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He studied at Jesus College, Cambridge and Trinity College, Cambridge, and then trained for ordination at Westcott House, Cambridge. In 1948, Robinson became chaplain of Wells Theological College, where he wrote his first book, In the End, God.In 1951, he was appointed Fellow and Dean of Clare College, Cambridge and a lecturer in divinity at Cambridge University.After endorsing Paul Tillich's assertion that God is the "ground of all being", Robinson wrote: "For it is in [Jesus] making himself nothing, in his utter self-surrender to others in love, that he discloses and lays bare the ground of man's being as Love While some of its ideas have been taken up by more liberal circles of Christian thought, proponents of the traditional interpretation of Christianity, both Catholic and Protestant, reject Robinson's thesis as an unnecessary capitulation to Modernism.To what extent this is in fact the case depends very much on the frame of reference of the reader.

He was educated at Marlborough College, then an all-boys independent school in Marlborough, Wiltshire.One hundred fifty years ago, if one had asked a New Testament scholar which of the four gospels gave us the most information about the life and ministry of Jesus, the answer would almost invariably have been, “The Gospel of John.” Today if one asks a typical New Testament scholar the same question, the Gospel of John would be the last choice as a source of information about Jesus (if it was viewed as having anything to say about this topic at all).How has such a drastic shift in opinion regarding the Fourth Gospel come about?He also wrote that past scholarship was based on a "tyranny of unexamined assumptions" and an "almost wilful blindness".Robinson concluded that much of the New Testament was written before AD 64, partly basing his judgement on the spare textual evidence that the New Testament reflects knowledge of the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem in AD 70.

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