Matt Colvin


Who is this man?
Matt Colvin is the husband of Sora Colvin with whom he has 6 children. He is an ordained presbyter in the Reformed Episcopal Church and ACNA. He holds a PhD in Latin and Greek literature from Cornell University, and has taught classical languages and literature for 20 years. He has also published articles on Greek philosophy (Heraclitus, Plato, and the Stoics) in Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy and The Classical Quarterly. He has translated the 1550 Magdeburg Confession of Nicholaus von Amsdorff into English. In his spare time, he does calligraphy (see his work here) and reads Biblical studies.

What is he doing?
After five years as a missionary in SE Asia, Matt is now teaching Greek and upper-level Latin at Wilson Hill Academy. He is the author of The Lost Supper, which argues that Jesus used an existing bread-ritual from the Jewish Passover to identify himself as the Messiah to his disciples in the Upper Room. He is currently writing another book on the origins of ordination and the question of the ordination of women, and is translating a previously untranslated treatise of John Calvin on the duty of the civil magistrate to suppress heresy.  He is married to Sora, who is a registered midwife in British Columbia. Sora blogs about midwifery at Puah’s Corner, and both Matt and Sora contributed to Receive with Meekness, a blog about their missionary work.

What does he love?
Matt loves the Bible and the Book of Common prayer. He enjoys reading fiction aloud with his wife, playing games with his sons, and teasing his two littlest girls. He loves contract bridge and 6-hand euchre, tennis and ping-pong, J.S. Bach and Domenico Scarlatti, Jamie Soles and the Clancy Brothers, Ingres and Helmantel. Matt’s theology is influenced by Peter Leithart, N.T. Wright, and David Daube. His favorite fiction authors are Sigrid Undset, Dorothy Sayers, and J.R.R. Tolkien.


  1. Do you have a search feature for your blog that I haven’t found? I thought you’d written a post on King Saul and his suicide, but I can’t find it. Maybe I was remembering the one on Judas, though.

    • I fixed my sidebar to include a search form.

      The entry you had in mind is here.

      • Thanks!

  2. In my master in political philosophy in universidade de sao paulo Brasil it was about du droit des magistrats (Beza) that was inspired in the magdburg confession… For my phd it would be so useful to read this historical document in english ( my german and latin are not enough good) thanks and please publish this tramslation it would be so useful for me and many others scholars around the world tanks Silvio

    • Give me your email address, and I’ll send you a PDF of the translation.

      • Dear Matthew Colvin, I fell so sorry and it is shamefull for to answering you only now… Because I saw your answer only now… (I googled by name just now… And I saw your answer…) I bought in amazon translation that you was responsible into English of the Magdeburg Confession… I read there, it was an epic efort…Congratulaitions… It has been so useful for me… I am lawer ( Law major in Pontifical Catholic University of São Paulo) and I have a major in Philosophy too in University of Sao Paulo… My studies in Master, it was about Theodere of Beza (Bèze, in French original spelling) and now in PhD it is a dialogue about the political thought between Beza and John knox (they met each other in Geneve)… Here in Brazil In all my lectures in universities, I mention the value and importance to the history of constitucionalism in Western Civilization of the ” Magdburg Confession” and show to the audience the book in dark blue cover with the “bearwolf”… Just one coincidence… My father was a judge in Brazil ( a magistrate) and his major in Law was in Presbiterian University Mackenzie ( a so traditional Protestant Educational Institute). Although being raised in a Catholic family I admire so much the political and constitucional ideas of the XVI Century Protestants ( mainly that one of the “lesser magistrates” that in xvi century were magistrates and other people with public ranks) Thank you very Much. It was really so kind of you to offer me one version in pdf, but how I said I bought one exemplar of your translation… If you agree, it perhaps it would be profitable an intelectual exchange between us. Best Regards. Silvio Gabriel Serrano Nunes

      • Thank you for buying it, Silvio! I’m glad it was of use to you. It is wonderful to me that a scholar in Brazil is doing research on Beza, Knox, and Calvinistic political thought.

        Do keep in touch, and let me know if I can be of any further help to your work.

  3. May I use the picture of Ravenna: Abel and Melchisedech in an article I am writing for an internet journal on early Christians Studies? Thanks!

    • It’s actually just lifted from Gogle images, if I recall correctly. Not very professional of me.

  4. Ok! :-))

  5. I am Reading Belousek’s book on the atonement. I love it. I am becoming convinced that one of the main themes of the old testament is the practice of taking pagan theology and practice and turning it on its head. Thus genital mutilation, thought to be the mark of the priestly elite becomes an egalitarian mark of universal priesthood and sovereignty thru circumcision. The sacrifice meant to appease an angry deity now becomes the divinely appointed means of purification and expiation.

    • You would enjoy Levenson’s _The Death and Resurrection of the Beloved Son: e Transformation of Child Sacrifice in Judaism and Christianity_.

  6. Just curious, you work w/ Paul Brinkerhoff at Mars Hill? BTW, I’m UECNA now and a refugee from the CRC. Westminster/Calvin Sem for me. Paul is a marriage relation to my wife. Hit me via email when able.

    • I have not worked at Mars Hill for more than three years. I’m a Anglican missionary in SE Asia now.

      Paul and Bette helped us find our house in Mason, which we still own and rent out. I also taught all their kids except Kathleen.

  7. Thanks for your work translating the Magdeburg Confession, Mathew! It’s an important work and I hope it gets the broadest circulation among the churches of our day. I’ll share it as often as I can. God bless. Paul

    • Thanks, Paul. (Which Paul, by the way?)

  8. ‘everything is always changing with every kind of change’ (Theat. 181E)

    You couldn’t imagine how much I, as a reader of Plato, appreciate your 2007 article on Plato’s approach to Heraclitean unity of opposites in the ‘Classical Quarterly’. Yours is an important insight into a strangely under-appreciated aspect of Plato’s connection to the physical world. To my eyes, Plato resolves this three-fold indeteminacy at Republic 436B-437A with an empirical Principle with three appropriate empirical restrictions. Am I totally off base?

    Sincere thanks to you from all lovers of ancient philosophy,

  9. Hi Matt, I have a question I’d like to ask you. I don’t think I have an updated email address. Please drop me a line. Thanks, Blake

  10. […] Matt’s blog, Colvinism […]

  11. Hi Matt. I just read the review of your book, The Lost Supper, in Review of Biblical Literature. I’d love to be in conversation with you. Connect with me at
    presian burroughs

    • Hi, Presian. You can reach me at I’d be happy to connect with you.

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