Joseph Lightfoot

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Joseph Barber Lightfoot

Joseph Barber Lightfoot (13 April 1828 – 21 December 1889), known as J. B. Lightfoot, was an English theologian and Bishop of Durham.

Life[edit]

Lightfoot was born in Liverpool, where his father was an accountant. He was educated at King Edward's School, Birmingham, under James Prince Lee. His contemporaries included Brooke Foss Westcott and Edward White Benson. In 1847 Lightfoot went to Trinity College, Cambridge, and read for his degree along with Westcott. He graduated senior classic and 30th wrangler, and was elected a fellow of his college.[1] From 1854 to 1859 he edited the Journal of Classical and Sacred Philology. In 1857 he became tutor and his fame as a scholar grew. He was made Hulsean professor in 1861, and shortly afterwards chaplain to the Prince Consort and honorary chaplain in ordinary to Queen Victoria.

In 1866 he was Whitehall preacher, and in 1871 he became canon of St Paul's Cathedral. The Times wrote after his death that

It was always patent that what he was chiefly concerned with was the substance and the life of Christian truth, and that his whole energies were employed in this inquiry because his whole heart was engaged in the truths and facts which were at stake.

In 1875 Lightfoot became Lady Margaret's Professor of Divinity in succession to William Selwyn. In 1879 he was consecrated bishop of Durham in succession to Charles Baring. He soon surrounded himself with a band of scholarly young men.

Lightfoot was never married. He died at Bournemouth and was succeeded in the episcopate by Westcott, his schoolfellow and lifelong friend. He served as President of the first day of the 1880 Co-operative Congress.[2]

Publications[edit]

Lightfoot wrote commentaries on the Epistle to the Galatians (1865), Epistle to Philippians (1868) and Epistle to the Colossians (1875). In 1874, the anonymous publication of Supernatural Religion, a work speculated by some to be authored by Walter Richard Cassels, attracted attention. In a series of papers in the Contemporary Review, between December 1874 and May 1877, Lightfoot undertook the defense of the New Testament canon. The articles were published in collected form in 1889. About the same time he was engaged in contributions to William Smith's Dictionary of Christian Biography and Dictionary of the Bible, and he also joined the committee for revising the translation of the New Testament.

The corpus of Lightfoot's writings include essays on biblical and historical subject matter, commentaries on Pauline epistles, and studies on the Apostolic Fathers. His sermons were posthumously published in four official volumes, and additionally in the Contemporary Pulpit Library series. At Durham he continued to work at his editions of the Apostolic Fathers, and in 1885 published an edition of the Epistles of Ignatius and Polycarp, collecting also materials for a second edition of Clement of Rome, which was published after his death (1st ed., 1869). He defended the authenticity of the Epistles of Ignatius.

  • Joseph Barber Lightfoot (1890). Apostolic Fathers. Part I. (two vols). London: MacMillan and Co. 
  • Joseph Barber Lightfoot (1885–89). Apostolic Fathers. Part II. (three vols). London: MacMillan and Co. 
  • Joseph Barber Lightfoot (1891). Apostolic Fathers Abridged. London: MacMillan and Co. 
  • Joseph Barber Lightfoot (1893). Biblical Essays. London: MacMillan and Co. 
  • Joseph Barber Lightfoot (1890). Cambridge Sermons. London: MacMillan and Co. 
  • Joseph Barber Lightfoot (1892). Dissertations on the Apostolic Age. London: MacMillan and Co. 
  • Joseph Barber Lightfoot (1889). Essays on Supernatural Religion. London: MacMillan and Co. 
  • Joseph Barber Lightfoot (1871). Fresh Revision of the English New Testament. London: MacMillan and Co. 
  • Joseph Barber Lightfoot (1895). Historical Essays. London: MacMillan and Co. 
  • Joseph Barber Lightfoot (1890). Leaders in the Northern Church. London: MacMillan and Co. 
  • Joseph Barber Lightfoot (1895). Notes on the Epistles of St. Paul from Unpublished Commentaries. London: MacMillan and Co. 
  • Joseph Barber Lightfoot (1890). Ordination Addresses. London: MacMillan and Co. 
  • Joseph Barber Lightfoot (1882). Primary Charge. London: MacMillan and Co. 
  • Joseph Barber Lightfoot (1869). St. Clement of Rome. London: MacMillan and Co. 
  • Joseph Barber Lightfoot (1865). Saint Paul's Epistle to the Galatians. London: MacMillan and Co. 
  • Joseph Barber Lightfoot (1875). Saint Paul's Epistles to the Colossians and Philemon. London: MacMillan and Co. 
  • Joseph Barber Lightfoot (1868). Saint Paul's Epistle to the Philippians. London: MacMillan and Co. 
  • Joseph Barber Lightfoot (1868). The Christian Ministry. 
  • Joseph Barber Lightfoot (1891). Sermons preached in St. Paul's. London: MacMillan and Co. 
  • Joseph Barber Lightfoot (1891). Special Sermons. London: MacMillan and Co. 
  • Joseph Barber Lightfoot (1892). The Contemporary Pulpit Library: Sermons by Bishop Lightfoot. London: Swan Sonnenschein. 

In 2014, it was announced that InterVarsity Press had agreed to publish about 1500 pages of previously unpublished Biblical commentaries and essays by Lightfoot found in Durham Cathedral.[3] The first of the three volume set covers The Acts of the Apostles.[4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Lightfoot, Joseph Barber (LTFT847JB)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge. 
  2. ^ "Congress Presidents 1869-2002". February 2002. Retrieved 2008-05-10. 
  3. ^ Ben Witherington III, "Text Archaeology: The Finding of Lightfoot's Lost Manuscripts," Biblical Archaeology Review, Vol. 40, No. 2 (March/April 2014), pp. 28, 71.
  4. ^ "The Acts of the Apostles (hardcover) - InterVarsity Press". August 2014. Retrieved 2014-08-29. 

Sources[edit]

  • Treloar, Geoffrey R. 'Lightfoot the historian: the nature and role of history in the life and thought of J.B. Lightfoot (1828–1889) as churchman and scholar' Unpublished PhD Thesis (Tübingen, 1998)
  • Public Domain This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. 

External links[edit]

Church of England titles
Preceded by
Charles Baring
Bishop of Durham
1879–1889
Succeeded by
Brooke Westcott