The Revd Dr Michael B Thompson

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The Revd Dr Michael B. Thompson

Ridley Associate

Mike came to faith in his first year of university, and his fascination with the Greek New Testament goes back to those days. For many years he taught a wide range of subjects at Ridley, including introductory classes on the New Testament and Greek, exegesis of Romans, 1 Corinthians and the Thessalonian letters, intermediate Greek and Biblical Interpretation, as well as leading sermon classes and giving other occasional lectures. He supervised and examined theses, often supervised for the Tripos and was a regular participant in the University of Cambridge Senior New Testament Seminar.

“Ridley is a place of beauty, joy and thoughtful, generous and biblical faith where people learn to grow in grace and obedience to Jesus Christ. We are evangelical in our heritage and direction, ecumenical in our partnership with the Cambridge Theological Federation and open to the Spirit in our commitment to discipleship and to fulfilling the Great Commission.” Michael B. Thompson

Mike has a passion for grace, clarity, preaching good news, and making real connections between the New Testament and life today. He has chaired the editorial group for the Grove Biblical Series, and was until recently the editor of Biblical Studies Bulletin.

Mike loves music and laughter. A wrinkly rock and roller, he has several acoustic and electric guitars. He enjoys performing with students in College and in local pubs as part of ‘Deacons’ Blues’, an ongoing band he formed in his first year at Ridley. He has also sung in the Ridley Gospel Choir since its inception.

Personal background

Personal background

Mike was born and raised in eastern North Carolina. A summer experience in Poland working within a Roman Catholic renewal movement brought him back to his liturgical roots. He was ordained in the Episcopal Church and served in a large parish before coming to the UK in 1983 for doctoral study at Cambridge.

He went on to teach for seven years at St John’s College, Nottingham, before coming to Ridley in 1995.

Mike is married to Susanne (who manages the office for Grove Books Ltd), and they have two grown children.



  • PhD in New Testament, University of Cambridge 1988 (Christ’s College)
  • Certificate of Work Accomplished (pre-ordination study), Virginia Theological Seminary 1980
  • ThM in New Testament, Dallas Theological Seminary 1979
  • BA in History, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill 1975



  • Owned By God: Paul's Pastoral Strategy in 1 Corinthians. Grove Books, 2017.
  • Clothed with Christ: The Example and Teaching of Jesus in Romans 12.1-15.13. JSOT Press, 1991; reprinted by Wipf and Stock, 2011
  • The New Perspective on Paul. Rev. ed., Grove Books, 2010
  • When Should We Divide? Schism and Discipline in the New Testament. Grove Books, 2004
  • Transforming Grace. A Study of 2 Corinthians. Bible Reading Fellowship, 1998
  • A Vision for the Church. Studies in Early Christian Ecclesiology, co-edited with Markus Bockmuehl. T & T Clark, 1997

We are delighted to make Mike's book Transforming Grace: A Study of 2 Corinthians available to our website visitors for free download:

Download Transforming Grace (pdf)


  • ‘Paul and Jesus’ in The Oxford Handbook of Pauline Studies, edited by Matthew V. Novenson and R. Barry Matlock (OUP), forthcoming
  • ‘Paul in the Book of Acts: Differences and Distance’, in Expository Times 122/9 (June 2011) 1-12
  • ‘From Jesus to Paul’ in The Eerdmans Companion to the Bible, edited by Gordon D. Fee and Robert L. Hubbard, Jr. Eerdmans, 2011
  • Lectionary Bible notes for Roots issue 51 (Jan/Feb) 2011
  • ‘1 Corinthians’ (a month of Bible notes) in Guidelines to the Bible 23/1 (January-April 2007) 55-77
  • ‘Arianism: Is Jesus Christ divine and eternal or was he created?’ in Heresies and How to Avoid Them, edited by Ben Quash and Michael Ward (SPCK, 2007) 15-23
  • ‘Galatians’ (a month of Bible notes) in Guidelines to the Bible 21/3 (September-December 2005) 97-113
  • ‘Charting Scripture’ in Refreshing Bible Study, edited by Ian Paul (Grove Books, 2004) 23-27
  • ‘From Jesus to Paul’, in Anglican Digest 44/6 (Advent 2002) 25-27
  • ‘St Paul’s Letters to the Corinthians’, in Introducing the New Testament. The Real Reason for the Year 2000 (Grove Books, 1999)
  • ‘The Holy Internet: Communication Between Churches in the First Christian Generation’. In The Gospels for All Christians, edited by R. J. Bauckham (Eerdmans, 1997). Chapter 2
  • ‘Rom 12.1-2 and Paul’s Vision for Worship’ in A Vision for the Church. Studies in Early Christian Ecclesiology, co-edited with M. Bockmuehl (T & T Clark, 1997) 121-132
  • ‘Romans’ (a month of Bible notes) in Guidelines to the Bible 12/3 (September-December 1996) 30-58
  • Articles ‘Tradition(s)’, ‘ Scandal’, ‘Teaching/Paraenesis’, and ‘The Weak and the Strong’ in the Dictionary of Paul and His Letters edited by R. P. Martin and G. F. Hawthorne (Intervarsity Press, 1993)


  • For The Illustrated Bible (Dorling Kindersley, 2012)
  • For BBC Radio 4 Production ‘Witness’ written by Nick Warburton (dramatization of Gospel of Luke; broadcast Christmas 2007, Easter 2009)

Book Reviews

  • In Expository Times, Journal of Theological Studies, Theology, Journal for the Study of the New Testament, Anvil, Evangelical Quarterly, Themelios
Research Interests

Research Interests

Mike’s original research at Cambridge focussed on the influence of Jesus’ example and teachings on the Apostle Paul; that continuity remains an important area of interest for him. Other interests include early New Testament history, Paul and the Law, and metaphors for belonging in Paul’s pastoral strategy.

He is a member of:

  • Society of Biblical Literature 1983–
  • Institute for Biblical Research (Fellow) 1991–
  • Tyndale Fellowship for Biblical and Theological Research 1985–