John Bartlett was born in Manchester and was educated at Bury Grammar School and Brasenose College, Oxford, where he studied Classics and Theology. Made deacon and ordained priest in the Church of England, he served a curacy in Nottingham before moving in 1966 to Trinity College, Dublin, where he became a Lecturer, then a Fellow, then an Associate Professor before being appointed Principal of the Church of Ireland Theological College in 1989. In 1986 he was appointed to a canonry in Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin, where he remains active. He retired in 2001 and became a Member of the Royal Irish Academy in 2007. His several books include The Bible: Faith and Evidence (British Museum Publications, 1989), which sets out to explain the concerns and purpose of the biblical authors in their own time and place as the background to our own understanding of the Bible.