Joseph Barber Lightfoot is one of the most influential biblical scholars of the nineteenth century, who along with John Anthony Hort and Brooke Foss Westcott, defended the authenticity of the Bible against modernism and contributed enormously to the discipline of church history. In addition to his extensive scholarly accomplishments, Bible commentaries, and his multi-volume Apostolic Fathers, Lightfoot also devoted his life to the church, serving as canon of St. Paul’s Cathedral and as Bishop of Durham.
The Joseph Barber Lightfoot Collection (11 vols.) contains material from Lightfoot’s unfinished Bible commentaries, lectures, and manuscripts, including his unpublished notes on the Pauline Epistles—including 1 Corinthians, 2 Corinthians, portions of Romans, and the first chapter of Ephesians—as well as essays on the chronology of Paul’s life, the structure of Romans, and the Pastoral Epistles. The Joseph Barber Lightfoot Collection contains four volumes of Lightfoot’s sermons—87 sermons in all! This collection also includes Lightfoot’s enormously popular series of essays, in which he challenged W. R. Cassel’s Supernatural Religion and defended his friend and colleague B. F. Westcott.
What’s more, with the power of your digital library, the entire 11-volume Joseph Barber Lightfoot Collection is fully searchable and easier to access than ever! The Scripture references in Lightfoot’s commentaries, essays, and sermons are linked to your Bible translations and original language texts, and important theological concepts are linked to dictionaries, encyclopedias, and the wealth of resources in your digital library.
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.
Joseph Barber Lightfoot was born on April 13, 1828 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 died on December 21, 1889, and was succeeded as bishop by his lifelong friend, Brooke Foss Westcott.