The following review first appeared in Reviews in Religion and Theology 6 (1999), pp. 89-90. It is reproduced here with permission.
Kyoung-Jin Kim, Stewardship and Almsgiving in Luke's Theology (JSNTSup, 155; Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 1998) ISBN 1850758344 Cloth, £50.00 pp. 318
Kyoung-Jin Kim's book is a slightly revised version of a 1993 Glasgow PhD thesis. Its central claim is that scholars of Luke-Acts have not paid adequate attention to the theme of "stewardship", a theme that forms the basis for Luke's teaching on almsgiving. Kim's conclusion is that "Luke's concept of almsgiving based on stewardship was unique and radical" and that he was urging "the rich Christians in his community to remember their identity as stewards, and to distribute their wealth to the poor, giving up the ownership of all they possessed" (p. 287).
Kim's method is primarily redaction-critical, and he begins by comparing Mark's view of discipleship (Chapter 2) with Luke's (Chapter 3). After an engaging discussion of "the master-slave motif in Luke's Gospel" (Chapter 4), Kim progresses logically from stewardship (Chapter 5) to stewardship of wealth (Chapter 6), to almsgiving in Acts (Chapter 7). The discussion is framed by the statutory analysis of previous scholarship (Chapter 1) and an attempt to place the almsgiving theme in its Graeco-Roman context (Chapter 8).
Although the study occasionally nods in the direction of narrative-criticism, more literary-critical engagement might have leavened the redaction-critical lump and perhaps eased the strong emphasis on the "Lukan community" that is taken for granted throughout. Nevertheless, this study succeeds in convincing the reader that "stewardship" is a helpful category in the study of Luke-Acts. As such, it is a useful addition to the literature.
University of Birmingham