James Hastings (26 March 1852 – 15 October 1922) was a Scottish
United Free Church minister and biblical scholar. He is best known for
producing major reference works, including a 5-volume Dictionary of
the Bible and a 13-volume Encyclopædia of Religion and Ethics’’,
and establishing The Expository Times.
3.1 As editor
3.2 As author
5 External links
He was born in Huntly, Aberdeenshire, the second son and fifth child
of local miller James Hastings. His initial education was undertaken
Huntly School and
Aberdeen Grammar School. He studied classics at
the University of Aberdeen, graduating with a
Master's degree in 1876.
He then attended the Free Church Divinity College in
preparation for ordination as a Free Church minister. While
studying at the college, he also worked as a teacher at Chanonry House
School, a private school for boys in Old Aberdeen.
Following a period as assistant minister in Broughty Ferry, Dundee,
Hastings was ordained in 1884, becoming minister at Kineff Free Church
in Kincardineshire. After 13 years, he was called to Willison Church
in Dundee, but returned to
Kincardineshire in 1901, having struggled
with his city placement. From 1901 until his retirement in 1911, he
was the minister at the United Free Church in St Cyrus. During his
period in office, he oversaw the erection of a new church building for
In one obituary, his preaching was described as "evangelical in
sentiment, thoughtful and expository in style, fluent in delivery, and
fervent in application."
Hastings married Ann Wilson Forsyth in 1884, the year of his
ordination. They had two children: Edward (21 March 1890 – 1
August 1980) and Ann Wilson (21 April 1885 – 23 March
1975). Edward later also became a minister of the United Free
He received honorary
Doctor of Divinity
Doctor of Divinity degrees from the University of
Aberdeen (1897) and
Queen's University in
Nova Scotia (1920).
After his retirement, Hastings returned to Aberdeen, where he became a
member of Beechgrove United Free Church. He died unexpectedly on
15 October 1922. His funeral was held on 18 October, and he was
buried at Springbank Cemetery in Aberdeen.
Hastings edited many reference works, which are still in use today. In
1913, he was awarded the biennial Dyke-Acland Medal for his services
to biblical research.
During his time at Willison church, Hastings founded the Expository
Times, which he edited until his death. After his death, his
children took over joint editorship of the journal until 1942, when C.
Leslie Mitton became editor. The
Expository Times continues to be
He also established and edited a weekly periodical for Sunday School
teachers, entitled The Sunday School. This ran for 104 editions
between December 1892 and December 1894.
Volume 4 of the Hastings Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics
Dictionary of the Bible, (1898–1904), five volumes
Dictionary of Christ and the Gospels, (1901), two volumes, later
editions with John A. Selbie and John C. Lambert
Encyclopaedia of Religion and Ethics, (Edinburgh 1908–26; 2nd
edition 1925–1940, reprint 1955), 13 volumes
Dictionary of the Apostolic Church, (1916)
The Great Texts of the Bible, 20 volumes (T & T Clark,
The Speaker's Bible, 13 volumes
The Greater Men and Women of the Bible, six volumes (T & T Clark,
The Christian Doctrine of Prayer (T & T Clark, 1915)
The Christian Doctrine of Faith (T & T Clark, 1919)
The Christian Doctrine of Peace (T & T Clark, 1922)
^ a b c d e f "Hastings, James". Oxford Dictionary of National
Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press.
doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/33755. (Subscription or UK public library
^ "Sudden Death of the Rev. Dr James Hastings".
Aberdeen Journal. 16
October 1922. pp. 7–8 – via The British Newspaper
^ "Pulpit Tribute to Dr Hastings". The Courier and Argus. 23 October
1922. p. 3 – via The British Newspaper Archive.
^ "Eminent Scottish Minister Dead". The Courier and Argus. 16 October
1922. p. 5 – via The British Newspaper Archive.
^ "Hastings, James". Who Was Who. Oxford University Press. Retrieved
12 November 2016.
^ "Hastings, Edward". Roll of Honour. The University of Aberdeen.
Retrieved 12 November 2016.
^ a b "
The Reverend Edward Hastings, D.D.". The Expository Times. 92:
^ "Hastings, Ann Wilson". Roll of Honour. The University of Aberdeen.
Retrieved 12 November 2016.
^ "Miss Hastings". The Expository Times. 86: 225. 1975.
^ "Late Rev. Dr Hastings".
Aberdeen Daily Journal. 23 October 1922.
p. 6 – via The British Newspaper Archive.
Aberdeen Daily Journal. 18 October 1922. p. 1 – via
The British Newspaper Archive.
^ "The Sunday School". The Sunday School. 4 (103). 1894 – via
NewspaperARCHIVE. The next issue of THE SUNDAY SCHOOL is the 104th
number, completing the fourth volume, and it has been decided not to
continue the journal beyond that issue.
Short biography and on-line version of first two dictionaries on
Christian Classics Ethereal Library website
Dictionary of the Bible by Hastings, James, 1852-1922; Selbie, John A.
(John Alexander), 1856-1931; Lambert, John Chisholm, 1857-1917;
Mathews, Shailer, 1863-1941
ISNI: 0000 0001 0856 9179
BNF: cb125020959 (data)