Yet another major Old Testament scholar has died, Bernhard Word Anderson. The SBL site has posted his obitutary (click here
). It begins,"Dr. Bernhard Word Anderson, Professor Emeritus of Old Testament Theology at Princeton Theological Seminary, passed away peacefully on December 26, 2007, at age 91. A noted educator, author, and biblical scholar, Dr. Anderson is perhaps best known for his textbook, Understanding the Old Testament, which set records in sales for a book in that field and is read in translation around the world..."
I got to know Anderson in the very late 1980s when he was a visiting professor at Yale, living in the married student dorms. I took his course on the Primoridal History, Genesis 1-11 at that time, and quite enjoyed it. It was a small seminar, with lots of great discussion. Anderson had a manuscript of a Hermeneia volume he was writing on Genesis 1-11, and would make marginal notes in it as we students brought up this or that point or counter-argument.
The other major interaction I had with him was at the SBL in Boston in 1999, when he was one of two major respondents to a paper I gave. He rather liked the critique of post-modernism that I included, and we had some good correspondence after the meetings about how he could include some of my thoughts in some writing he was doing. I also remember that my notes on Karl Rahner in the paper really stimulated him, and sent him back to Rahner and some "tough going" reading.
I never met Barney's first wife, Joyce, but my wife Catherine and I did enjoy some fun interaction with Barney and Monique. Catherine has just been reminding me of a "double date" that we went on with them down to the old theater near the old Yale Co-op. Having heard great reviews, we bought tickets for a film called "The Unbearable Lightness of Being." It was a great film, but ended up being R or NC-17 rated! Catherine claims that although Barney and Monique were fine with it, that I was rather embarrased and red-faced to have brought the renowned biblical theologian to such a steamy movie!