).

For the year 1996-97, Stanton was the President of the Studiorum Novi Testamenti Societas (Society for New Testament Studies - SNTS), a society of New Testament scholars. For nine years (1982-1990) he was editor of the journal New Testament Studies and of the associated monograph series (1982-1991), and was a General Editor of the International Critical Commentaries (from 1984 until 2009).

Among other honours Stanton was awarded an honorary DD from the University of Otago in 2000;[3] in 2005 he was honored with a Festschrift to mark his sixty-fifth birthday in 2005: The Written Gospel eds. M. Bockmuehl and D. Hagner, Cambridge University Press - this includes a bibliography of Stanton's books and articles up to 2005 (9 authored books, 6 edited books, 60 authored articles or chapters). In 2006 he was awarded the Burkitt Medal by the British Academy for his contribution to biblical studies in the UK.[4] In 2011 a collection of essays discussing various aspects of Stanton's work was published in his memory.[5]

Criticism of the Christ myth theory[edit]

Stanton had criticized the arguments of Christ myth theorists. In his book The Gospels and Jesus, he wrote:

"Today, nearly all historians, whether Christians or not, accept that Jesus existed and that the gospels contain plenty of valuable evidence which has to be weighed and assessed critically. There is general agreement that, with the possible exception of Paul, we know far more about Jesus of Nazareth than about any first or second century Jewish or pagan religious teacher."[6]



  • Stanton, Graham N. (1974). Jesus of Nazareth in New Testament Preaching. Society of New Testament Studies: Monograph Supplement. 27. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9780521204651. OCLC 1166777.
  • ——— (1989). The Gospels and Jesus. Oxford Bible Series. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780191586385. OCLC 43477458.
  • ——— (1992). A Gospel For A New People: Studies In Matthew. Edinburgh: T&T Clark. ISBN 9780567095350. OCLC 21596331.
  • ——— (1995). Gospel Truth?: new light on Jesus and the Gospels. London: HarperCollins. ISBN 9780006279631. OCLC 246873785.
  • ——— (2004). Jesus and Gospel. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9780521810326. OCLC 475052307.
  • ——— (2013). Bockmuehl, Markus; Lincicum, David (eds.). Studies in Matthew and Early Christianity. Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament. 309. Tubingen, Germany: Mohr Siebeck. ISBN 9783161525438. OCLC 854556985.

Edited works[edit]

Articles and Chapters[edit]

  • ——— (January 1995). "Matthew's Gospel: A Survey of Some Recent Commentaries". Bible Translator. 46 (1): 131–140.



  1. ^ Thompson, David M. (16 October 2009). "Professor Graham Stanton: Biblical scholar who helped guide New Testament studies at Cambridge into the 21st century". The Independent. Retrieved 28 January 2013.
  2. ^ "Professor Graham Stanton (1940 - 2009)". Cambridge University. 22 July 2009.
  3. ^ "Celebrated Alumni of the University of Otago".
  4. ^ "Burkitt Medal for Biblical Studies 2006 Awarded to Professor Graham Stanton". Archived from the original on 17 August 2013.
  5. ^ D.M. Gurtner; J. Willits; R.A. Burridge, eds. (2011). Jesus, Matthew’s Gospel and Early Christianity: Studies in Memory of Graham N. Stanton. Library of New Testament Studies. 435. London: T&T Clark.
  6. ^ Stanton, Graham (2002). The Gospels and Jesus (2nd ed.). Oxford University Press. p. 145. ISBN 978-0199246168

External links[edit]