Frederick William Danker (1920–2012), updated

February 2, 2012

Danker, of BDAG fame, died today. He was 91 or 92 (b. 1920, but I don’t know the specific date). His contribution to NT scholarship is one of the most substantial in recent history—and that would be true if he had done nothing other than edit BDAG, but he also made other contributions. (See the bibliography of his other work in the 2004 Festschrift: Biblical Greek Language and Lexicography: Essays in Honor of Frederick W. Danker, ed. B. Taylor, J. Lee, R. Burton, and R. Whitaker [Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2004]; I posted a summary of that book when it was published.) My tribute to his “next to last” major project can be found as my “BDAG page“; his last project, so far as I know, was his Concise Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament, a 400 page lexicon published in 2009. (A 400 page lexicon can only be called “concise” by comparison with the 1,100 pages of BDAG!) This was not an abridgment of BDAG, but a new work (though obviously dependent in many ways on the larger lexicon). I thank God for Prof. Danker’s contribution to biblical studies. No beginning student should be without the Concise Lexicon, and no serious student of the Greek of the NT who has gotten beyond first year should be without BDAG (in addition to CL). [See update below.]

Photo of F. W. Danker


You will want to read Will Varner’s tribute to Danker. In it he tells of an interview with him in 2003. Will asked him then if the rumor on the street were true that he had worked on BDAG 12 hours a day, 6 days a week for 10 years. Danker’s response? “Well, we did take vacations”!

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  1. Frederick Danker Passes Away « New Testament Interpretation - February 2, 2012

    […] Frederick Danker passed away earlier today (HT: Peter Williams, Rod Decker). Danker’s contribution to contemporary New Testament Studies can hardly be understated; the […]