Austin Marsden Farrer

(1904—1968) philosopher, theologian, and biblical scholar

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An Oxford philosophical theologian who maintained that religious truth can best be communicated to human intelligences through images. Farrer turned his attention to NT studies and enjoyed a continuing and considerable influence as lecturer and preacher. He argued that in place of the Q hypothesis it is more reasonable to hold that Luke used Matthew. Farrer wrote on the gospel of Mark, believing the author to be a creative theologian who interpreted the work of Jesus in the light of the OT by means of a complicated scheme of typology. His commentary on Revelation (1964) had a wealth of references to the OT but surprised readers for being unsupported by footnotes and the customary apparatus of scholarship; ‘it cannot be understood otherwise than as a whole’, and it anticipated the insights and drama characteristic of a later generation's indebtedness to artists, mystics, and novelists. Farrer's works on Mark had similarly anticipated the influence of literary critics by seeing the gospel as an integrated whole rather than a miscellany of Form Critics' pericopae.

Subjects: Biblical Studies.

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