Rev Dr David G. Palmer
46 Regent Street
Church Gresley
DE11 9PL
United Kingdom
[email protected]

REVD DR DAVID GEORGE PALMER

Address: 46 Regent Street, Church Gresley, Swadlincote, Derbyshire, DE11 9PL, UK
Secondary and Higher Education:
Hull Grammar School 1959-66
University College, London 1967-73
All Nations Christian College, Ware 1976-78
Wesley House/Fitzwilliam College, University of Cambridge 1981-83
University of Glasgow (part-time) 1991-98
United College of the Ascension/University of Birmingham 2001
 

Qualifications and Memberships:

BSc (London), Hons 2:1 in Architecture, Planning and Building, 1970
DiplArch (UCL) Architect’s Professional Part II, 1972
RIBA Registered Architect, Part III, 1975
DiplANCC All Nations Christian College
Diploma in Biblical Studies, Pastoral Studies,
Theology and Missiology, 1978
BA (Cantab.), Hons 2:1 in Theological and Religious Studies, 1983
Ordained Methodist Minister Durham (Middlesborough Conference), 1983
MA (Cantab.) Admitted 1988
ARIAS Associate of the Royal Incorporation of Architects
in Scotland, from 1993-2006
PhD (Glasgow) Thesis: The Markan Matrix: A Literary-Structural
Analysis of the Gospel of Mark, 1999
BNTS Participant of the British New Testament Society,
2003-
Honorary Research Fellow The Queen’s Foundation, Birmingham, UK, November 2015-
 

Architectural Work:

Trainee: Hull City Architect’s Department January to June 1967
Trainee: Costain Construction Ltd September 1970 to February 1971
Architectural Assnt.: Yorke, Rosenberg, Mardall March to August 1971
Architect: Haringey Borough Architect’s Service 1973-76
Partner: Pickard and Palmer Partnership 1977-87
Further Business Experience:
Sole Trader: Ceridwen Press, Publishing 1988-
A Founder Director: PACT Centre for Youth Ltd 1994-2001
Proprietor: Moredun House Home for the Elderly 1994-2006
Trustee/Secretary: The Methodist Church Fund for Human Need, November 2015-
 

Research Papers, Broadcasts, Presentations and Publications:

The Oxford Institute of Methodist Theological Studies, Somerville College, Oxford, 1987: my NT research had its first airing at an informal, evening seminar group
Conference, ‘The Bible as Rhetoric’, Centre for Research in Philosophy and Literature, University of Warwick, 21st-23rd March 1988: participant
Book: Sliced Bread: The Four Gospels, Acts and Revelation: Their Literary Structures, Cardiff 1988 (A5 pb, 160pp; ISBN: 0-9513661-0-6)
A Half-Hour Programme on BBC Radio Wales, in the Series: All Things Considered: The Menorah and the New Testament Books, 11th and 15th June 1989
Book: The Markan Matrix: A Literary-Structural Analysis of the Gospel of Mark, Paisley 1999 (A5 pb, 374pp; ISBN: 0-9513661-2-2)
Book: New Testament: New Testimony to the Skills of the Writers and First Readers, Jaffna, Sri Lanka 2004 (A4 pb, 68pp; ISBN: 955-99010-0-1)
Seminar Paper: presented at the British New Testament Conference, 2005: Reading NT texts: a Surprising Discovery; a New Methodology
Book & Disk: New Testament: New Testimony to the Skills of the Writers and First Readers, Wigston 2006 (A4 pb, 68pp, with CD-ROM (765pp.); ISBN: 0-9513661-4-9)
Paper: presented to the Leicester Theological Society on the 12th January 2007 and to the Rutland Theological Society on the 25th October 2007:
ANY 14T (reading texts: rhetorical analysis and ‘parsing’)
Book in CD-ROM: New Testament: New Testimony to the Skills of the Writers and First Readers (Third Edition), Wigston, January 2008 (1,234 pp; ISBN: 978-0-9513661-6-5)
Two-page centre-fold spread in the Methodist Recorder of Thursday, 7th August 2008, plus a Travelling Exhibition for the Summer of 2008 in Leicester venues, to celebrate 25 years of Biblical Studies since my ordination
Paper, ‘Parsing’s Purpose’, Greek Teachers’ Study Day, Lucy Cavendish College, Cambridge, 15th September 2008
E-Wikipedia: began an involvement in contributing to information on NT Books, January 2013
Book in CD-ROM: New Testament: New Testimony to the Skills of the Writers and First Readers (Fourth Edition), Church Gresley, February 2013 (1,245 pp; ISBN 978-0-9513661-8-9)
Colloquium: ‘The Signs of the Times: Translation of the Bible and beyond’, Heythrop College, 9th-10th September 2013: participant
Seminar Paper, ‘Wesley’s Explanatory Notes Upon the New Testament and the use he made of J.A. Bengel’s charts and excellent notes’, Inaugural Methodist Research Conference, St John’s College, Durham, 27th April 2015
Book with CD-ROM: New Testament: New Testimony to the Skills of the Writers and First Readers (Fifth – Illustrated Exhibition – Edition), Church Gresley, April 2016 (ISBN: 978-0-9513661-9-6; Book in CD-ROM (ISBN: 978-0-9513661-7-2)
National Two-Year Tour: An Exhibition in Art: Seeing the New Testament for what it is – it began in Leicester, February 2015 and concluded in Hull, January 2017
Seminar Paper, ‘A New Testament Reading Discipline for Today – from the First Century’, Second Annual Methodist Research Conference, Wesley House, Cambridge, 25th April 2017; repeated 10th May 2017 at The Queen’s Foundation, Birmingham, Research Day
A chapter of a book, ‘Wesley’s Notes’, in Methodism Regrounding, Ed. John Vincent (to be published, Autumn 2017)
 

