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Theologian, religious writer, and broadcaster, born in Wick, Highland, N Scotland, UK. He studied at the universities of Glasgow and Marburg, and was ordained in the Church of Scotland in 1933. In 1963 he was appointed to the chair of divinity and biblical criticism at Glasgow, from which he retired in 1974. He is remembered for his many popular writings and broadcasts, such as A New Testament Wordbook (1955). His Daily Study Bible won international acclaim, and in 1968 he published his own translation of the New Testament. To those interested in understanding the reformed Christian theology, William Barclay’s writings have become a cornerstone of reference.

“Endurance is not just the ability to bear a hard thing, but to turn it into glory.”

“There are two great days in a person’s life – the day we are born and the day we discover why.”

“Joy has nothing to do with material things, or with man’s outward circumstance…A man living in the lap of luxury can be wretched, and a man in the depths of poverty can overflow with joy.”

“If a man fights his way through his doubts to the conviction that Jesus Christ is Lord, he has attained to a certainty that the man who unthinkingly accepts things can never reach.”

“Love always involves responsibility, and love always involves sacrifice. And we do not really love Christ unless we are prepared to face His task and to take up His Cross….”

“We may not understand how the Spirit works; but the effect of the Spirit on the lives of men is there for all to see; and the only unanswerable argument for Christianity is a Christian life. No man can disregard a religion and a faith and a power which is able to make bad men good…”

“God does not so much need people to do extraordinary things as he needs people who do ordinary things extraordinarily well.”

A man’s spirit is the highest part . . . the part which lasts when the physical part . . . has vanished. It is the spirit of a man which is the source and origin of his highest dreams and thoughts and ideals and desires. The true, the genuine worship is when man, through his spirit, attains to friendship and intimacy with God. True and genuine worship is not to come to a certain place; it is not go through a certain ritual or liturgy; it is not even to bring certain gifts. True worship is when the spirit, the immortal and invisible part of man, speaks to and meets with God, who is immortal and invisible.

“If we are to accept the teaching of Jesus at all, then the only test of the reality of a man’s religion is his attitude to his fellow men. The only possible proof that a man loves God is the demonstrated fact that he loves his fellow men.”

“The Christian life could be described as getting to know God better every day. A friendship which does not grow closer with the years tends to vanish with the years. And it is so with us and God.”

“In the time we have it is surely our duty to do all the good we can to all the people we can in all the ways we can.”

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