William Sanday (theologian)


William Sanday

Portrait of William Sanday.jpg
Born(1843-08-01)1 August 1843
Died16 September 1920(1920-09-16) (aged 77)
Oxford, England
Marian Hastings
(m. 1877)
Ecclesiastical career
ReligionChristianity (Anglican)
ChurchChurch of England
  • 1867 (deacon)
  • 1869 (priest)
Academic background
Alma materBalliol College, Oxford[1]
Academic work
Sub-disciplineNew Testament studies[1]
School or traditionTheological liberalism[2]

William Sanday FBA (1 August 1843 – 16 September 1920) was a British Anglican theologian and priest. He was the Dean Ireland's Professor of Exegesis of Holy Scripture from 1883 to 1895 and the Lady Margaret Professor of Divinity from 1895 to 1919; both chairs were at the University of Oxford. He had previously been Master of Bishop Hatfield's Hall, University of Durham.[1]


Sanday was born in Holme Pierrepont, Nottinghamshire, England, to William Sanday and Elizabeth Mann.[1] He was a British academic theologian and biblical scholar.[citation needed] He was ordained as a deacon in 1867 and as a priest in 1869.[7] In 1877 he married Marian Hastings, daughter of Woodman Hastings.[1]

He was Dean Ireland's Professor of Exegesis of Holy Scripture at Oxford between 1883 and 1895, as well as Lady Margaret Professor of Divinity and Canon of Christ Church between 1895 and 1919. He became a Fellow of the British Academy (FBA) in 1903 (one of the original cohort), and received an honorary Doctor of Letters (DLitt) degree from the University of Cambridge in May 1902.[8]

He also worked as one of the editors of the 1880 Variorum Bible, and contributed articles to the Encyclopaedia Biblica and The American Journal of Theology.

Sanday died on 16 September 1920 in Oxford.[1]


  • Sanday, William (1872). The Authorship and Historical Character of the Fourth Gospel: considered in reference to the contents of the Gospel itself: a critical essay. London: Macmillan.
  • ——— (1876). The Gospels in the Second Century: an examination of the critical part of a work entitled "Supernatural religion". ISBN 9780837050409. OCLC 551689940.
  • ———; Headlam, Arthur C. (1895). A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the Epistle to the Romans. International Critical Commentary. Edinburgh: T & T Clark.
  • ——— (1899). Outlines of the Life of Christ. New York: C. Scribner's Sons. OCLC 7108831. 1906 2nd edition
  • ——— (1907). The Life of Christ in Recent Research. New York: Oxford University Press. OCLC 3009845.
  • ——— (1911). Studies in the Synoptic Problem. Oxford: Clarendon Press. OCLC 753275.
  • ——— (1918). The New Testament Background. 1920 edition
  • ——— (2001). Essays in Biblical Criticism and Exegesis. Journal for the Study of the New Testament - Supplement series. 225. Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press. ISBN 9780567619730. OCLC 741687252.



  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Hawke 2004.
  2. ^ Chapman 1994, p. 95.
  3. ^ Hawke 2004; Plarr 1899, p. 963.
  4. ^ Chapman 1994, p. 101; Chapman 2001, p. 81.
  5. ^ Wilkinson 1971, p. 25.
  6. ^ Neville 1994, p. 125.
  7. ^ Plarr 1899, p. 963.
  8. ^ "University Intelligence". The Times (36779). London. 28 May 1902. p. 12.


  • Chapman, Mark D. (1994). "The Socratic Subversion of Tradition: William Sanday and Theology, 1900–1920". The Journal of Theological Studies. 2. 45 (1): 94–116. doi:10.1093/jts/45.1.94. ISSN 1477-4607. JSTOR 23966892.
  •  ———  (2001). The Coming Crisis: The Impact of Eschatology on Theology in Edwardian England. Sheffield, England: Sheffield Academic Press. ISBN 978-1-84127-185-9.
  • Hawke, Joanna (2004). "Sanday, William (1843–1920)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford: Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/35931.
  • Neville, David J. (1994). Arguments from Order in Synoptic Source Criticism: A History and Critique. New Gospel Studies. 7. Macon, Georgia: Mercer University Press. ISBN 978-0-86554-399-7.
  • Plarr, Victor G. (1899). Men and Women of the Time: A Dictionary of Contemporaries (15th ed.). London: George Routledge and Sons. LCCN 02003510. Retrieved 1 January 2019.
  • Robertson, A. T.; Perschbacher, Wesley (2003). Word Pictures on the New Testament. 1 (rev. ed.). Grand Rapids, Michigan: Kregel Publications. ISBN 978-0-8254-3640-6.
  • Wilkinson, John T. (1971). Arthur Samuel Peake: A Biography. Eugene, Oregon: Wipf and Stock (published 2016). ISBN 978-1-5326-0534-5.

External links

Academic offices
Preceded by
James Barmby
Master of Bishop Hatfield's Hall, Durham
Succeeded by
Preceded by Dean Ireland's Professor of
the Exegesis of Holy Scripture

Succeeded by
Preceded by Lady Margaret Professor of Divinity