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New Book: An Asian Introduction to the New Testament

Edited by Johnson Thomaskutty, PhD.

Now available for pre-order

An Asian Introduction to the New Testament is the first book of its kind with a focus on the NT writings in relation to the wider Asian realities. The Asian realities such as the multi-religious, multi-ethnic, multi-cultural, and pluralistic phenomena set some of the common aspects of the Asian societies. As the Jesus Movement was emerged out of the contextual realities of his time and the growth of Christianity was spearheaded in Jewish and Asian contexts, understanding the NT writings from the Asian context might provide a unique perspective in the interpretation of the Christian Scriptures.

Contemporary issues such as poverty, casteism, class structure, honour and shame aspects, colonial realities, discrimination against women, and others cannot be neglected when an interpreter engages in NT exegesis and its hermeneutical application. Perceiving the NT from the above mentioned contextual perspective, both from the “there and then” and “here and now” aspects, enable the reader to throw light on those issues and relate the Jesus Movement with the contemporary situations. The beginnings of the Jesus Movement in the Asian context, the spread of the mission through the initiatives of Paul and other apostles across the globe, and the later canonization of the Christian scriptures can be understood as progressive movements only if it is accepted that the kernels of Christianity sprouted out of the Asian contextual realities. 

As Asian realities are family-centered and community-oriented, an emphasis on the integral relationship within the family, clan, and tribe can be explored within the framework of the NT thought-world. The household codes of the biblical narratives demand significant treatment in that regard. Frederick C. Tiffany and Sharon H. Ringe state that, “The journey of biblical interpretation begins at home, with attention to the immediate contemporary environment in which the biblical text is encountered.” As Asian realities are community-oriented, individuals are well connected to other social institutions and systems. This aspect of the Asian reality can be connected to the NT worldview through the oral and written reflections of Jesus, Paul, and other apostles. Thus, it is possible to build bridges between the historical situations of the authors and the contemporary realities of the Asian readers.

As Asia is the cradle of some of the major religions of the world, such as Judaism, Hinduism, Zoroastrianism, Buddhism, Jainism, Islam, Sikhism, Shintoism, Taoism, Confucianism, Shamanism, and others, the NT writings should be interpreted in the light of the pluriform religious and ideological aspects. Moreover, the existence of multiple Christian denominations demands a doctrinally and conceptually balanced interpretation of the scriptures. In that sense, the present book shall demonstrate inclusive biblical claims within the multi-religious and multi-denominational contexts. With the understanding of these diversities, the authors of the essays guide their readers toward the core biblical axioms, belief aspects, anthropo-centric and cosmic realities for a new way forward.

Endorsements

We all read from a location. The contributors to this important volume demonstrate the significance of Asian approaches to interpreting the New Testament, and not only for Asian Christians. Of special consequence are the affinities between Asian values, life experiences, and texts and New Testament realities: honor and shame, family and community, persecution and perseverance, colonialism and resistance, poverty and pain. I highly recommend this unique, eye-opening, and helpful guide to the New Testament.

Michael J. Gorman, Raymond E. Brown Professor of Biblical Studies and Theology, St. Mary’s Seminary and University, Baltimore, Maryland, USA

An Asian Introduction to the New Testament breaks new ground and creates a much needed and long-awaited space for Asian voices in the study of the New Testament. This book captures the realities of a multi-religious, multi-ethnic, multi-cultural, and the pluralistic contexts of Asia. It is an essential resource for those of us teaching New Testament texts, as it locates the growth of Christianity in both Jewish and Asian contexts and brings forth a unique perspective that is critical to the study of New Testament.

Sharon Jacob, Assistant Professor of New Testament, Pacific School of Religion, Berkeley, California, USA

This ambitious volume featuring diverse Asian and Asian-American voices breaks new ground and makes a significant contribution to the field of biblical studies. By placing New Testament texts and figures in conversation with disparate Asian religious traditions, contributors offer fresh and powerful insights that have deep implications for Asian realities. The volume will stimulate lively conversations about the New Testament and prove to be a valuable resource for students and scholars alike within and outside Asia.

Raj Nadella, Samuel A. Cartledge Associate Professor of New Testament, Columbia Theological Seminary, Georgia, USA

Contents

  • Contributors
  • Preface, Nijay K. Gupta
  • Foreword, R. S. Sugirtharajah
  • Acknowledgements
  • Introduction, Johnson Thomaskutty
  1. The New Testament and the Socio-cultural and Religious Realities of the Asian Contexts – Kar Yong Lim
  2. An Introduction to Asian Biblical Hermeneutics – Yung Suk Kim
  3. The Gospel of Matthew – Jae Hyung Cho
  4. The Gospel of Mark – Edwin Jebaraj and Johnson Thomaskutty
  5. The Gospel of Luke – Ekaputra Tupamahu
  6. The Gospel of John – – Johnson Thomaskutty
  7. The Book of Acts – Esa Autero
  8. The Letter to the Romans – Arren Bennet Lawrence
  9. The Letters to the Corinthians – Rolex Cailing
  10. The Letter to the Galatians – Roji T. George
  11. The Letter to the Ephesians – Jayachitra Lalitha
  12. The Letter to the Philippians – Naw Eh Tar Gay
  13. The Letter to the Colossians – Finny Philip
  14. The Letters to the Thessalonians – Andrew B. Spurgeon
  15. The Letters to Timothy – Asish Thomas Koshy
  16. The Letter to Titus – Xiaoli Yang
  17. The Letter to Philemon – Thawng Ceu Hnin
  18. The Letter to the Hebrews – Gilbert Soo Hoo
  19. The Letter of James – Daniel K. Eng
  20. The Letters of Peter – Layang Seng Ja
  21. The Letters of John – Sookgoo Shin
  22. The Letter of Jude – Stanly Jones
  23. The Book of Revelation – Biju Chacko
  • Index of Ancient Sources
  • Index of Authors

Book Details

Publisher: Fortress Press
Format: Hardcover
ISBN: 9781506462691
Dimensions: 7.75 x 9.5
Pages: 480
Publication Date: November 2, 2021

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