Moshe Greenberg, Biblical Scholar, Is Dead at 81

Source: NYT, 5-19-10

Moshe Greenberg in 1995.

Moshe Greenberg, one of the most influential Jewish biblical scholars of the 20th century, died Saturday at his home in Jerusalem. He was 81.

The death was confirmed by his son Joel.

Professor Greenberg, who in 1994 won the Israel Prize, that nation’s highest civilian honor, taught Bible and Jewish studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem from 1970 to 1996. But his teaching career began at the University of Pennsylvania in 1954 and constituted something of a breakthrough in American academia.

Before then, most American universities held that biblical study was primarily the domain of Christian scholars, said Jonathan D. Sarna, a professor of American Jewish history at Brandeis University.

“The concept was that Jews could not be objective about teaching the Bible and that they had shifted to the study of the Talmud,” Professor Sarna said, referring to the post-biblical collection of rabbinic discussions of Jewish law, ethics and customs. “So the appointment of Greenberg to teach Bible at a secular university was a milestone.”… READ FULL ARTICLE

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