Full Text for Listening to Intertextual Relationships in Paul's Epistles with Richard Hays (Text)

Volume 70:l January 20% Table of Contents The Faith of Chist: A Lutheran Appropriation of Richard Hays's R o e Arthur A. Just Jr. ....................................................................... 3 Listening to Intertextual Relationships in Paul's Epistles with Richard Hays ................................................................... Charles A. Gieschen 17 Looking at the Moral Vision of the New Testament with Richard Hays Dean 0. Wenthe .......................................................................... 33 Wa3k This Way: A Theme from Proverbs Reflected and Extended in Paul's Letters Andrew E. Steinmann and Michael Eschelbach .................... 43 With a View to the End: Christ in the Ancient Church's Understanding of Scripture ......................................................................... Joel C- Elow sky. 6 3 A Curriculum from and for the Church John T. Pless ................................................................................ 85 We apologize for publication delays in recent years. We assure you Mat all overdue issues are in process and will be mailed as each is printed. We plan to be back on our normal quarterly publication schedule by January 2008. Thank you for your patience! The Editors Listening to Intertextual Relationships in Paul's Epistles with Richard Hays' Charles A. Gieschen There is a piece of wisdom that New Testament interpreters often preach, but rarely practice: Your most important tools in exegesis are concordances for the Greek Hew Testament and the Septuagint ILXX). Despite our lip service to the hermeneutical principle "Saipture interprets Scripture," too many of us engage in the hermeneutical practice "Commentaries interpret Scripture." Many of us fail to check the original context of explicit quotations of t6e Old Testament by New Testament authors; much less do we trek through a concordance to the Septuagint- even though electronic technology accomplishes searches in seconds-in order to track down implicit intertextual relationships between biblical texts, such as allusions or ech0es.z We certainly reject Marcion's practice of excising the Old Testament from the New Testament, but our practice of vktuallv ignoring the Old Testament narratives and texts underlying New ~estamint writings runs the danger of yielding a similar result. Above all else that one can laud in Richard Havs's Echoes ofscripfure in the Letters of Paul, one must praise his carefully deliberate practice of dlow4ng Paul's use of the Old Testament to inform and enrich the interpretation of Paul's Epistles.; Hays recognizes that these Old As apparent from the title, this article examines the work of Richard B. Hays, Echm of Sm'pfrtre in tllp k t t e ~ of Paul (New Haven and London: Yale L'niversity Press, 1989). This volume was reviewed by several New Testament scholars in craig-A. Evans and James A. Sanders, eds., Paul and tlw 5~Tiptures o f Israel, JSLTSup 83 (Sffield: JSOT Press, 1993). For a more recent book that collects together some of Hays's other writing on Paul, both before and after Echoes af Scripture, see 7Tlp Coni~ersim of the Impnation: Paul as m Interpreter of Israel's 5~npture (Grand Rapids and Cambridge, UK: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 2W5). This volume reprints an essay in which Ha>5 responds to critiques of Eclwes o f Suipture; see The Concrrswn ofthe Imgination, 163-189. 2 Hays recognizes the difficulty of establishing rigid categories with these terms; see Echoes of Scripture, 29. He uses the term allusion for "obvious intertextual references" and the term echo for "subtler ones." See ,further John HoUander, 7he Figure of Echo: A Mode gf Allusion in Mifton and A-fler (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1981). 3 This study will use the term Old Testumrt rather than Snfpfrtre (as in Hays). Even though Paul did not use the term Old Testament-which could be considered Charles A. Giesdten is Professor of Exegefical Theology and Chairman of the Deparment 4 Exegetical Theology at Concordia Theolopcal Seminary, Fort 18 Concordia Theological Quarterly 70 (2006) Testament allusions and echoes are often the unchoreographed result of Paul's immersion in Old Testament language and theology. The Old Testament narrative is not nearly as familiar to the modem reader, as Hays observes by using this vivid simde: "We, belated rootless readers, can learn only through marginalia and concordances-like novice guitarists learning blues riffs from sheet music-what Paul knew by heart-"a In this volume, Havs provides us with a model for reading Paul with greater sensitivity to the fact that the Old Testament, which is the core of Paul's world~lew, was the quarry for his theology, even for a signhcant amount of the language he used. In short, Hays has used his concordance to the Septuagint-probably in the Hatch and Redpath hardcopy form back in the 1980s-like few of us ever do.' Furthermore, Hays does not only listen carefully to trace echoes, he also does the even more difficult task of reflecting