Frank M. Cross, 91

Frank Moore Cross, an influential Harvard biblical scholar who specialized in the ancient cultures and languages that helped shape the Hebrew Bible and who played a central role in interpreting the Dead Sea Scrolls, died on Tuesday in Rochester. He was 91.

The Leon Levy Expedition to Ashkelon

Frank Moore Cross on an expedition to Ashkelon, Israel.

The cause was complications of pneumonia, family members said.

“When you walked into his classes, you felt you were on the frontier of knowledge in the field,” said Peter Machinist, who studied under Dr. Cross as an undergraduate at Harvard and now holds the endowed professorship there that Dr. Cross had held until his retirement in 1992. “Whatever happened in the field would come to him first, before it got published, because people wanted to know what he thought.”

Dr. Cross grew up in Birmingham, Ala., the son of a Protestant minister. After earning a divinity degree, he went to Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore and became one of the most prominent students of William F. Albright, whose work is part of the foundation of biblical archaeological studies.  read more

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