Episode: Richard Hays joins us to talk about his recent book Echoes of Scripture in the Gospels. Richard speaks candidly about his recent battle with cancer, revealing how it has shaped his writing and theological outlook. After walking us through several of his own favorite scriptural “echoes,” Richard covers diverse topics, including figuration and early Christology. His reflections on best scriptural reading practices for the church are beautiful and profound. In our follow-up afterwards, Richard remarked this was “the sort of good, stimulating conversation we might have over a couple of beers.” And although we regret to inform our listeners that no beer was consumed in the making of this episode, we assure you that the episode will be enhanced by an IPA. So grab a pint and pull up to table. It’s Richard Hays, along with your hosts Matt Bates and Matt Lynch.
Guest: Richard B. Hays is George Washington Ivey Professor of New Testament at Duke Divinity School. He is a world renowned scholar of the New Testament–widely cited, deeply admired, and greatly beloved for his creative yet faithful engagement with the Bible. Some of his most influential books include The Moral Vision of the New Testament, The Faith of Jesus Christ, and The Conversion of the Imagination. Two previous books deserve special mention: Reading Backwards and Echoes of Scripture in the Letters of Paul, as these two books are closely related to the book under discussion.
Book: Richard B. Hays, Echoes of Scripture in the Gospels (Baylor University Press, 2016). 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. 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.
The OnScript Quip (our review): With ear bent to attend to the subtle voice of Scripture, Richard Hays is able to isolate, mix, and amplify so that our own listening is enhanced. This is not just scholarship, it is a beautiful concert. Echoes of Scripture in the Gospels will reverberate through academic lecture halls and church corridors for countless years. — Matthew J. Lynch and Matthew W. Bates, OnScript