|Bishop of Durham|
|Elected||15 March 1879|
|In office||10 April 1879 (conf.)-1889 (died)|
|Successor||Brooke Foss Westcott|
|Other posts||Hulsean Professor of Divinity (1861-1875)|
Lady Margaret's Professor of Divinity (1875-1879)
Deputy Clerk of the Closet (1875-?)
|Born||13 April 1828|
Liverpool, Lancashire, United Kingdom
|Died||21 December 1889 (aged 61)|
Bournemouth, Hampshire, UK
|Buried||Auckland Castle chapel|
|Residence||Auckland Castle (as Bishop of Durham)|
|Parents||John Lightfoot & Ann Lightfoot (née Barber)|
|Profession||academic; biblical scholar; bible translator; theologian; tutor|
|Education||King Edward's School, Birmingham|
|Alma mater||Trinity College, Cambridge|
Ordination history of
J. B. Lightfoot
Lightfoot was born in Liverpool, where his father John Jackson Lightfoot was an accountant. His mother, Ann Matilda Barber, was from a family of Birmingham artists. He was educated at King Edward's School, Birmingham, under James Prince Lee. His contemporaries included Brooke Foss Westcott and Edward White Benson. In 1847, Lightfoot went to Trinity College, Cambridge, and read for his degree along with Westcott. He graduated senior classic and 30th wrangler, and was elected a fellow of his college. From 1854 to 1859 he edited the Journal of Classical and Sacred Philology. In 1857, he became tutor and his fame as a scholar grew. He was made Hulsean professor in 1861, and shortly afterwards chaplain to the Prince Consort and honorary chaplain in ordinary to Queen Victoria.
It was always patent that what he was chiefly concerned with was the substance and the life of Christian truth, and that his whole energies were employed in this inquiry because his whole heart was engaged in the truths and facts which were at stake.
In 1875, Lightfoot became Lady Margaret's Professor of Divinity in succession to William Selwyn. In 1879, he was consecrated bishop of Durham in succession to Charles Baring; he was enthroned at Durham Cathedral on 15 May. He soon surrounded himself with a band of scholarly young men.
Lightfoot was never married. He died at Bournemouth and was succeeded in the episcopate by Westcott, his schoolfellow and lifelong friend. He served as President of the first day of the 1880 Co-operative Congress.
He is buried in Durham Cathedral close to the choir stalls.
Lightfoot wrote commentaries on the Epistle to the Galatians (1865), Epistle to Philippians (1868) and Epistle to the Colossians (1875). In 1874, the anonymous publication of Supernatural Religion, a work speculated by some to be authored by Walter Richard Cassels, attracted attention. In a series of papers in the Contemporary Review, between December 1874 and May 1877, Lightfoot undertook the defense of the New Testament canon. The articles were published in collected form in 1889. About the same time he was engaged in contributions to William Smith's Dictionary of Christian Biography and Dictionary of the Bible, and he also joined the committee for revising the translation of the New Testament.
The corpus of Lightfoot's writings include essays on biblical and historical subject matter, commentaries on Pauline epistles, and studies on the Apostolic Fathers. His sermons were posthumously published in four official volumes, and additionally in the Contemporary Pulpit Library series. At Durham he continued to work at his editions of the Apostolic Fathers, and in 1885 published an edition of the Epistles of Ignatius and Polycarp, collecting also materials for a second edition of Clement of Rome, which was published after his death (1st ed., 1869). He defended the authenticity of the Epistles of Ignatius.
In 2014, it was announced that InterVarsity Press had agreed to publish about 1500 pages of previously unpublished biblical commentaries and essays by Lightfoot found in Durham Cathedral. The first of the three volume set covers the Acts of the Apostles, the second is a commentary on the Gospel of John and the third is on the Second Epistle to the Corinthians and the First Epistle of Peter.
Lightfoot was the nephew of the artists Joseph Vincent Barber and Charles Vincent Barber and grandson of the artist and founding member of the Birmingham School of Art, Joseph Barber and great grandson of the founder of Newcastle's first library, Joseph Barber whose tomb is in Newcastle Cathedral.
|Church of England titles|
| Bishop of Durham
Brooke Foss Westcott