A Time with Pauline Scholar Jerome Murphy-O’Connor

Posted: June 6, 2013 in General

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERANowadays, I am privileged to interact with some of the internationally reputed Biblical scholars at École Biblique de Jerusalem. Among them, Jerome Murphy-O’Connor is one who deserves special mention. I started reading his articles and books, related to Paul, from 1993. Here, I see him at least thrice a day in the cafeteria. I even got a chance to dine and interact with him. See below more information about him.

[Jerome Murphy-O’Connor O. P., (born 10 April 1935 in Cork in Ireland as James Murphy-O’Connor) is a Dominican priest, a leading authority on St. Paul and Professor of New Testament at the École Biblique de Jerusalem, a position that he has held since 1967.

Born in 1935 to Kerry Murphy-O’Connor and Mary McCrohan, the eldest of four children, his cousin is Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, the tenth Archbishop of Westminster. Murphy-O’Connor attended the Christian Brothers College in Cork, going on to attend the Vincentian run Castleknock College in Dublin. While there he decided to become a Dominican priest.

Murphy-O’Connor entered the Dominican Novitiate in Cork in September 1953, giving up his baptismal name ‘James’ and to take a new name in religion, ‘Jerome’, a symbol of his commitment to his faith. Bearing in mind his future career, this was an apt choice, as Jerome is the patron saint of Biblical Studies. After novitiate he studied Philosophy for a year before studying at Tallaght and at the University of Fribourg in Switzerland. Murphy-O’Connor was ordained priest in July 1960. In Fribourg the core of his scholarly life emerged, his first serious study as a lecturer being on the theme of Preaching in St. Paul, which he later developed into a doctoral thesis under the direction of the Dominican and Biblical scholar, Ceslas Spicq.

He received his Doctorate in 1962. In 1963 he studied in Rome, and researched the Dead Sea Scrolls at the University of Heidelberg, and New Testament theology at the University of Tübingen. From there he went to Jerusalem to the École Biblique, which was to become his religious, scholarly and even personal home for the next forty years. Jerusalem and Israel were to become the centre of his life and work. The École Biblique, founded in 1890 by French Dominican scholars, was an internationally renowned centre for Biblical studies and Biblical archaeology. He remains there to this day, having been appointed Professor of New Testament in 1967.

Oxford University Press invited him to write an archaeological guide to the Holy Land which was published in 1980. This was translated into several languages with a revised edition in 1986, and has become the standard guide-book. Murphy-O’Connor has lectured around the world and made numerous television appearances, including Le Mystère Paul (2000), Jesus: The Complete Story (2001), The Search for John the Baptist (2005), The Lost Tomb of Jesus (2007), and Christianity: A History for Channel 4 (2009).

Select Publications:

Corinthians by Jerome Murphy O’Connor, Bible Reading Fellowship, ISBN 0-7459-3280-0 (0-7459-3280-0)

Becoming Human Together: The Pastoral Anthropology of St. Paul by Jerome M. O’Connor, Veritas Publications, ISBN 0-89453-075-5 (0-89453-075-5)

Colossians by Jerome Murphy-O’Connor, Continuum International Publishing Group, Limited, ISBN 0-7220-0558-X (0-7220-0558-X)

The Holy Land: An Oxford Archaeological Guide from Earliest Times to 1700 by Jerome Murphy-O’Connor, Oxford Univ Pr, ISBN 0-19-923666-6 (0-19-923666-6)

Jesus and Paul: Parallel Lives by Jerome Murphy-O’Connor, St Pauls Publications, ISBN 1-921032-35-9 (1-921032-35-9)

Paul by Laurence Bright, Henry Wansbrough, Jerome Murphy-O’Connor, Continuum International Publishing Group, Limited, ISBN 0-7220-0671-3 (0-7220-0671-3)

Paul : A Critical Life by Jerome Murphy-O’Connor, Oxford University Press, Incorporated, ISBN 0-19-826749-5 (0-19-826749-5)

Paul and Qumran: Studies in New Testament Exegesis by Jerome Murphy-O’Connor, Continuum International Publishing Group, Limited, ISBN 0-225-27548-1 (0-225-27548-1)

Paul and the Dead Sea Scrolls by Jerome Murphy-O’Connor, James H. Charlesworth Crossroad Publishing Company, ISBN 0-8245-1000-3 (0-8245-1000-3)

Paul : His Story by Jerome Murphy-O’Connor, Oxford University Press, ISBN 0-19-928384-2 (0-19-928384-2)

More editions of Paul: His Story: Paul II by Jerome Murphy-O’Connor, Laurence Bright, Henry Wansbrough Acta Pubns, ISBN 0-87946-010-5 (0-87946-010-5)

Paul the Letter-Writer: His World, His Options, His Skills by Jerome M. O’Connor Michael Glazier Books, ISBN 0-8146-5845-8 (0-8146-5845-8)

St. Paul’s Corinth : Texts and Archaeology by Jerome Murphy-O’Connor, Liturgical Press, ISBN 0-8146-5303-0 (0-8146-5303-0)

The Theology of the Second Letter to the Corinthians by Jerome Murphy-O’Connor, James D. G. Dunn, Cambridge University Press, ISBN 0-521-35898-1 (0-521-35898-1)]

(Information above is from Jerome Murphy-O’Connor’s Wikipedia page)

  1. Thank you for this helpful description of Murphy-O’Conner’s life, vocation, and publications. WMS

  2. Kind of your words. Thanks for following. Yes, I am really privileged to see Murphy-O’Connor.

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