5.111: Who Are the ‘Marginal’ and the ‘Outcast’ (Given How Popular these Terms Are in Sermons)?

Co-hosts Katie & Kathryn speak with Amy-Jill Levine, asking, "Who Are the ‘Marginal’ and the ‘Outcast’ (Given How Popular these Terms Are in Sermons)?"


Welcome back to season five of Enter the Bible, a podcast in which we share “Everything You Wanted to Know about the Bible…but were afraid to ask.”

In episode 12 of season 5, our hosts are joined by Amy-Jill Levine (“AJ”) who is the Rabbi Stanley M. Kessler Distinguished Professor of New Testament and Jewish Studies at Hartford International University for Religion and Peace; and University Professor of New Testament and Jewish Studies, Mary Jane Werthan Professor of Jewish Studies, and Professor of New Testament Studies, Emerita, at Vanderbilt.

Today our theologians will be answering the listener-submitted question, “Who Are the ‘Marginal’ and the ‘Outcast’ (Given How Popular these Terms Are in Sermons)?”

Show notes

Biblical books and passages mentioned

  • Exodus
  • Deuteronomy
  • First Peter

Topics, themes and figures mentioned

  • The Marginalized and Outcast
  • Jews/Judaism/Jewish
  • Deutero-Canonical Books
  • The Gospels
  • Sodom and Gomorrah
  • Bethsaida
  • Pharisees and Sadducees
  • Qumran Community
  • Gentile-Christians

Full Transcript

Today's Episode Hosted By

Joined by


Picture of Amy-Jill Levine

Amy-Jill Levine

Amy Jill Levine (“AJ”) is Rabbi Stanley M. Kessler Distinguished Professor of New Testament and Jewish Studies at Hartford International University for Religion and Peace and University Professor of New Testament and Jewish Studies Emerita and Mary Jane Werthan Professor of Jewish Studies Emerita, at Vanderbilt.

Holding a B.A. from Smith College, M.A. and Ph.D. from Duke University, and honorary doctorates from the University of Richmond, the Episcopal Theological Seminary of the Southwest, the University of South Carolina-Upstate, Drury University, Christian Theological Seminary, and Franklin College, Professor Levine has been awarded grants from the Mellon Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the American Council of Learned Societies. She has held office in the Society of Biblical Literature, the Catholic Biblical Association, and the Association for Jewish Studies. She served as Alexander Robertson Fellow (University of Glasgow), and the Catholic Biblical Association Scholar to the Philippines. She has given over 1000 lectures on the Bible, Christian-Jewish relations, and Religion, Gender, and Sexuality across the globe.

Her publications include The Misunderstood Jew: The Church and the Scandal of the Jewish Jesus, Short Stories by Jesus: The Enigmatic Parables of a Controversial Rabbi; six children’s books (with Sandy Sasso); The Gospel of Luke (with Ben Witherington III, the first biblical commentary by a Jew and an Evangelical); The Jewish Annotated New Testament (co-edited with Marc Brettler), The Bible With and Without Jesus: How Jews and Christians Read the Same Stories Differently (with Marc Brettler), The Pharisees (co-edited with Joseph Sievers), and thirteen edited volumes of the Feminist Companions to the New Testament and Early Christian Literature. Along with Introduction to the Old Testament for the Teaching Company, her Beginner’s Guide series for Abingdon Press includes Sermon on the Mount, Light of the World, Entering the Passion of Jesus, The Difficult Words of Jesus, Witness at the Cross, and Signs and Wonders.

The first Jew to teach New Testament at Rome’s Pontifical Biblical Institute, an elected member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the first winner of the Seelisberg Prize for Jewish-Christian Relations, AJ describes herself as an unorthodox member of an Orthodox synagogue and a Yankee Jewish feminist who works to counter biblical interpretations that exclude and oppress.

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Hosted By:

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Kathryn M. Schifferdecker

Kathryn M Schifferdecker came to Luther Seminary as an assistant professor of Old Testament in 2006. Ordained in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America in 2001, Schifferdecker was associate pastor for five years at Trinity Lutheran Church, Arkdale, Wisc., before coming to Luther. Schifferdecker is a frequent contributor to workingpreacher.org, Word & World and the author of Out of the Whirlwind: Creation Theology in the Book of Job (Harvard University Press, 2008). She is currently writing a commentary on the book of Esther.

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Katie Langston

Katie Langston is a doubter by nature and a believer by grace. She grew up Mormon in a small Utah town and still isn't sure she fits in anywhere sophisticated enough to have a Target. She's the author of Sealed: An Unexpected Journey into the Heart of Grace, an acclaimed spiritual memoir about her conversion to orthodox Christianity. Katie works as the director of digital strategy for Luther Seminary's innovation team, where she oversees digital projects aimed at cultivating vibrant Christian spirituality in a post-modern, post-Christian cultural context.

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