Saturday, March 04, 2006

Gilles Quispel dies

Gilles Quispel, textual critic and pioneer of work on the Gospel of Thomas, has died. For reports see here. Below are extracts from a report by J.P. van de Giessen (original here).

Prof. Gilles Quispel, emeritus professor of theology at the University of Utrecht, died on Thursday during a holiday in Egypt. He was aged 89. He was one of the most prominent experts on gnosticism and early Christianity. Gilles Quispel was born in Rotterdam on 30 May 1916 and grew up in the shadow of the mills of Kinderdijk. He studied ancient languages and theology in Leiden, and received his doctorate in 1943 in the sources of the five books Tertullian wrote in AD 208 against the heretic Marcion. Having been a school teacher for a while, he became a University professor at Harvard and Leuven. Until 1989 he was lector at the C.G. Jung Institute in Zurich. Quispel was an authority in the area of the so-called Gnostic writings from the first centuries that had been found in Nag Hammadi in Egypt in 1945. ... In 1952 Prof. Quispel bought a gnostic codex in Brussels with five unknown gnostic texts from the school of Valentius. ...

Prof. Quispel said of himself that he was 'orthodox, historic christian, and non-catholic'. The Bible was holy scripture for him, and he did not see this as in conflict with the critical biblical scholarship in which he engaged. ...

[my translation, unchecked]

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