Biographical Sketch of Marvin R. Wilson

Dr. Marvin R. Wilson is the Harold J. Ockenga Professor of Biblical and Theological Studies at Gordon College, Wenham, Massachusetts (01984). His Ph.D. is from Brandeis University in the field of Semitic and ancient Near Eastern Studies. In 1971 he joined the Gordon faculty where he currently teaches Old Testament, Hebrew, Jewish history and culture, and modern Judaism. Presently, he also serves on the faculty senate.

In 1979 Wilson was made recipient of Gordon's first endowed professorial chair, named for former Gordon president Harold J. Ockenga. Dr. Wilson chaired the Department of Biblical Studies from 1971-1988 and prior to that served as chair for eight years at Barrington College in Rhode Island. Professor Wilson has been honored three times at Gordon commencements with the senior faculty award for "Excellence in Teaching" (1974,1989, 2000).

The educational background of Professor Wilson includes Wheaton College (A.B., cum laude), Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary (M.Div., summa cum laude) and Brandeis University (M.A., Ph.D.). At Brandeis, Dr. Wilson's mentor was Professor Cyrus Gordon, noted Jewish biblical scholar and archaeologist.

An active writer, Dr. Wilson has authored or edited seven books and also penned more than 200 articles or reviews in both scholarly works and popular periodicals. Four of his books deal with the relationship between Christianity and Judaism. Dr. Wilson's most recent work (now in its 13th printing) is a textbook on the Hebrew heritage of the church titled Our Father Abraham: Jewish Roots of the Christian Faith (Wm. B. Eerdmans Pub. Co. and Center for Judaic-Christian Studies, 1989, 395 pp.). His other previous works in Christian-Jewish relations are Evangelicals and Jews in Conversation (M.H. Tanenbaum, M.R. Wilson and A.J. Rudin, eds., 1978, 326 pp.), Evangelicals and Jews in an Age of Pluralism (M.H. Tanenbaum, M.R. Wilson and A.J. Rudin, eds., 1984, 285 pp.) and A Time to Speak: The Evangelical-Jewish Encounter (A.J. Rudin and M.R. Wilson, eds., 1987 pp.).

Professor Wilson served as an Old Testament translator and editor of the New International Version, currently the best selling Bible in the English speaking world. He also contributed the notes to two Old Testament books in the NIV Study Bible.

Professor Wilson is a frequent speaker in churches and synagogues, at conferences, and on radio and TV. On both local and national levels, as well as abroad, he is actively involved in building bridges of understanding between Christians and Jews and in educating the Christian world in its Hebraic origins. His innovative field-trip course at Gordon titled "Modern Jewish Culture" has been cited as an educational model in the field of Christian-Jewish relations.

Professor Wilson's scholarly activity reflects not only an interest in the Jewish Scriptures, but also the land and people that gave them birth. Coordinating his efforts with those of the Jewish community, Dr. Wilson served as an organizer and co-director of three national conferences of Christians and Jews here in the U.S., with religious leaders attending from this country, Canada and Israel.

Twenty-five extensive study tours of Israel and the Middle mast have been made by Professor Wilson. In Israel he has taken part in the archaeological dig at the ancient Philistine city of Tel Qasile.
On several occasions he has been invited as part of a select group to meet with various leaders in Israel and the West Bank - Arab, Jewish and Christian - to discuss political, religious and economic issues. Currently, Dr. Wilson is co-director of the annual Gordon Bible Lands Pilgrimage program which has brought over eight hundred Christian leaders and lay people to the Holy Land.

Professor Wilson has lectured at a variety of institutions, including the following: Atlanta Bible College, Bethel College, Carson Newman College, Christian Theological Seminary, Denver Seminary, East Oklahoma College, Eastern College, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, Harvard Divinity School, New York Jewish Theological Seminary, Oral Roberts University Graduate School of Theology, Skidmore College, Southwest Missouri State University, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School and Wheaton College (Illinois). He has also lectured at conferences in Canada, England, Jamaica, W.I., Israel and Switzerland.

Dr. Wilson currently serves the following organizations:
  • Bible Lands Museum, Jerusalem, Israel; international advisory committee.
  • Bridges for Peace, Jerusalem, Israel; advisory board.
  • Center for Judaic-Christian Studies, Dayton, Ohio; advisory board.
  • Holocaust Center, North Shore Jewish Federation, Marblehead, Massachusetts; education committee.
  • Jerusalem School of Synoptic Research, Jerusalem, Israel; board of contributing scholars.
  • Lexington Christian Academy, Lexington, Massachusetts; senior advisory council.
  • National Christian Leadership Conference for Israel, New York, NY; national advisory council.
  • Rabbi Marc H. Tanenbaum Foundation, Inc., advisory board and honors committee.
  • United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Washington, D.C., church relations committee.