Francis Crawford Burkitt

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Francis Burkitt
Francis Crawford Burkitt

(1864-09-03)3 September 1864
Died11 May 1935(1935-05-11) (aged 70)
Academic background
Alma materTrinity College, Cambridge
Academic work
School or traditionAnglicanism[3]
InstitutionsTrinity College, Cambridge

Francis Crawford Burkitt FBA (3 September 1864 – 11 May 1935) was an English theologian. As Norris Professor of Divinity at the University of Cambridge from 1905 until shortly before his death, Burkitt was a sturdy critic of the notion of a distinct "Caesarean Text" of the New Testament put forward by B. H. Streeter and others.

Education and career[edit]

The inter-relationship between significant ancient manuscripts according to Burkitt

Burkitt was educated at Harrow School. He studied mathematics at Trinity College, Cambridge, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree in 1886: he was the 28th Wrangler that year. He then undertook the theological tripos and gained first-class honours in 1888. He received his Master of Arts (MA) in 1890. He was awarded both Bachelor of Divinity (BD) and Doctor of Divinity (DD) degrees in 1915.[4]

From 1903 to 1905, he was a lecturer in palaeography at the University of Cambridge. He was Norrisian Professor of Divinity from 1905 to 1934,[4] and then Norris–Hulse Professor of Divinity from 1934 until his death in 1935.[5] In 1926, he was additionally elected a professorial fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge.[4][6]

Burkitt accompanied Robert Bensly, James Rendel Harris, and sisters Agnes and Margaret Smith on the 1893 expedition to Saint Catherine's Monastery in Egypt to examine a Syriac palimpsest of the Gospels discovered there the previous year by the sisters. Burkitt played an important role in deciphering the text and in subsequent publication of the team's findings.[7]

Burkitt was a noted figure at Cambridge in 1912–1935 for his chairmanship of the Cambridge New Testament Seminar, attended by other prominent theologians, including Robert Newton Flew, who left an account of it in an obituary for Burkitt in the Proceedings of the British Academy.[8] He was also president of the Cambridge Philological Society from 1904 to 1905. Burkitt was one of the founding member of the Cambridge Theological Society that was dedicated to research, and president from 1907-09.[9]

Personal life[edit]

Burkitt married Amy Persis in 1888.[5] Together, they had one son, Miles Crawford Burkitt, who went on to become an archaeologist and academic.[6]

Burkitt died suddenly at his home on West Road, Cambridge on 11 May 1935, aged 70.[6]


The Burkitt Medal, awarded by the British Academy, is named in his honour.[10]


Descriptions of end-time beliefs in Judaism and Christianity.
(The Schweich Lectures (1913).


Edited by[edit]

Journal articles[edit]

