Kuzhuvelil V. Mathew
Born (1931-11-02) 2 November 1931 (age 92)
ChurchMalankara Mar Thoma Syrian Church
WritingsSee Contents - 3.Writings
Offices held
TitleReverend Doctor

Kuzhuvelil Varkey Mathew (born 2 November 1931) is an Indian biblical scholar and a member[2] of the Society for Biblical Studies in India.


Kuzhuvelil Varkey Mathew was born in Keezhuvaipur in Kerala to Rachel and K. T. Varkey. Mathew studied at the local CMS High School in Mallapally in Pathanamthitta District and later underwent pre-university studies at the CMS College in Kottayam.

After Mathew expressed his interest in pursuing studies in divinity, the Malankara Mar Thoma Syrian Church then headed by Juhanon Mar Thoma (Mar Thoma XVIII) sent him to Serampore College, Serampore where he pursued graduate studies in theology from 1951 to 1954.[3]

The Malankara Mar Thoma Syrian Church ordained Mathew as a clergyman in 1955 and he became a vicar in Mylom.

After a year, Mathew returned to Serampore College from 1956 to 1957. He then studied at the United Theological College,[4] Bengaluru in the ensuing academic year to pursue post-graduate studies in Biblical Studies leading to his M. Th. in Old Testament Studies. In doing this, he became the first Indian to pursue a post-graduate course in Old Testament studies at the Senate of Serampore College (University)[5] Mathew studied Old Testament under Professor Norman Henry Snaith, then a visiting professor at the seminary.[4]


From 1958 to 1960 Mathew was Vicar of the Mar Thoma Parish in Calcutta.[6]

Mathew began teaching Old Testament studies at Serampore College, a constituent College of the Senate of Serampore College (University),[7] Serampore from 1960[8] until 1971 when his parent Church, the Malankara Mar Thoma Syrian Church recalled[8] him to Kottayam for the purpose of teaching Old Testament studies in the Mar Thoma Theological Seminary. Mathew's teaching colleagues included Y. D. Tiwari. His students included Paulose Mar Paulose, D. S. Satyaranjan, S. Jeyapaul David, James Massey and G. Babu Rao, who returned to Serampore to teach Old Testament from 1974.

In 1981, Mathew was made Principal of the Mar Thoma Theological Seminary and continued in that position till 1986.

Mathew was also on the panel of Professors under the Federated Faculty for Research in Religion and Culture[9] (FFRRC), Kerala and served as a guide to post-graduate and doctoral students. In 2000, he was invited by the Mar Thoma Syrian Church of Malabar (Delhi Diocese) to serve as the Principal[10] of Dharma Jyoti Vidyapeeth {affiliated to the Senate of Serampore College (University)}, Faridabad. Mathew ran the institution until 2002.

After two decades of teaching in the Seminary in Kottayam, Mathew was made the Secretary[9] of the Malankara Mar Thoma Syrian Church in 1987 continuing till 1990 under Metropolitan Alexander Mar Thoma (Mar Thoma XIX).

The Society for Biblical Studies in India was constituted by Biblical Scholars to foster Biblical scholarship in relation to the Indian context. Mathew was twice elected as its president in 1983 and 1994.[11]


Mathew also edited the One-Volume Bible Commentary in Malayalam. He worked with Chief Editor E. C. John.[9]

Higher studies

Mathew travelled to the University of Edinburgh,[24] in Scotland in the academic year 1962 to 1963.[8] He enrolled to pursue doctoral studies in the field of Old Testament studies under Professors G. W. Anderson,[25] N. W. Porteous[26] and R. E. Clements,.[27] In 1964 and 1968, Mathew returned to Serampore to take up his teaching again.

He left the college again in 1968 to spend a year at the University of Hamburg, Germany under Klaus Koch. In the final phase of his doctoral research, he spent the final academic year (1969-1970) at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland and submitted a thesis on the topic God and Nature in the Book of Psalms.[24] In doing so he became the first Indian to be awarded a doctorate by the Faculty of Theology of the University of Edinburgh, Scotland.

Visiting scholar

After leaving the Seminary in Kottayam in 1994, Mathew spent three years as a Vicar of the Parish in Ranni.

In 1997, he was Visiting Professor[20] at the Aizawl Theological College, Aizawl.

In 1999 and 2008, he was a guest professor at his alma mater in Serampore.

From 2000 to 2002 he took up the principalship[10] of Dharma Jyoti Vidyapeeth in Faridabad.

