Friday, February 16, 2007

Bruce Metzger 1914-2007

New Testament scholar Bruce Metzger died on Tuesday. Metzger was on the editorial board responsible for The Greek New Testament and the Nestle-Aland Novum Testamentum Graece--the "canonical" New Testament of contemporary scholarship. He also headed up the International Greek New Testament Project.

Michael Holmes from Bethel University, a former student of Metzger provides a personal look at this towering figure in New Testament scholarship:

Yet for all his academic achievements and international renown, Bruce is warmly remembered by many as much or more for his personality and character. Friendly, modest, and self-effacing, seemingly always courteous and gracious, he took a genuine interest in his students, was a source of encouragement to colleagues and younger scholars alike, and deeply enjoyed his many speaking engagements in churches throughout the world. He had a knack of always finding something nice to say about a person or a book, an engaging sense of humor, and an apparently endless supply of amusing anecdotes. Though he tended to avoid talking about himself, he had some remarkable stories to tell (many were finally told in his Reminiscences of an Octogenarian [1997]), some of which were quite endearing: he once admitted, a bit sheepishly, to having studied Syriac vocabulary instead of listening to the lecture in a Christian Education class while a seminary student. Reflective of his character was his distinctive way of formulating advice: once when I was having second thoughts about a project I had agreed to undertake for a publisher, I consulted Bruce, who after listening attentively to the details of the matter, thought for a moment and replied, "Sometimes it's good not to be too humble" — thereby both encouraging me to "go for it" while simultaneously reminding me to keep the matter in a larger perspective. He will be deeply missed by all who knew him, whether as colleague, teacher, mentor, or friend.
Here's the his whole post. In fact, there have been a number of great posts on this. Check out Stephen Carlson's post for a great round-up.

Eternal rest grant unto him O Lord and let perpetual light shine upon him that he may rest in peace. Amen.

No comments: