LIGHTFOOT, JOSEPH BARBER: English ecclesiastic and scholar; b. at Liverpool Apr. 13, 1828; d. at Bournemouth (6 m. s.w. of Christchurch), Hampshire, Dec. 21, 1889. He was the son of an accountant, and entered Trinity College, Cambridge, in 1847. In 1849 he became scholar of Trinity; 1851, B.A., senior classic, and chancellor's medalist; in 1852, fellow of Trinity; 1854 M.A., and was ordained deacon; 1854, was one of the founders of the Journal of Classical and Sacred Philology; 1857, tutor of Trinity; 1858, was ordained
Lightfoot was shy and reserved, yet was very successful as a professor. The students flocked to his lectures and he held them by his rich thoughts, his wide knowledge, and his sympathetic and inspiring style of address. As a preacher in St. Paul's the same characteristics secured him a hearing. The fact is moreover not to be overlooked, that his four volumes of sermons are as good when read as when heard. In 1870 he showed his liking of or church history by founding three scholarships, on the subject "in itself and in connection with general history." As bishop he gathered six or eight students at a time around him in his palace at Bishop Auckland, where the chaplains instructed them. He made it his aim to preach in every church in his diocese.
His work as canon of St. Paul's and his connection with Tait had prepared him for the charge of a diocese, and Durham was a very important one He did all he could to prepare for the long-needed division of the diocese, and the necessary funds were at length secured for the foundation of the see of Newcastle; J. W. Pease, a Quaker, made the munificent gift of the estate of Benwell Tower as a residence for the new bishop. Then Lightfoot set to work to build the churches still needed in his diocese. At a meeting at Durham he declared that twenty-five churches and mission-rooms were needed and he subscribed a large sum himself; nearly £30,000 were subscribed in that meeting, and in five years twenty-five churches or mission chapels were built or building. As a thank-offering after the first seven years of his episcopate, he himself founded a church in the town of Sunderland. He furthered strongly the creation of a diocesan fund to unite all the foundations for church purposes in the diocese, for churches, schools, insurance, pensions for clergymen, and the like; his own share in it was £500 a year, and besides he left the greater part of his property to it. He increased the number of the rural deans, and appointed a second archdeacon in 1882. When at Terrington he had in 1878 and 1879 spent £2,140 to renew the chancel of the church, and at Durham he spent much money in beautifying the episcopal palace. He furthered in every way the temperance and White Cross movements.
In the year 1865 his commentary on Galatians came out (10th ed., London, 1892). Philippians came out in 1868 (10th ed., 1891), and Colossians and Philemon 1875 (3d ed., 1890). These volumes contained the Greek text, a very full commentary, and important special essays. His Clement of Rome appeared in 1869, an appendix with the new matter from Bryennios in 1877 (again in 1890 in two volumes). The Apostolic Fathers came out in two parts (Part I., vols. i., ii.; Part II., vols. i.-iii., 1885-1890). As a reviser he wrote A Fresh Revision of the New Testament, 1871 (2d ed., 1872, New York, 1873, 3d ed., with new appendix, London, 1891). He was against a half-hearted revision and opposed vigorously the use of the younger Greek text. His essays against Cassels' Supernatural Religion (see SUPERNATURAL RELIGION) appeared as a book in 1889. Five volumes of sermons, essays and notes have been published since his death.
BIBLIOGRAPHY: Bishop Lightfoot (anonymous), London, 1894; DNB, xxxiii. 232-240; J. S. Stone, in Church Review, lxiii. 173 sqq.; F. W. Farrar, in Contemporary Review, Ivii. 170 sqq., reproduced in Magazine of Christian Literature, i. 360; W. Sanday, in English Historical Review, v. 209 sqq.
Calvin College. Last modified on 10/03/03. Contact the CCEL.