Geza Vermes

is the world's leading specialist in history of ancient Palestine and the Aramaic language as well as a noted authority on the Qumrân scrolls which he edited and published in a translation regarded to be the best standard edition of the scrolls in English (The Dead Sea Scrolls in English, 1962; The Complete Dead Sea Scrolls in English, 2004). As one of the world's first scholars he studied the famous Qumrân scrolls after their discovery in 1947 and remains the greatest authority in this area.

He was born into a family of Hungarian Jews who converted to Catholicism when he was 7 years old, but that did not protect them from destruction - all perished as victims of the Shoah. After the war he became a Catholic priest and studied in Budapest, Paris and Louvain, where he earned his doctorate in theology with a dissertation on the Qumrân scrolls. In 1957 he left Catholic Church, and returned to his Jewish roots.

In 1957-1965 he taught at the University of Newcastle, since 1965 at Oxford University, where he became a professor, and since 1971 he has been publishing the Journal of Jewish Studies. He is the director of the Oxford Forum for Qumrân Research at the Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies. Professor Emeritus of Jewish Studies at Oxford, Emeritus Fellow of Wolfson College, Oxford and  professor at the Oriental Institute in Oxford. He holds honorary doctorates from the Universities of Edinburgh, Durham, Sheffield and Budapest (December 2008). He is also a Fellow of the British Academy.