Richard Sibbes

A Short Biography, Banner of Truth

Ray Barbeito

3/3/20231 min read

Richard Sibbes was born at Tostock, Suffolk, in 1577 and went to school in Bury St Edmunds. His father, ‘a good sound-hearted Christian’, at first intended that Richard should follow his own trade as a wheelwright, but the boy’s ‘strong inclination to his books, and well-profiting therein’ led to his going up to St John’s College, Cambridge in 1595. He was converted around 1602-3 through the powerful ministry of Paul Bayne, the successor of William Perkins in the pulpit of Great St Andrew’s Church. After earning his B.D. in 1610, Sibbes was appointed a lecturer at Holy Trinity Church, Cambridge. Later, through the influence of friends, he was chosen to be the preacher at Gray’s Inn, London, and he remained there until 1626. In that year he returned to Cambridge as Master of St Catherine’s Hall, and later returned to Holy Trinity, this time as its vicar. He was granted a Doctorate in Divinity in 1627, and was thereafter frequently referred to as ‘the heavenly Doctor Sibbes’. He continued to exercise his ministry at Gray’s Inn, London, and Holy Trinity, Cambridge, until his death on 6 July 1635 at the age of 58.

The Works of Richard Sibbes is available today in seven volumes, with Sibbes’ gift of illuminating Scripture’s meaning still evident today. Other Richard Sibbes books include The Tender Heart, where he guides readers to embracing Christ-centered grace; The Bruised Reed, a book that demonstrates why he was known for his ability to comfort others; and Josiah’s Reformation, a book that reminds us how true reformation comes from the heart. Although Richard Sibbes wrote his books more than 400 years ago, they are still relevant today.