Safwat Marzouk

  • Assistant Professor of Old Testament


  • Ph.D., Princeton Theological Seminary, 2012
  • S.T.M., Union Theological Seminary in New York City, 2002
  • M.A.T.S., Evangelical Theological Seminary in Cairo, 2001
  • B.Th., Evangelical Theological Seminary in Cairo, 1999


  • Book Review of Images of Egypt in Early Biblical Literature by Stephen Russell in Journal of Hebrew Scripture (2011)
  • “A Postcolonial Reading of the Hagar-Ishmael Narratives in Genesis” at the American Academy of Religion, Fall 2011
  • Book review of Ezekiel by Steven Tuell in Biblical Theology Bulletin (2010)
  • Entries in Encyclopedia of the Bible and its Reception, Vol. I, (2009)
  • Entries in New Interpreter’s Bible Dictionary, Vol. III (2008)
  • “The Monstrification of Egypt in Ezekiel: Why is Egypt a monster in Ezekiel?” and “Putting the Monster, Egypt, under check: Geo-political minimization of Egypt and Pharaoh’s descent into Sheol” at Society of Biblical Literature annual meeting, Fall 2010
  • “Not a lion, but a dragon: Funeral dirge and combat myth in Ezekiel 32:1-16” at Mid-Atlantic Regional Society of Biblical Literature meeting, Spring 2007


How God relates to non-Israelites in the Hebrew Bible; combatting myth and monsters in the Bible and the ancient Near East; identity and otherness in the Hebrew Bible; Middle Eastern Christian hermeneutics; and immigration and the Bible


Safwat Marzouk grew up where the interfaith dialogue among Christians, Jews, and Muslims influences daily life. As a Christian in Egypt, Safwat focused on study of the Old Testament to better understand God’s vision of shalom. His studies at Princeton concluded with his dissertation, “‘Not a Lion, but a Dragon,’ The Monstrification of Egypt in the Book of Ezekiel.” Safwat is an ordained member of The Synod of the Nile, a counterpart to the Presbyterian Church, and he was a pastor in Egypt and also while completing doctoral studies. In addition, he has been an adjunct professor Saint Joseph’s University, Philadelphia, Pa., and teaching fellow at Princeton. His love of teaching, pastoral heart, and scholarly curiosity foster classroom discussions that bring compelling insights to ancient texts.

Teaching philosophy

"Although the story of the Old Testament centers on God’s relation with the people of Israel, the story also involves Israel’s neighboring nations. The way God deals with these nations and the way Israel relates to them is more diverse than what is usually assumed. Through studying the biblical witness to the complex relation of inclusion and exclusion, mercy and judgment, conflict and reconciliation; understanding the historical and cultural circumstances; and analyzing how these traditions have influenced our theology, the church will better understand its identity, ministry, mission, and relation with those who are seen as outsiders."

What students can expect in my courses

  • I emphasize student-focused and active learning. I also paradoxically create a safe space for the students to be themselves, while at the same time creating an uncomfortable space for the students to be challenged.

Community and professional engagements