Abraham Malherbe, the Buckingham Professor Emeritus of New Testament Criticism and Interpretation at Yale Divinity School, died suddenly and unexpectedly on Friday, Sept. 28 from an apparent heart attack. He was 82 years old and taught at YDS from 1970 until his retirement in 1994. He was named the Buckingham Professor in 1981.
Malherbe was a prolific author and made major contributions in several areas. He is best known for his work in Hellenistic moral philosophy and early Christianity, especially the Pauline tradition. He made contributions both to Hellenistic moral philosophy and to the ways in which early Christians were influenced by it. His work on The Cynic Epistles: A Study Edition (1977) and Moral Exhortation: A Graeco-Roman Sourcebook (1986) made a number of important texts available to the wider range of scholars. His “Hellenistic Moralists and the New Testament” (ANRW) may hold the distinction for being the most cited forthcoming article in the history of New Testament studies. Both before and after its appearance, this article provided a framework for scholars to think about how to appropriate Hellenistic moral philosophy. Malherbe did this in detail in several of his own books, especially, Paul and the Thessalonians: The Philosophical Tradition of Pastoral Care (1987), Paul and the Popular Philosophers (1989), and his Anchor Bible Commentary, The Letters to the Thessalonians 2000). He was working on a commentary on the Pastorals for Hermeneia when he died.
I am reading Malherebe's commentary on 1 & 2 Thessalonians as I write my own commentary on the epistles. I has a chance to meet him in August of last year at the annual SNTS meeting. He will be greatly missed.
HT: Mark Goodacre