Man Shoveling Snow in Lexington while Break Dancing

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x84GKqcpY4EIn case you are wondering what's been going on besides cabin fever for the last three weeks in snowbound Lexington, here is something to give you a clue. … [Read more...]

Forward Thinking on ‘Reading Backwards’– The Interview, Part One

STARTING POINT---I take it as a given that you have clearly shown in this book that the narrative logic of all four Gospels is that Jesus is a part of the divine identity, and thus that strictly speaking there is no ‘low-Christology’ to use an old phrase, in any of them, if we take the collective witness of each whole Gospel on its own merits. This a fair summary of one of your major thrusts in the book, right?***Basically right. But it could be misleading to say there is no “low Chris … [Read more...]

Forward Thinking on Reading Backwards’– Part Six

In the Gospel of John the suggestions that 'Moses' (and the prophets)spoke about Jesus are repeatedly in evidence (Jn. 1.45). Jesus does not denigrate or dismiss Moses, rather Moses is said to testify about Jesus. "There is a fateful circularity here: reading the writings of Moses should lead to believing in Jesus; but in order to understand Moses words, one must first come to Jesus to receive life." (p. 77). Furthermore, one has to enter this hermeneutical loop at the very point this Gospel … [Read more...]

Forward Thinking on “Reading Backwards”– Part Five

Richard rightly stresses from the outset the importance of the Jesus Bible study for the bewildered disciples in Lk. 24, where, without explication it is said that the Law,Prophets, and Psalms all testify to Jesus. He intends to contest the notion that the Gospel of Luke represents a low Christology depicting Jesus as merely a Spirit inspired prophet, a teacher of wisdom, a righteous martyr. In other words, Luke is credited with depicting Jesus in the same manner the befuddled Emmaus Road … [Read more...]

Forward Thinking on Reading Backwards– Part Four

In his chapter about Matthew's use of the OT, Richard begins by making the valid point that Matthew shows far less reticence than Mark in making narrative claims about Jesus and linking them to specific OT texts, often citing those texts, and in the birth narrative especially using fulfillment formulae. He begins by noticing the ways in which Matthew 24 modifies Mk. 13, the apocalyptic discourse, for instance by specifying that the 'abomination' will take place in the Holy Place, the Temple. It … [Read more...]

Forward Thinking about Reading Backwards– Part Three

One of the interesting questions raised by Richard's approach to the reading of the OT is whether or not it is reasonable to assume that the various Gospel audiences had the requisite 'encyclopedia of reception' that he assumes they do, in order to catch the allusions and echoes of OT Scripture in various of the Gospel narratives. This question is especially pressing with a Gospel like Mark's which has few overt citations of the OT unlike Matthew and does not use the fulfillment formula of … [Read more...]

McFarland USA– A Feel Good Classic

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fOupcStlL0cYou have to give him credit, Kevin Costner is good at sports movies (see e.g. Field of Dreams, Bull Durham, Tin Cup etc.). In terms of recreating on film a true and inspirational story, McFarland USA is his very best sports film. In this film Costner plays coach Jim White, who creates out of nothing a cross country team composed of seven young poor fieldworkers from McFarland Calif. a small mostly Hispanic town in the San Joaquin valley.They … [Read more...]

Forward Thinking about Reading Backwards– Part Two

The first proper chapter of this little gem of a book is a lecture on the hermeneutics of figural interpretation, and we shall spend this post on that chapter. Drawing on the famous words of Martin Luther about how the OT is the swaddling clothes manger in which the Christ is lain. So Hays argues that Luther is reading the NT figurally in order to proclaim the legitimacy of a figural reading of the OT (p. 2). Hays then adds that if the Christ is wrapped in OT attire, he is both contained and in … [Read more...]

Forward Thinking about ‘Reading Backwards’— Part One

rrh

I've been reading my friend Richard Hay's NT offerings for close to 40 years now. I read his dissertation involving Galatians when he was still writing the chapters, and I would send him comments and suggestions. Following this review, which like the book will not be lengthy, but in several parts, you will get to read the dialogue or exchange we had about the book in future posts.Let's start with the disclaimers. From the outset Hays stresses that he is not suggesting "that the … [Read more...]


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