September 3, 1864, Marylebone, London, England.

May 11, 1935, Cambridge, England.

St. Andrew and St. Mary churchyard, Grantchester, Cambridgeshire, England.

© National Portrait Gallery

A Biblical scholar, Burkitt was educated at Harrow and at Trinity College, Cambridge, where he read mathematics, graduating BA as 28th Wrangler (University of Cambridge) in 1886, and gained a first-class in the theological tripos in 1888. In 1904, he became a Fellow of the British Academy. The following year, though a layman, he was appointed Norrisian Professor of Divinity at Cambridge, a post he held for 30 years.

Burkitt accompanied Robert Bensly, James Rendel Harris, and sisters Agnes and Margaret Smith on the 1893 expedition to Saint Catherine’s Monastery at Mount Sinai, to examine a Syriac palimpsest of the Gospels discovered there the previous year by the two sisters. Burkitt played an important role in deciphering the text, and in subsequent publication of the team’s findings.

  1. Our Lord, His Passion Ended
  1. Receive, O Lord, in Heaven Above
  2. Wake, O Wake! with Tidings Thrilling