E. A. McDowell, Jr.

E. A. McDowell

E. A. McDowell

E. A. McDowell, Jr., professor of New Testament and Greek from 1937-1952, was born in Metford, South Carolina in 1898. A graduate of Furman University in Greenville, South Carolina, McDowell worked as a news reporter after graduation and began married life with Miss Doris Price, with whom he had a son and daughter.

McDowell matriculated at Southern in 1925 and took the first of a number of local pastorates. McDowell earned both a Th.M. and a Th.D at the seminary. McDowell then pastored a church in Union, South Carolina until Southern contacted him about teaching New Testament and Greek. McDowell accepted the offer and commenced a fifteen-year career in Louisville. While at Southern, McDowell challenged the demonination on social matters. Despite considerable opposition, he began the “Negro Extension Program” at the school and encouraged his students to mingle freely with blacks. McDowell profoundly influenced his student Clarence Jordan. Jordan later sought to apply McDowell’s teaching on racial equality in a Georgia community he called “Koinonia Farm.”

In 1952, McDowell began teaching at Southeastern Seminary as a professor of New Testament interpretation. When he retired from Southeastern in 1964, McDowell had published Son of Man and Suffering Servant, A Source Book of Inter-Biblical History (with W. H. Davis), and The Meaning and Message of Revelation. In an age when many emphasized historical criticism, he favored more the “primary-source” approach that sought to discern the biblical author’s original intent in composition. After his time at Southeastern, McDowell worked as a minister of teaching at the First Baptist Church of Atlanta and later joined Mercer University’s faculty as a distinguished professor of Christianity. McDowell died on August 24, 1975 in Atlanta.

Introducing our Course Writers-E.A. McDowell, Extension News, April 1965, 4.

Memorial-E.A. McDowell, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary Outlook, vol. 4, November-December 1975, 4.

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