upon what this means for understanding Paul's hermeneutical approach to the Old Testament as well as how this, in turn, should inform our own interpretative approach. Since Echoes of Scripture in tlw k t fers of Paul has probably not received the kind of reading that it deserves over the past fifteen years among Lutheran pastors, the first portions of this study will summarize some representative content of this book in order to offer a clear sense of its contribution. This summary is not given as a substitute for reading the book, but only to whet one's appetite to engage Paul and the Old Testament through the Hays's exegesis. Both commendation and critique will follow. The studv of intertextuality in biblical studies, especially about how New ~estament writers are drawing on Old Testament texts, has grown in recent decades; Richard Havs has been at the center of this discussion. This study will affirm the importance and value of much of Hays's basic exegetical approach for the interpreter who is willing to listen carefully with lum to the echoes of the Old Testament that reverberate in Paul's letters. I. The Why and How of Echoes There have been several studies of Paul's use of the Old Testament in the twentieth century, and certainly most commentaries on the different anachronistic -to signify the object of his exegesis, it will be used in this study in order to avoid codusion among readers who also regard the New Testament as Scripture. Hays, Ehoes o f Scripture, 43. Hatch and Redpath is the conunon designation for Edwin Hatch and Henry A. Radpath, A Concordance to the Septuagint and the oflwr Greek Versions of the Old Testament, Induding the Apocryphal B o d s (Graz, Austria: Akademische Druck- u. \'erlagsanstalt, 1975 reprint 11897 original]). Gieschen: Listening to Intertextual Relationships 19 Pauline Epistles address this question in a limited form."\'hat, therefore, is distinctive about Havs's approach? Hays neither myopically focuses on the explicit of the Old Testament nor on the identification of exegetical methodology in Paul's handhg of Old Testament texts. His scope is much broader and more substantive because he understands Paul's reappropriation of the Old Testament to be both broad and substantive, far beyond a few messianic prophecies, proof texts, or methods: In Paul we encounter a firstcentup- Jewish thinker w-ho, while undergoing a profound disjuncture with his owm religious tradition, grappled his way through a vigorous and theologically generative reappropriation of Israel's scriptures. However great the tensions between his heritage and his new7 Christian convictions, he insistently sought to show that his proclamation of the gospel %-as grounded in the w-itness of Israel's sacred texts.; In an effort to understand Paul's broader reappropriation of the Old Testament, Hays listens carefully for intertextual relationships, be they the more obvious Old Testament allusions or the more subtle echoes. He posits and explains the following seven tests for hearing echoes: 1 AraiIability: Was the proposed source of the echo available to the author and/ or original hearers? 2. Volume: What is the degree of explicit repetition of words or s)-ntac tical patterns? 3. Recurrence: How often does Paul elsewhere cite or allude to the same scriptural passage? 4. Ihemntic CoImence: How well does the alleged echo fit into the line of argument that Paul is developing? 5. Historical Plau_sitility: Could Paul have intended the alleged meaning effect? 6. History uf I?~t~rp~etntiun: Have other readers, both critical and pre- critical, heard the same echoes? 7. Sati_sfnction: Does the proposed reading make sense? 5 "ys discusses this research in Echous of Scripture, 5-14. For more recent work on this subject, see J . Ross \\-agner, Heralds qf Gnorf ?jm.i: Paul anif Isaiah "irt Cnncert". NovTSU~ 101 (Leiden: Brill, 2002), ancl Francis Watson, Paul and the Hermeneutics I$ Faith (London: T & T Clark, 2W). Hays, E c h m LlfSrripture, 2. 8 Hays, Echoes qf Scripture, 29-32. 20 Concordia Theological Quarterly 70 (2006) As one reads this volume, you sense that Paul's hameneutical approach to the Old Testament was controlled by neither extant Jewish exegesis, especkily partidar rules, nor conventional Greco-Roman rhetorical practices, even though infIuence of Jewish and Greco-Roman methodology certainly is visible in Paul's letters and noted by Hays. Given the kind of herrneneutical freedom that Hays attributes to Paul's interpretation of the Old Testament, one might well ask: What were Paul's h m e u t i c a l constraints? At the end of his book Hays sets forth three criteria that implicitly norm Paul's exegesis of the Old Testament; all three are substantive rather than methodological criteria. Here Hays expresses the heart of Paul's hermeneutical approach to the Old Testament as he understands it. The first constraint is God's faithfulness to his promises. Hays states that for Paul "no reading of Scripture can be legitimate if it denies the faithfulness of Israel's God to his covenant promises."g The second constraint is that the Old Testament must be interpreted in a