|The Right Reverend
|Bishop of Durham|
Photograph of Lightfoot.
|Diocese||Diocese of Durham|
|Elected||15 March 1879|
|In office||10 April 1879 (conf.)–1889 (died)|
|Other posts||Hulsean Professor of Divinity (1861–1875)
Lady Margaret's Professor of Divinity (1875–1879)
Deputy Clerk of the Closet (1875–?)
13 April 1828|
Liverpool, Lancashire, United Kingdom
|Died||21 December 1889
Bournemouth, Hampshire, UK
|Buried||Auckland Castle chapel|
|Residence||Auckland Castle (as Bishop of Durham)|
|Parents||John Lightfoot & Ann Lightfoot (née Barber)|
|Profession||academic; biblical scholar; bible translator; theologian; tutor|
|Education||King Edward's School, Birmingham|
|Alma mater||Trinity College, Cambridge|
|Ordination history of Joseph Lightfoot|
|Ordained by||James Prince Lee, Bishop of Manchester|
|Date of ordination||1854|
|Ordained by||Prince Lee|
|Date of ordination||1858|
|Principal consecrator||William Thomson, Archbishop of York|
|Date of consecration||25 April 1879|
|Place of consecration||Westminster Abbey|
Lightfoot was born in Liverpool, where his father John Jackson Lightfoot was an accountant. His mother, Ann Matilda Barber was from a family of Birmingham artists. 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. 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.
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 was enthroned at Durham Cathedral on 15 May. 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.
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.
- Apostolic Fathers. Part I. (two vols). London: MacMillan and Co. 1890.
- Apostolic Fathers. Part II. (three vols). London: MacMillan and Co. 1885–89.
- Apostolic Fathers Abridged. London: MacMillan and Co. 1891.
- Biblical Essays. London: MacMillan and Co. 1893.
- Cambridge Sermons. London: MacMillan and Co. 1890.
- Dissertations on the Apostolic Age. London: MacMillan and Co. 1892.
- Essays on Supernatural Religion. London: MacMillan and Co. 1889.
- Fresh Revision of the English New Testament. London: MacMillan and Co. 1871.
- Historical Essays. London: MacMillan and Co. 1895.
- Joseph Barber Lightfoot (1890). Leaders in the Northern Church. London: MacMillan and Co.
- Notes on the Epistles of St. Paul from Unpublished Commentaries. London: MacMillan and Co. 1895.
- Ordination Addresses. London: MacMillan and Co. 1890.
- Primary Charge. London: MacMillan and Co. 1882.
- St. Clement of Rome. London: MacMillan and Co. 1869.
- Saint Paul's Epistle to the Galatians. London: MacMillan and Co. 1865.
- Saint Paul's Epistles to the Colossians and Philemon. London: MacMillan and Co. 1875.
- Saint Paul's Epistle to the Philippians. London: MacMillan and Co. 1868.
- The Christian Ministry. 1868.
- Sermons preached in St. Paul's. London: MacMillan and Co. 1891.
- Special Sermons. London: MacMillan and Co. 1891.
- The Contemporary Pulpit Library: Sermons by Bishop Lightfoot. London: Swan Sonnenschein. 1892.
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. The first of the three volume set covers The Acts of the Apostles.
Lightfoot was the nephew of the artists Joseph Vincent Barber and Charles Vincent Barber and grandson of the artist and founding member of the Birmingham School of Art, Joseph Barber and great grandson of the founder of Newcastle's first library, Joseph Barber whose tomb is in Newcastle Cathedral.
- "Lightfoot, Joseph Barber (LTFT847JB)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge.
- "Congress Presidents 1869-2002" (PDF). February 2002. Retrieved 2008-05-10.
- 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.
- Lightfoot, J. B. (2014). The Acts of the Apostles: A Newly Discovered Commentary. InterVarsity Press. ISBN 978-0-8308-9673-8.
- Chrystal & Laundon 2015, p. 120.
- Treloar, Geoffrey R. (1998). Lightfoot the Historian: The Nature and Role of History in the Life and Thought of J.B. Lightfoot (1828-1889) as Churchman and Scholar. Mohr Siebeck. ISBN 978-3-16-146866-7.
- McIntire, C.T. (2001). "Review of Lightfoot the Historian". Anglican and Episcopal History 70 (2): 254–256. ISSN 0896-8039. JSTOR 42612184.
- Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Lightfoot, Joseph Barber". Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.
- Hort, Fenton John Anthony (1893). "Lightfoot, Joseph Barber". In Lee, Sidney. Dictionary of National Biography 33. London: Smith, Elder & Co.
- "Lightfoot, Joseph Barber". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/16650. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
- Chrystal, Paul; Laundon, Stan (2015). Secret Newcastle. Amberley. ISBN 978-1-4456-4139-3.
- Works written by or about Joseph Lightfoot at Wikisource
- Works by J. B. Lightfoot at Project Gutenberg
- Works by Joseph Barber Lightfoot at Project Gutenberg
- Works by or about Joseph Lightfoot at Internet Archive
- Works by Joseph Lightfoot at LibriVox (public domain audiobooks)
- Bibliographic page on Lightfoot, Project Canterbury
- Portraits of Joseph Lightfoot at the National Portrait Gallery, London
|Church of England titles|
|Bishop of Durham