30 January 2009

Hays: An Example of Intertextuality

Genesis 22:12 - "Do not lay your hand on the boy or do anything to him, for now I know that you fear God, seeing you have not spared (ouk epheiso LXX) your son, your only son, from me."

Romans 8:32 - He who did not spare (ouk epheiso) his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?

Romans 11:21 - For if God did not spare (ouk epheiso) the natural branches, neither will he spare you.

Richard Hays comments:

The parallels between these three beloved ones "not spared" are too rich to be fortuitous. Abraham did not spare his son Isaac but bound him to the altar, only to receive him back through God's intervention. God did not spare his son Jesus but offered him up to death for the world, then vindicated him through the resurrection. God did not spare his people Israel but broke them off like branches for the sake of the Gentiles. . . . In each case, the rejection acceptance pattern plays itself out to the vicarious benefit of others.


--Richard B Hays, Echoes of Scripture in the Letters of Paul (Yale University Press, 1989), 62

I had not read any Hays till this week, with the exception of his Rom 4:1 article for a ThM class. I'm finding this book extremely helpful, never prolix, written with a mastery of the English language that almost none of us share, at times overpressed, frequently frustrating (e.g. reading Paul's baseline hermeneutic as "ecclesiocentric" rather than "christocentric"); all in all, very profitable.

No comments: