You are here: HomeMeetingsNews & ArchivesAnnouncementsRecently Deceased Members

Recently Deceased Members

William L. Holladay - May 6, 2016

2016 Holladay WLPlease pray for the repose of William Lee Holladay, 89, of Amherst, Massachusetts, who died unexpectedly on May 6, 2016. Bill became an active member in CBA in 1984 and served as an Associate Editor for Catholic Biblical Quarterly from 1989-96 and on the Old Testament NAB Revision Committee from 1994-95.

Bill was born on June 23, 1926 in Dallas, Texas, and grew up in California. He graduated from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1948 after serving as a chaplain's assistant in the Army. Bill received a B.D. from the Pacific School of Religion in 1951 and a Th.D. from the University of Leiden (Netherlands) in 1958. From mid-1951 until 1955 he was a pastor in rural California. After receiving the doctorate, he served as a chaplain at the University of Colorado at Boulder and then taught at Elmhurst College (Illinois).

From 1963 until 1970, he taught at the Near East School of Theology in Beirut, Lebanon. From 1970 until his retirement in 1997, Bill was Lowry Professor of Old Testament at Andover Newton Theological School. He continued to write and teach after retirement.

As a scholar, Bill was best known for his works on the prophets and the psalms. Trained in historical, textual, and linguistic studies, he later added the analysis of poetic structures to his repertoire. His most significant works include A Concise Hebrew and Aramaic Lexicon of The Old Testament (1971), which has been continuously in print in several languages; Jeremiah 1 (1986) and Jeremiah 2 (1989), a major commentary in the Hermeneia series; and The Psalms through Three Thousand Years (1993). He was one of the translators of the New Revised Standard Version of the Bible (1989). Bill also wrote effectively for nonprofessionals in Jeremiah: A Fresh Reading (1990), Long Ago God Spoke (1995), and other works. He contributed articles to many journals and served as an editor for Vetus Testamentum as well as Catholic Biblical Quarterly.

Alongside his meticulous scholarship, Bill possessed an ebullient optimism and a sense of adventure. He traveled widely, was a gifted musician, and pursued a rich and complex spiritual life. He loved being in front of a classroom and was an important teacher for ministers and academics around the world.

Bill is survived by his wife and their daughter Margaret Holladay, as well as by his former wife, Jean Grosbach, and their three sons, David, Martin, and Peter Holladay. The family grew to include Clark MacKenzie. Bill is also survived by his brother Richard Holladay, his sister Nancy (Holladay) Weger, eight grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren. A daughter, Catherine Holladay, preceded him in death.

--- adapted from Obituary by Martin Holladay and Patricia Appelbaum


 For older entries, see our page of Memorials.