Faithlife Corporation

Business Hours

Monday – Saturday
6 AM – 6 PM PDT
Local: 11:00 PM
Essays on the Work Entitled Supernatural Religion
See inside
This image is for illustration only. The product is a download.

Essays on the Work Entitled Supernatural Religion


Macmillan and Co. 1893

Runs on Windows, Mac and mobile.


W. R. Cassel’s Supernatural Religion, first published anonymously in 1874, attacked Christianity, questioned the historicity of the Gospels, and expressed skepticism over the efficacy of miracles and the possibility of the supernatural. The work became an instant bestseller and received enormous publicity.

Although the work was challenged by contemporary scholars, its greatest rebuttal came from this series of essays by Lightfoot. This collection contains all nine of Lightfoot’s essays on Supernatural Religion. In particular Lightfoot questioned Cassel’s ignorance of church history, the logical fallacies of his view of Scripture, and the inconsistency of his scholarship. These essays were not only widely circulated, but have also served as an apologetic for the Gospels ever since.

Key Features

  • Includes an appendix and indexes of subjects and passages
  • All Scripture references are linked to original language texts and English translations

Praise for the Print Edition

The ease with which [Lightfoot] passes . . . from one subject to another, from a review of commentaries on St. Paul’s Epistles to an emendation of the text of Euripides, from an investigation of the meaning of ‘Caesar’s household’ to the position of the Long Walls at Athens, represents the work of [one] who regards the New Testament as the goal of all his studies.

Brooke Foss Westcott, author

Lightfoot’s research is characterized by clarity and precision, and a historical sense that sees the details within the larger movement of history.

—William Baird

Product Details

  • Title: Essays on the Work Entitled Supernatural Religion
  • Author: Joseph Barber Lightfoot
  • Publisher: MacMillan & Co.
  • Publication Date: 1889
  • Pages: 319

About Joseph Barber Lightfoot

Joseph Barber Lightfoot (1828–1889) was born in Liverpool. He attended King Edward’s School in Birmingham before enrolling at Trinity College, Cambridge. He edited the Journal of Classical and Sacred Philology from 1854 to 1859.

In 1852 he was elected a Fellow of Cambridge, and was ordained in 1854. He became tutor of Trinity College in 1857, professor of divinity in 1861, and anon of St. Paul’s Cathedral in 1871. Lightfoot preached regularly and participated in various ecclesiastical activities. He gained enormous popularity for his defense of the New Testament in response to Walter Richard Cassel’s Supernatural Religion. Lightfoot also participated on the committee for an English revision of the New Testament.

In 1879, Lightfoot became Bishop of Durham, where he continued his theological study, writing, and preaching. In addition to the works included in this collection, Lightfoot also wrote commentaries on Galatians, Philippians, and Colossians and Philemon. Lightfoot was succeeded as bishop by his lifelong friend, Brooke Foss Westcott.

More details about this resource