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Echoes of Scripture in the Letters of Paul [Paperback]

By Richard B. Hays (Author)
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Item description for Echoes of Scripture in the Letters of Paul by Richard B. Hays...

Anayzles Paul's use of Old Testament Scriptures and discusses the themes of Paul's letters.

Publishers Description
Paul's letters, the earliest writings in the New Testament, are filled with allusions, images and quotations from the Old Testament. This book investigates Paul's appropriation of Scripture from a perspective based on recent literary-critical studies of intertextuality.

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Yale University Press
Pages   254
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.24" Width: 6.14" Height: 0.74"
Weight:   0.88 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Jan 27, 1993
Publisher   Yale University Press
Edition  Revised  
ISBN  0300054297  
ISBN13  9780300054293  

Availability  3 units.
Availability accurate as of Oct 26, 2016 12:27.
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More About Richard B. Hays

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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)."

Richard B. Hays has published or released items in the following series...

  1. Biblical Resource
  2. Interpretation

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Bible & Other Sacred Texts > Bible > New Testament
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Reference > Commentaries > Commentaries
3Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Reference > General
4Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Reference > New Testament > Study
5Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Reference > New Testament

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Reviews - What do customers think about Echoes of Scripture in the Letters of Paul?

A groundbreaking work  May 30, 2007
Richard Hays groundbreaking work continues in Echoes of Scripture. Following his dissertation on the narrative substructure of Paul's letter, Hays now addresses the critical issue of how Paul interprets the scriptures in light of the experience of Christ. A must read for anyone interested in the ongoing discussion on how to understand Paul's letters.
The word alive and active  Apr 17, 2006
Is Scripture an unchanging word, fixed in the past, or is it dynamic, alive, taking on new meanings as it addresses competent readers in the present? Who is a competent reader? And, Richard Hays asks, "If the word is so alive and active on the lips and in the hearts of the community of faith, how then must we read?" These are questions that, directly or indirectly, occupy most of Echoes of Scripture in the Letters of Paul, where Hays examines some of Paul's highly innovative scriptural readings. He treats Paul's letters as "hermeneutical events," in which Paul reinterpreted Scripture for his churches. More than is usually recognized, Paul made use of intertextuality, embedding fragments of Scripture in his own discourse; in most cases he did so allusively, rather than by direct citation - the reader has to listen to the echoes of the original text in what Paul has written. Often enough, the echo is too faint to be noted. Of one instance Hays writes, "Any reader who knows where the words come from will surely smile in recognition of the point; most readers will miss the point altogether." The immense value of this study lies in its potential to lead earnest readers to a keener appreciation of Paul, as Hays uncovers suppressed allusions in a number of examples taken from Romans, 1 and 2 Corinthians, Galatians, and Philippians.

The effect is almost always surprising; sometimes one wonders at Paul's subtlety; at other times one asks whether it is really Hays' ingenuity that has conjured up an echo that did not occur to Paul. As it turns out, it does not matter. Hays argues that to limit the interpretation of scriptural echoes to what Paul intended is to create artificial limitations and restrict the hermeneutical freedom which Paul himself employed. For one thing, "what he intended is a matter of historical speculation;" for another, "Scripture generates through Paul new figurations." The implicit point is that a modern interpreter of Paul can learn from him how to read Scripture imaginatively, yet faithfully. This is treated at length in the fifth and last chapter of the book. Before then, in the first chapter, Hays reviews different approaches to Pauline hermeneutics and proposes his own, taking leads from literary-critical discussions of the "phenomenon of intertextuality." The following three chapters are a tour de force of riveting interpretation. If I have to single out one major theme among several - and which Hays works over and over from different angles - it will be that Paul understood Scripture (i.e., the OT) as prefiguring the church; it was neither annulled nor superseded, but pointed to the gospel as proclaimed by Paul. Hays speaks of the transforming power of Scripture rightly understood. "The meaning of Scripture is enacted in the Christian community, and only those who participate in the enactment can understand the text." He passionately pleads the same point in the page before last, a fitting conclusion to an insightful and original work: "Community in the likeness of Christ is cruciform; therefore right interpretation is cruciform. ... Any reading of Scripture that requires of us something other or less than this is a false reading."

This remarkable book has not gone unquestioned by other scholars, and has generated lively debate among Paul's interpreters. Who should read it? There is more than a hint that Hays was writing for the academic community; but non-professionals familiar with biblical (or literary) studies can read it with profit and a sense of fulfillment. All readers must bring to it an energetic and open mind.
Old Stuff  Feb 19, 2006
I was hoping to get a catalog of OT passages in Paul. I didn't get it. As for Paul's thought, I recommend E.P. Sanders "Paul and Palestinian Judaism, Krister Stendahl's "Paul Among Jews and Gentiles" and John Gager's "Reinventing Paul." Gager is especially short, to the point and helpful.
A well written treatise on Paul's use of the Old Testament  Nov 30, 1999
A lot of books on biblical studies are not very well crafted. This one is. I also like how Hays brings out the Old Testament nuances in Paul's writings. He recognizes throughout the book that Paul does not always intend to directly quote the Old Testament. He points out that the apostle often makes verbal echoes of OT passages that would resonate powerfully to the Jewish members of the early Christian congregations. Plus, as a bonus, I like all of the poetry that Hays puts in the book that captures theological motifs.
Hays is a craftsman with words  Dec 30, 1997
Nascent New Testament theologians should look to Dr. Richard Hays of Duke Divinity School for how to construct a sentence that is both entertaining and thought provoking. His are beautifully written as well as meaningful.

It is Dr. Hays thesis that we can better understand the writings of Paul if we first understand his hermenuetics. And for Paul, that means that he reads consistently the Christian experience through a lens that has been crafted by a fine honing of knowledge from the Hebrew Scriptures. It is in the pulling up of Hebrew Scriptures that preceded or follow the obvious linkage with a particular Pauline passage that we find the most meaning Hays argues.

His writing is compelling, understandable and, yes , persuasive. I would commend this book to anyone who is trying to understand Paul and what he means. This is of particular valuable in developing a biblical understanding of the theological implications of Romans 9-11.

Dennis Shaw

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