Locations of Ministry in the Methodist Church:

1978-81 London North-West District, London Mission (North and Central) Circuit: Lay Minister and Pre-Collegiate Probationer;
1983-90 South Wales District, the Cardiff Circuit: Minister of the Methodist Church;
1990-96 Scotland ‘District’, Paisley Mission Circuit: Superintendent Minister;
1996-2000 Scotland ‘District’, Glasgow Circuit: Minister in Other Appointment (Director of Youth Centre);
2000-05 The Methodist Church, Sri Lanka, Colombo and Jaffna Circuits: Mission Partner, Minister and Superintendent;
2005-12 (Oxford & Leicester) Northampton District, Leicester Trinity Circuit: Superintendent Minister
2012- Nottingham and Derby District, South Derbyshire Circuit: Supernumerary Minister
I am a British Methodist Minister and Architect. As an Architect, I am deeply impressed by the New Testament writers’ devotion to their discipline, in their employment of structure and style. I note the common influence of a balancing aesthetic (the pediment of a Greek temple, for example) in both literary and architectural worlds. As a Minister, I am convinced of the very real importance of knowing how each book is shaped and structured, how it is to be described in all its parts and how the parts relate to each other. Book wholes are made up of parts. How else can preachers and teachers give themselves to exegesis and expository preaching unless they know ‘their books’ and know how each writer viewed the limits of the parts he presented and how he produced them to fit within his overall book, or letter format? I am persuaded by my analysis and research that the writers and first readers of the New Testament were people who possessed the skills of their era, working to the rules of (what we now call) Ancient Rhetoric. Before anything was written down in its final form, each writer gave great thought to the purpose of his work, his main ideas and how he would expose them, the plan of his exposition and how he would present it, and the style of writing which he would employ throughout the composition. All of this would help his reader/reciter, the one who would actually handle his work and convey its contents to an audience, whether from memory (for which there was also help in the text), or simply by reading. I am persuaded that all of this is helpful information today, for those who would read the New Testament Books intelligently.

What’s it like to be making such discoveries?

On the one hand, it is exhilarating to be discovering new things of old texts that you know others through the centuries have spent lifetimes pouring over, before you. Laughter at such daily discovery was something I was not prepared for! It is simply magic to be uncovering qualities and characteristics of texts that no one as yet appears to have seen. But there is the pendulum swing.

One moment I am filled with the indescribable joy of having in my hands what is to me, even at this stage of my work, an unexpected treasure. And I’ve had some of this treasure in my hands now for more than twenty-five years. But because of my continuing investigations and respondings to the demands for further, but minor, tweakings, I can now see it all. All the treasure. It is awe- inspiring!

On the other hand, the next moment I am pinching myself to make sure I’m not dreaming. Might I be making an utter fool of myself! Somehow, or other, I’ve got it all wrong. Lost my head! And then I try to think, even if this work is what I think it is, it’s no big thing. I try!

I’m sad too. Sad for a variety of reasons. There’s sadness mixed with anger, because what has been found should have been found a very long time ago. In fact it should never have been lost to the church in the first place. There’s sadness mixed with perplexity. How could this have happened? Why the loss, for so long? And there’s sadness mixed with bewilderment, because what has been found, if it had been found earlier, if it had never been lost in the first place, would surely have had its influence for good in so many ways.

Questions haunt me. What might the church have looked like today? What might the church have sounded like in its doctrinal courts if it had always had this information? Would the church’s creeds have been compiled differently? Wouldn’t the church be more united today in what it says about the New Testament, and what it does about its faith? I hold to the hope of a new beginning for us all in the church (and on the fringes of it) in the reading and the studying of the New Testament in the first place. But clearly, I can’t be sure where this will take us.

I’m aware that any challenge to our understanding is a challenge to our faith. And a challenge of this kind, as revealed in this website, doesn’t pop up every day, thankfully! I know it will make its very heavy demands on us all. Yet, if we keep saying, and we should I think, that this treasure is of God, because it is and always has been an important but hitherto unknown element of the New Testament itself, we should not worry. In terms of both scholarship and Christian Faith it is always important that we journey where we are led.

With each piece of literary-analytical work that I did, I saw characteristics of the texts that had not been seen before. I knew, therefore, when I started tackling my next text, what I might look out for. It became a relatively simple exercise. And the more I discovered, the more I knew there was still to discover. Persistence rewarded me with the tools I needed to be able to do the job, the analysis that was needed.

It has been a stimulating and inspiring journey for me thus far, though it has had its costs. (Rejections have been the least difficult to cope with.) There have been the immensely exciting and rewarding periods. There have been the sudden inspirational periods and the much longer ‘perspirational’ ones. There have been times also of great frustration, for lack of time (due to my full-time ministry and other duties) and for reasons of my work being still so little known after all my various attempts to share what I have.

This website, therefore, is my latest venture, and one which I hope will give me my publishing breakthrough.

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