R.I.P. Thomas Lambdin

Some readers of this site may recognize Lambdin as the translator of the Gospel of Thomas in Robinson’s classic volume The Nag Hammadi Library in English. Lambdin’s Introduction to Sahidic Coptic was for many (and remains for some) a great first step in learning Coptic. However, as this note illustrates, his linguistic interests were wide indeed. One of his former students once told me that Lambdin taught Japanese every other year, to make sure he still remembered it.

Courtesy of Agade:

Peter Der Manuelian posted these very sad news to colleagues:

I bring the sad news today that our friend and colleague (and my
professor and mentor during my undergraduate years), Professor Thomas
Oden Lambdin, passed away last Friday at the age of 93, in Manchester,
NH (Oct. 31, 1927 — May 8, 2020).

One of the leading scholars of Semitic and Egyptian languages, and a
passionate teacher with more introductory grammars (Biblical Hebrew,
Sahidic Coptic, Classical Ethiopic, Gothic) than just about anyone, he
was appointed as associate professor of Semitic Languages in the NELC
Department in 1964. He retired from Harvard in 1983.