The God who Speaks (2020)

2020 is set to be a exciting year for anyone with an interest in the Bible and its use, and the Theology and Philosophy department at Newman University are really delighted to be part of it!

A number of Bible Societies have joined together to support the year 2020 as the ‘Global Year of the Bible’. Consequently, a wide range of events and activities have been planned to highlight the place of the Bible within contemporary life, to foster a wider awareness of it, and to encourage its use. The year 2020 has added significance for the Roman Catholic tradition as it marks the 10th anniversary of Verbum Domini – Pope Benedict XVI’s Apostolic Exhortation on ‘The Word of the Lord’ – and the 1,600 anniversary of St Jerome’s death. To this end the Catholic Church with the Bible Society are launching a series of events, resources and initiatives for the ‘The God who Speaks – Year of the Word, 2020‘.

As a way of launching the project nationally, and to give a flavour of the types of events and resources that can be expected, Cardinal Vincent Nichols offers a reflection on the Dutch artist Geertgen tot Sint Jans’ painting ‘The Nativity at Night’. 

Cardinal Vincent Nichols talking about Art and Scripture at Advent for the 2020 Year of the Word.

The God who Speaks

As the title The God who Speaks suggests, the emphasis will predominantly draw upon the main idea within Verbum Domini of a God who is in dialogue with his people.

The novelty of biblical revelation consists in the fact that God becomes known through the dialogue which he desires to have with us.

Verbum Domini 6
‘The God who Roars’ lion for the God who Speaks (2020)

Throughout the year there will be activities and events that will explore the place of the Bible within this dialogue (including a chance to encounter ‘a God who Sings’ and ‘a God who Roars’). These events will be at both local and regional levels. There will also be resources that will offer you ways to read and understand the Bible in fresh and exciting ways.

The Bishop’s Conference website ( provides a wealth of information and resources. These will be regularly updated as the year proceeds and is well worth a look.


The Gospel of Matthew will be the lectionary Gospel for 2020. This means that there will be a special focus on this Gospel. Keep your eyes open for free copies and associated resources. Alternatively, you can purchase a version that has been specially produced by the Bible Society here: The Gospel of Matthew (NRSV).

The ‘Journey Through the Bible’ exhibition, featuring an inflatable, skytube, Jerome(yes, really!), will be touring throughout the UK.

Journey Through the Bible Tour that will be visiting many locations within the UK during 2020

The God who Still Speaks – at Newman

We are very pleased to be part of this venture at Newman University and will be opening the Birmingham God who Speaks events with a special launch on Thursday 9th January called The God Who Speaks: The Bible in Today’s World.

Jim West

The study of the way the Bible is used and read within different faith settings and, particularly, in non-faith contexts is an intrinsic part of the biblical studies programmes at Newman. It is therefore a great honour and pleasure to be able to contribute to The God who Speaks initiative by hosting an afternoon and evening comprising short sessions and workshops that explores the different ways people are still using the Bible today. We are especially delighted to welcome from the United States Rev. Dr. Jim West, who will be speaking from his experience as an Old Testament scholar and Baptist minister to give the key note address on the ‘God who is still speaking’.

The event is aimed at anyone interested in hearing about the way the Bible is used within contemporary society. The theme relates to the diversity of settings and media in which the Bible is used today; ranging from film, music, art, social media, etc. We are very excited at having David McLoughlin and Symon Hill with us. They will be offering workshops on reading the parables within the world of work and working with the Bible with first time readers and the lessons we might learn from them.

I will be posting more information specifically on the this event soon.

More information can be found here: Events at Newman

To book your place: Newman Estore

Students are free and can book here: Newman Estore

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