Frederick J. Murphy, former professor of religious studies, has received posthumous recognition by the Biblical Archaeological Society. “Apocalypticism in the Bible and Its World: A Comprehensive Introduction” (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2012) received the 2013 Biblical Archaeology Society Award for Best Book Relating to the New Testament. Murphy’s text “defines apocalypticism while discussing its origins, where it comes into play in the Hebrew Bible, and how it relates to Jesus and the New Testament.”
“‘Apocalypticism in the Bible and Its World’ provides the field of biblical research a comprehensive study of Jewish apocalyptic thought from its inception in the Books of Enoch through the vast literature of Early Judaism, including the Dead Sea Scrolls, into its expressions in Jesus’ teachings, Pauline theology, and the early Christian movement,” the organization said in its announcement. “At the same time, author Frederick J. Murphy makes his work accessible to critical Biblical study beginners by the clarity of his presentation of the developmental stages of apocalypticism, its vestiges in current belief and practice, and by the side bars, boxes, charts, illustrations, and very useful bibliographies found in each chapter.”
The society was founded in 1974 as a nonprofit, nondenominational, educational organization dedicated to the dissemination of information about archeology in the Bible lands. The biennial BAS Publication Awards for books about archaeology and the Bible have been presented since 1985. Previous recipients of this award include “Constructing Jesus: Memory, Imagination, and History” (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2010) by Dale C. Allison Jr. in 2011 and “Romans: A Commentary” (Minneapolis: Fortress, 2007) by Robert Jewett.
Murphy, who had been a faculty member in the religious studies department at Holy Cross since 1983, passed away on Sept. 13, 2011 after an illness. His seven books and many articles include “The Religious World of Jesus: An Introduction to Second Temple Palestinian Judaism,” which received the Alpha Sigma Nu book award in 1991 and “Early Judaism: The Exile to the Time of Jesus” (2005).