Charles Cousar

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Charles B. Cousar was the Samuel A. Cartledge Professor Emeritus of New Testament at Columbia Theological Seminary. He was an influential author, a New Testament scholar, and a minister in the Presbyterian Church USA. He worked extensively with the New Testament to give ministers and others resources from which to preach and to study.


Charles Cousar was born in 1933 in Charlottesville, VA, and went to the McCauley school in Chattanooga, TN. He continued his education at Davidson College where he graduated with a BA in 1955. He proceeded to Columbia Theological Seminary where he earned a BD in 1958. In addition to studying at several other institutions around the world, he went on to earn a PhD from the University of Aberdeen, Scotland in 1960.


After earning his PhD, he returned to Columbia Theological Seminary and served as an Assistant Professor and an Associate Professor until 1966. He then became the Samuel A. Cartledge Professor of New Testament, in which he served until 2003. At the Seminary, he was the Dean of Academic Affairs, twice an Interim Dean of Faculty, and Interim President twice as well. From 1962-1968 he was a visiting professor at Agnes Scott College and in 1969 he at Union Theological Seminary.[1]

He has received the Alumni Distinguished Service Award from Columbia Theological Seminary, the Faculty Research Fellowship from the Association of Theological Schools multiple times, and the McCallie School Alumni Achievement Award.

Since 1960 he was a member of the Society of Biblical Literature.[2]

Major Publications[edit]

Cousar is known for his New Testament research and commentaries. . He also wrote part of the series Texts for Preaching, co-authored with a number of people including Walter Brueggemann. In addition to the several books he wrote, he published a number of scholarly articles and written sections for other larger books. His academic works include:[3]

  • The Letters of Paul: Interpreting Biblical Texts Series. Abingdon Press(Nov 1, 1996)
  • Galatians (Interpretation: A Bible Commentary for Teaching & Preaching). Westminster John Knox Press (January 1, 1986). This is his most widely held work: according to WorldCat, the book is held in 664 libraries [4]
  • An Introduction to the New Testament: Witnesses to God's New Work. Westminster John Knox Press; annotated edition (September 19, 2006)
  • Theology of the Cross: the death of Jesus in the Pauline letters (Overtures to Biblical Theology). Augsburg Fortress Publishing (May 1, 1990)
  • Reading Galatians, Philippians, and 1 Thessalonians: A Literary and Theological Commentary (Reading the New Testament) (Volume 8). Smyth & Helwys Publishing, Incorporated (January 11, 2013).
  • Philippians and Philemon: A Commentary. Westminster John Knox Press(April 2, 2009)
  • Texts for Preaching, Year A: A Lectionary Commentary Based on the NRSV. Westminster John Knox Press (July 7, 1995)
  • Texts for Preaching, Year B: A Lectionary Commentary Based on the NRSV. Westminster John Knox Press (July 7, 1995)
  • Texts for Preaching, Year C: A Lectionary Commentary Based on the NRSV. Westminster John Knox Press (July 7, 1995)


  1. ^ "Cousar Background Information" (PDF). Columbia Theological Seminary. 
  2. ^ "Society of Biblical Literature". Society of Biblical Literature. 
  3. ^ "Cousar Publications". Thoughtful Chrisitan. 
  4. ^ WorldCat author file