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Paul Achtemeier (1927-2013)

January 31, 2013

I heard yesterday, but didn’t get to blog about, the passing of Prof. Paul Achtemeier. Prof. Achtemeier was the Herbert Worth and Annie H. Jackson Emeritus Professor of Biblical Interpretation at Union Theological Seminary in Richmond, Virginia (now Union Presbyterian Seminary). Though he taught at several institutions, his most productive scholarly years were spent at Union.

Achtemeier is well known for his many writings on the New Testament, including several books and commentaries on the Gospel of Mark and the writings of Paul. Once while sitting in a doctoral seminar on the catholic epistles I heard Frank Moloney say that, outside of Johannine studies, Achtemeier’s commentary on 1 Peter was the single greatest commentary on any book of the NT that he owned. It’s hard for me to imagine higher praise! Achtemeier was a past president of both the Society of Biblical Literature and the Catholic Biblical Association (the first non-Catholic to serve in that role).

I had the chance to speak with Prof. Achtemeier over the phone and via email as recently as two years ago, when I was working on the proposal for Frank Matera’s Festschrift, in which he agreed to participate. (He had been Matera’s Doktorvater). It was clear from our conversations back then and from his contribution to the book that he was still very lucid.

You can read his obituary here.


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