New historicism has been a highly controversial and influential movement in university literature departments for decades. Biblical studies now wrestles with this force and evaluates its potential as a framework for interpretation. With lucid and jargon-free description, this study sets forth new historicism for the nonspecialist. Defining new historicism as a mindset rather than a method, it traces the development, discusses recurring features, and offers illustrations of this new literary approach. In this approach, biblical texts are plunged back into the swirling currents of historical context to disclose their presupposed plural, contradictory, fragmentary, and heterogeneous character. This includes the histories associated, represented, and embedded in those texts. In the process, the carefully guarded distinctions between text and context, history and literature, past and present, fade.