Tag Archives: Herbert Lockyer

Herbert Lockyer

Who Is Herbert Lockyer?

Dr. Herbert Lockyer (1886-1984) is one of the most quoted Bible expositors of the 20th century. His 21-volume All series takes a comprehensive look at thousands of biblical topics, with full volumes on such unexpected topics as All the Kings and Queens of the Bible and All the Trades and Occupations of the Bible. The series is a landmark in Bible study; volumes such as All the Miracles, All the Promises, and All the Messianic Prophecies have a wealth of devotional content to explore, in addition to their informative value.

But no one has written a biography of Herbert Lockyer. In fact, one can hardly find a scrap of anecdote about his life story. His Wikipedia page, which I created, is the result of hours of Internet searches—and all the information there comes from two publishers’ websites, one of which no longer exists. But I’ve learned some more about Lockyer since, and here’s what I can piece together:

Herbert Lockyer began as an orator. He studied “voice culture” and eventually published two books on the topic. (1) He even wanted to pursue a career as an actor—but the Lord redirected his steps, and he chose to be a pastor. After training at Glasgow Bible Institute, he held several pastorates in both England and Scotland, ministering for twenty-five years. (2)

He was influential in the Keswick Higher Life movement. Whitaker House’s author page (2) says that Dr. Lockyer gained influence in the movement while pastoring in Bradford, England. His sermons published in the 1930s are still inspiring, biblical, and concise. Evidently, he was ministering intermittently on both sides of the Atlantic, until he was called to minister in the United States.

A turning point came to his ministry in 1936. As a leader at Keswick, he must have received some invitations to minister in the United States, because in 1935 he began publishing sermons in Chicago. Dr. Lockyer was invited to speak at Moody Bible Institute’s 50th anniversary in 1936. From that time, other major evangelical publishers picked him up; within that year alone he published five books of sermons with Eerdman’s, and at least a dozen pamphlets with Zondervan and Moody. Within a couple of years, he was publishing even more compilations of sermons. These sermons—most of them were topical—formed the groundwork for his most influential ministry: his comprehensive topical Bible studies, better known as the All series.

From 1936, Dr. Lockyer mostly ministered and published in the United States, where he became even more well known than he had been in England. Around 1955, he returned to England. He published many books during the 1950s, but as his speaking ministry waned, his writing ministry eventually gave him an even wider influence. The gifted orator had turned writer.

In his later years, his ministry focused almost exclusively on writing. As his gift and influence as a writer became evident, he focused more and more on his writing projects. After crossing the Atlantic yet again to live in Colorado Springs, Dr. Lockyer spent years painstakingly studying the Scriptures, so that others could benefit from his comprehensive topical studies. These studies resulted in the All series, published between 1958 and 1976. His son, also a minister, acted as his editor during that time. As his corpus grew, many of these later books expanded on his earlier works and gave his writing more polish. All about God in Christ, for example, takes most of its material from his 1942 book of sermons, The Christ of Christmas, but the content is edited and expanded considerably, and it is a little easier to read. (3)

Dr. Lockyer may be one of the most prolific writers of the 20th century. He had an unbelievably long ministry and writing career—he passed away in 1984, just a couple years shy of becoming a centenarian. Even while writing this article, I have found a full-length book of his that I had never heard of. It is difficult to ascertain how much original work he actually published, since so many works were re-titled, and others are impossible to find. Even accounting for repetition, his authored volumes, on both sides of the Atlantic, number above 100. (This does not include short works such as pamphlets.)

Billy Graham wrote, “Dr. Lockyer was unquestionably one of the spiritual giants of our century, and his prolific writings will continue to make an impact on countless Christians for generations to come if our Lord tarries.”


(1) Voice Culture for Speakers and Students (Parry Jackman, 1955), and The Art of Praying and Speaking in Public: Practical Hints for Christians Who Desire to Witness (Parry Jackman, 1955).

(2) https://www.whitakerhouse.com/DeskTop.aspx?page=AuthorInfo&author=399. Accessed August 12, 2017.

(3)  Some of Dr. Lockyer’s works were also published under new titles to fit with the All series. All the Teachings of Jesus was first titled Everything Jesus Taught and What Jesus Taught About —All the 3s in the Bible is a repackaging of the three-volume Triple Truths of Scripture. This, in turn, drew from earlier material, all the way back to his 1936 sermons, The Three Crosses on Calvary’s Hill, Triads in Scripture, and The Trinity in the Scriptures. In this way, one can see how the All series was compiled laboriously over the course of many years. It is the capstone of four decades of study and ministry.

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Herbert Lockyer

Author Guide: Herbert Lockyer

Herbert Lockyer was an astoundingly prolific writer and a thorough student of the Bible. A few years ago I stumbled on two Herbert Lockyer pamphlets while digging through the top shelf of an antique store. After I made both available for Kindle, I began to discover how many pamphlets and sermon collections Herbert Lockyer has to his name. The list turns out to be well over a hundred!

I’ve republished eight full-length books of his writings, listed below. My favorite works by him are in this collection of sermons, which is exclusively published by Pioneer Library.

The Christ of Christmas
The Gospel in the Pentateuch
A Lump of Clay & Other Sermons (exclusively from Pioneer Library)
Roses in December and Other Sermons
Sorrows and Stars 
The Swan Song of Paul: Studies in Second Timothy
When God Died 
When Revival Comes (previously titled The Mulberry Trees)

Keep scrolling to see the full list of his publications.

