For those who do not read scholarly works it may seem strange to feel bereaved when someone whom you have never actually met dies. I discovered via Levellers that Dr. Brevard S. Childs has passed away. He will be missed in Biblical scholarship, and though I never met him, I am deeply sorry that he will no longer be on the scene.
I encountered his writing first in his wonderful commentary on Exodus, and then in his even more enlightening commentary on Isaiah, both in the Old Testament Library. He manages to bring a balance to Biblical criticism that allows one to enjoy discovering some of the history of the text, but yet leaves one able to wrestle with the canonical form. He wrote with a great interest not just in the historical understanding of each text, but also in how those words had echoed through the communities that read them and passed them on.
I cannot be more personal, as I only knew him through his work, but the depth, breadth, and balance of his scholarship has been a breath of fresh air in my reading.
R.I.P. Dr. Brevard Childs, 1923-2007. (See the obituary at Yale Divinity School.)