Remembering Robert L. Lindsey

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The late Robert L. Lindsey, the late Professor David Flusser, and their colleague, the late Professor Shmuel Safrai collaborated to birth a new school of synoptic research. In 1985 the "Jerusalem School" became a legal entity (an Amutah) in Israel, and has now joined the Oxford School, the Tübingen School, and others, as a center of synoptic research.

Revised: 6-Dec-2012

I would like to thank Brian Kvasnica (who organized the lectures), Ken and Lenore Mullican (who funded the lectures) and the Narkis Street Congregation (that hosted the lectures) for making the “2008 Lindsey Lectures” (the third in a series) a reality.

Let me briefly report on what has been done since 1985 to keep alive Lindsey’s memory, and to contribute to his legacy:

The late Robert L. Lindsey, the late Professor David Flusser, and their colleague, the late Professor Shmuel Safrai collaborated to birth a new school of synoptic research. In 1985 the “Jerusalem School” became a legal entity (an Amutah) in Israel, and has now joined the Oxford School, the Tübingen School, and others, as a center of synoptic research.

In 1987 Jerusalem Perspective magazine was launched, becoming a repository of articles written by Lindsey, Flusser, Safrai, and their students. In 1993 and 1994, a reconstruction and commentary on the “Rich Young Ruler” pericope was published across five issues of Jerusalem Perspective magazine (Issues 38, 39, 42, 43 and 44). This commentary was the product of seventeen seminars led by Lindsey, Flusser and Safrai in 1986 and 1987.

After Lindsey’s death in 1995, the October-December 1995 issue of Jerusalem Perspective memorialized Lindsey and contained personal tributes to Lindsey written by David Flusser, Halvor Ronning, Steven Notley, Brad Young, Joseph Frankovic, Ken Mullican, Dwight Pryor and David Bivin. In this issue are also many rare photos of Lindsey and Flusser working together and, even, for instance, a photo of Lindsey with Zalman Shazar, Israel’s third president.

In 1990 Lindsey’s Jesus Rabbi & Lord appeared. Unfortunately, the book has now been out of print for eight years. Happily, in the next few weeks this book will be published in electronic format by, and will again be available. [The emended and updated second edition, Jesus, Rabbi and Lord: A Lifetime’s Search for the Meaning of Jesus’ Words, is now available in electronic format. – DB]

Since Lindsey’s death Jerusalem School scholars have presented more than one hundred scholarly papers at meetings of the Society of Biblical Literature. Additional papers have already been accepted for this fall’s meeting in Boston.

Between 1997 and 2001 three editions of Flusser’s Jesus were published by Magnes Press. Now, thanks to Flusser’s disciple Steven Notley, the fourth edition has been published in paperback under the title The Sage from Galilee: Rediscovering Jesus’ Genius. In the next few weeks, at the initiative of Serge Ruzer, Flusser’s student, Magnes Press will bring out a Hebrew translation of Flusser’s biography of Jesus. [Now published as Yeshu. – DB]

In 2005, Lindsey’s biography appeared. Written by Loren Turnage and Ken Mullican (Lindsey’s son-in-lawand published by HaKesher (Tulsa, OK), One Foot in Heaven: The Story of Bob Lindsey in Jerusalem is a book you won’t be able to put down. [The book, now out of print, has been republished as an eBook. – DB]

In June 2006 a conference celebrating the memory of Lindsey, Flusser and Safrai took place in Jerusalem. Organized by Jerusalem Perspective, fifteen lectures were presented by students of these three scholarly giants.

Later in 2006 Jerusalem Studies in the Synoptic Gospels: Jesus’ Last Week (edited by Steven Notley, Marc Turnage and Brian Becker) was published by Brill in Leiden, The Netherlands. (Brill is one of the world’s most prestigious academic publishers.) This is the first volume of a four-volume series of studies by Jerusalem School scholars under contract with Brill.

Hebrew University scholar and Jerusalem School member Serge Ruzer edited a collection of Flusser’s Hebrew articles. This collection was published in two volumes by Magnes Press in 2002. Later, readers of donated the money to have these essays translated to English. In November, the first English volume, Judaism of the Second Temple Period: Qumran and Apocalypticism, was co-published by Eerdmans, Jerusalem Perspective and Magnes Press.  [The two volumes of Judaism of the Second Temple Period, Qumran and Apocalypticism and Sages and Literature, are now available as eBooks. – DB]

With the help of Linda Pattillo, other unpublished Lindsey articles and books are being prepared for online publication by Jerusalem Perspective.

This is only some of what has been done and is being done to perpetuate the memory of Robert Lindsey, and, of course, the memory of his close co-workers in synoptic research, David Flusser and Shmuel Safrai.

The Program for the 2008 Lindsey Lectures (written by Brian Kvasnica)

We will pay tribute to the life of Rev. Robert L. Lindsey, Ph.D. (Aug. 16, 1917- May 31, 1995) with the following lectures and discussions that demonstrate academic rigor connected to Second Temple Judaism or the study of Jesus, coupled with lives of faith that apply their learning in life.

This year, the third year of the “Lindsey Lectures,” we will congregate around the above two themes, “The Spiritual Life of the Ancient Israelite” and “Postmissionary Messianic Judaism,” the latter a theme close to many of Lindsey’s own publications, such as his Ph.D. dissertation entitled Israel in Christendom: The Problem of Jewish Identity and his 1972 article, “Salvation and the Jews,” International Review of Mission (1972): 20-37.

We hope that these two lectures and extended discussions will honor the memory of Bob Lindsey and will stimulate Christian and Jew alike to further study and deeds of loving-kindness.

Monday, 30 June 7:30-9:30 p.m.

Welcome and Greetings: Rev. Charles Kopp (Senior Pastor, Narkis Street Congregation)

Remembering Lindsey: David Bivin, (

Prof. Jacob Milgrom, “The Spiritual Life of the Ancient Israelite: Dealing with Sin and Guilt”

Response and Discussion: Niek Arentsen (Christ Church), Dr. Stephen and Claire Pfann (University of the Holy Land) and the Narkis Parashah Fellowship

Tuesday 1 July 7:30-9:30 p.m.

Welcome and Greetings: Rev. David Pileggi (Rector, Christ Church)

Remembering Lindsey: Dr. Halvor Ronning (Home for Bible Translators)

Dr. Mark Kinzer, “Postmissionary Messianic Judaism Three Years Later: Reflections on a Conversation Just Begun”

Responses: Dr. Randall Buth (Biblical Language Center), “Reflections on a Long-Awaited Book”

Dr. Gershon Nerel (Jerusalem Bible Academy), “Between Two Concepts: ‘Postmission’ and ‘Messianic Judaism’: Semantics and Reality”

Discussion Panel including: Seth Ben-Haim (Nashuvah), Dr. Akiva Cohen and David Stern

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  • David N. Bivin

    David N. Bivin

    David N. Bivin is founder and editor of Jerusalem Perspective. A native of Cleveland, Oklahoma, U.S.A., Bivin has lived in Israel since 1963, when he came to Jerusalem on a Rotary Foundation Fellowship to do postgraduate work at the Hebrew University. He studied at the Hebrew…
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