James Barr

British bible scholar (1924-2006)

Rev. Professor James Barr (20 March 192414 October 2006) was a Scottish Old Testament scholar.


  • We shall work not on the macrocosmic scale of the literary forms, but on the microcosmic scale of the lexical forms.
    • Comparative Philology and the Text of the Old Testament, p. 10
  • This book is therefore consecrated to the deeper and fuller study of that linguistic world in which the Hebrew Bible is set.
    • Comparative Philology and the Text of the Old Testament, p. 304
  • The problem here is not so much a historical one, more a terminological and philosophical one.
    • The Variable Spellings of the Hebrew Bible, p. 92
  • Probably, so far as I know, there is no professor of Hebrew or Old Testament at any world-class university who does not believe that the writer(s) of Genesis 1–11 intended to convey to their readers the ideas that:
    1. creation took place in a series of six days which were the same as the days of 24 hours we now experience
    2. the figures contained in the Genesis genealogies provided by simple addition a chronology from the beginning of the world up to later stages in the biblical story
    3. Noah’s flood was understood to be world-wide and extinguish all human and animal life except for those in the ark.


  1. The authenticity of this letter is not verified yet.