Biography of John William Burgon
John William Burgon - English Anglican divine
Burgon was born at Smymna in August 1813, the son of a Turkey merchant, who was a skilled numismatist and afterwards became an assistant in the antiquities department of the British Museum.
After a few years of business life, Burgon went to Worcester College, Oxford, in 1841, gained the Newdigate prize, took his degree in 1845, and won an Oriel fellowship in 1846. He was much influenced by his brother-inlaw, the scholar and theologian Henry John Rose (1800-1873). Burgon made Oxford his headquarters, while holding a living at some distance. In 1863 he was made vicar of St Mary’s, having attracted attention by his vehement sermons against Essays and Reviews.
In 1867 he was appointed Gresham professor of divinity at Oxford. In. 1871 he published a defence of the genuineness of the twelve last verses of St Mark’s Gospel, based on textual analysis and manuscript evidence. He now began an attack on the proposal for a new lectionary for the Church of England, based largely upon his objections to the false principles for determining the authority of MS. readings adopted by Westcott and Hort, which he assailed in a memorable article in the Quarterly Review for 1881. This, with his other articles, was reprinted in 1884 with great documentation - under the title of The Revision Revised. In 1876 Burgon was made dean of Chichester. He produced many articles and books dealing with textual issues of the New Testament, and dealing with New Testament manuscripts and New Testament Greek. Many people do not realize that he was among those who personally examined Codex Vaticanus, and then wrote a critique of it.