Skip to main content

Lightfoot, John°


LIGHTFOOT, JOHN ° (1602–1675), English Hebraist and Bible scholar. Lightfoot, a Puritan, was master of Catherine Hall, Cambridge, from 1650 and three years later he became vice-chancellor of Cambridge University. He began studying Hebrew after his ordination, but at first gave his attention to Bible research on scientific lines, publishing works such as Harmonia, Chronica el Ordo Veteris Testamenti (1647). However, he soon turned to rabbinic literature, a field in which he became the outstanding Christian authority of his time, showing a remarkable expertise in talmudic and midrashic scholarship. He published a Descriptio Templi Hierosolymitani (1650), on the Temple of Herod, and Horae Hebraicae et Talmudicae (1658–74), a study of the rabbinic sources of and background to the New Testament gospels. His first venture in Hebraica, published at the outset of his career, had been Erubhin; or Miscellanies, Christian and Judaical, and others… (London, 1629), and as a result of his unusual and objective investigation of rabbinic literature Lightfoot was accused of "rabbinism." He contributed to Bryan *Walton's Biblia Sacra Polyglotta (London Polyglot Bible; 1654–57), revising the Samaritan Pentateuch and specially preparing a geography of Palestine for the work. A Latin edition of his complete writings was later issued by his contemporary, Johann *Leusden, professor of Hebrew at Utrecht.


D.M. Welter, J. Lightfoot, the English Hebraist (1878); dnb, 33 (1893), 229ff.

[Godfrey Edmond Silverman]

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Lightfoot, John°." Encyclopaedia Judaica. . 17 Aug. 2019 <>.

"Lightfoot, John°." Encyclopaedia Judaica. . (August 17, 2019).

"Lightfoot, John°." Encyclopaedia Judaica. . Retrieved August 17, 2019 from

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

The Chicago Manual of Style

American Psychological Association

  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.