Philip Nye (c. 1595–1672) was a leading English Independent theologian and a member of the Westminster Assembly of Divines  He was the key adviser to Oliver Cromwell on matters of religion and regulation of the Church.
Philip Nye was born into a middle class family in Sussex in England, in 1596. He entered Oxford as a commoner of Brazen-noze College, July 21, 1615. Afterwards he went to Magdalen Hall, Oxford where he studied under a puritanical tutor. He graduated from Magdalen Hall, Oxford with an Arts degree in 1619 and with M.A. in 1622. Afterwards he entered holy orders and became curate of St. Michael's Church in Cornhill, near London. He fell afoul of the episcopal court and fled to Holland, spending the years 1633 to 1640 in exile.
He was one of the Five Dissenting Brethren in the Westminster Assembly, and a leader of the group alongside Thomas Goodwin. With support from Lord Kimbolton he had influential connections with the Parliamentary Army, and also had the living of Kimbolton, then in Huntingdonshire. According to Ivan Roots, the eventual ecclesiastical settlement under the Protectorate followed closely proposals from 1652, outlined by Nye with John Owen and others.
When the monarchy was restored, Nye was initially excluded from the general pardon. That should have meant being hung, drawn and quartered. However he was included afterwards by the Bill of Indemnity on the condition that he did not accept any ecclesiastical, civil, military or public office. Instead he worked for an independent church as a Doctor of theology, until his death in 1672.
With Goodwin, he was a co-author of the Apologeticall Narration, pleading for toleration of Calvinist congregations outside a proposed Presbyterian national church. The presented the text to parliament on 3 January 1644. They argued that the congregational churches were closer to the practice of the early Christians and also that they were more suited to the changeability of contemporary times. This tactic meant they could avoid having their views debated at the Westminster Assembly, where they would have been readily outnumbered, and perhaps outvoted. In the Whitehall Debates of 1648, however, he supported Henry Ireton's view that toleration should be limited by the state. He was one of those agitating successfully against the Racovian Catechism.
Nye, along with Thomas Goodwin, advocated allowing Jews to return to England and forcefully plead for their readmission. In this plea they were acting with Cromwell's direct encouragement. However wild anti-Semitic rumours and general public antipathy made readmission politically impossible.
- Philip Nye (1643), Two speeches delivered before the subscribing of the Covenant, the 25. of September, at St. Margarets in Westminster, Edinburgh: Printed by Robert Bryson
- Philip Nye (1643), An exhortation to the taking of the Solemne League and Covenant for reformation and defence of religion, the honour and happinesse of the King, and the peace and safety of the three kingdomes of England, Scotland, and Ireland, London: s.n.
- Philip Nye (1644), An exhortation to the taking of the Solemne league and covenant for reformation and defence of religion, the hononr [sic] and happinesse of the king, and the peace and safety of the three kingdomes of England, Scotland, and Ireland, Printed at London: For Ralph Smith ...
- Philip Nye (1646), The Excellency and Lawfulnesse of the Solemne League and Covenant, London: Printed by W. Wilson
- Philip Nye (1658), A declaration of the faith and order owned and practised in the Congregational Churches of England; agreed upon and consented unto by their elders and messengers in their meeting at the Savoy, October 12. 1658, London: Printed by John Field
- Philip Nye (1660), Beames of former light, discovering how evil it is to impose doubtfull and disputable formes or practises, upon ministers, London: Printed by R.I. for A. Byfield
- Philip Nye (1662), The lawfulnes of the oath of supremacy and power of the civil magistrate in ecclesiastical affairs: and subordination of churches thereunto, London: printed by Peter Cole at the Printing-press in Cornhil neer the Royal Exchange
- Philip Nye (1677), A case of great and present use, London: [s.n.]
- Philip Nye (1683), The lawfulnes of hearing the publick ministers of the Church of England proved, London: Printed for Jonathan Robinson ...
- Philip Nye (1683), The lawfulnes of the oath of supremacy, and power of the King in ecclesiastical affairs, London: Printed for Jonathan Robinson ..., and Samuel Crowch ...
- Philip Nye (1687), The King's authority in dispensing with ecclesiastical laws asserted and vindicated, London: Printed for H.N. and Nathanael Ranew ...
- de Witt, John Richard (1969). Jus Divinum: The Westminster Assembly and the Divine Right of Church Government, page 27 (Th.D. thesis). Kampen, the Netherlands: J. H. Kok. OCLC 31994.
- G. E. Aylmer, Rebellion or Revolution? (1986), p. 179.
- James Reid,Memoirs of the lives and writings of those eminent divines who convened in ... ,page 89
- Thomas Park, Works of the British Poets, vol 5 pg 629
- T. Osborne, et al (1762) A New and General Biographical Dictionary: Containing an Historical and Critical Account of the Lives and Writings of the Most Eminent Persons in Every Nation, Particularly the British and Irish, from the Earliest Accounts of Time to the Present Period : Wherein Their Remarkable Actions Or Sufferings, Their Virtues, Parts, and Learning are Accurately Displayed : with a Catalogue of Their Literary Productions, Volume 8
- Concise Dictionary of National Biography
- Cambridge Historical Journal, Volume 5, Issue 1 1935 , pp. 41-59
- The Westminster Confession of Faith
- The future Edward Montagu, 2nd Earl of Manchester.
- , PDF, p. 6.
- The Great Rebellion (1995 edition), p. 176.
- Samuel Butler, The Genuine Poetical Remains, page 175
- Acton | British History Online
- T.C. Hansard, 1808, The Parliamentary History of England from the Earliest Period to the Year 1803: From which Last-mentioned Epoch it is Continued Downwards in the Work Entitled "Hansard's Parliamentary Debates." V. 1-36; 1066/1625-1801/03, Volume 4, page 91
- Cambridge Historical Journal, Volume 5, Issue 1 1935 , pp. 41-59
- Claire Cross, The Church of England 1646–1660 p. 101, in The Interregnum (1972), edited by G. E. Aylmer.
- C.V. Wedgewood (1958), The King's War 1641 – 1647, Collins, p. 285
- Andrew Crome, The Restoration of the Jews: Early Modern Hermeneutics, Eschatology, and National Identity in the Works of Thomas Brightman, Page 198
- Bryan W. Ball, A Great Expectation: Eschatological Thought in English Protestantism to 1660, page 149
- Christopher Hill, The English Bible and the Seventeenth-Century Revolution (1993), p. 24; Keith Thomas, Religion and the Decline of Magic, p. 436.