David Flusser (1917–2000)
After a period of declining health, biblical scholar David Flusser succumbed to heart failure in Jerusalem on September 15, his 83rd birthday.
Flusser was a pioneer in the application of historical philology to the study of the Dead Sea Scrolls and other Jewish literature of late antiquity. His lifelong research interest in the historical Jesus and Christian origins resulted from his friendship with a fellow student at the University of Prague who was a Bohemian Brethren pastor. Since 1967 Flusser’s influential German study, Jesus, which presents the life of Jesus in light of Jewish sources, has been translated into 11 languages. Magnes Press recently published a thoroughly revised and expanded English edition to reflect his research in the intervening years.
Flusser was born to a Jewish family in Vienna in 1917 but grew up in Prague, where he later studied classical philology at the University of Prague. In 1939 British authorities allowed him to immigrate to Palestine to teach Greek at Hebrew University. He would later remark that Greek had saved his life from the tragedy of the Holocaust.