Menachem Mendel

Menachem Mendel

Menachem Mendel RSS Feed

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

    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

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




Recent Posts


Sign up for an email subscribtion to this blog.

Michael Pitkowsky


Daf Yomi



Jewish Law


Law and Legal History