At 78, Richard Ferguson can still recite the whole of Mark’s Gospel by heart – though he might need ‘a bit of prompting’ these days.
The retired rural clergyman took nine months to write his own translation of Mark from the original Greek, published in a 190-page book Rock and Breakers. Available at Richard’s Making Sense of the Gospels stand FC9 at CRE 2017, the book includes his translation, comments to help the reader and two CDs containing his own reading of the gospel.
At the time, as area dean of Morpeth, he performed live recitals of the entire gospel in churches, halls and community centres throughout Northumberland. It took him two hours to recite the entire gospel with a short break in the middle. By his own admission his memory is not what it was – but he doesn’t need much prompting.
Now retired from his final job as vicar of Kirkwhelpington, Kirkheaton and Cambo united benefice, he has produced another five books to aid those who have never read the gospels or who find them difficult to grasp. His subsequent books include:
Footsteps – following on from the original book, this is written to help those who know nothing about Jesus Christ.
The Great Gospel – an introduction to Matthew’s gospel, helpful to anyone reading it for the first time.
Listen to the Gospels – explaining why the four gospels are so different and why it is important to understand the differences.
A Reading of John – a new translation of the gospel with each chapter followed by explanations on why the text was written.
The Journey of Prayer – a short booklet to help those who have never prayed or whose prayer life is experiencing difficulties.
‘They will all be available at CRE and I look forward to meeting people there,’ said the man whose burning vision is simply to help those who struggle with reading the Bible.
• Making Sense of the Gospels is stand FC9 at CRE 2017