Fortress Press

True to Our Native Land, Second Edition: An African American New Testament Commentary

True to Our Native Land, Second Edition

An African American New Testament Commentary

Brian K. Blount (Editor), Gay L. Byron (Editor), Emerson B. Powery (Editor)


Available October 22, 2024

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True to Our Native Land is a pioneering commentary on the New Testament that sets biblical interpretation firmly in the context of African American experience and concern.

In this second edition, the scholarship is cutting-edge, updated, and expanded to be in tune with African American culture, education, and churches. The book calls into question many canons of traditional biblical research and highlights the role of the Bible in African American history, accenting themes of ethnicity, class, slavery, and African heritage as these play a role in Christian Scripture and the Christian odyssey of an emancipated people.

  • Publisher Fortress Press
  • Format Hardcover
  • ISBN 9781506483009
  • eBook ISBN 9781506483016
  • Dimensions 7.25 x 9.5
  • Pages 600
  • Publication Date October 22, 2024


This new edition is a fine biblical resource that reflects the social and cultural shifts we have undergone since the first edition as well as the world in which we now read and hear the New Testament. With their distinctive, powerful scholarship and insights, the authors--old and new--bring this second edition into our present and maintain rigorous and powerful Black biblical hermeneutics. This will continue to be a resource we can turn to time and again.

Emilie M. Townes, E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter University Distinguished Professor of Womanist Ethics and Society and Gender and Sexuality Studies, Vanderbilt University Divinity School

The Black community's relationship with the Bible is complex. Historically, paradigms of interpretive practice have moved on a continuum of radical biblical criticism and textual inerrancy on one end and strategies for reading against problematic passages with suspicion and criticism on the other. The contributors to this second edition of True to Our Native Land collectively and compellingly profess that the Bible has an Africana story and that this truth-bearing communal declaration cannot be ignored. For inquisitive readers who are burdened by the call to speak truthfully in unsettling times on a planet we all hope will survive us, something of searching significance is captured in each commentary essay in this work. Here is an excellent biblical resource that bestows upon its readers, irrespective of their cultural creed or tribal commitment, the invaluable gift of encountering the Bible's timeless and timely witness anew with both head and heart.

Kenyatta R. Gilbert, dean and professor of homiletics, Howard University School of Divinity

Given the many and profound changes in the social and cultural context of the country since the first edition of 2007, changes that have affected African Americans in direct and detrimental fashion, a second edition of this commentary is eminently in order. I find the updated edition to be duly encompassing and keenly incisive regarding the times. It is to be highly welcomed.

Prof. Dr. Fernando F. Segovia, Oberlin Graduate Professor of New Testament andEarly Christianity, Vanderbilt University Divinity School

A timely update to a classic and groundbreaking text in the field of biblical studies!

Wongi Park, assistant professor of religion, Belmont University

True to Our Native Land is a must-read book for every student of the New Testament. All chapters in this remarkable book center African American experiences in the process of interpretation. It is an exceptionally comprehensive project that covers not only a wide range of topics related to African American biblical interpretation in the first part but also every book of the New Testament in the second part. This book is one of the most important contributions to New Testament scholarship today.

Ekaputra Tupamahu, assistant professor of New Testament, Portland Seminary, and author of Contesting Languages: Heteroglossia and the Politics of Language in the Early Church