Joseph Fitzmyer

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The Reverend Father
Joseph A. Fitzmyer, S.J.
Ordination 15 August 1951
Personal details
Born 4 November 1920
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Nationality American
Denomination Roman Catholic
Occupation scholar
Alma mater Loyola University Chicago
Catholic University of Leuven
Johns Hopkins University
Pontifical Biblical Institute

Joseph Augustine Fitzmyer, S.J. (born 1920), is an American Catholic priest of the Society of Jesus and professor emeritus at The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.. He specializes in biblical studies, particularly the New Testament, though he has also made singular contributions to the study of the Dead Sea Scrolls and early Jewish literature.[1]


Fitzmeyer was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1920. On 30 July 1938, he was admitted to the novitiate of the Maryland Province of the Society of Jesus, commonly known as the Jesuits, in Wernersville, Pennsylvania. After completing this stage of his formation in the summer of 1940, he was sent to study at Loyola University of Chicago, first earning a Bachelor of Arts degree, then in 1945 a Master of Arts degree in Greek. He then studied theology in the Facultés Saint-Albert (Eegenhoven-Louvain), Belgium. He was ordained a Catholic priest on 15 August 1951. He was granted a Licentiate of Sacred Theology (S.T.L.) there by the Catholic University of Leuven in 1952. Fitzmyer then earned a doctorate in Semitics from the Johns Hopkins University in 1956 and an Licentiate in Sacred Scripture (S.S.L.) from the Pontifical Biblical Institute in Rome in 1957.[1]

From 1958-1969, Fitzmyer taught New Testament and biblical languages at Woodstock College. Between 1969 and 1971, he taught Aramaic and Hebrew at the University of Chicago. Fitzmyer then taught New Testament and biblical languages at Fordham University (1971-1974), at Weston School of Theology (in Cambridge, Massachusetts) (1974-1976) and finally in the Department of Biblical Studies at The Catholic University of America (1976-1986), as Professor of New Testament until his retirement in 1986. His publications cover a variety of topics, including Scripture, theology, Christology, catechesis and the Dead Sea Scrolls. He was a co-editor of the New Jerome Biblical Commentary, and also served as president of the Catholic Biblical Association of America (1969-1970), of the Society of Biblical Literature (1979) and of the Studiorum Novi Testamenti Societas (1992-1993). Fitzmyer was Speaker's Lecturer at the University of Oxford in 1974-1975, was the 1984 recipient of the Burkitt Medal of the British Academy and served on the Pontifical Biblical Commission from 1984-1995.

Fitzmyer is currently part of the Jesuit community at Georgetown University, Washington, D.C..

Select publications[edit]

  • Christological Catechism, A: New Testament Answers, Second Edition, Joseph A. Fitzmyer, Paulist Press
  • The New Jerome Biblical commentary. (edited by Raymond E. Brown, Joseph A. Fitzmyer, Roland E. Murphy; with a foreword by Carlo Maria Cardinal Martini). Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1990.
  • The One who is to come. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Eerdmans, 2007.
  • Spiritual exercises based on Paul’s epistle to the Romans. New York: Paulist Press, 1995.
  • Responses to 101 questions on the Dead Sea scrolls. New York: Paulist Press, 1992.
  • Scripture, the soul of theology. NY: Paulist Press, 1994.
  • The historical truth of the Gospels (the 1964 instruction of the Biblical Commission). Glen Rock, NJ: Paulist Press, 1964. (First published [in English] under the title ’The Biblical Commission’s Instruction on the historical truth of the Gospels’ in Theological Studies 25 (1964) 386-408.)
  • According to Paul: Studies in the Theology of the Apostle New York: Paulist Press, 1993.
  • Paul and his theology: A Brief Sketch. 2nd ed. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1989.
  • Romans: A New Translation with Introduction and Commentary. The Anchor Bible vol. 33. New York: Doubleday, 1993.
  • The Gospel according to Luke: Introduction, Translation, and Notes. The Anchor Bible vol. 28-28A. (2 vols) Garden City, New York: Doubleday, 1981-1985.
  • The Acts of the Apostles: a new translation with introduction and commentary. The Anchor Bible v. 31 New York: Doubleday, 1998.
  • An introductory bibliography for the study of scripture. 3rd ed. Subsidia Biblica 3. Rome: Pontificio istituto biblico, 1990.
  • A wandering Aramean: collected Aramaic essays. Missoula, Mont.: Scholars Press, 1979.
  • An Aramaic bibliography (Joseph A. Fitzmyer and Stephen A. Kaufman, with the collaboration of Stephan F. Bennett and Edward M. Cook). Publications of the Comprehensive Aramaic Lexicon Project. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1992-
  • The Aramaic inscriptions of Sefîre. Rome: Pontificial Biblical Institute, 1967.
  • A manual of Palestinian Aramaic texts: (second century B.C.-second century A.D.) [Joseph A. Fitzmyer and Daniel J. Harrington] 2nd reprint. Roma: Editrice Pontificio Instituto Biblico, 1994.
  • The Biblical Commission’s document "The interpretation of the Bible in the church." Subsidia biblica v.18. Roma: Editrice Pontificio Istituto Biblico, 1995. 8876536051
  • A Christological catechism: New Testament answers. 2nd ed. New York: Paulist Press, 1991.
  • The Dead Sea scrolls: major publications and tools for study. Rev. ed. Atlanta, Ga: Scholars Press, 1990.
  • The Genesis Apocryphon of Qumran Cave 1 (1Q20): a commentary. 3rd ed. Roma: Editrice Pontificio Istituto Biblico, 2004.
  • Essays on the Semitic background of the New Testament. London: G. Chapman, 1971.
  • The Semitic background of the New Testament (Combined ed.) Grand Rapids, Mich.: Eerdmans, 1997.
  • The letter to Philemon: a new translation with introduction and commentary. The Anchor Bible vol. 34C. New York: Doubleday, 2001.
  • Tobit. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 2003.
  • Scripture and Christology: a statement of the Biblical Commission with a commentary. New York: Paulist Press, 1986.
  • Bibel und Christologie: ein Dokument der Päpstlichen Bibelkommission in Französisch und Latein. Mit deutscher Übersetzung und Hinführung von Paul-Gerhard Müller, einem Kommentar von Joseph A. Fitzmyer und einem Geleitwort von Kardinal Joseph Ratzinger. Pontificia Commisio Biblica. Stuttgart: Katholisches Bibelwerk, 1987.
  • Die Wahrheit der Evangelien: die "Instructio de historica Evangeliorum veritate" der Päpstlichen Bibelkommission vom 21. April 1964. Stuttgarter Bibelstudien. 1. Stuttgart: Katholisches Bibelwerk, 1966, 1965]
  • Reumann, John Henry Paul. Righteousness in the New Testament: justification in the United States Lutheran-Roman Catholic dialogue. (by John Reumann with responses by Joseph A. Fitzmyer, Jerome D. Quinn). Philadelphia, PA: Fortress Press; New York: Paulist Press, 1982.
  • Glanzman, George S. An introductory bibliography for the study of Scripture. (by George S. Glanzman and Joseph A. Fitzmyer). Woodstock papers: occasional essays for theology, no. 5 Westminster, MD: Newman Press, 1961.


  • M. P. Horgan and P. J. Kobelski, To Touch the Text: Biblical and Related Studies in Honor of Joseph A. Fitzmyer, S.J. New York: Crossroad, 1989.


  1. ^ a b "The Dead Sea Scrolls". Alba House. 

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