Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Charlie Moule, aged 98, has died

I am curious about the leading scholars in my field because you learn from the giants not simply what to think, but how one might live. Moule was a sterling example of a gentleman and a scholar. A few snippets from the Telegraph obit:

"The Reverend Professor CFD Moule, who died yesterday aged 98, was one of the leading New Testament scholars of his day; he held the Lady Margaret's Chair of Divinity at Cambridge from 1951 to 1976, having previously been Dean of Clare College and before that vice-principal of Ridley Hall.
An attractive personality allied to great erudition and exceptional gifts as a teacher made him a popular Cambridge figure for more than 40 years, and his influence in the field of New Testament studies was considerable.
Born into a distinguished evangelical family — his great uncle, Handley Moule, was a scholar Bishop of Durham in the early years of the 20th century — Moule was something of a missionary in the sense that his interpretations of the New Testament always suggested the inherent plausibility of the religious story it tells. For him this involved no compromise of scholarship, but he was a man of deep faith for whom the evidence concerning the origins of Christian religion never presented an insuperable problem.
Moule's involvement in the production of the New English Bible, which he much enjoyed, satisfied his desire for the most accurate translation of Holy Scripture, using the best tools of modern scholarship, and also his belief that the Christian mission required a version of the Word of God that 20th-century readers could understand. This same dual concern was powerfully expressed in his fine sermons, which challenged both head and heart and made him one of the best preachers in England.
It was not until 1953 [20 years into his academic career!], two years after his appointment to the Lady Margaret's Chair, that Moule published his first book...
There's another obituary in the Independent.
Strike one from my list of nonagenarian New Testament scholars.
HT: Jim West

Update: I am collecting more tributes and obituaries here.

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