Continue reading

What to Read for Lent 2017

As Lent approaches, here are three recommendations for getting into the spirit of the season:

  1. When God Died by Herbert Lockyer
    Herbert Lockyer wrote these 12 meditative sermons specifically for the Lent season, which culminates in the commemoration of the Holy Week and the death and resurrection of Jesus. The sermons focus, though, on the meaning of the crucifixion of Jesus. These classic sermons by Herbert Lockyer were out of print for more than 75 years, and have been republished by Pioneer Library.
  2. The Loneliness of Christ by Robert Keable
    This Catholic author wrote a stirring devotional about a seldom-explored side of Jesus’ life: loneliness. Lent is typically focused towards the cross and resurrection of Christ, but it also commemorates his temptation in the desert. Jesus’ loneliness is part and parcel of his work as our Forerunner, our Captain, and our Savior.
  3. Concerning Christ’s Temptations by Thomas Fuller
    If you love Puritan literature, you should definitely check out Thomas Fuller. He is a 17th-century Chesterton, combining unexpected insight with a witty turn of phrase. Puritan writers love to turn Scripture over and over, drawing all that they can from it. These twelve sermons were originally published more than 350 years ago, but they have been edited and footnoted to make them a little easier for modern readers.
  4. Sign up for Lent devotions from Pioneer Library
    This Lent, Pioneer Library will be publishing short Lent devotionals to encourage meditation on the temptations of Jesus. “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.” (Heb. 4:15) This is the key verse to this devotional, which takes an inward look at the experience of Jesus in each of the three temptations. If the Holy Spirit led him to and through temptation in victory, he can do the same for us.

If you want to receive devotionals on the desert temptations of Jesus, you can sign up your email address by typing it in the sidebar to this page.

Other Little Ships

Herbert Lockyer, Sorrows and Stars, ch. 6

“And there were also with him other little ships.” (Mark 4:36)

The narrative from which the title of this meditation is taken abounds with so much of interest that one could easily pause to expound its broad and beautiful outline. You have the crowded seashore—the eager listeners drinking in the blessed words of the Lord Jesus—His retreat into a boat in which weary and tired, He fell asleep—the raging storm and wave-beaten ship—the frightened disciples—and amidst all the turmoil, the sleeping, tranquil Christ.

Then follow the waking of our Lord and His rebuke of the storm and winds—His rebuke of the disciples for their little faith—and, last of all, the ever deepening gratitude and admiration of the disciples for their Omnipotent Lord and Master. Continue reading

4 1/2 Book Recommendations for Christmas

A few seasonal reading ideas, focusing on what’s freely (or cheaply) available online

As Western culture shifts, Protestants and Pentecostals have become more and more concerned with the liturgical year. Partially assisted by the advent of social media, America is getting whiplash as we return from individualistic culture to a more communal culture. The liturgical year is a way of remembering the Bible’s great stories together as a community, and in that way it has always had value for the church.

How can we remember the birth of Christ best? There are many Christmas “devotionals” out there, but I recommend first that we return to the great hymns of Christmas past. If you have not sat down and read a hymnbook as part of your worship, I would say you are missing out on some of the inexpressible truths entrusted to the church. Poetry (and hymns!) have a way of expressing what prose can’t.

A Book of Christmas Verse – ed. H. C. Beeching

This book is just what I had been looking for: a mix of classic Christmas hymns that I had heard almost every year, and other traditional hymns and poems that are lost to modern times. Of course the classics like Isaac Watts and Charles Wesley are there, but there are older English hymnwriters that you may not have read, like John Donne and George Herbert. Most of the poetry here explores the deepest truths of Christmas: the Incarnation, the humility of the Son of God, and the cross and resurrection that awaited him at the end of his life. (If you don’t read Latin you will have to skip a few, but don’t let it put you off—it is a great collection.)

A Book of Christmas Verse (Kindle edition)

My Christmas Book – F. W. Boreham

Boreham’s books are not “devotional,” strictly speaking. His Christmas book is more of a ramble through the park with an old friend. He mixes storytelling with preaching in a way that cannot be imitated. This book is newly available in a digital edition, and if you can get a hands on a copy you will be glad you did. If you can’t get your hands on a copy, you can read a sample at the following link:

A Clouded Christmas (sample chapter)

How Christmas Came to Roaring Camp (sample chapter)

My Christmas Book (Kindle edition)

All About God in Christ (or The Christ of Christmas) – Herbert Lockyer

Herbert Lockyer is one of the most prolific writers of Bible studies of modern times, but he is best known for the All series. In the 1930s, Lockyer was involved with Zondervan made the smart choice of publishing dozens his topical sermons:Sorrows and Stars, Roses in December, The Fairest of All, The Mystery of Godliness and several others. He published _The Christ of Christmas _in 1942. Later, when they were creating the _All _series, much of this older material was cleaned up and put into the 1995 volume All About God in Christ, so that book is primarily a study of the Incarnation, as was The Christ of Christmas.

The Christ of Christmas (Kindle edition)

All About God in Christ

The Glory of the Manger – Samuel Zwemer

Zwemer has many books, and even the most mundane titles that I have come across have been exhilarating and convicting. Like the others, this book is a mix of doctrinal and devotional, with a focus on Christ’s divinity. If my timeline is correct, Zwemer was teaching comparative religion courses at Princeton when he wrote this, and it shows in his wide variety of sources, stories, and poetry about the Christmas story. This book has been out of print for many decades, and was recently published for Kindle by Pioneer Library.

The Glory of the Manger (Kindle edition)

Conclusion

Leonard Ravenhill used to be invited to Christian book fairs, but he would decry the shallowness of the writings he found there. Biblical Christian truth is glorious, convicting, and powerful, sharper than any two-edged sword, and we dull the edge when we obsess over the earthly aspects of Jesus’ advent: who were the wise men, what is a manger, what was the star, etc. My final suggestion is that we look for books dealing especially with the glorious truth of the Incarnation of Christ, what Paul called “the mystery of godliness”—and if we meditate on that, we will not feel that we have missed the spirit of Christmas or the purpose of the season.