Richard Hays Lectures on the OT in the Gospels
This week here in New College (Edinburgh) we’ve been treated to the first three of this year’s Gunning Lectures by Richard Hays (Duke University), speaking on the ways in which the Old Testament is deployed, referenced, drawn upon in the Gospels. After an introductory lecture Monday, he dealt with Mark (Tuesday) and Matthew (Thursday). As an extra treat, in today’s Biblical Studies Research Seminar (20 Jan), he addressed passages in Luke where OT material may be alluded to, and/or where one might find pointers to OT material. In the coming week, he’ll return to Luke (Monday), and then deal with John (Tuesday), with a wrap-up on Thursday.
Hays is well know in NT circles for major contributions, in several of them showing his dexterity in probing for “inter-textual” connections between NT and OT passages. Perhaps most relevant to these Gunning lectures is his book, Echoes of Scripture in the Letters of Paul (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1989).
The daring line that Hays takes in these Gunning Lectures is to engage sympathetically the ways in which the Gospels writers show the concern to link Jesus with the OT. As Hays shows, these include much more than explicit citation of proof-texts, extending to “allusions” and other more subtle instances where the authors seem to reflect a treatment of the OT as entirely suitable as a reservoir of “types” and foreshadowings, and a vocabulary or palette from which to draw material with which to indicate Jesus’ significance.
I look forward to the remaining three lectures, and to seeing their finished form in publication.