Dick France 1938-2012

News came through today of the death of Dick France.

He was a fantastic teacher, a top NT scholar and a wonderful warm and joyful Christian.

I remember his Matthew class at LBC (now LST) in the late 1980s as if it were yesterday. His enthusiasm, learning and fun were infectious. Students loved him. It is a reminder for all leaders and teachers in Christian ministry – you will be (rightly) remembered far far more for the sort of person you are in Christ than for the content of sermons or lectures or books …!

He chose to spend the last decade or so of his life in rural parish ministry rather than in a ‘career earned’ prestigious academic position.

This is one tribute from Professor Howard Marshall from a number of tributes given by members of the Tyndale Fellowship:

‘As a scholar Dick France was outstanding with his superb study of Jesus’ use of the Old Testament and his commentaries on Matthew and Mark. His conclusions were ever sane and sensible and yet also fresh and creative. He was not afraid to be adventurous, as in his interpretation of Mark 13, his support for women in ministry and his defence of apostolic authorship of the Gospel of Matthew. He was a capable administrator, and his combination of academic skill and tactful efficiency served him well in his chairmanship of the UK group working on the anglicisation of several editions of NIV and TNIV, a task that involved meticulous attention to detail and the making of finely balanced decisions. But above all Dick was one of the most gracious and saintly friends and colleagues whom it has been my privilege to know.’
— Howard Marshall

He ran the race well right to the end – and in the sure and certain hope of a new beginning.

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