Frederick Fyvie Bruce was born on 12 October 1910 at Elgin in Scotland. He was brought up in a Christian household, his parents, Peter Fyvie and Mary Bruce, raising him in the Christian Brethren tradition. He was educated at Elgin Academy, studied Classics at Aberdeen and Cambridge, and went on to Vienna as the holder of a Sandys’ scholarship.
Initially he was employed teaching Greek at Edinburgh and Classics in Leeds, however he went on to develop an interest in biblical studies, winning a Crombie scholarship in biblical criticism and obtaining a diploma in Hebrew in 1943. He became head of Biblical Studies at Sheffield University in 1947 and was awarded a chair in 1955. In 1959 he became the Rylands Professor of Biblical Criticism and Exegesis at Manchester, retiring in 1978.
Raised in the Christian Brethren, he was nonetheless highly regarded as an independently minded biblical scholar. He was not afraid of courting controversy, disagreeing on occasion with both co-religionists and fellow scholars. He was an active member of his church and a founder member of the Tyndale Fellowship for Biblical Research which became a centre for evangelical biblical research. In 1955 he became the honorary president of the Inter-varsity Fellowship, which promoted evangelical activity among students. At a time when there was little connection between Christian evangelicals and biblical scholars, he was unusual: an evangelical highly regarded in academic circles and an academic trusted by evangelicals. He held a variety of important positions in the world of scholarship, being President of the Society of Old Testament Study and the Studiorum Novi Testamenti and was elected a Fellow of the British Academy in 1973.
Primarily a Pauline scholar, he published extensively on biblical themes. He also wrote widely for Brethren periodicals and was highly regarded as a populariser of biblical scholarship for non-academic audiences. In 1979 he was awarded the Burkitt medal and was given a D.Litt by the University of Leeds in 1988.
On retirement he gave his collection of Brethren pamphlets to the John Rylands University Library and provided encouragement and support for the formation of the Christian Brethren Archive at that institution. He married Annie Bertha Davidson on 19 August 1936; they had two children, Iain and Sheila. He died in Buxton in 11 September 1990.