Richard Hays’ new book Reading Backwards: Figural Christology and the Fourfold Gospel Witness

Scot McKnight just wrote a blog post about Richard Hays’ new book called Reading Backwards: Figural Christology and the Fourfold Gospel Witness.

Professor Hays is a respected biblical scholar. I have benefited much from his books on Paul’s use of Israel’s Scripture. I am, therefore, excited to hear about his new book.

This is the thesis of the book (from McKnight’s blog post):

… the Gospels teach us how to read the OT, and—at the same time—the OT teaches us how to read the Gospels. Or, to put it a little differently, we learn to read the OT byreading backwards from the Gospels, and—at the same time—we learn how to read the Gospels by reading forwards from the OT (4).

I also found the following kind words from Prof Joel Green and Prof Richard Bauckham (on Amazon).

Hays’ thesis is as simple as it is ground-shifting: that the Gospel writers’ portraits of Jesus depend on their hermeneutical appropriation of Israel’s Scripture. And his approach is disarmingly straightforward: a sympathetic reading of the Gospels calibrated to hear both explicit and implicit scriptural resonances. With transparent exegesis and lucid prose, Hays persuasively challenges some of the basic assumptions and arguments in modern biblical studies. (Joel B. Green)

Few people are better qualified than Hays to take us right inside the ways the Gospels interpret the Old Testament. And, as though that were not enough for one short book, his hermeneutical quest also delivers a christological result. He shows how, precisely in their reading of the Old Testament, each of the Gospels in its own distinctive way presents Jesus as the very embodiment of the God of Israel. Intertextuality and high christology turn out to be two sides of a coin. (Richard Bauckham)

This sounds like a book that every New Testament student should read.

McKnight’s blog post can be found by clicking here.