Bruce Manning Metzger

MetzgerBruce Manning Metzger was born in Middletown, Pennsylvania, on February 9, 1914, and died on February 13, 2007. He earned a B.A. at Lebanon Valley College (1935), a Th.B. from Princeton Seminary (1938), an M.A. (1940) and Ph.D. (1942) from Princeton University. He began teaching at that institution in 1938 and remained there for forty-six years. After a number of appointments, he became full professor in 1954. He was a renowned biblical scholar and textual critic, an editor on the board of both the American Bible Society and the United Bible Societies, and a president for other prestigious scholarly associations. He was visiting professor at Cambridge and Oxford and was elected fellow of the British Academy, the highest academic distinction for nonresidents. Metzger made a tremendous impact on the historical and scientific methodology used to assess ancient manuscripts, especially those related to the New Testament. He was a prolific writer and communicated as often with the general public as with scholars and students. He remains one the most influential biblical scholars of the twentieth century.


  • Introduction to the Apocrypha (1957)
  • The Oxford Concise Concordance to the Revised Standard Version of the Holy Bible (1962, with Isobel M. Metzger)
  • The Text of the New Testament: Its Transmission, Corruption, and Restoration (1964)
  • Lexical Aids for Students of New Testament Greek (1969)
  • Manuscripts of the Greek Bible: An Introduction to Palaeography (1981)
  • The Reader’s Bible (1983)
  • The Making of the New Revised Standard Version of the Bible (1991, with Robert C. Denton and Walter Harrelson)
  • The Oxford Companion to the Bible (1993, with Michael D. Coogan)
  • Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament (1994)
  • The Canon of the New Testament: Its Origin, Development, and Significance (1997) Reminiscences of an Octogenarian (1997)
  • Breaking the Code: Understanding the Book of Revelation: Leader’s Guide (1999)
  • Greek New Testament (2000, with B. Aland)
  • The Bible in Translation, Ancient and English Versions (2001)
  • The Oxford Guide to People & Places of the Bible (2001, with Michael D. Coogan)
  • The Oxford Essential Guide to Ideas and Issues of the Bible (2002, with Michael D. Coogan)
  • The New Testament: Its Background, Growth and Content (2003)
  • Apostolic Letters of Faith, Hope, and Love: Galatians, 1 Peter, and 1 John (2006)

Metzger was also involved with several revision projects, including:

  • Oxford Annotated Apocrypha: The Apocrypha of the Old Testament (1977)
  • Oxford Annotated Apocrypha: Revised Standard Version (1977)
  • The New Oxford Annotated Bible with the Apocrypha (1977)
  • New Revised Standard Version (1989)
  • The NRSV Bible with the Apocrypha, Compact Edition (2003)

Click Bruce Metzger to read the New York Time obituary.