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Skehan, Patrick W.


Old Testament and Semitics scholar; b. New York, N.Y., Sept. 30, 1909; d. Wash., D.C., Sept. 9, 1980. Patrick William Skehan received his B.A. from Fordham University (1929), studied theology at St. Joseph's Seminary, Yonkers, N.Y., and was ordained a priest Sept. 23, 1933. He studied Scripture and Semitic Languages at The Catholic University of America, Wash., D.C., where he obtained an S.T.D. in the Old Testament (1938). He taught in the Department of Semitic Languages at CUA from 1938 until his retirement in August 1980, often serving as departmental chairman. On several occasions he served as visiting lecturer/professor to the Oriental Seminary of The Johns Hopkins University, and was annual professor at the American School of Oriental Research, Jerusalem (195455), serving as director there from 1955 to 1956. Skehan was Catholic Biblical Association Visiting Professor to the Pontifical Biblical Institute, Rome, 196970, where he was named consulter to the Pontifical Biblical Commission (196571).

Msgr. Skehan is perhaps best known for his work on the dead sea scrolls, some of which he edited for publication, and the New American Bible translation. His contribution to the latter is inestimable, for he meticulously edited all parts of the Old Testament, as well as translating extensive sections himself. Skehan was a charter member of the Catholic Biblical Association, its president from 1946 to 1947, and treasurer from 1977 until his death. He was several times associate editor of the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, associate editor of Old Testament Abstracts, and editor of the association's monograph series (197375). A retiring man, he was revered by his colleagues for his scholarly care and integrity, and by his students for the generous and unassuming care he lavished on them.

Bibliography: a. a. di lella, "Patrick William Skehan: A Tribute," The Catholic Bibical Quarterly 42 (1980) 435437. Bibliography of Skehan's publications up to 1971: p. w. skehan, Studies in Israelite Poetry and Wisdom ; The Catholic Bibical Quarterly MS 1 (Wash., D.C. 1971) 254260. Bibliography of Skehan's publications from 1971 until his death: The Catholic Bibical Quarterly 43 (1981) 9698.

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