17 February 2007

New Testament Scholar Bruce Metzger Dies at 93

Metzger was well known for his work in New Testament textual criticism. He served on the committee that produced the United Bible Societies’ Greek New Testament and wrote several books on textual criticism.

He did extensive work in Bible translation, serving on the committees of both the Revised Standard Version and the New Revised Standard Version of the Bible. He took over as chair of the NRSV committee in 1975, serving in that position for the fourteen years it took to complete the revision process.

Metzger’s legacy will not soon be forgotten. Darrell Bock, research professor of New Testament studies at Dallas Theological Seminary, called Metzger “one of the great Christian statesmen and New Testament scholars of the last century”. Bock praised Metzger’s “balanced, irenic approach to debated questions” and noted that Metzger stayed connected to the church during his teaching years at Princeton Theological Seminary.

“He was a great man, one of the giants in the land of New Testament scholarship,” writes New Testament scholar Ben Witherington. “But most importantly, he was a profoundly orthodox Christian man, and I have no doubt he is hearing even now the heavenly benediction, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; inherit the kingdom.’ If the measure of a man is seen in the lives he has touched for good and for God, then Bruce Metzger was one of the great saints of the last century. May God raise up such giants once more and show us the way forward.”

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