Frederick Fyvie Bruce, who has been called “the greatest evangelical scholar of our time,” died of cancer on September 11, 1990, at the age of 79. Born in Elgin, Scotland, on October 12, 1910, he began his academic career as a classical scholar at the University of Edinburgh in 1935. Although he never took a theology course, Bruce received an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree in 1957 from Aberdeen University in recognition of his scholarship and served as the Rylands Professor of Biblical Criticism and Exegesis at the University of Manchester from 1959 until his retirement in 1978. The British Academy made Bruce a Fellow in 1973 and awarded him the prestigious Burkitt Medal in Biblical Studies in 1979.
In addition to his teaching career, Bruce led a busy life as a writer and editor. He edited the Palestine Exploration Quarterly from 1956 through 1971, and he served as general editor of the New International Commentary on the New Testament series from 1963 until his death. He was also a contributing editor of Christianity Today for the past 20 years. As a member of BR’s Editorial Advisory Board, Bruce always made himself available to answer questions or lend advice.
Bruce wrote 50 books and nearly 2,000 articles, including two recent contributions to BR’s Glossary department, “Eschatology: Understanding the End of Days”BR 05:06 and “Unveiling the Apocalypse”BR 06:03. Among his books are Second Thoughts on the Dead Sea Scrolls, History of the Bible in English, The New Testament Documents: Are They Reliable? and Paul: Apostle of the Free Spirit.
The Bible celebrated in West Coast exhibits
A Thousand Years of the Bible is the subject of a dual exhibit now on view at the J. Paul Getty Museum and at UCLA’s University Research library. The Getty portion, entitled Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts, features 20 beautifully decorated Bibles from the 9th through the 16th centuries. Produced in the monasteries of Carolingian and Romanesque Europe, in the courts of the Byzantine East and in Renaissance France, the manuscripts range from large lectern Bibles made to be read aloud in monasteries; pocket-sized Bibles; those with commentaries written for theologians and scholars; to a Book of the Apocalypse commissioned by an aristocrat.
UCLA’s portion of the exhibit, The Printed Word, showcases more than 50 Bibles produced by the great printers of the 15th through the 20th centuries. While many of the early printed Bibles followed the norms of manuscript production and were embellished with hand-painted initials, printing allowed new types of decoration such as woodcuts and engravings. Among the unusual volumes on display are “Thumb Bibles” only a few inches high; a Bible in which the Lord’s Prayer appears in 155 different typefaces; and a “hieroglyphic Bible” of 1788 in which, as its title page declares, “select passages of the Old Testament and New Testament [are] represented with emblematical figures, for the amusement of youth.”
The exhibits run from January 15 through March 31, 1991. J. Paul Getty Museum, 17985 Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu, CA 90265, (213) 459–7611. UCLA University Research Library, 4105 Hilgard Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90024, (213) 206–8147.
Facsimile Leningrad Codex is planned
Dating to about 1008 A.D., the Leningrad Codex, also known as Leningrad B19a, is the oldest complete Masoretic manuscript of the Hebrew Bible.a Scholars consequently consult this text more often than any other Masoretic text, a rather inconvenient task since the manuscript sits in the Saltykov-Shchedrin State Public Library in Leningrad. If current plans come to fruition, however, scholars will soon be able to save a lot on airfare.
A team from the Ancient Biblical Manuscript Center in Claremont, California, painstakingly photographed the entire manuscript of the Leningrad Codex during May, 1990. Photographers Bruce and Ken Zuckerman, assisted by Marilyn Lundberg and Garth Moller, worked ten hours per day, six days per week to take 6,000 photos—three in color, two in black-and-white and one Polaroid of every manuscript page. The center is now processing the photos and negotiating with publishers for the publication of a 982-page, facsimile edition of the manuscript.
Noted Biblical scholar F. F. Bruce dies
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Moslems believe that Adam and Eve met and recognized one another at Mt Arafat after the long separation that followed their expulsion from Paradise, and that later at this site, the angel Gabriel taught Abraham how to pray.