Book Reviews

Review of Reading with the Grain of Scripture by Richard B. Hays

Hays, Richard B. Reading with the Grain of Scripture. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2020. 479 pp. $55.00, Hardcover. Richard Hays is Professor Emeritus of New Testament of Duke Divinity School. He is the author of several books, one of the most notable being his 1989 Echoes of Scripture in the Letters of Paul. This book is a set of twenty-one essays generally dealing with the subject of hermeneutics, representing something of the capstone of Hays’s career, a highlight reel of both recent writings and others culled from previous decades. They are very much a collection commemorative of an illustrious presence in the field of New Testament studies, with each representing some of Hays’s highest-level writing and strongest argumentation relative to each issue discussed. The book is divided into four parts, proceeding in stepwise fashion as Hays moves from the groundwork of interpretive method into the person of Jesus himself and how he has been understood by scholars, into Pauline theology, and finally into the broader New Testament as a whole and the theology that characterizes it. The essays, as Hays notes (p. 3), follow six recurrent themes, namely narrative analysis, figural coherence between the Old and New Testaments, the centrality of Jesus’s…