Saturday, July 4, 2009

Vale Martin Hengel

I found out last night that the German biblical scholar, Martin Hengel, has died, on 2 July, aged 82. As Jim West observes that's "too young" and I agree. Hengel's main areas were New Testament together with Judaism in the Hellenistic world and so I confess I haven't read a lot of his work, certainly none of his New Testament work but I know that many colleagues in the New Testament field will be keenly mourning his loss. Sean West has written this appreciation and also here's a briefer appreciation by Doug Chaplin. And here's a longer tribute over at Euangelion by Michael Bird.

I've not read a lot of Hengel's work. I have read some of his studies on Judasim and Hellenism and I also really appreciated his The Septuagint as Christian scripture: its prehistory and the problem of its canon. It began my journey into the pluralities and complexities of what we too glibly call 'the Bible' I will have to read some of his New Testament work in the coming months.

Eternal life grant unto him and perpetual light shine upon him. May he rest in peace, may he always shine in the light of Divine Presence.

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