See also


  1. ^ Clergy Address, Malankara Mar Thoma Syrian Church
  2. ^ Fr. Max Gonsalves (Ed.), Society for Biblical Studies in India Directory 1998. Entry 131, page 30.
  3. ^ S. J. Samartha, M. P. John (Compiled), Directory of students 1910-1967, Serampore College (Theology Department), Serampore, 1967, p.16.
  4. ^ a b K. M. Hiwale (Compiled), The United Theological College, Directory 1910-1997, Bengaluru, 1997. p.7 and p.103.[1]
  5. ^ Under Section 2 (f) of the UGC Act, 1956, 'University' means a University established or incorporated by or under a Central Act, a Provincial Act or a State Act, and includes any such institution as may, in consultation with the University concerned, be recoginsed by the Commission in accordance with the regulations made in this behalf under this Act. The UGC took the opinion that the Senate fell under the purview of Section 2 (f) of the said Act since The Serampore College Act, 1918 was passed by the Government of West Bengal."UGC and Senate of Serampore College (University)". Archived from the original on 26 September 2008. Retrieved 15 November 2015.
  6. ^ P. Thankappan Nair, South Indians in Kolkata: History of Kannadigas, Konkanis, Malayalees, Tamilians, Telugus, South Indian dishes, and Tippoo Sultan's heirs in Calcutta, Published by Punthi Pustak, Kolkata, 2004.[2]
  7. ^ V. C. Samuel (Edited), The Indian journal of theology, Volume 13, 1964. [3]
  8. ^ a b c The Council of Serampore College, The Story of Serampore and its College, Fourth Edition 2005, Serampore.
  9. ^ a b c d P. Jegadish Gandhi, K. C. John, Upon the winds of wider ecumenism: essays and tributes in honour of Rev. Dr. M. J. Joseph, Indian Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, New Delhi, 2006. p.349. [4].
  10. ^ a b National Council of Churches Review, Volume 120, Published by National Christian Council of India, 2000. p. 950. [5]
  11. ^ Cf. Wikipedia article on Society for Biblical Studies in India
  12. ^ K. V. Mathew, Religions of the Fertile Crescent and the Sanatana Dharma, Indian Journal of Theology, Volume 104, 1959.[6]
  13. ^ K. V. Mathew in K. M. Tharakan (Edited) Triune God: Love, Justice, Peace, Published by Youth Movement of Indian Orthodox Church, Mavelikkara, 1989. p. 72. Cited by Joseph Oomen in The Concept of Trinity and Its Implication for Christian Communication in Indian Context. [7]
  14. ^ Ronald E. Manahan, A Re-examination of the Cultural Mandate: An analysis and Evaluation of the Dominion Materials, An unpublished thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of requirements for the degree of Doctor of Theology in Grace Theological Seminary, May 1982, Winona Lake, Indiana. [8]
  15. ^ K. V. Mathew, The Hermeneutical Struggle in India, The NCCI Review, Volume 101, Nagpur, 1981.[9]
  16. ^ K. V. Mathew, Indigenisation: An Old Testament Perspective in papers submitted to the XIIth Conference of the Society for Biblical Studies on the theme "Diakonia and Leadership Patterns", held at De Nobili College, Pune from 29 December 1982 to 1 January 1983. [10]
  17. ^ K. V. Mathew, The faith and practice of the Mar Thoma Church: (prepared for the Triple Jubilee Celebration of Reformation in the Malankara Church), Published by Mar Thoma Theological Seminary, 1985, Kottayam. [11]
  18. ^ K. V. Mathew, Walking humbly with God : A Biography of the Rev. C. E. Abraham, Kottayam, 1986. Cited by Brian Stanley in The history of the Baptist Missionary Society, 1792-1992, T&T Clark, 1992.[12]
  19. ^ K. V. Mathew in Bible Bhashyam, 1993, pp.159–68. Cited by David M. Howard, Jr. in Recent Trends in Psalms Study, 1999. [13]
  20. ^ a b c K. V. Mathew, Crisis and Hope in Israel's Exile, A paper presented at the XVIIth Conference of the SBSI held in Union Biblical Seminary, Pune, 1998. Cited in Indian Theological Studies, Volume 35, 1998. [14]
  21. ^ K. V. Mathew, Dr. M. M. Thomas - A Grateful Memory, NCCI Review, Volume 117, Nagpur, 1997. [15]
  22. ^ K. V. Mathew, Last Supper - A Kingdom Perspective, National Council of Churches review, Volume 118, Published by the NCCI, Nagpur, 1998. [16]
  23. ^ P. Jegadish Gandhi, K. C. John, Upon the winds of wider ecumenism: essays and tributes in honour of Rev. Dr. M. J. Joseph, Indian Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, New Delhi, 2006. [17].
  24. ^ a b Katharine Smith Diehl, Early Indian imprints, Published by Scarecrow Press, 1964.[18]
  25. ^ G. W. Anderson (Edited), Tradition and Interpretation - Essays by Members of the Society for Old Testament Study, Oxford, December 1979. [19]
  26. ^ N. W. Porteous, Living Issues in Biblical Scholarship - Prophet and Priest in Israel, The Expository Times, Vol. 62, No. 1, 4-9 (1950).[20]
  27. ^ Edward Ball (Edited), In search of true wisdom: Essays in Old Testament interpretation in honour of Ronald E. Clements ( Volume 300 of Journal for the study of the Old Testament), Published by Continuum International Publishing Group, 1999. [21]
Further reading