Thursday, December 16, 2004

Two Who Will Be Missed

I was surprised and saddened to learn this morning from the NT Gateway weblog of the death of C. P. Thiede, a well-known papyrologist and Scripture scholar. He is perhaps best known to Qumranologists as a proponent of the view that the fragment 7Q5 is part of the Gospel of Mark, but his work covered a wide range of subjects, and was always thought-provoking and well-argued.

A few years ago he wrote to me, taking me sharply to task for something I had written about 7Q5; but, by the time our correspondence ended, the tone was warmer, and he agreed that the subjects in which we were united were of far greater import than those in which we differed. He will be missed.

Monday was the Yahrzeit of Marianne Luijken Gevirtz, rabbi, Aramaist, and widow of scholar Stanley Gevirtz. Stanley was my very first teacher in grad school at UCLA -- filling in for Stanislav Segert, who was on sabbatical -- and still, in memory, one of the very best classroom lecturers I have ever heard. At that time I made the acquaintance of Marianne. Later, after Stanley's death, I was always pleased to see her and stop for a chat on the campus of Hebrew Union College here in Cincinnati as she pursued her rabbinical studies. For a memorial of Marianne, I can do no better than direct you to Bruce Zuckerman's remembrance in Maarav 10 (2003).

I was both pleased and saddened this year when, after receiving a book ordered from the Internet, I found her name written in the flyleaf. I like to think she would be glad another Aramaist, and a friend, wound up with it.

"We give thee hearty thanks for the good examples of these thy servants, who, having finished their course in faith, do now rest from their labours." (From the Book of Common Prayer, Service for the Dead)

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