Alec Motyer 1924-2016: A man who loved God’s Word

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The renowned Christian pastor and teacher J. Alec Motyer has passed away aged 91.

Born and brought up in Dublin, he said he ‘learned to love the Scriptures at his grandmother’s knee’.

During an interview in 2000, he remarked: “I’m not really a scholar, I’m just a man who loves the Word of God.”

Life’s work

Motyer was a graduate of Trinity College Dublin and the University of Dublin, and he carried out further studies at Wycliffe Hall, Oxford.

He was ordained as a curate in the Church of England in 1948, serving first in Wolverhampton and later in Bristol.

He also served as Tutor, and then Vice Principal, of Clifton College, Bristol. In the 1970s he was appointed as Deputy Principal of Tyndale Hall.

During the last decade of his parish ministry he was minister of what is now Christ Church Westbourne.


Motyer is best known for his substantive work on the Old Testament. His books include a number of commentaries on Isaiah, After Death: A Sure and Certain Hope and The Story of the Old Testament.

He was also series editor of The Bible Speaks Today commentaries.

Revd David Holloway, Vicar of Jesmond Parish Church, said: “I thank God for Dr Motyer’s godly life and ministry that has been so helpful to so many over the years. I pray that there will be successors to his work, not least regarding the Old Testament.”

Director of The Christian Institute Colin Hart commented: “He was a very godly man and a brilliant teacher who has helped generations of Christians.”

Funeral service

John Alexander Motyer passed away on 26 August. His funeral will be held this Friday, 9 September, at 3pm at St George’s Church, Poynton.