Read the remarkable story of Rosi’s father who wrote an autobiography which was nearly lost for ever.

“I must admit at the outset that the prospect of writing about myself fills me with apprehension. It requires considerable initial resolve because once done it may turn out to be too revealing, but by then it is too late.
The real trauma is the act of beginning …”

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How this book was discovered

Soon after Donald passed away his wife Mary was sorting through the papers he had left behind on his desk. Donald had been working on scholarly writing until a few weeks before he died so when Mary picked up an innocuous brown envelope containing a few sheets of handwritten notes she thought it was the draft of another paper. But a glance at the first paragraph  revealed that he was writing in the first person,  something which he avoided in his academic work. Reading further Mary realised she had stumbled upon the first few pages of an autobiography which may be of interest to the family.

She phoned me to ask if I would type up these pages so she could give them to other members of our family and keep them as a memento. It was while I was typing that I found at the bottom of that envelope a small piece of paper with an obscure list of items on it “autob1, autob2, autob3 ” and so on. I nearly threw it into the waste paper bin as irrelevant when it occurred to me that they might be file names. I rang Mary.

“When I’m next at your home would you mind if I had a look at Dad’s computer?” I asked “I think there might be something of interest on it”.

“Help yourself” she replied “I’m not even sure if I know how to turn it on!”

Donald was always proud of his computer, a humble BBC micro, which he had taught himself to use (very competently) when in his 70s and had used for several published works. When I arrived and looked through each of his floppy disks there was one with precisely this list of files on it. When we opened them we found to our astonishment a 40,000 word autobiography that no-one in the family, not even Mary, knew he was writing.

It is that book that you will find published here. Please read and enjoy it as Donald unfolds the fascinating world of the London Bible College (now the London School of Theology), the theological battles which raged over the validity of scripture and the personal battle which he fought over his stammer.

Start reading

How to use this book authentically

You are permitted (in fact you are encouraged) to reproduce and distribute this material for personal use provided that you do not alter the wording in any way and do not charge a fee beyond the cost of reproduction.

For web posting, a link to this document on our website is preferred. Any exceptions to the above must be approved by the copyright holder

Please include the following statement on any distributed copy:  By Donald Guthrie. ©

Republication in any other form is prohibited without the express permission of the copyright holder.


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Click on a chapter heading to start reading:

  1. Autobiographical writing

  2. Family Connections

  3. Early Years

  4. Early Christian Influences

  5. The Development of a Major Problem

  6. In Quest of a Vocation

  7. The Problem Re-examined

  8. Family Responsibilities

  9. The London Bible College

  10. The College Buildings

  11. The Twentieth Century Theological Scene

  12. Wider Concerns

  13. Peering into the Future

  14. Retirement

  15. Overseas Trips

  16. Recreations