ABSTRACT

This essay engages Richard Hays's recent monograph, Echoes of Scripture in the Gospels, through three sets of questions regarding the book's method, its utilization of the category “divine identity” in portrayals of Jesus in the Gospels, and its minimal appeal to Jewish interpretive traditions in sketching the Gospels' readings of OT Scripture. First, given that the book locates the “hermeneutical lens” from which the Gospels' use of the OT is considered in varying places, including with the original author, the first readers, and the contemporary reader, one may ask whether there are stable criteria for adjudicating between good and bad readings. Second, Hays's characterization of Jesus in terms of “divine identity”—a phrase introduced by Richard Bauckham into discussion of NT Christology but here employed somewhat differently—raises questions about its meaning and utility. Finally, although Hays acknowledges the existence of other first-century interpretive traditions, he less frequently engages them, leading one to question whether he has adequately described the “encyclopedia of production” of the Gospels or the “encyclopedia of reception” of their initial readers.

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