Yung suk kim

Yung Suk Kim is a Korean-American biblical scholar and author. Kim is Associate Professor of New Testament and Early Christianity at the Samuel DeWitt Proctor School of Theology, Virginia Union University in Richmond since 2005. He studied in Korean and American schools. Kim holds the following degrees: a PhD degree in the area of New Testament Studies from Vanderbilt University (2005), an M.Div from McCormick Theological Seminary (1999), and a B.A from Kyungpook National University (1985). Kim is editor of a new online peer-reviewed journal, Journal of Bible and Human Transformation in which intersections of the Bible and human transformation are explored.[1]


Kim was born and raised in Korea. In his first career, Kim worked as a businessman in Seoul, Panama (Rep. of Panama), and Miami (USA). Kim left his job and studied theology because he felt that he could contribute to the life of the world differently, as Kim says in his web page: "Traveling many Latin American countries during my business career, I learned a great deal about cultural diversity and the need of human solidarity. With a new vocation of theological education, I now ask: What does it mean to live in this world in relation to each other (i.e., meaning of the Other -- which resonates Emmanuel Levinas' "the face of the other," Paul Ricoeur's inter-subjective narrative identity, or Jacques Derrida's "relationless relation"), and How can we do theology in our thoughts and deeds, while moving pointedly away from individualism? How can we read biblical stories with each other when we differ?" [2]

Biblical Interpretation

Kim reads the Bible as a document of faith that illuminates aspects of transformation for people and the world. The way he reads the Bible is called "critical contextual interpretation" in which history, literature, and transformation are explored seamlessly. With this kind of emphasis on human transformation, Kim interprets spirituality quite differently, as he says: "True spirituality begins when we feel the same fate with others and act out by giving what we have. God wants a fair balance between the rich and the poor. God wants the light and life for all because God is the God of all. That is how I read the Bible." [3] His published books show this trend of interpretation focused on human transformation: Christ's Body in Corinth (2008), A Theological Introduction to Paul's Letters (2011), and Biblical Interpretation: Theory, Process, and Criteria (2012). In addition, Journal of Bible and Human Transformation, envisioned and edited by Kim, is a concrete expression of a new direction of biblical studies.

Selected works

  • A Theological Introduction to Paul's Letters: Exploring a Threefold Theology of Paul. Eugene, Oregon: Cascade Books, 2011.
  • Christ’s Body in Corinth: The Politics of a Metaphor (Paul in Critical Contexts), MN: Fortress, 2008.
  • Lex Talionis in Exodus 21:22-25: Its Origin and Context (Journal of Hebrew Scriptures).[4]
  • Biblical Interpretation: Theory, Process, and Criteria. Eugene, Oregon: Pickwick Pub., 2013.
  • A Transformative Reading of the Bible: Explorations of Holistic Human Transformation. Eugene, Oregon: Cascade Books, 2013.
  • Truth, Testimony, and Transformation: A New Reading of the "I Am" Sayings of Jesus in the Fourth Gospel. Eugene, Oregon: Cascade Books, 2013.
  • A New Translation of the Tao Te Ching. CreateSpace (independent publishing), 2012.

Edited books

  • Reading Ahn Byung-Mu's Minjung Theology in the Twenty-first Century" (Eugene, OR: Pickwick Publications, 2013)
  • 1 and 2 Corinthians (Texts @ Contexts series, Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 2013)


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