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Frederic William Farrar

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Frederic William Farrar (7 Aug 1831 - 22 Mar 1903), an English clergyman and author, was born in Bombay, India, and educated in England. In 1876 he was installed canon of Westminster and rector of St. Margaret's. He became archdeacon of Westminster in 1883 and in 1885 he was appointed Bampton lecturer at Oxford, and took for his subject "The History of Interpretation." He was appointed dean of Canterbury in 1895, in which capacity he served until his death. He was influential in the spread of the "Broad Church" movement and was one of the founders of the institution known as the Anglican Brotherhood.[1] His writings cover a wide range, from school stories to Scripture commentaries and theological studies. His Life of Christ (1874) and Eternal Hope (1878) have seen several editions.

In Eternal Hope Farrar called into question the view of everlasting punishment and "attacked eternal conscious torment as unworthy of the love and fairness of God. He dismissed the doctrine of purgatory, spurned annihilationism, and was unable to embrace universalism wholeheartedly. 'He preferred to maintain a reverent agnosticism, though he was prepared to affirm that the fate of man was not 'finally and irrevocably sealed at death.' He is probably best labeled a hopeful universalist." Mercy and Judgment (1881) Farrar defended universalism at length. [2]


  1. Frederic William Farrar, Classic Encyclopedia.
  2. "The Eternal Fate of Unbelievers, Part II: The Witness of Church History (2): The Modern Period", excerpted and adapted from Hell on Trial: The Case for Eternal Punishment by Robert A. Peterson (Phillipsburg, N.J.: Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing), 1995. Used by permission. Extract by Garry J. Moes.


  • The Life Of Christ. Myers Press, 2008. ISBN 1443703850
  • History of Interpretation: Bampton Lectures 1885. Wipf & Stock, 2003. ISBN 1592442439
  • The Bible, its Meaning and Supremacy, 1896.
  • The Early Days of Christianity, 1882.
  • Life and Epistles of St. Paul, 1879.

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