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Echoes of Scripture in the Letters of Paul Paperback – January 27, 1993

4.5 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Richard B. Hays is the George Washington Ivey Professor of New Testament at Duke Divinity School in Durham, North Carolina. He is an internationally recognized scholar for his work on the letters of Paul and on New Testament ethics.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 254 pages
  • Publisher: Yale University Press; Reprint edition (January 27, 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0300054297
  • ISBN-13: 978-0300054293
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.7 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #249,427 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Richard B. Hays (Ph.D. Emory University) is Dean and George Washington Ivey Professor of New Testament at Duke Divinity School. He is internationally recognized for his work on the letters of Paul and New Testament ethics. His books include The Moral Vision of the New Testament, The Faith of Jesus Christ, Echoes of Scripture in the Letters of Paul, a commentary on 1 Corinthians, and The Conversion of the Imagination. His most recent publication is entitled Reading Backwards, a book about the interpretation of the Old Testament in the Gospels. Dean Hays is an ordained minister in the United Methodist Church.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
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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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.
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Format: Paperback
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.
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Richard Hays in his "echoes" and "Conversion of the Imagination" provides significant insights to Paul's use of the Old Testament. There are many perspectives on Paul these days but Hays understands the apostle rightly. What Hays does so well is not only point out the explicit OT references but the "echoes" and illusions to the Hebrew Scriptures that inform Paul's understanding of who the people of God truly are.

This is a great work.
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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.
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Hays points out that Scripture makes extensive use of literary techniques such as foreshadowing, metaphor, allusion, typology, etc. Thus it is best interpreted by a kind of literary sensibility, instead of solely through an analytical, factual approach.
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