Clark Bates

Photo of Clark Bates

Department of Theology and Religion
Doctoral researcher

Contact details

PhD title: The Oecumenian Catenae of Ephesians: Critical Edition, Translation and Theological Interaction
Supervisors: Professor Hugh Houghton and Dr Catherine Smith
PhD Theology and Religion


  • ThM, Phoenix Seminary
  • MDiv, Liberty University


I first became interested in working with New Testament manuscripts in 2017 when I became a volunteer transcriber for the Greek Paul Project with the Museum of the Bible and the International Greek New Testament Project with the University of Birmingham. My exposure to the handwriting and various scribal features opened my eyes to the world of early biblical transmission and how the presentation of the text in manuscripts spoke to the way the New Testament was seen at the time.

I received my Master of Theology from Phoenix Seminary as the first fellow of their Text and Canon Institute, specializing in the origin and transmission of Greek into lower case handwriting. My time there was very formative and essential in preparing me to pursue my current research.

I also would not be here without the constant love and support of my wife and our 5 children. When I am not researching or reading, I enjoy hiking with them and exploring the United Kingdom.


The Oecumenian Catenae offer a window into the world of late Byzantine exegesis applying multiple, theological voices from the Greek-speaking church to passages of the New Testament. These authors represent often contradictory theological schools and consist of orthodox theologians alongside those condemned by the ecumenical church councils. These scholia are attached to the biblical text either through a “frame” format in the surrounding margins, or in a following format, directly attached to the biblical lemmata. The presentation of these materials in this way demonstrates a transitory stage in Byzantium, where voices previously silenced are permitted a hearing alongside those in the mainstream. This thesis intends to create a critical edition and English translation of the oldest attainable layer of the Oecumenian catenae on Ephesians and engage with the sources used in the commentary, seeking to bring more light into the historical understanding of Byzantine exegesis in the pre-medieval era and challenge contemporary concepts of “heresy” and “orthodoxy” in the East.

Other activities

  • Conference Presentations: “Stoudios: The Convergence of History, Palaeography and Textual Criticism on the Greek Minuscule Hand.”  Presented at the Biblicist conference with the Department of Philosophy, Theology and Religion at the University of Birmingham, on January 13, 2021.
  • “Fragmentary Evidence of an Earlier Date for the Greek Minuscule Bookhand.” Presented at the 12th Birmingham Colloquium at the University of Birmingham on March 4, 2021.
  • Membership of organisations: Society for Biblical Literature; Evangelical Theological Society; Institute of Biblical Research


  • “The Paradox of the Easy Yoke: A Survey of Χρηστός in Greek Literature and the Interpretational Implications for Matthew 11:30.” The Expository Times, 131(1) (2019), pp.9-19.