Toward Decentering the New Testament—Smith and Kim

Toward Decentering the New Testament—Smith and Kim January 19, 2021

Smith, Mitzi and Yung Suk Kim, Toward Decentering the New Testament: A Reintroduction (Wipf & Stock, 2018). 364 Pages; List Price, Paperback $44.00 & Hardcover $64.00.


Book Description: Toward Decentering the New Testament is the first introductory text to the New Testament written by an African American woman biblical scholar and an Asian-American male biblical scholar. This text privileges the voices, scholarship, and concerns of minoritized nonwhite peoples and communities. It is written from the perspectives of minoritized voices. The first few chapters cover issues such as biblical interpretation, immigration, Roman slavery, intersectionality, and other topics. Questions raised throughout the text focus readers on relevant contemporary issues and encourage critical reflection and dialogue between student-teachers and teacher-students.


From the Authors: Smith says

Toward Decentering the New Testament is a handy textbook because it offers accessible insights into the historical contexts and narrative content of each NT text without intimating students. The book is under 400 pages. Each book chapter contains an overview and a final summary, as well as a “further reading” section.


What are the distinctive features? Smith says

The distinctive features of the book are (a) the co-authors—an African American woman and an Asian American man—bring their own perspectives to the project; (b) it begins with a chapter about interpretation; (c) the chapters on NT background includes the subjects of immigration, Roman slavery, and water; (d) it privileges the scholarship and concerns of marginalized persons; and (e) each book chapter begins with epigraphs that help center students’ thinking and also includes provocative contemporary questions for student consideration.


Nijay’s Notes:

This is an excellent way to get a fresh perspective on New Testament studies. Well worth reading this together with a more traditional NT introduction.


About the Author(s): Mitzi J. Smith is the J. Davison Philips Professor of New Testament at Columbia Theological Seminary. She is the author of Insights from African American Interpretation; Womanist Sass and Talk Back: Social (In)Justice, Intersectionality and Biblical Interpretation; I Found God in Me: A Biblical Hermeneutics Reader; The Literary Construction of the Other in the Acts of the Apostles; and co-editor of Teaching All Nations: Interrogating the Matthean Great Commission.

Yung Suk Kim is Associate Professor of New Testament and Early Christianity at Samuel DeWitt Proctor School of Theology, Virginia Union University. Kim is the author of eight books, including Christ’s Body in Corinth, Biblical Interpretation, Resurrecting Jesus, and Messiah in Weakness. He edited two volumes: 1–2 Corinthians and Reading Minjung Theology in the Twenty-First Century. Kim is editor of Journal of Race, Ethnicity, and Religion and Journal of Bible and Human Transformation. 



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