I just stumbled across this long 1998 interview with religious historian Geza Vermes by the Australian Broadcasting Company. I was Google-searching Vermes, who is professor emeritus of Jewish Studies at the University of Oxford, because I’m currently reading one of his books, The Authentic Gospel of Jesus. The ABC interview was occasioned by the publication of Vermes’s autobiography Providential Accidents.
From the interview, here are some interesting biographical points about Vermes, some but not all of which I’d known before:
- His name is pronounced Ge-za Ver-mesh.
- He was born in 1924 to a Jewish family.
- When he was 7, his family converted to Roman Catholicism, and he was baptized.
- His parents both died in the Holocaust, their prior conversions notwithstanding.
- He was ordained priest in an order founded to convert Jews to Catholicism.
- He published the first English translation of the Dead Sea Scrolls.
- He left the priesthood, and the church, in part as a result of his study of the Scrolls.
- He now belongs to a liberal Jewish synagogue.