manner that testifies to the gospel of Jesus Christ: "No reading of Scripture can be legitimate if it fails to acknowledge the death and resurrection of Jesus as the climatic manifestation of God's righteousness."lO These two convictions function in tension to demarcate the boundaries Paul observes as he interprets the Old Testament in and for the church. Hays also emphasizes a third hermeneutical constraint in Paul, that proper interpretation of the Old Testament forms and shapes the church like unto Christ: Comrnuni$ in the likeness of Christ is cruciform; therefore right interpretation must be cruciform. "For while we live we are always being given up to death for Jesus' sake so that the life of Jesus may be manifested in our mortal flesh" (2 COT. 431). Any reading of Scripture that requires of us something other or less than this is a false reading.ll Although the term crucifimr may be unfamiliar to some, the basic understanding here is not foreign to Lutheran interpreters. The interpretathe process is to shape the church like unto Christ crucified. We often speak of this as exegesis that expresses "the theology of the cross" for the life of the church. 9 Hays, Echoes of Scripture, 191. One would Like to see, however, more integration between Israel's God and the Son as the Lord of Israel's history; see my critique below (IV. Commendation and Critique, 28-32). 1 C Hays, Edzoes of Scripture, 191. " Hays, Edms of Scriphcre, 191. One needs to interpret such an assertion with the proper understanding of sanctification; see the discussion of J. C. Beker's label of &ctification as a "&thodistic Hermeneutic" and Hays's response in The Conversion of tlw Imagination, 189. Gieschen: Listening to Intertextual Relationships n II. Intertextuality in Romans In order to provide a representative glimpse at what Richard Havs does, this examination will draw heavily on Chapter 2 of Eclzoes of Scripture, where he offers a reading of Romans that listens for echoes of the Old Testament in this carefully constructed Pauline epistle. Hays begins bp acknowledging the importance of the many explicit quotations of the Old Testament in Romans and how these push our understanding of the theme of this letter beyond focusing exclusively on justification: If, however, we attend carefully to Paul's use of the quotations, we wiU discover them spiraling in around a common focus: the problem of God's saving righteousness in relation to Israel. The insistent echoing voice of Scripture in and behind Paul's letter presses home a singIe theme relentlessly: the gospel is the fulfillment, not the negation, of God's word to Israel.'' Although many Lutherans are properly concerned with the so-called New Perspective on Paul, which attempts to margmalize the centrality of justification in Romans, Hays's emphasis on the theme of God's faithfulness to Israel is, nevertheless, a helpful corrective for those who m y marginalize or ignore Romans 9-11 in discussions of this epistle.l3 I xvould, however, stop short of Hays's emphasis that theodicy and not soteriologv is the question addressed in this epistle.14 The explicit Old Testament quotations are only a starting point for Hays in understanding the presence and impact of the Old Testament on this epistle. He emphasizes that the Old Testament has a much more pervasive presence: This text is most fruitfun! understood when it is read as an intertextual conversation between Paul and the voice of [Old Testament] Scripture, that powerful ancestral presence with which Paul grapples. Scripture broods over this letter, calls Paul to account, speaks through him; Paul, groping to give voice to h s gospel, finds in Scripture the language to say what must be said, and labors to win the blessing of Moses and the prophets. 1' '1 Ha!-s, Echoes o f Scrip lure, 34. 13 Charles .A. Gieschen, "Paul and the Law: Was Luther Right?," The Larr in Holy Scripture, ed. Charles A. Giexhen (SL Louis: Concordia Publishing House, ZDM), 113- 1-17, See also Stephen \\-esterholm, Perspectires Old and .Yea? on Paul: T/ze "LlctFzeran" Paul and Hi5 Critic5 (Grand Rapids: William 8. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 2004). :* For criticism of ttus position, see A. Andrew Das, Paul and the ] e r r (Peabod?-, X I A . Henctrickson, 2003). " Hays, Ehnes nfScriphrre. 35. 22 Concordia Theological Quarterly 70 (2006) Romans 1:16-17 Hays begins his examination of this "intertextual conversation" between Paul and the Old Testament with the echoes he hears in the key thematic verses of Roaans: I am not ashamed [ i i r u ~ o ~ i v o p x ~ ] of the gospeI, for it is the power of God for salvation [~ i ; awqpiav] to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For through the gospel the Righteousness of God [ ~ L K ~ L O O ~ ~ L ~ &06] is being revealed [aatmai6~:c:a~], by faith for faith, just as it is written: "The one who is righteous by faith shall live." (Rom 1:16- 17) Usually most attention is given to the quotation of Habakkuk 2:4 and how Paul may be using this verse in a way distinct from its origirral context.'" While in no way detracting from the sigruhcance of this