The claim that the events of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection took place "according to the Scriptures" stands at the heart of the New Testament’s message. All four canonical Gospels declare that the Torah and the Prophets and the Psalms mysteriously prefigure Jesus. The author of the Fourth Gospel states this claim succinctly: in his narrative, Jesus declares, "If you believed Moses, you would believe me, for he wrote about me" (John 5:46). Yet modern historical criticism characteristically judges that the New Testament’s christological readings of Israel’s Scripture misrepresent the original sense of the texts; this judgment forces fundamental questions to be asked: Why do the Gospel writers read the Scriptures in such surprising ways? Are their readings intelligible as coherent or persuasive interpretations of the Scriptures? Does Christian faith require the illegitimate theft of someone else’s sacred texts? Echoes of Scripture in the Gospels answers these questions. Richard B. Hays chronicles the dramatically different ways the four Gospel writers interpreted Israel’s Scripture and reveals that their readings were as complementary as they were faithful. In this long-awaited sequel to his Echoes of Scripture in the Letters of Paul, Hays highlights the theological consequences of the Gospel writers’ distinctive hermeneutical approaches and asks what it might mean for contemporary readers to attempt to read Scripture through the eyes of the Evangelists. In particular, Hays carefully describes the Evangelists’ practice of figural reading—an imaginative and retrospective move that creates narrative continuity and wholeness. He shows how each Gospel artfully uses scriptural echoes to re-narrate Israel’s story, to assert that Jesus is the embodiment of Israel’s God, and to prod the church in its vocation to engage the pagan world. Hays shows how the Evangelists summon readers to a conversion of their imagination. The Evangelists’ use of scriptural echo beckons readers to believe the extraordinary: that Jesus was Israel’s Messiah, that Jesus is Israel’s God, and that contemporary believers are still on mission. The Evangelists, according to Hays, are training our scriptural senses, calling readers to be better scriptural people by being better scriptural poets.
PrefaceIntroduction: Figural Interpretation of Israel’s Scripture
The Evangelists as Readers of Israel’s Scripture
Part 1. The Gospel of Mark: Herald of Mystery
1. "Take heed what you hear": Mark as Interpreter of Scripture2. Apocalyptic Judgment and Expectancy: Israel’s Story in Mark’s Narrative3. Jesus as the Crucified Messiah4. Watchful Endurance: The Church’s Suffering in Mark’s Narrative5. "Hidden in order to be revealed": Mark’s Scriptural Hermeneutics
Part 2. The Gospel of Matthew: Torah Transfigured
6. The Law and the Prophets Fulfilled: Matthew as Interpreter of Scripture7. The End of Exile: Israel’s Story in Matthew’s Narrative8. Jesus as Emmanuel9. Making Disciples of All Nations: The Church’s Mission in Matthew’s Narrative10. The Transfiguration of Torah: Matthew’s Scriptural Hermeneutics
Part 3. The Gospel of Luke: The Liberation of Israel
11. Continuing the Scriptural Story: Luke as Interpreter of Scripture12. The Promise of Israel’s Liberation: Israel’s Story in Luke’s Narrative13. Jesus as the Redeemer of Israel14. Light to the Nations: The Church’s Witness in Luke’s Narrative15. Opened Eyes and Minds: Luke’s Scriptural Hermeneutics
Part 4. The Gospel of John: The Temple of His Body
16. "Come and see": John as Interpreter of Scripture17. "Salvation is from the Jews": Israel’s Story in John’s Narrative18. Jesus as the Temple19. The Vine and the Branches: The Church’s Oneness in John’s Narrative20. The Figural Web: John’s Scriptural Hermeneutics
Conclusion: Did Not Our Hearts Burn within Us?
NotesBibliographyIndex of Scripture and Ancient SourcesIndex of Names
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<P>The conclusions [Hays] draws will empower contemporary believers to see the messianic threads of the Bible as an ongoing mission. This is a fine, convincing work of scholarship on a delicate theological topic.</P> - Publishers Weekly
Richard B. Hays, George Washington Ivey Professor of New Testament at Duke Divinity School, is internationally recognized for his work on the letters of Paul and on New Testament ethics. His scholarship has bridged the disciplines of biblical criticism and literary studies, exploring the innovative ways in which early Christian writers interpreted Israel’s Scripture. His works include Echoes of Scripture in the Letters of Paul (Yale University Press, 1989), The Conversion of the Imagination: Paul as Interpreter of Israel’s Scripture (Eerdmans, 2005), and Reading Backwards: Figural Christology and the Fourfold Gospel Witness (Baylor University Press, 2014).