The Epistles of 2 Corinthians and 1 Peter: Newly Discovered Commentaries, By J. B. Lightfoot
The Epistles of 2 Corinthians and 1 Peter
  • Length: 362 pages
  • Dimensions: 6 × 9 in
  • Published: November 02, 2016
  • Imprint: IVP Academic
  • Item Code: 2946
  • ISBN: 9780830829460

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InterVarsity Press is proud to present The Lightfoot Legacy, a three-volume set of previously unpublished material from J. B. Lightfoot, one of the great biblical scholars of the modern era. In the spring of 2013, Ben Witherington III discovered hundreds of pages of biblical commentary by Lightfoot in the Durham Cathedral Library. While incomplete, these commentaries represent a goldmine for historians and biblical scholars, as well as for the many people who have found Lightfoot's work both informative and edifying, deeply learned and pastorally sensitive.

In addition to the material on the Acts of the Apostles and the Gospel of St. John, published in volumes one and two, respectively, there were fragments on 2 Corinthians and 1 Peter. Lightfoot was well known as a Pauline expert given his commentaries on Galatians, Philippians, Colossians and Philemon, and fragments of his work on Romans, 1 Corinthians, Ephesians, and 1 and 2 Thessalonians were published posthumously. It is therefore a delight to have his notes on 2 Corinthians available for the first time. Lightfoot was also interested in the life and work of Peter. The introduction to his commentary on 1 Peter provides insightful analysis of the chronology and context of the epistle. Lightfoot seeks to demonstrate that Peter knew Paul's work and that these two great apostles were in harmony regarding theology and ethics.

Now complete, these three commentary volumes reveal a scholar well ahead of his time, one of the great minds of his or any generation.

"The work of J. B. Lightfoot, along with that of his close collaborators B. F. Westcott and F. J. A. Hort, remains of landmark significance to contemporary New Testament studies. The editors and their assistants are to be thanked and congratulated for their labors in bringing to publication these previously unpublished notes on 2 Corinthians and 1 Peter, along with various essays by and about Lightfoot. These materials will be of interest to all who work on the historical interpretation of these letters and on the history of their interpretation."

David G. Horrell, professor of New Testament studies, director, Centre for Biblical Studies, University of Exeter

"Harnack said it best: Lightfoot was a true liberal for he was 'an independent, free scholar . . . in the absolute sense of the word. He has never defended tradition for the tradition's sake.' We need more liberals like that today!"

Daniel B. Wallace, Dallas Theological Seminary

"Thanks to Witherington and his associates and to IVP for bringing this cache of material from the great J. B. Lightfoot into the public domain. His previously published works have remained important (his multivolume study of the apostolic fathers is essential for these writings), and this hitherto unpublished material will now also likely come to be seen as a valuable resource."

Larry Hurtado, University of Edinburgh

"From Bede, the greatest European scholar of the seventh century, to today's world-class university sharing a world heritage site with a majestic cathedral, creative and careful study has long stood alongside prayer and worship here in Durham. It is therefore fitting that this amazing discovery of Lightfoot's handwritten manuscripts was made by one of the world's leading biblical scholars in the cathedral library. For within these pages, Lightfoot embodies that Durham tradition—outstanding independent scholarship offered humbly in the service of God."

David Wilkinson, Durham University

"The discovery of hitherto unknown exegetical works by J. B. Lightfoot is a rare gift, full of potential for fresh insight both about the man himself (acknowledged worldwide as the leading scholar of his day) and, as he would have wished, about texts which he knew so well and which themselves express the heart of the gospel. Hearty congratulations to finder, editor and publisher on an unexpected and exciting addition to the core library of seminal biblical studies."

N. T. Wright, University of St. Andrews, former Bishop of Durham

"We are greatly in debt to Ben Witherington, Todd Still and their collaborators for bringing this material to light for our day."

Steve Walton, Tyndale House, Cambridge

"The discovery and publication of previously unpublished commentaries on the New Testament by Joseph Barber Lightfoot is a highly significant event in the history of New Testament scholarship. For a start, these shed valuable light on the reception of the New Testament in the nineteenth century, representing the work of the foremost English scholar of that era whose linguistic and historical skills exhibit a quality of scholarship that few today can match. . . . Ben Witherington, Todd Still and Jeanette Hagen are to be warmly congratulated for their remarkable success in making such a significant voice from the past resound again today."

John M. G. Barclay, Lightfoot Professor of Divinity, University of Durham

"Joseph Barber Lightfoot has been, for me, in many ways the epitome of what the commentator on New Testament and early church texts can and should aspire to. His detailed knowledge of the literature of the time was unsurpassed, and his ability to shed the light of that knowledge on the New Testament writings was without peer. His commentaries on New Testament texts and the early Fathers retain a relevance and a value to this day almost unique for nineteenth-century scholarship. That a fuller publication of his writings is now available in these volumes is a wonderful bonus for those who want to hear these New Testament and early church texts as they were first heard."

James D. G. Dunn, Emeritus Lightfoot Professor of Divinity, University of Durham

"This book is significant for understanding the development of NT Scholarship in the nineteenth century. Thus, for reception-historical purposes, it is an invaluable tool."

Katherine M. Hockey, Journal for the Study of the New Testament, 2018, Vol. 40(5)


Editor's Introduction: J.B. Lightfoot as Biblical Commentator

Part One: Pauline Prolegomena: Of Chronology and Context

Part Two: Commentary on 2 Corinthians
The Salutation and the Supplication (2 Cor 1:1-14)
Why a Further Visit Failed to Happen (2 Cor 1:23-2:17)
Excursus: On the use of the First Person Plural in St. Paul's Epistles
The Ministry of Death, and the Ministry of Life (2 Cor 3)
Eternal Treasures in Earthen Vessels (2 Cor 4)
Of Temporary Tents and Eternal Houses (2 Cor 5)
The Ministry of Suffering and Reconciliation (2 Cor 6)
Frank Speech and Fresh Hope (2 Cor 6:11-7:16)
2 Corinthians 7
About the Collection (2 Cor 8)
2 Corinthians 9
2 Corinthians 10
2 Corinthians 11

Part Three: Introduction to the Commentary on 1 Peter

Part Four: Commentary on 1 Peter
A Living Hope, a call to Holy Living (1 Peter 1)
The Living Stone and the Living Stones (1 Peter 2)
Heirs of Life, Followers of Christ's Example of Suffering (1 Peter 3)

Appendix A: The Mission of Titus to the Corinthians
Appendix B: St. Paul's Preparation for Ministry
Appendix C: "The Letter Killeth, but the Spirit Giveth Life"
Appendix D: Lessons of History from the Cradle of Christianity
Appendix E: The Christian Ministry
Appendix F: J.B. Lightfoot as Biblical Commentator: C.K. Barrett
Appendix G: Lightfoot in Retrospect: J.D.G. Dunn
Published Works by Lightfoot in Chronological Sequence
Monographs on Lightfoot or His Works
Articles or Essays on Lightfoot or His Works
Author Index
Scripture Index


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