Today the sad news is beginning to circulate that John P. Meier has died.
John is a Historical Jesus scholar of Bultmann sized significance. His work (incomplete) on the Historical Jesus stretched to 5 massive volumes and he hadn’t completed the intended 6th. He was a regular fixture at CBA meetings and the most cordial, collegial, wonderful discussion partner you could ever know.
A very brief biography of the great man is available at the Notre Dame website. It notes
A native New Yorker, Dr. Meier obtained a BA in philosophy from St. Joseph Seminary, Dunwoodie. He obtained a Licentiate in Theology summa cum laude with the gold medal awarded at the Gregorian University, Rome, and a Doctorate in Sacred Scripture summa cum laude with the gold medal awarded at the Biblical Institute in Rome. His doctoral dissertation was published in the Analecta Biblical series of the Institute. He taught at St. Joseph Seminary, Dunwoodie (12 years) and Catholic University, DC (14 years), before coming to Notre Dame (20 years). His scholarly interests include the Gospels of Matthew and John, New Testament Christology, the historical Jesus, and Palestinian Judaism around the turn of the era. His major publication project has been a detailed study of the historical Jesus, entitled A Marginal Jew, presently in five volumes. In retirement, he continues to offer courses at Notre Dame while working on Volume Six of A Marginal Jew. He was ordained a Catholic priest at the Altar of the Chair in St. Peter’s Basilica, Rome, in 1967, and was made an Honorary Prelate of the Papal Household (Monsignor) by Pope John Paul II in 1994.
Ulrich Lehner tweeted: “John #Meier was a scholar as one is found perhaps once a century, but especially a beloved teacher and dear friend. Now he will get all the answers about Jesus he was always searching for. Ad paradisum, John!“
Amen. He will be sorely missed.
UPDATE: CBA tweets
UPDATE: CBA’s remembrance along with funeral details was emailed to members this morning and is available here.
[I will update as details become available].