George MacRae was the dean of Harvard Divinity School, a member of the Society of Jesus since 1948, and an ordained priest since 1960. He taught at Fairfield University, the University of Connecticut, the Weston School of Theology, and Boston College. He received awards from the Catholic Biblical Association, the American Philosophical Society, and the American Council of Learned Societies. He received an advance degree in sacred theology from the Weston School of Theology in Cambridge in 1961. He received a doctorate in New Testament studies from Cambrdige University in England in 1966.
Most recently, he had been rector of the Ecumenical Institute for Theological Research at Tentur, Jerusalem. He is a recognized authority on the Coptic texts discovered at Nag Hammadi in Upper Egypt and has done significant translations and analyses of these codices, relating them to traditional understanding of the New Testament and Gnosticism.
He passed away on 6 September 1985.