Richard B Hays – “Reading Backwards” (Book) Coming Nov 2014 (Gupta)

Reading BackwardsIf you are like me, Richard Hays (Duke) transformed your understanding of Paul’s theological imagination with his Echoes of Scripture in the Letters of Paul. Well, I am excited at the prospect of his work doing this again in regards to the evangelists with the soon-coming release of his latest work, Reading Backwards: Figural Christology and the Fourfold Gospel Witness (Baylor Univ Press, 2014). This is a rather short work (less than 200 pp.), so I suspect there is a bigger one coming. Nevertheless, this is #1 on my SBL book-buying list right now!

Sidenote: There are many scholars who are knowledgable and offer great content. But there are few who can actually write well. Hays is one of the few and he also happens to be a very good person!

If you are still not convinced to buy this book, check out this holy trinity of endorsements (I think they only left out Bono, Stephen Colbert, Desmond Tutu, and the Pope as celebrity endorsers)

“Twenty-five years ago Richard Hays launched a quiet but highly effective revolution on how Paul read Israel’s scripture. Now he turns his attention to the four gospels, and we may confidently predict similar results. With his characteristic blend of biblical and literary scholarship, Hays opens new and striking vistas on texts we thought we knew—and, particularly, on the early church’s remarkable belief in Jesus as the embodiment of Israel’s God.”

—N.T. Wright, Professor of New Testament and Early Christianity, University of St Andrews

“Few people are better qualified than Hays to take us right inside the ways the Gospels interpret the Old Testament. And, as though that were not enough for one short book, his hermeneutical quest also delivers a christological result. He shows how, precisely in their reading of the Old Testament, each of the Gospels in its own distinctive way presents Jesus as the very embodiment of the God of Israel. Intertextuality and high christology turn out to be two sides of a coin.”

—Richard Bauckham, Emeritus Professor, University of St Andrews

“Hays’ thesis is as simple as it is ground-shifting: that the Gospel writers’ portraits of Jesus depend on their hermeneutical appropriation of Israel’s Scripture. And his approach is disarmingly straightforward: a sympathetic reading of the Gospels calibrated to hear both explicit and implicit scriptural resonances. With transparent exegesis and lucid prose, Hays persuasively challenges some of the basic assumptions and arguments in modern biblical studies.”

—Joel B. Green, Dean of the School of Theology and Professor of New Testament Interpretation, Fuller Theological Seminary

UPDATE: Marianne brought to my attention the SBL review panel for this book

S24-146


Scripture in Early Judaism and Christianity
11/24/2014
9:00 AM to 11:30 AM
Room: Room 8 (Upper level) – San Diego Convention Center (CC)

Theme: Review Panel: Richard Hays, Reading Backwards: Figural Christology and the Fourfold Gospel Witness (Baylor Press, 2014)

Beverly Gaventa, Baylor University, Presiding
Francis Watson, University of Durham, Panelist (25 min)
Markus Bockmuehl, University of Oxford, Panelist (25 min)
Marianne Meye Thompson, Fuller Theological Seminary (Pasadena), Panelist (25 min)
Break (5 min)
Richard B. Hays, Duke University, Respondent (30 min)
Discussion (40 min)

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