James D G Dunn, Ph.D.
James Douglas Grant Dunn (21 October 1939 – 26 June 2020) passed away on June 26, 2020. The cause of death was cancer.
Also known as Jimmy, Dr. Dunn was born in Birmingham, England. In 1964 he became a licensed minister in the Church of Scotland. One of the initial marks he made on the academic world was his first book, The Baptism in the Holy Spirit London: SCM Press (1970), that year he transition from being a chaplain at Edinburgh University to overseas students (1968-70) to the position of lecturer in divinity at the University of Nottingham, In 1979 he was promoted to reader (senior lecturer), at which time he served as a Methodist minister.
In 1982 Dr. Dunn transitioned again to the position of professor of divinity at Durham University, and there, in 1990, he was promoted to the position of Lightfoot Professor of Divinity. He retired in 2003.
Dr. Dunn's alma maters were University of Glasgow and Clare College, Cambridge. His doctoral advisor was C. F. D. Moule. His thesis was titled The Baptism in the Holy Spirit, in which he espoused the classical Pentecostal position of the baptism with the Holy Spirit as confirmed by speaking in tongues. Though he diverged from this position while at the University of Nottingham, the year he retired from Durham University he wrote a stunning comment for The Baptism with the Holy Spirit by Verna M. Linzey.
Linzey's work was published in 2005; and in 2006, on the 100th Anniversary of the commencement of the Azusa Street Revival, she received the 'Best Non-Fiction of the Year' Award from the Christian Writers' Guild. Dr. Linzey's work was reviewed by the Hollenweger Center and it became a standard textbook for 100 Bible colleges and schools around the world with Dr. Dunn's name on it.
Dr. Dunn's discipline was biblical studies, and his sub-discipline was New Testament studies. His doctoral students were Helen Bond, Simon J. Gathercole, James F. McGrath, Scot McKnight, Ken Schenck, and Graham Twelftree. He influenced Scot McKnight, Verna M. Linzey, and N. T. Wright.
His most notable work was The New Perspective on Paul (2007).
I had the good fortune of becoming personally acquainted with Dr. Dunn in 2003, during which he invited me to call him "Jimmy." During our acquaintance, I was struck by the quality of grace which exuded from his innermost being, and I have coined for Dr. Dunn the appellation 'Man of Grace.'
Monday, April 13, 2020, was a life-altering day for me. At 8:47 am, Dr. Dunn sent an email to me wherein he stated that he had recently been given the "death sentence" by his doctor due to cancer. I wept. But I am indeed blessed to have been influenced by this 'Man of Grace' both spiritually and theologically, and I know that I will see him again.