At the end of 2014 I had high hopes of blogging chapter by chapter through Richard Hays’ new work, Reading Backwards (Baylor, 2014). Truth be told, I got sidetracked and by the time I finally got back into the book there were a number of good online reviews and I really don’t have much to add to that discussion. So, please permit me now to simply provide some reflections on the book.
Richard Hays has two interests in this short book, both of which are identified in the subtitle: Figural Christology and the Fourfold Gospel Witness. First, he urges that the Evangelists did not proof-text the OT, but neither did they read it in a straightforward contextualized sense. Rather, there is a kind of dialectical relationship between old and new. The term he uses for this is “figural reading” – he defines this as “the discernment of unexpected…
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