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The Moral Vision of the New Testament: Community, Cross, New Creation, A Contemporary Introduction to New Testament Ethics Paperback – August 30, 1996
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"Hays' passionately written book, with its bold agenda, has neither peer nor rival." --Leander E. Keck, Winkley Professor of Biblical Theology, Yale Divinity School
"There are few people I would rather read for the actual exposition of the New Testament than Richard Hays. This book is filled with wonderful readings that not only inform us about how to think better about the so-called 'problem of the relation between the New Testament and ethics' but, even more, speak of how our lives should be lived in the light of Christ's cross. -Stanley Hauerwas, Gilbert T. Rowe Professor of Theological Studies, Duke University Divinity School
"Richard Hays has succeeded brilliantly in bringing New Testament studies, contemporary theology, and ethics into a deeply reflective conversation... Hays' point is that the New Testament norms the Christian life, and, with the help of imagination and metaphor, can address the moral conflicts of our time." --Ellen T. Charry, Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University
"This book isn't just a breath of fresh air. It's a hurricane, blowing away the fog of half-understood pseudo-morality and fashionable compromise, and revealing instead the early Christian vision of true humanness and genuine holiness. If this isn't a book for our time, I don't know what is." --N. T. Wright, author of The New Testament and the People of God
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Top Customer Reviews
(1) Hays argues that any focal image needs to find a textual basis in all the canonical witness. "Love," according to Hays is not a central theme or ethical warrant in several important NT texts (Mark, Hebrews and Revelation, and Acts). According to Hays, the 3 metaphors he elevates well encapsulate essential claims in a much larger plurality of NT texts.
(2) Love is itself not as much an image as it is the "interpretation of an image." "Love," in other words, is embodied concretely in the NT by the cross. Apart from the specific narrative context of the cross, "Love" loses any meaning. Thus, love in the NT is itself subsumed under the image of cross.
(3) "Love" in contemporary ethics has become a fluid, debased concept that covers "all manners of vapid self-indulgence." From the perspective of contemporary culture, elevating love as a functional metaphor may do as much harm as it does good.
My personal observation is that "kingdom" may be a more appropriate metaphor than "community," for Hays since "community" in many ways has becomed as distorted a concept as love. The notion of "kingdom" carries with it the idea of community united under the reign of God, embodied through the cruciform life of Christ.Read more ›
Hays' own project is concerned principally with the Christian community and its ability to live "under the Word", to hear Scripture speaking to us today. Such an aim is only controversial depending upon where one stands in the NT Studies guild. If one adopts the approach of Jack T. Sanders, for example, any appeals to the NT can only founder due to historical distance, alien contexts and questions - and can even be downright immoral! Otherwise, Hays can be seen to be engaging in a classical and necessary Christian practice, joining the many volumes written in Christian ethics, and complementing the experience and activity of Christians and their communities worldwide.
In my 'evangelical' circles where the Bible is said to be "taken seriously", the 'Constantinian' mindset is sadly dominant (and there are too many superficial treatments mixed with the good).Read more ›
Hays sees distinct (though overlapping) tasks in the process of "doing ethics" and is able to explain and apply them clearly. His emphasis on seeing ethical questions through the "focal lenses" of Cross, Community and New Creation is a wonderful guidepost for anyone concerned with faithful, Spirit-driven scholarship. He stresses that an "integrative act of the imagination" is required to be able to apply the Scripture to our world and suggests methods for achieving it.
Hays analyzes 5 theologian/ethicists in light of his approach (including Barth, Hauerwas, and Schussler-Fiorenza) and, in doing so, further clarifies how his approach can be used by others.
The final section of the book applies Hays' approach to contemporary issues. Partly because of his obvious authority in Greek and New Testament scholarship, and partly because of his honest, passionate approach, his conclusions are bold and very persuasive.
This book will likely be very influential in both the fields of Ethics and New Testament Studies. Students, professors and church communities alike will be dealing with (and indebted to) this book for years to come.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
this classic is a must for ethics and classes in theologyPublished 4 months ago by Benjamin L Dickson
Probably a very good source for those who have gone thru a seminary. For a layman it is very very deep. Read morePublished 6 months ago by NICER THAN NICE
The Moral Vision of the New Testament does a fantastic job of actually looking at how we should use the Bible for ethics. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Jonathan Hakkeem
The book's a bit thick for the kind of paper and ink on the pages, along with the paperback cover. Might be better to get this one hardback.Published 10 months ago by Nicolas P.
Much of this book was challenging to my view of how we interpret the new testament, but I found that the length Richard B Hays' goes to in order to stay intimately close to the... Read morePublished 11 months ago by michael
A colleague recommended this book to me because of its chapter on homosexuality. I found it an excellent unpacking of the conservative view on the topic. Read morePublished 13 months ago by Tim