Author and professor of biblical studies Michael S. Heiser passed away Monday afternoon following a battle with Stage 4 pancreatic cancer. He was 60.
"Our beloved brother, scholar and friend, Dr. Michael S. Heiser, has stepped into the Unseen Realm – 02/20/23 @ 3:45 pm EST," a statement on Heiser's official Twitter page said.
Last month, Heiser announced that he had stage 4 "of a very aggressive pancreatic cancer," with the tumor having "now invaded the upper GI and stomach areas causing slow, uncontrollable bleeding."
"In essence, I am bleeding out at a slow rate with no solution. I am presently not in pain, but am very weak, a condition that will worsen until I am gone," Heiser wrote on Facebook.
"Since there are no further treatment options available to us, we have chosen to spend my remaining time at home. We are guessing (we have not been given a number) that this means I'll live anywhere from a week to several weeks."
Although he admitted that the news was "depressing," he told his followers that he "will die happy to have served the Lord and you all in the ways I have."
"God has been very good to us, gifting me in discernible ways and, I think just as importantly, given me heart for the lay community – all of you," he continued.
"I desired nothing more than to empower all of you to study Scripture more deeply, to unlock the Bible for you in ways inaccessible to all but scholars. This brought me a special joy."
In January, Heiser's wife, Drenna, shared on social media that she noticed a dramatic decline in her husband's health the week after Christmas last year. She noted that he had "approximately 4 pints of blood in his body when he should have 12-14 points for a man his size."
"To say the least, this was shocking. A blood transfusion was ordered. He received 3 units on Sunday and, almost immediately, he was so much better," she wrote on Facebook on January 3.
Heiser, born February 14, 1963, received a master's degree focused on Ancient Egypt and Syria-Palestine from the University of Pennsylvania in 1992 and a master's degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison centered on Hebrew and Semitic Studies in 1998. He earned a doctorate from UWM in 2004 in the same field.
As an author, Heiser published both fiction and nonfiction books, including The 60 Second Scholar: 100 Insights That Illumine the Bible, The Façade, The Portent, and I Dare You Not to Bore Me with The Bible.
In 2015, he published The Unseen Realm, which won the Winner of the ECPA Bronze Sales Award after selling over 175,000 copies.
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Nicola Margaret
Milton Quintanilla is a freelance writer and content creator. He is a contributing writer for Christian Headlines and the host of the For Your Soul Podcast, a podcast devoted to sound doctrine and biblical truth. He holds a Masters of Divinity from Alliance Theological Seminary.