Thursday, December 21, 2006

Bill Petersen dies

It has been reported on the hugoye-list that the distinguished textual critic William L. Petersen, Director, Religious Studies Program and Professor of Religious Studies and Classic and Ancient Mediterranean Studies at Penn State University died yesterday evening (20 December 2006). Bill's webpage is currently here and from there one can access his wide ranging CV.

Bill's most famous work was almost certainly his authoritative work on the Diatessaron: Tatian’s Diatessaron: Its Creation, Dissemination, Significance, and History in Scholarship(Supplements to Vigiliae Christianae 25; Leiden: Brill, 1994).

Bill was very kind to me and spent over two days working intensely through my book on the translation technique of the Syriac Gospels, even though he had not met me at that stage. He sent me copious learned corrections. It was therefore a great privilege to meet him when I became involved in the IGNTP.


  1. Thanks for forwarding this news. I met Bill Petersen only once, but got to know him through his many publications and his incisive contributions to the old TC List. He certainly leaves behind plenty of questions and issues for evangelical text critics to wrestle with.

  2. Penn State has more information about his life in the news section of his department's homepage here:

  3. So sorry to hear this.

    Dr. Petersen was so kind as to give some gracious advice regarding PhD studies to me this past year. Penn State would have been a convenient place to study for me, as I lived close by.

    Dr. Petersen's skepticism and provocative studies regarding the reliability of the earliest textual stream gave some impetus to my urgency to study tc.