New College, University of Edinburgh

Remembering Jacob Neusner

“I never met Jack Neusner in person, but we were in indirect touch over the years, by postal correspondence and then latterly by email messages. My first contact with Jack occurred around the time that I was completing my doctorate in Oxford in 1991. He read an article that I had published in a journal and wrote to offer his critique of it, and in the following breath invited me to collect all my articles and re-publish them in a volume for the Florida series that he was editing. I thanked him for the criticisms and declined the invitation. However, I did take up two other invitations that he sent in subsequent years to contribute to the Tony Saldarini memorial volume and to his encyclopaedia of Midrash. Jack’s legacy is well known and needs no repetition. I might just add that he was a voracious reader, and I was surprised and not a little flattered that he read an article by a then earlier careers scholar. He was a visiting fellow at New College, before my time, and I gather that he used to work after his prayers from early morning until early afternoon, after which he would take a nap, sometimes in the staff common room. To one of the most important scholars of his generation, zikro le-beracha, ‘may his memory be for a blessing’.”

-Professor Timothy Lim


“Like many, perhaps most scholars of ancient Judaism and Christianity, I first read Jacob Neusner early in graduate school (his History of the Jews in Babylonia) and have continued to read him regularly and with profit on a wide array of issues ever since. In recent years, I have worked extensively on Jewish messianism, which is one of the many subfields of research on which Neusner left an indelible mark. He offered his own learned, provocative account in his Messiah in Context (1984) and set a research agenda for many others with the edited volume Judaisms and Their Messiahs at the Turn of the Christian Era (1987). I have sometimes ventured to disagree with Neusner in print, always with fear and trembling. We will all be interacting with his work for many years to come. May his memory be for a blessing.”

– Dr. Matthew Novenson




  • CSCO Team,
  • 16th October 2016


Add comment