  • Burkitt, Francis C. (January 1900). "Notes. Saint Mark XV 34 in Codex Bobiensis". The Journal of Theological Studies. 1 (2): 278–279.[11]
  • Burkitt, Francis C. (January 1900). "Notes. On the Baptismal Rite in the Canons of Hippolytus". The Journal of Theological Studies. 1 (2): 279.
  • Burkitt, Francis C. (January 1900). "Notes. The Original Language or the Acts of Judas Thomas". The Journal of Theological Studies. 1 (2): 280–290.
  • Burkitt, Francis C. (October 1903). "Further Notes on codex k". The Journal of Theological Studies. 5 (17): 100–107.
  • Burkitt, Francis C. (October 1904). "The Palestinian Syriac Lectionary". The Journal of Theological Studies. 6 (21): 91–98.
  • Burkitt, Francis C. (October 1909). "The Oldest MS of St Justin's Martyrdom". The Journal of Theological Studies. 11 (41): 61–66.
  • Burkitt, Francis C. (January 1910). "Saint Augustine's Bible and the Itala". Journal of Theological Studies. 11 (42): 258–268.
  • Burkitt, Francis C. (April 1910). "The Peraean Ministry: A Reply". The Journal of Theological Studies. 11 (43): 412–415.
  • Burkitt, Francis C. (April 1910). "Saint Augustine's Bible and the Itala". The Journal of Theological Studies. 11 (43): 447–458.
  • Burkitt, Francis C. (July 1910). "Codex Alexandrinus". The Journal of Theological Studies. 11 (4): 603–606.
  • Burkitt, Francis C. (January 1911). "The Waters of Shiloah That Go Softly: A Note on Isaiah VIII 6". Journal of Theological Studies. 12 (46): 294–295.
  • Burkitt, Francis C. (January 1911). "On Matt. XI 27, Luke X 22". Journal of Theological Studies. 12 (46): 296–297.
  • Burkitt, Francis C. (April 1911). "Additional Note". Journal of Theological Studies. 12 (47): 457–459.
  • Burkitt, Francis C. (April 1911). "On Immediately in Matt. XXIV 29". Journal of Theological Studies. 12 (47): 460–461.
  • Burkitt, Francis C. (April 1912). "A New MS of the Odes of Solomon". Journal of Theological Studies. 13 (51): 372–385.
  • Burkitt, Francis C. (July 1912). "Woman, What Have I To Do With Thee?". Journal of Theological Studies. 13 (52): 594–595.
  • Burkitt, Francis C. (October 1919). "William Sanday". The Expository Times. 31 (1): 20–21. doi:10.1177/001452461903100104. S2CID 221051734.
  • Burkitt, Francis C. (February 1927). "The Baptism of Jesus". The Expository Times. 38 (5): 198–202. doi:10.1177/001452462703800502. S2CID 170930477.
  • Burkitt, Francis C. (October 1929). "A Further Note on the Pahlavi Crosses". The Journal of Theological Studies. 31 (121): 47–48.
  • Burkitt, Francis C. (April 1930). "The Didascalia". The Journal of Theological Studies. 31 (123): 258–265.
  • Burkitt, Francis C. (October 1934). "The Chester Beatty Biblical Papyri". The Journal of Theological Studies. 34 (136): 363–368.
  • Burkitt, Francis C. (July 1935). "The Dura Fragment of Tatian". The Journal of Theological Studies. 36 (143): 255–259.


  1. ^ Chapman, Mark D. (2001). The Coming Crisis: The Impact of Eschatology on Theology in Edwardian England. Sheffield, England: Sheffield Academic Press. p. 81. ISBN 978-1-84127-185-9.
  2. ^ Lake, Kirsopp (1936). "F. C. Burkitt". Journal of Biblical Literature. 55 (1): 17–19. doi:10.2307/3259687. ISSN 0021-9231. JSTOR 3259687. S2CID 248212622.
  3. ^ Lake, Kirsopp (1936). "F. C. Burkitt". Journal of Biblical Literature. 55 (1): 18. doi:10.2307/3259687. ISSN 0021-9231. JSTOR 3259687. S2CID 248212622.
  4. ^ a b c "Burkitt, Francis Crawford (BRKT882FC)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge.
  5. ^ a b "Burkitt, Francis Crawford". Oxford University Press. 1 December 2007. doi:10.1093/ww/9780199540884.013.U206907. ISBN 978-0-19-954089-1.
  6. ^ a b c Bethune-Baker, J. F. (23 September 2004). "Burkitt, Francis Crawford (1864–1935)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/32180. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  7. ^ Soskice, Janet (2010) Sisters of Sinai: How Two Lady Adventurers Found the Hidden Gospels. London: Vintage, pp. 146–87.
  8. ^ His account is quoted at length in Suffering and Martyrdom in the New Testament, ed. William Horbury and Brian McNeill (Cambridge: Cambridge UP), pp. xiii–xv.
  9. ^ "The Historical Register of the University of Cambridge". Cambridge University Press. 1917. pp. 1008–1009.
  10. ^ "Burkitt Medal (Biblical Studies)". Prizes and Medals. British Academy. Retrieved 24 August 2015.
  11. ^ "The Journal of theological studies JTS". 1900. pp. 278–279.

External links[edit]

Academic offices
Preceded by Norrisian Professor
Succeeded by
as Norris–Hulse Professor
of Divinity
Preceded byas Hulsean Professor of Divinity Norris–Hulse Professor of Divinity
Succeeded by
Preceded by
as Norrisian Professor