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Dissertations on the Apostolic Age
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Dissertations on the Apostolic Age


Macmillan and Co. 1892

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A collection of five dissertations by Dr. Lightfoot, reprinted from his commentaries on the Epistles of St. Paul. The dissertations include "The Brethren of the Lord,” “St. Paul and the Three,” “The Christian Ministry,” “St. Paul and Seneca,” and “The Essenes.” Each one expounds upon an important idea in Lightfoot’s theology.

In addition, “The Christian Ministry” ends with two appendices entitled “Additional Notes to the Dissertation Upon the Christian Ministry.” The first note gives Lightfoot’s justification for his final view on the genuineness of the Greek Epistles of Saints Ignatius and Polycarp, which was a departure from his earlier view of these same epistles. The second note clarifies his view on the three fold Christian Ministry. Each are helpful illuminations of something often ignored or missed by those students of Lightfoot, that being his clearer understanding of the doctrine of Apostolic Succession as central to the Oxford Movement.

Product Details

  • Title: Dissertations on the Apostolic Age
  • Author: J. B. Lightfoot
  • Publisher: MacMillan and Co.
  • Publication Date: 1892
  • Pages: 407

About J. B. Lightfoot

J. B. Lightfoot (1828-1889) Bishop of Durham and biblical scholar.

Born in Liverpool, Lightfoot was educated at King Edward’s School, Birmingham, and Trinity College, Cambridge, where he became a fellow in 1852. He was ordained an Anglican priest in 1858 and taught classics in his college. In 1861 he became Hulsean professor of divinity. Lecturing mainly on the Epistles of Paul, he attracted large audiences. In 1870 he persuaded his friend B. F. Westcott to make himself available for the vacant regius professorship of divinity, to which Westcott was then elected. The two friends worked side by side, doing much to make critical study of the New Testament attractive.

Having refused the bishopric of Lichfield, Lightfoot accepted that of Durham in 1870. He gave himself wholeheartedly to his large diocese with its mines and ports. He organized a biennial diocesan conference, increased the number of full-time lay workers, started a church building fund, and traveled many miles to visit the parishes. Exhausted, he died in December 1889 and was buried in the chapel of Auckland Castle, the traditional home of the bishops of Durham.

Lightfoot’s scholarly output was immense. He was a leading member of the team of New Testament translators for the Revised Version. He filled his commentaries on Galatians (1865), Philippians (1868), and Colossians with Philemon (1875) with erudition. Likewise, his editions of the apostolic fathers (1869, 1885), especially the two volumes on Ignatius, were very important in their day. In his Leaders of the Northern Church (1890) he used his historical gifts to communicate at a more popular level. Lightfoot will be remembered, along with Westcott and Hort (his two companions), for providing the best in English biblical scholarship.

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