In Honor of a Friend – A tribute work salutes the biblical scholarship of the late Marvin Meyer. A tribute work salutes the biblical scholarship of the late Marvin Meyer.

Chapman University Professor Marvin Meyer, Ph.D., was known to many as the preeminent scholar who brought to life the ancient


The cover of the Marvin Meyer tribute book

Gnostic Gospels through his brilliant, luminous translations and his many television appearances.

Now a new
– a book compiled in honor of the late biblical scholar – has been published by two of his Chapman colleagues.
Invest Your Humanity:  Celebrating Marvin Meyer
is edited by Julye Bidmead, Ph.D., associate professor of religious studies, and the Rev. Gail J. Stearns, Ph.D., dean of the Wallace All Faiths Chapel and associate professor of religious studies.

Meyer was a beloved teacher, opening the eyes of hundreds of students over the years to the mystery and meaning of ancient Classical and Early Christian texts. For many years, Meyer also directed Chapman’s Albert Schweitzer Institute, devoted to the study of the works of the great physician, theologian, musician and philosopher and to supporting the work of those who heed Schweitzer’s call to “search and see if there is not some place where you may invest your humanity.”

Bidmead and Stearns contributed articles and also assembled a distinguished  roster of friends, colleagues, students and fellow scholars to write essays for the book. Among them are Charles T. Hughes, Ph.D., associate professor of religious studies and philosophy at Chapman; Ronald Farmer, Ph.D., former dean of the Wallace All Faiths Chapel and currently adjunct professor of religious studies at Brandman University; Willis Barnstone, Ph.D., American poet, memoirist and Pulitzer Prize finalist;  and Elaine Pagels, Ph.D., professor of religion at Princeton University.

Cristina Smith ’14, a former student of Dr. Meyer who graduated summa cum laude from Chapman with a joint degree in English literature and religious studies, contributed an article from the student’s perspective. The essays range from thoughts on Jesus (Hughes) and the Gnostic Gospel of Thomas (Corley) to comparative perspectives on magic (Bidmead).

Daniele Struppa, Chapman chancellor and incoming president, wrote a moving foreword to the volume, which ends:

“Shortly before his passing, Marv gave me a beautiful autographed copy of his recent translation  of the
Gospel of Thomas
. This text is absolutely magnificent,  and it opens with a prologue that has become a part of my own teaching philosophy, and that remains, in my mind, the last teaching that Marv imparted to me:

Those who seek should not stop seeking until they find.


When they find, they will be troubled. When they are troubled, they will marvel,


and will rule over all.

“Thank you, my friend – we will not stop seeking until we find.”

Mary Platt

Mary Platt is director of the Hilbert Museum of California Art at Chapman University

Add comment