Shemaryahu Talmon

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Shemaryahu Talmon (Hebrew: שמריהו טלמון) (born Shemaryahu Zelmanowicz; 1920 in Skierniewice, Poland – December 15, 2010) was J. L. Magnes Professor of Bible at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He died on December 15, 2010.[1]

Early life[edit]

Talmon was born in Poland in 1920, he grew up and studied in the city of Breslau, then in Germany, before the start of World War II. He was educated at the Jüdisches Reform-Real Gymnasium in Breslau, Germany.[2][3] He was a detainee at Buchenwald concentration camp during the Holocaust. During that time his parents and two sisters were killed, he managed to emigrate to Palestine.

He obtained a PhD from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in 1956. His thesis was on the text and versions of the Tanakh, especially "double meanings" in Biblical texts. He has subsequently extended and refined his thesis, and has contributed to many areas of biblical study.[3]

Religious work[edit]

He worked with Moshe Goshen-Gottstein and Chaim Rabin on the Hebrew University Bible Project, and since their deaths has served as its editor in chief. He has also done work in the area of sociology. His work has helped to advance the understanding of the biblical text, especially the Dead Sea Scrolls. He combined his interest in the scrolls and sociology to study the nature and history of the "community of the renewed covenant."[3]

In interfaith activities he has been a leader in international Jewish-Christian dialogue, working with the World Council of Churches and the Vatican. In the area of Biblical education, he was director for educational institutions in the Immigration Camps in Cyprus (1947–48). He has taught at the major Israeli universities and been a visiting professor at many institutions throughout the world. He was the rector of the University of Haifa and of the Institute of Judaic Studies at the College of Jewish Studies at Heidelberg, dean of the Faculty of Humanities at the Hebrew University.[3]

In December 2008, Talmon donated a library of 10,000 volumes, mostly in Biblical studies, to the Shalom Hartman Institute.[4]


His publications include "Qumran and the History of the Biblical Text" (1975), "King, Cult, and Calendar" (1986), "Gesellschaft und Literatur in der Hebräischen Bibel" (1988), "The World of Qumran from Within" (1989) and hundreds of articles in scholarly journals.


In 1997, Talmon was awarded the Israel Prize, for Biblical studies.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Shemaryahu Talmon (1920–2010)". Biblical Archaeology Review Magazine. February 18, 2011. Retrieved 4 March 2012. 
  2. ^ "Hartman Institute Mourns Passing of Prof. Shemaryahu Talmon". Hartman Institute. 2010-11-30. Retrieved 22 May 2012. 
  3. ^ a b c d Jonathan Ben-Dov. "Obituary: Shemaryahu Talmon (1920–2010)". Society of Biblical Literature. Retrieved 22 May 2012. 
  4. ^ "Talmon book collection inaugurated at well-attended event". Shalom Hartman Institute. 4 January 2009. Retrieved 2009-09-22. 
  5. ^ "Israel Prize Official Site - Recipients in 1997 (in Hebrew)". 

Further reading[edit]