Joseph Fitzmyer, Scholar

Joseph Fitzmyer died on December 24 at the age of 96. He was one of our foremost biblical scholars, and the author of several commentaries in the acclaimed Anchor Bible series. His commentaries were widely praised, and often considered authoritative. His scholarship was remarkable for both its depth and breadth. He was a member of the Pontifical Biblical Commission for over a decade.

Despite the fact that Mr. Fitzmyer was a Jesuit priest, he strove to separate his scholarship from his faith – and generally succeeded. For example, his commentary on Paul’s letter to the Romans diligently documented Paul’s numerous misrepresentations of Scripture – unlike most of his colleagues. He didn't attempt to explain them, however.

On December 29, Catholic Culture reported his death (here). On December 30, the National Catholic Reporter carried a more detailed report from the Catholic News Service (here). Neither the Religion News Service nor CRUX (a Catholic publication), has reported Fitzmyer’s death. Earlier this year, all these publications promptly reported the death of a Vatican exorcist. Faith-based foolishness has priority over scholarship, which is often the enemy of faith.

Update - On January 2, CRUX plublished the Catholic News Service obituary for Fitzmyer.