Geza Vermes

N.B. A couple of times people have emailed me thinking I an Vermez! Note this page is about Vermez but this page and website is not by him!

Geza Vermes is a Fellow of the British Academy and Prof. Emeritus of Jewish Studies in the University of Oxford. Vermes was a Priest in the Sion Order but left the Priesthood and the Catholic church after his groundbreaking work on the Dead Sea scrolls, no longer considering himself a Christian.

One Christian pointed me to which mentions the dead sea scrolls as evidence for Christian claims. However the greatest scholar on the ancient Jews, Geza Vermes, was a Catholic Priest who according to an interview with him at started his research into the dead sea scrolls with the mission of converting Jews to Catholicism. Instead both he and his fellow researcher, Paul Demann, left the Sion order, the Catholic church and Christianity as a result of their studies of the dead sea scrolls. So I do not think that the scrolls are evidence for the "truth" of Christianity, since they caused the greatest scholar to lose his faith! Vermes' book "Jesus the Jew" instigated the third wave of historical Jesus research.

Quotes from interview with Geza Vermes:

Geza Vermes:

"Well sadly, the order started off originally with the aim of converting the Jews to Catholicism, but in a way as a result of our efforts, which about ten years later became official church doctrine, defined in the statements relating to the Jews in the Second Vatican Council, the whole Catholic attitude and consequently also the inspiration of the religious orders' fathers changed from conversion to collaboration, to mutual understanding, to friendships between Christians and Jews, and this is how it continues. The only curious consequence of these things was that by that time, none of the three persons, Paul Demann, Renee Bloch, and myself were any longer part of the movement. Renee Bloch died and Demann and myself by that time left the Sion order and the Catholic church...........

Well of course by that time I was no longer a priest. We are talking about 1965, and I left Paris, Roman Catholicism, and the priesthood in 1957. By that time I had a job in the Department of Divinity in the University of Newcastle, teaching Hebrew and Old Testament. I applied for the job with the idea that almost certainly that was not for me, because the previous holder of that position was a specialist in a totally different area of Jewish Studies. So it was one of the most extraordinary surprises that one day I simply received a letter informing me, 'You got the job', it just dropped into my lap. I couldn't believe it. I myself at that time, did not consider myself any longer a Christian."

N.B. A couple of times people have emailed me thinking I an Vermez! Note this page is about Vermez but this page and website is not by him!