Martin Hengel has Died

The great German NT scholar Martin Hengel has died at the age of 82. He passed away last week, as many of the NT blogs have announced.

Hengel’s works on crucifixion, the Son of God, the zealots, and Judaism and Hellenism are all standards in the field, and for many of us his work was highly influential. Hengel, especially the early Hengel, was a rigorous historian who also perceived (and acknowledged) the theological realities to which his historical work pointed. His book on crucifixion, for instance, is foundational to understanding my own work on Cruciformity.

With Hengel’s passing, there is again one less NT scholar who has really mastered the ancient world. I put him in the same category of scholar as my own mentor at Princeton, Bruce Metzger, who died in 2007 at the age of 93.

PS At Borders this weekend I saw multiple copies of The Oxford Companion to the Bible (which Bruce Metzger edited with Michael D. Coogan in 1993), under the new title of The Oxford Guide to the Bible, for $9.99, a great price for a fine companion book, a dictionary-type work. (The old title is still $62 at Amazon, though used copies are cheap.) Pick one up for yourself or your library.

2 Responses to “Martin Hengel has Died”

  1. Mike says:

    Dr. Gorman,

    Thanks for the great post.

    Can you tell me what the difference is between the earlier Hengel and the later Hengel, as you see it?


  2. MJG says:


    In some of his later work, I think, Hengel was a bit more speculative in his historical work, perhaps (though I cannot say for sure) in a somehwat apologetic mode. His use of some co-authors did not always facilitate perception of his own views.

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