A new edition of Kiffen, Knollys, and Keach


One of the first books that I ever wrote was a study of Baptist origins in the seventeenth century. Entitled Kiffin, Knollys and Keach: Rediscovering Our English Baptist Heritage, it was published in 1996 by Reformation Today Trust, then under the direction of a dear friend and mentor in some ways, Erroll Hulse. The book has been out of print for a while and I am thrilled that H&E Publishing (https://hesedandemet.com/) have picked it up and are reissuing it in a new edition with a slightly different title (the surname change for William Kiffen—the spelling with an “e” in the final syllable was regularly used by this remarkable Baptist pastor) and a new chapter on John Norcott dealing with the mode of baptism. Since the appearance of the first edition, there has been significant work done on Benjamin Keach by Austin Walker, Jonathan Arnold and David Riker, while Larry Kreitzer is in the midst of publishing a massive eight- or nine-volume set of studies on William Kiffen, as Dr Kreitzer insists his name should be spelt. There also appeared in 2014 a Romanian translation of the first edition. This new edition is published in the hope that it would continue to be a vehicle for retrieving the riches from the Calvinistic Baptist heritage of the 17th century. Here is a link for pre-orders (https://hesedandemet.com/kiffen) and here is the publishing blurb from the back cover that explains why the seventeenth-century Baptists are worthy of study:

Among the various Baptist groups that emerged from the religious turmoil of seventeenth-century England, the Particular Baptists proved to be the most influential in terms of long-term legacy. There is a sense in which all English-speaking Baptists, whatever their current theological orientation, can ultimately be traced back to this community. And at the heart of this community were three key leaders: William Kiffen, Hanserd Knollys, and Benjamin Keach. This new edition introduces the lives and thought of each of these men along with their times, other Baptist figures with whom they interacted, and two vital confessions that were published respectively in 1644 and 1689.