William MacDonald (theologian)

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William MacDonald (born January 7, 1917 in Leominster (Massachusetts) , † December 25, 2007 ) was President of Emmaus Bible College and author of 84 books. He belonged to the Brethren Movement .


William MacDonald grew up in Scotland under the strict upbringing of his parents. As a five-year-old he developed diphtheria and narrowly escaped death. He had a conversion experience at the age of 18 after reading the biography of Charles T. Studd .

As a young man, MacDonald studied economics at Harvard University during the general economic crisis in the United States . He then worked as an investment analyst for the First National Bank of Boston .

In September 1947 he went to Chicago to accept a teaching post at Emmaus Bible College. In 1959 he became the second president of the Bible School. Together with Jean Gibson he developed a discipleship program ( DITP - Discipleship Intern Training Program ) in San Leandro , in which young men are taught and guided in theory and practice for nine months in the context of the local community.

MacDonald had a good relationship with George Verwer , the founder of Operation Mobilization , whom he met as a young man.

For 60 years MacDonald worked as a teacher, preacher and author of a total of 84 books.

He was never married.


MacDonald's books are mainly translated and published in German by CLV .

His book True Discipleship has been translated into over 50 languages ​​and has been printed over a million times to date. His Commentary on the New Testament was published in 1989 and has so far been translated into 35 languages, the Commentary on the Old Testament in 25 languages.

Fonts (selection)

  • True discipleship . CLV, Bielefeld 2003. ISBN 978-3-89397-499-3 . Original title: True Discipleship and Where is your Treasure? (1962)
  • Take my life . CLV, Bielefeld 2014. ISBN 978-3-86699-158-3 . Original title: My Heart, My Life, My All (1997)
  • Commentary on the New Testament . CLV, Bielefeld 1992. ISBN 978-3-89397-378-1 Original title: BBC - Believer's Bible Commentary. New Testament (1989)
  • Asking, researching, finding. Effective Bible study. CLV, Bielefeld 2002, ISBN 3-89397-482-2

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Emmaus Bible College - Our History
  2. How the Lord led me , CLV, Bielefeld 2018, ISBN 978-3-86699-370-9