In Memoriam: Prof. Anson Rainey (1930-2011)

I just received word today that the long and illustrious career of Anson Rainey ended yesterday when he lost his battle with pancreatic cancer. If you’d like to see the scholarly achievements of a bright light in studies of ANE language and culture, click here. It appears that the list of published works was last updated around 2008, so it is incomplete. But at last count, he had authored/edited 9 books, 112 articles in scholarly journals, and 48 essays which were components of books.

I’ve recently been listening to St. Augustine’s Confessions, and I came across this gem that I didn’t remember when I read the book in college: “And this idea sprang up in my mind out of my inmost heart, and I wrote some books–two or three, I think–On the Beautiful and the Fitting. Thou knowest them, O Lord; they have escaped my memory. I no longer have them; somehow they have been mislaid.” I’m tickled to imagine that someone could have written a few books and forgotten them or misplaced them! The only type of person who can even remotely begin to empathize with Augustine is one who is incredibly prolific–and Prof. Rainey was certainly that! I wonder how many books Prof. Rainey wrote and never published. . . . May God rest his soul.