William Sanday (theologian)

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William Sanday
Portrait of William Sanday.jpg
William Sanday
Born(1843-08-01)1 August 1843
Holme Pierrepont, Nottinghamshire,
Died20 September 1920(1920-09-20) (aged 77)
OccupationTheologian and biblical scholar
Spouse(s)Marian Hastings
AwardsFellow of the British Academy (FBA) in 1903
Academic work
InstitutionsUniversity of Oxford

William Sanday FBA (1843–1920) was an English theologian. He was the Dean Ireland's Professor of Exegesis of Holy Scripture from 1883 to 1895, and the Lady Margaret Professor of Divinity from 1895 to 1919; both chairs were at the University of Oxford. He had previously been Master of Bishop Hatfield's Hall, University of Durham.


Sanday was born on 1 August 1843 in Holme Pierrepont, Nottinghamshire, England, to William Sanday and Elizabeth Mann. He was a British academic theologian and biblical scholar. In 1877 he married Marian Hastings, daughter of Woodman Hastings.

He was Dean Ireland's Professor of Exegesis of Holy Scripture at Oxford between 1883 and 1895, as well as Lady Margaret Professor of Divinity and Canon of Christ Church between 1895 and 1919. He became a Fellow of the British Academy (FBA) in 1903 (one of the original cohort), and received an honorary Doctor of Letters (DLitt) degree from the University of Cambridge in May 1902.[1]

He also worked as one of the editors of the 1880 Variorum Bible, and contributed articles to the Encyclopaedia Biblica and The American Journal of Theology.

Sanday died on 16 September 1920.


  • Sanday, William (1872). The Authorship and Historical Character of the Fourth Gospel: considered in reference to the contents of the Gospel itself: a critical essay. London: Macmillan.
  • ——— (1876). The Gospels in the Second Century: an examination of the critical part of a work entitled "Supernatural religion". ISBN 9780837050409. OCLC 551689940.
  • ———; Headlam, Arthur C. (1895). A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the Epistle to the Romans. International Critical Commentary. Edinburgh: T & T Clark.
  • ——— (1899). Outlines of the Life of Christ. New York: C. Scribner's Sons. OCLC 7108831.
  • ——— (1907). The Life of Christ in Recent Research. New York: Oxford University Press. OCLC 3009845.
  • ——— (1911). Studies in the Synoptic Problem. Oxford: Clarendon Press. OCLC 753275.
  • ——— (1918). The New Testament Background.
  • ——— (2001). Essays in Biblical Criticism and Exegesis. Journal for the Study of the New Testament - Supplement series. 225. Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press. ISBN 9780567619730. OCLC 741687252.


  1. ^ "University Intelligence". The Times (36779). London. 28 May 1902. p. 12.


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Academic offices
Preceded by
James Barmby
Master of Bishop Hatfield's Hall, Durham
Succeeded by
Archibald Robertson
Preceded by
Henry Liddon
Dean Ireland's Professor of
the Exegesis of Holy Scripture

Succeeded by
Walter Lock
Preceded by
Charles Abel Heurtley
Lady Margaret Professor of Divinity