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Peake's Commentary on the Bible
Arthur Samuel Peake (1865-1929) was an English biblical scholar, born at Leek, Staffordshire, and educated at St John's College, Oxford. He was the first holder of the Rylands Chair of Biblical Criticism and Exegesis in the University of Manchester, from its establishment as an independent institution in 1904. He was thus the first non-Anglican to become a professor of divinity in an English university.
In 1890-92 he was a lecturer at Mansfield College, Oxford, and from 1890 to 1897 held a fellowship at Merton College.
In 1892, however, he was invited to become tutor at the Primitive Methodist Theological Institute in Manchester, which was renamed Hartley College in 1906. He was largely responsible for broadening the curriculum which intending Primitive Methodist ministers were required to follow, and for raising the standards of the training.
In 1895-1912 he served as lecturer in the Lancashire Independent College, from 1904 to 1912 also in the United Methodist College at Manchester. In 1904 he was appointed Professor of Biblical Criticism and Exegesis in the (Victoria) University of Manchester. (This chair was in the Faculty of Theology established in that year; it was renamed "Rylands Professor, etc." in 1909.)
Peake was also active as a layman in wider Methodist circles, and did a great deal to further the reunion of Methodism which took effect in 1932, three years after his death. In the wider ecumenical sphere Peake worked for the National Council of Evangelical Free Churches, serving as president in 1928, and was a member of the World Conference on Faith and Order held in Lausanne in 1927. He published and lectured extensively, but is best remembered for his one-volume commentary on the Bible (1919), which, in its revised form, is still in use.
The University of Aberdeen made him an honorary D. D. in 1907. He was a governor of the John Rylands Library.
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