A report on a paper given by Richard Hays (Dean and George Washington Ivey Professor of New Testament at Duke University in Durham, NC), 24 January 2012. Professor Hays is delivering this year’s Gunning Lectures at New College, University of Edinburgh, on the topic “Israel’s Scripture Through the Eyes of the Gospel Writers.” I should note that Professor Hays has let me know that he is preparing a book for publication based upon these Gunning lectures.
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In the penultimate Gunning lecture, Richard Hays turned his attention to the fourth Gospel where, once again, Jesus is described as “him of whom Moses in the law and also the prophets wrote” (John 2:45, RSV). The character of Jesus makes this claim, as well, saying “If you believed Moses, you would believe me, for he wrote of me” (John 5:46, RSV). However, like the Synoptics, John does not say specifically where and how Moses and the prophets wrote about Jesus. Rather, it remains for the reader to reconstruct this.
Unlike the Synoptics, though, John’s use of the Old Testament depends on a very few allusions and citations (according to the count of Westcott and Hort, 27 direct citations in John versus 124, 70, and 109 citations in Matthew, Mark, and Luke, respectively), but these references are explored deeply over a longer stretch of the narrative, in what Hays calls sustained meditation. Read the rest of this entry »