Ian Balfour’s twenty-first birthday present was a rail ticket on 11 March 1953 from Edinburgh to the border of Syria, an airline ticket from Tel Aviv to Athens and Rome on 7 April and then rail back to Edinburgh, with some spending money but no fixed itinerary for the fortnight between the Syrian border and Tel Aviv. So many people asked about the experience that he wrote it up in the form of a diary. One of Ian’s friends returned the book with the illustrated cover and the phrase ‘The Lands of the Book’ on it.
During his student days, Ian developed an interest in Church History, and embarked in 1971 on a Doctorate of Philosophy as a part-time post-graduate student at New College, Edinburgh. The thesis was on The Relationship of Man to God in the writings of Tertullian – a second century lawyer who was converted in his thirties and who gave the remainder of his life to teaching in the Church in Carthage. The Ph.D. degree was awarded in 1980.
The relationship of man to God, from conception to conversion, in the writings of Tertullian [thesis]
Ian’s interest in Tertullian continued and he has given Papers at the International Conference on Patristic Studies, held in Oxford every four years. They have published all his Papers – the first from the 1975 Conference (‘The fate of the soul in induced abortion in the writings of Tertullian’) and the last from the 2015 Conference (‘Tertullian and Roman Law – What Do We (Not) Know?’).
They are available for download, below.
Ian’s 2015 Paper gave him particular pleasure, for two reasons. First, it combined his interest in Tertullian with another long-term interest, Roman Law, from which much of early Scots Law was derived; it was a compulsory subject for Scottish Law students when he was at university – see, on this website, ‘Law – Exam papers – 1953 – Civil Law, I and II’.
Secondly, it happened that Marcus Vinzent, the editor of Studia Patrictica, the publishers of the Conference Papers, was in the audience when Ian gave his Paper. Participants are invited to lodge their Papers with the Conference Office at the end of the week, but Marcus Vinzent asked Ian for an advance copy and sent an email, a short time later, to say that it was the first Paper to be approved for publication.
With advancing years, Ian will not manage to give any more Oxford Conferences. He is, however, working at home on an updated Bibliography of published works which have Tertullian’s name in their title – an expansion of the third download here, ‘Tertullian on and off the Internet’.
Tertullian’s beliefs before conversion
Tertullian on and off the internet
Tertullian’s description of the heathen
Tertullian and Roman Law – What Do We (Not) Know?
The full Oxford paper “Tertullian_and_Roman_Law_Full_Paper.pdf” now available for download
In 2008, Charlotte Baptist Chapel in Edinburgh celebrated its two hundredth anniversary. Ian, who had been an elder there since 1965 and Church Secretary from 1980 to 2000, wrote a history and also put a lot of additional information onto a CD which went with the book. For a download with the text of the Charlotte Chapel History without the photographs but with footnotes click here.
Copies of the printed book, with the CD, are available at £5 plus postage:
Revival in Rose Street
Additional material for download (Microsoft Word .doc):
To see the “Charlotte Chapel History in 10-minutes” film click here.
For the appendix photo-galleries click here.
When it seemed, in the summer of 1940, that Britain might be invaded by German forces, a cousin in Hamilton, Ontario, pressed the family to be his guests for the duration of the war. After initial reluctance, Ian’s mother accepted the invitation and in August 1940 took Ian and his brother William to Hamilton, returning to Edinburgh in August 1944. Francis Balfour stayed in Edinburgh and the diary which he wrote during these years is available to download below. Please allow a couple of minutes for download as these are large documents.