quotation, Ha~rs enriches our understanding of how Paul is drawing on the language and theology of additional LXX texts to communicate his message by examining three primary Old Testament echoes in these verses. First, the language "I am not ashamed" in 156 appears to be an echo of the shame language that appears in the prophecies and psalms from which Paul draws his understanding of the Righteousness of God. Hays notes especially Isaiah M:7-8: "I know that I will not be ashamed [oi, pfi a io~uv&j] , because the one who justifies me [o 6 ~ ~ u ~ i ) o u ; is near." The language of both shame and righteousness here make it a probable source of Paul's language. Furthermore, Hays observes that Paul transforms the tense of the verb from future to present in order to emphasize that the gospel offers "God's already efficacious act of eschatological deliverance in Christ."l; The one who justifies is not only near, but has been revealed at the cross and is presently being revealed in the gospel. Second, Hays proposes that several LXX passages are informing the language Paul uses about salvation (Rom 1:16b) and the Righteousness of God being revealed (Rom 1:17a). Especially important is Psalm 97 (98 M-0: The LORD has made know his salvation [:b oo+lilp~ov]; in the presence of the nations/Gentiles [sGv &OvGv], he has revealed [UTIEKU~U+CV] his righteousness [ ~ v d ~ ~ a ~ o a i q v akoC]. He has remembered his mercy to Jacob, and his truthfulness to the house of Israel. All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation [rb ownip~ov] of our God. (Ps 97:2-3 LXX) 16 C. E. B. Cranfield, A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on tlw Epistle to the Romans (Edinburgh: T & T Clark, 1975) 1.100-102. 1; Hays, Edwes qf Scripture. 39. Hays notes that both the language of verse 2 and the content of verse 3 appears to be informing Paul's language in Romans 1:16b-17a. "The hope of the psalmist is that God's eschatological vindication of Israel will serve as a demonstration to the whole world of the power and fairness of Israel's God, a demonstration that will bring even Gentiles to acknowledge him. Paul shares the psalmist's eschatological vision . . . ."I8 Paul's language of salvation and righteousness also appears to echo the same language used in the latter chapters of Isaiah. Although other interpreters have indicated that these chapters are the quarry from which Paul shaped his teaching of justification, Hays goes further to suggest that Paul echoes some of the language and argument of Isaiah. Hays highlights Isaiah 51:4- 5 and 5210 as texts that reverberate in Romans 1:16-17: [YHU'H says] For the Law wilI go forth from me, And my judgment will go forth as a light to the nations/Gentiles [ i M v ] . My ri&teousness [fi 6 r ~ a l m l j l q IOU] draws near quickly, And my salvation [:b aw+jpr6v pou] will go forth as a light, And in my arm will nations/Gentiles F€hq] hope. (Isa 51:ab-S)19 And the Lord hill reveal [a~acai.it$cr] his holy arm before all the nations/Gentiles [rGv i8vGv], and all the comers of the earth w-ill see the salvation [+v ao.rrlphv] that is with God. (Isa 5210) Hays goes on to explain the relationship he discems between these texts: Instead, W s vocabulary echoes sublimin&~- in Paul's diction; the effect of the echo is to suggest-for hearers who share Paul's sensitivity to the cadences of the LXX-that the gospel must be understood as the fulfillment of the ancient promise that God's righteousness would be revealed in an act of deliverance for the Jews first and also for the Gentiles. Ths sort of figuration HoUander characterizes as metalepsis: the reader, signaled bv the echoes, is required to grasp together the old text and new-w JXrd, Havs goes on to argue that Paul's quotation of Habakkuk 2 4 intends to &und forth not only these few explicit words from the prophet, but also echo the wider context of this quotation which addresses the :' Hays, ELAL?PS qf Smphrc, 37. li Although not mentioned by Ha!%, Isa *12-13 is another text that may be part of the echo here since it has content parallel to Isa 51:ti , The centralitv of Isa 5210 in ttus echo is reinforced b>- the tact that Paul quotes Isa 5.25 (W) in om-224 and lsa 527 in Rom 10:15. " Hays, Echoes of Scripture, 37-38. 24 Concordia Theological Quarterly 70 (2005) problem of theodiq as reflected in the questions posed in the opening lines of Habakkuk:2' How long, 0 Lord, shall I cry out, and you will not hear? Or m. to you when I am wronged, and you will not save? You whose eye is too pure to see evil, and who cannot look upon afflictions, Why do you look upon despisers? Will you stand silent while the wicked man swallou~s up the righteous one? (Hab 1:2-3) Here is a place where I do not hear the Old Testament echo that H a ~ s hears. Although very intriguing, I also doubt his christological reading of this quotation.= The christological focus of this verse is found in ~ L K ~ L O ~ ~ V &oG. Even more doubtful for me is Hays's understanding that Paul is echoing the personal pronoun of the LXX translation of Habakkuk 2:4 without explicitly including the pronoun in his quotation: o & 6 i ~ a ~ o c