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Dr. Catherine McDowell

Associate Professor of Old Testament


Dr. Catherine McDowell comes to Gordon-Conwell from Wheaton College in Illinois, where she also taught Old Testament. Her teaching experience includes former positions at Gordon-Conwell and Harvard. As a graduate teaching fellow at Harvard, she taught classical Hebrew, Ancient Near Eastern history and archaeology.

Dr. McDowell has also been active in church ministry, teaching adult education courses in Old Testament, theology, and Bible study methodology for Park Street Church in Boston and at several Presbyterian churches in North Carolina.

She has also worked for Vision New England, both as a conference speaker and as a consultant for leadership training curriculum development. For a number of years, she worked in the field at archaeological digs in Israel.

She is the author of The Image of God in the Garden of Eden: The Creation of Humankind in Gen 2:5-3:24  in Light of the mis pi/pit pi and wpt-r Rituals of Mesopotamia and Ancient Egypt (Eisenbrauns), the study notes for 1-2 Samuel, 1-2 Kings, and 1-2 Chronicles in the ESV Archaeological Study Bible (Crossway), as well as several articles in publications such as the Basics of Biblical Hebrew Grammar textbook, the NIV Archaeological Study Bible, the Baker Illustrated Bible Background Commentary, and the Bulletin of the American School of Oriental Research. She is currently writing a book on the value of learning Hebrew (Hendrickson) and a second book on idolatry (Essential Studies in Biblical Theology, IVP).

Dr. McDowell has earned a number of honors and awards for her work, including the Faculty Development Grant from Wheaton College, an award for excellence in the teaching of undergraduates at Harvard College, and a $36,000 grant from the Pew Charitable Trust for her Ph.D. studies.


  • B.A. (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)
  • M.A., M.A.R. (Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary)
  • M.A., Ph.D. (Harvard University)

Select List of Publications

  • “Canaanites and Canaanite Religion,” “Philistines,” and the study notes for 1-2 Kings in Baker Illustrated Bible Background Commentary. Edited by J. Scott Duvall and J. Daniel Hays. Grand Rapids: Baker Books, forthcoming.
  • “In the Image of God He Created Them: How Genesis 1:26-27 Defines the Divine-Human Relationship and Why It Matters.” Pages 29-46 in The Image of God in an Image Driven Age: Explorations in Theological Anthropology. Edited by Beth Felker Jones and Jeffrey W. Barbeau. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2016.
  • Introductions and study notes for 1-2 Samuel, 1-2 Kings, and 1-2 Chronicles in ESV Archaeology Study BibleEdited by John D. Currid and David W. Chapman. Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2016.
  • The Image of God in the Garden of Eden: The Creation of Humankind in Genesis 2:5-3:24 in Light of the mis pî pit pî and wpt-r Rituals of Mesopotamia and Ancient Egypt. Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 2015.
  • “Idols and Idol Making.” In NIV Archaeological Study Bible: An Illustrated Walk Through Biblical History and Culture. Edited by Walter C. Kaiser, Jr., and Duane Garrett. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2005.
  • “Exegetical Insight: A Word is Worth a Thousand Pictures” and “Exegetical Insight: What a Difference a Pronoun Makes” (under the author’s former name, Catherine Beckerleg). In Basics of Biblical Hebrew, by Gary D. Pratico and Miles Van Pelt. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2001.

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