Matthew Henry: The Bible, Prayer, and Piety

The University of Chester 14th–16th July 2014

Matthew Henry (1662–1714) is remembered today by two major groups of scholars: by historians as a leading figure among early eighteenth century dissenters, and brother of the diarist, Sarah Savage; and by theologians and biblical scholars for hisExposition of the Old and New Testaments.  This monumental work, which had already been published in 25 different editions by 1855, is used widely even today in print and online versions. Yet Henry’s famous commentary is by no means the only expression of his engagement with the Scriptures. Amongst his 30 further publications, most of which were published in the final years of his life (and many of which were later republished with extracts from his letters and diaries by Sir John Bickerton Williams), his many sermons and works on Christian Piety (including the still popular Method for Prayer, 1710) are saturated with Henry’s peculiarly practical approach to the Bible.

To commemorate the tercentenary of the death of Matthew Henry (22 June 2021) and his 25-year ministry in Chester (1687–1712), the University of Chester, in collaboration with Chester Cathedral Library and the University of Manchester, is holding an interdisciplinary conference 14th–16th July 2014 to bring together historians, biblical scholars, and theologians to explore the work, context, and legacy of Matthew Henry, especially as it relates to his engagement with and use of Scripture. With keynote lectures from Prof. Clyde Binfield, Dr Ligon Duncan, Dr David Wykes, and Prof. Jeremy Gregory, this conference will not only offer a fresh opportunity to appreciate Henry’s ministry within the local context of Chester, it will also evaluate Henry in a wider historical context, and consider his contribution to the interpretation of the Bible in the early 18th century and its legacy up to the present day.

The cost of the conference is £160 residential and £95 non-residential. For more information visit

About Jonathan Downing

I work on eighteenth century prophetic biblical interpretation, focussing on William Blake, Richard Brothers and Joanna Southcott.
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