Reginald H. Fuller: 92, New Testament Scholar, Dies

Historians in the News

Reginald H. Fuller, a prominent British-born New Testament scholar who used his knowledge of Hebrew and Greek to hunt for the historical Jesus and his fluency in German to debate the nuances with theologians, died on April 4 in Richmond, Va. He was 92.

The cause was complications of surgery for a broken hip, said the Very Rev. Martha J. Horne, dean and president of the Virginia Theological Seminary, where Dr. Fuller taught for many years.

In addition to expounding on his biblical criticism in about 20 books, Dr. Fuller translated works by the German pastor and theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer, who was executed in a concentration camp in 1945, accused of having had a role in a plot to kill Hitler. Dr. Fuller helped translate the New Revised Standard Version of the Bible and wrote books on liturgical priorities and theology.

He also was a practicing Anglican priest for most of his adult life.

"I’ve tried to combine an honestly critical approach to the Bible and the New Testament with a firm commitment to the orthodox teachings of the church,” he said in an interview with The Richmond Times-Dispatch in 2001. “There’s always a tension between these things, but one has to live in that tension.”

In his long scholarly career, Dr. Fuller dissected the Bible, which he saw as a series of books and teaching traditions with multifarious layers. His interest lay not in archaeology, psychology, philosophy and other disciplines that are now part of Bible scholarship, but in the sacred text itself....
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