R.I.P. Marvin Meyer

Stephan Huller announces that Marvin Meyer died yesterday. His wife, Bonnie, posted the following message on Marvin’s Facebook wall: “Hello, Facebook friends of Dr. Marvin Meyer: This is Marv’s wife Bonnie writing the sad news that Marv passed away yesterday, Aug. 16, after a battle with melanoma. His passing was peaceful, surrounded by our family. Our hearts are broken.”

I met him only once, in Helsinki, when he told us about how he came be one of the editors of the Tchacos Codex.

From his academic webpage:

Dr. Marvin Meyer (Ph.D., Claremont Graduate University; M.Div., Calvin Theological Seminary) is Griset Professor of Bible and Christian Studies and Co-Chair of the Department of Religious Studies, Chapman University. He is also Director of the Chapman University Albert Schweitzer Institute. Recently he has served as Chair of the Chapman University Faculty and President of the Faculty Senate. He is Director of the Coptic Magical Texts Project of the Institute for Antiquity and Christianity, Claremont Graduate University, Fellow of the Jesus Seminar, and a past President of the Society of Biblical Literature (Pacific Coast).

Dr. Meyer is the author of numerous books and articles on Greco-Roman and Christian religions in antiquity and late antiquity, and on Albert Schweitzer’s ethic of reverence for life. Among his most recent books are The Gnostic Gospels of Jesus (HarperCollins, 2005), The Gospels of Mary (HarperCollins, 2004), Secret Gospels: Essays on Thomas and the Secret Gospel of Mark (Trinity Press International, 2003), The Ancient Mysteries: A Sourcebook of Sacred Texts (Pennsylvania, 1999), The Unknown Sayings of Jesus (HarperCollins, 1998), The Magical Book of Mary and the Angels (P. Heid. Inv. Kopt. 685): Text, Translation, and Commentary (Heidelberg, 1996), and The Gospel of Thomas: The Hidden Sayings of Jesus (HarperCollins, 1992). He has also edited or co-edited The Gnostic Bible (Shambhala, 2003), Reverence for Life: Albert Schweitzer for the 21st Century (Syracuse, 2002), Magic and Ritual in the Ancient World (Brill, 2002), Jesus Then and Now: Images of Jesus in History and Christology (Trinity Press International, 2001), From Quest to Q (Peeters, 2000), and Ancient Christian Magic: Coptic Texts of Ritual Power (Princeton, 1999).

His books and articles have been translated into Spanish, Portuguese, French, and Japanese, and the Gospel of Thomas, of which his is the standard edition, has been listed as one of the 100 best spiritual books of the 20th century. He has been interviewed on television programs that have aired on ABC, BBC, CNN, A&E, the History Channel, and Odyssey, and on radio programs that include BBC Radio, National Public Radio, and the Voice of America. He lives with his wife, children, and dog in Orange, California.

Photo: Marvin Meyer visiting the Faculty of Theology, Université Laval, Québec. From left to right: James Robinson, Paul-Hubert Poirier, Marvin Meyer and Louis Painchaud.


About Alin Suciu

I am a researcher at the Göttingen Academy of Sciences and Humanities. I write mostly on Coptic literature, Patristics, and apocryphal texts.
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16 Responses to R.I.P. Marvin Meyer

  1. Pingback: Marvin Meyer Has Passed Away « PEJE IESOUS

  2. Michael Ensley says:

    RIP Marvin

  3. David Ramos says:

    Sad day to lose such a treasure.

  4. Michael Williams, University of Washington says:

    This truly is sad news and a real shock. Just read this literally one minute ago, forwarded by a colleague. Marv was a fine scholar and a long-time good friend and valued colleague in the field.

  5. Pingback: Marvin Meyer R.I.P.

  6. Birger A. Pearson says:

    This is indeed shocking news. I’ve known Marv since he was a grad student at Claremont. He taught my course in Hellenistic Religions at UCSB when I was away in Sweden from 1979-81. We’ve had wonderful times over the years, and he will be sorely missed.

  7. Pingback: R.I.P. Marvin Meyer » Serge Cazelais

  8. Sara says:

    I met Dr. Meyer for the first time at CSUF in the late 1990s. I respected him as both a scholar and a person. Zichrono livracha.

  9. Madeleine Scopello says:

    Marv was a close friend and a wonderful scholar. We have known each other since more than 20 years, worked together for the volume of Gnostic Scriptures and had some project of publication in Gnostic field. I miss him deeply, and send my heartiest thoughts to his wife Bonnie and his children.

  10. Timothy B. Sailors says:

    This is indeed very sad news. When one was around Marv, it was so evident that he enjoyed life, which in turn made it a joy to be around him. I’m sure all of our thoughts are with his wife, children and family.

  11. John Turner says:

    Marv’s untimely death came as a shock out of the blue. Having known Marv for more than 40 years since our days at Claremont on the Coptic Gnostic project, I for one shall surely miss his robust and unflappably buoyant presence among us, and my thoughts go out to his wife, children and family. He will be remembered not only as our good friend, but also for his prolific contribution to scholarship in the religious world of later antiquity.

  12. John S Kloppenborg says:

    This is truly sad news. Marv was such a kind, generous, and enthusiastic human being and a fine scholar and teacher. .

  13. Pingback: Reading Roundup: 5 September 2012 « My Esoteric Studies: Ritual Is Magic

  14. Dr Charles Roberts says:

    Never had the pleasure of meeting him but have most of his books and have been blessed by many of his audio and video lectures. This is a great loss. Thank you Dr M, for giving a voice to all of those early followers of The Christ, whose own voices were silenced by those who disagreed with them.

  15. Larry A. Angus
    Planning to give him at the Society of Biblical Literature a book that he encouraged me to write, I was devasted to see notice of his death noted on the Registration Form. Never have I known a more brillant and personable scholar. May his fame and wisdom only grow greater as works now become classics in reviving the gnostic gospels. I will remain forever thankful.

  16. Raamis Hussain says:

    Professor. Meyer was someone who inspired a student like me beyond anyone else to know the mystique and mesmerizing world of ancient texts and the unending task of research. That the doors of research would always remain open and must be left Open! His beautiful and slithering words, his appropriate facial expressions, his wonderful gestures and each time he would speak the gems and pearls of wisdom would overflow my mind! I had always found his undaunted analysis as incontrovertible! With tears in my eyes I must confess, ‘Sir, You would always be remembered not only through your scholarly books but in my heart as long as I shall breathe my last!’
    Raamis Hussain.
    From: Karachi, Pakistan

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