A Tribute to Dr. David Pawson

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25 May 2020
A Tribute to Dr. David Pawson

The International Christian Embassy Jerusalem mourns the passing of our dear friend David Pawson, even as we celebrate his exemplary life and rich legacy as a Bible teacher par excellence.

Dr. J. David Pawson (25 February 1930 – 21 May 2020) was a noted Bible expositor and leading Evangelical theologian for the Christian Zionist movement. His global teaching ministry impacted Christian believers all around the world, and the ICEJ was privileged to have a special ministry connection with him as a frequent speaker at our events, including the annual Feast of Tabernacles celebration in Jerusalem.

“We greatly honour David Pawson as one of the most outstanding Bible teachers within the Christian world over the past half-century”, said Dr. Jürgen Bühler. “He was especially appreciated by our global constituency for his firm theological stand with Israel, which he always presented in such clear, understandable terms.”

Dr. Pawson was a featured speaker at the very first Feast of Tabernacles in September 1980, and thus was present at the founding of the Christian Embassy in Jerusalem. He last spoke at the Feast in 2016, when the ICEJ presented him with the Olive Tree Award in special recognition of his strong biblical stand with Israel. In 2009, the ICEJ also bestowed upon him its annual Nehemiah Award in recognition of his lifetime achievements in building support and understanding for Israel.

Born in England in 1930, Pawson came from a long line of farmers and Methodist ministers dating back to John Wesley. He first earned a degree in Agriculture from Durham University, but soon answered the call into ministry and studied theology at Cambridge. He subsequently served as a chaplain in the Royal Air Force, and then as a parish minister in Methodist and Baptists churches in the United Kingdom. While pastoring Guildford Baptist Church in the 1970s, his recorded sermons became popular with listeners around the globe, leading him to launch an itinerant teaching ministry which would soon have a global impact.

During his career, Pawson was highly sought-after as a speaker in churches and conferences worldwide, while authoring 81 books and producing over 300 teaching videos that eventually sold millions of copies globally. Many of his books were transcribed from his pulpit messages, which often tackled such difficult subjects as hell, salvation, divorce, male leadership and Israel. His preaching style was both authoritative and humble, forthright and witty, clear and uncompromising. Pawson always encouraged Christians to read the Bible for themselves, to discern whether his explanations of Scripture were true.

His most popular work, Unlocking the Bible (2006), presents a book-by-book study of the background, purpose, meaning and relevance of every book in the Bible. It remains one of the best and most widely-read Bible study tools available today.

In Defending Christian Zionism and Israel in the New Testament, Pawson set out the theological and prophetic significance of Israel’s modern-day restoration and why Christians should support the renewed Jewish presence in the land of their forefathers.

One of his latest books is Where Is Jesus Now?, in which Pawson explains why the Ascension of Jesus is an often neglected event in salvation history and how it can still be a source of inspiration to every Christian believer.

In recent years, Pawson had to curtail his travels and public ministry due to health challenges, such as cancer and the early onset of Parkinson’s symptoms. Having reached 90 years of age, he passed away on Ascension Day, which many admirers noted was appropriate for this devout and beloved servant of the Lord.

Our condolences go out to his wife, Enid, and their entire family.