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Geza Vermes RIP

The important scholar of Ancient Judaism, Christianity, and the Dead Sea Scrolls, Geza Vermes (1924-2013) has passed away. Besides his important scholarly output, Vermes has an incredible personal story. He was born to Jewish parents in Hungary, and when he was seven years-old he and his parents converted to Catholocism. His parents were then killed during the Shoah, and after the war Vermes eventually made his way to England with a number of stops along the way, including ordination as a priest. In 1970 he joined a London synagogue. An interesting side note is that the seminary in which Vermes studied was in Szatmar/Satmar, Hungary.

Read these interviews with Vermes for a introduction to his life and teaching.

3 Responses to “Geza Vermes RIP”

  1. 1
    stjust:

    may he rest in peace, I always wondered what his first name stands for. is it jewish -with a Hungarian variance?

  2. 2
    Stanley Rubin:

    The first name “Geza”, is a common Magyar (Hungarian) name. I can find no translation of it. My guess might be that it originated during the Turkish occupation and may be an adaptation the Turkish noun “Gazi” which is a warrior for the Muslim faith. The name could easily be employed by assimilated Hungarian Jews, just as American Jews employ, among others, Anglo-Saxon names. I might add that, in Hungary, the family name comes first, followed by the given name (not a bad idea).

  3. 3
    stjust:

    Thanks, Stanley Rubin
    Indeed, makes sens that it comes from the turks. Gazi is Arabic and it’s exact translation is ‘invader’.

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