Forward Thinking about “Reading Backwards’ Conclusions

It is the conclusion of Richard Hays that we "must learn to read Israel's Scriptures not only through the filtering lens of modern critical methods, but also through the eyes of John and other authors of the canonical Gospels" (p. 93). Thus "the hermeneutical key to this intertextual dialectic is the practice of figural reading: the discernment of unexpected patterns of correspondence between earlier and later events or persons within a continuous temporal stream." Such a reading is only … [Read more...]

Finding Jesus— Reboot

http://edition.cnn.com/videos/tv/2015/02/26/finding-jesus-season-1-episode-1.cnn/video/playlists/finding-jesus/" title="Finding Jesus" … [Read more...]

Finding Jesus– Review of Part One

bwiii

When you are dealing with a docu-drama, sometimes it's hard to get the balance right between education and what is dramatically effective on the screen. The first episode of Finding Jesus was indeed well filmed, the cinematography was excellent, and it involved a nice array of voices as the talking heads interspersed between the recreations of the scenes related to the burial shroud of Jesus. Obviously, the focus was on the shroud, now called the shroud of Turin. There was a nice balance of … [Read more...]

Forward Thinking on ‘Reading Backwards’–The Interview Part Six

12) In the second volume of the Lightfoot Legacy series, the volume on the Gospel of John to be published next year, Lightfoot says almost exactly the same thing you do about Jesus as Temple and the fulfillment of the Festivals etc. and about the backwards reading of the Scriptures as exhibited in John as well. It is interesting as well that he insists as you do on p. 131 n. 24 that the backwards reading does not negate the historical forward reading of Scripture but that one should see them as … [Read more...]

Forward Thinking on ‘Reading Backwards’– The Interview Part 5

10) I would like to suggest a dictum, and get your reaction--- No backward reading of the OT that violates or contradicts a forward reading of the meaning in the OT text is found in the NT. Yes, or no?***Here, Ben, I think you are “leading the witness.” I have not made an argument for the dictum that you suggest. It is such a broad generalization that I would hesitate to affirm it without a great deal more careful and comprehensive study than I have been able to do. Certainly there are pla … [Read more...]

Finding Jesus— Begins Sunday Night at 9 P.M. on CNN

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NQjYdcqeFkYIs there archaeological evidence that helps us sort out the questions about the historical Jesus? Obviously, I do not yet know how the interviews and story of Jesus has been edited in this series, but we may hope it at least asks the right questions about the interface between faith and facts when it comes to Jesus. It will be worth watching. BW3 … [Read more...]

Forward Thinking on ‘Reading Backwards’– The Interview Part 4

8) One of the issues often raised about Matthew is the difference between prediction and fulfillment, the latter being a much larger category of things. So when Matthew says Is. 7.14 is fulfilled in the story of Jesus, would you take him to mean that it was predicted in Isaiah, or that Isaiah simply said more than he realized, speaking to his own immediate audience, and so Christ is a filling out of the story and a fulfilling of it that would go beyond the original intended meaning, but not … [Read more...]

Forward Thinking on ‘Reading Backwards’– The Interview Part 3

6) At one level you are arguing that if we pay attention to the broader OT contexts of the OT texts that are cited, paraphrased, alluded to or echoed, we will better understand what the Gospel writers are saying about Jesus and his ministry. That would seem to presuppose a very sophisticated audience that has ‘the requisite encyclopedia of reception’ (to use your phrase) for any or all of the canonical Gospels, or at least an audience with a few persons very knowledgeable of the OT who could exp … [Read more...]

Forward Thinking on ‘Reading Backwards’– The Interview, Part 2

3) What exactly do you mean by figural (or even metaphorical) reading of the OT? How would this differ from say an allegorical reading of the OT or a typological reading of the OT (ala Melchizedek and Christ in Hebrews)?***See pp. 1-4, 104-05 for definition and discussion of figural reading. Erich Auerbach’s classic treatment of figural reading proposes that “the two poles of a figure are separated in time, but both, being real events or persons, are within temporality.” This is very close to … [Read more...]


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