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John Lightfoot 1602 1675 English Biblical critic and HebraistLightfoot was born at Stoke upon Trent Staffordshire Mar 29 1602 died at Ely Cambridgeshire Dec 6 1675 After completing his education at Christ s College Cambridge he taught at Repton Derbyshire for two years and then took orders Appointed curate of Norton in Hales Shropshire he became chaplain to the Hebraist Sir Rowland Cotton who urged him to study Hebrew and other Semitic languages He accompanied Cotton when he removed to London and then became rector of Stone Staffordshire for about two years but in 1628 changed his residence to Hornsey Middlesex in order to be able to consult the rabbinical collections at Sion College London During his residence at Hornsey he wrote his first work dedicated to Cotton and entitled Erubhin or Miscellanies Christian and Judaical penned for Recreation at vacant Hours London 1629 In the following year he was presented to the rectory of Ashley Staffordshire which he held twelve years after which he settled in London and became rector of St Bartholomew s Presbyterian in his sympathies he took the parliamentary side in the Civil War and was a member of the Westminster Assembly After a year at St Bartholomew s he was appointed rector of Great Munden Hertfordshire and held it for the remainder of his life In 1650 he was chosen master of St Catharine Hall Cambridge and four years later became vice chancellor He again sided with the Presbyterians in the Savoy Conference of 1661 but accepted the Act of Uniformity in the following year In 1667 he was appointed a prebendary at Ely His Oriental library was bequeathed to Harvard College but was burned in 1769 Lightfoot was a prolific writer and is noteworthy as the first Christian scholar to call attention to the importance of the Talmud His chief works are as follows A Few and New Observations on the Book of Genesis London 1642 A Handful of Gleanings out of the Book of
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The Reformation brought about a reinterpretation of the Bible and renewed interest in all things Jewish. In a quest to get at the historic roots of the New Testament, 17th-century British minister JOHN LIGHTFOOT (1602-1675) taught himself Hebrew and other Semitic languages, becoming the first Christian scholar to draw attention to the significance of the Talmud, and later recognized as one of the finest Hebrew scholars of his day.
Though King Edward I had barred Jews from England for four hundred years, including all but the last few years of Lightfoot's life, and the mere act of learning Hebrew was controversial, Lightfoot believed that the Talmud could put the New Testament in an historical and cultural context and so set about to produce this, his greatest work.
Chapter by chapter and verse by verse, Lightfoot deconstructs much of the New Testament over four volumes, first published between 1658 and 1678. Here, in Volume 3, Lightfoot's line-by-line examination of biblical text focuses on the Gospels of Luke and John.
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