Msgr. Quinn was a New Testament scholar, a diocesan priest, and a professor at the Saint Paul Seminary from 1961 to 1988 (see his biography). His research interests ranged far beyond his principle expertise, the Pastoral Epistles; he published on other New Testament topics, patristic themes, and even archaeology and classical Greek texts (see his bibliography). Having placed his scholarly acumen at the service of the Church, from the local seminary to the Pontifical Biblical Commission, he stands out as a model for seminary biblical professors today.
Msgr. Quinn’s ability to practice critical study of the Bible while adhering to Catholic Tradition won him this praise from the renowned theologian Hans Urs von Balthasar:
“[B]y what method is a strictly scientific exegesis of Scripture compatible with a spiritual understanding of it, as the Fathers and the Middle Ages knew it? That both can go seriously hand in hand has been clearly demonstrated by such people as, above all, Heinrich Schlier, a pupil of Bultmann and a convert to Catholicism, also Heinz Schürmann, Stanislas Lyonnet, Ignace de la Potterie, Jerome Quinn, to name but a few. What is required is an ability to answer questions prompted by the Enlightenment in regard to Christ and Christianity with greater substance and depth than some specialized exegetes are in the habit of doing.” -Hans Urs von Balthasar and Angelo Scola, Test Everything: Hold Fast to What is Good, trans. Maria Shrady (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1989), 30.