In post one I simply introduced the book by Matthew Bates (The Hermeneutics of Apostolic Proclamation: The Center of Paul’s Method of Scriptural Interpretation (Waco: Baylor University Press, 2012).
Today I want to note one criticism Bates levels against current forms of intertextual arguments.
The study of intertextuality was popularized by Richard Hays in his book Echoes of Scripture in the Letters of Paul. The book has spun off a whole cottage industry of “intertextual” studies.
Hays describes intertextuality as the embedding of fragments of an earlier text within a latter one.
Although Bates is appreciative of Hays’ work he thinks that that Hays (and others) view needs expanding. Much work has been done comparing Pauline exegesis with that of other early Jewish interpreters. While this is indispensable, Paul was a certain type of Jew who has come to very specific and radical conclusions about Jesus as the Messiah.
Paul is a Jew committed to Jesus Christ and therefore these comparisons between Paul and early non-Christian Judaism cannot capture the central features of his hermeneutic.The closest comparison for Paul is with other ancient “Christians,” not with Paul’s fellow Jews who do not share his convictions regarding Jesus as Messiah and Lord.
Thus Bates summarizes Hays and others mistake.
Hays’ intertextual model obscures the need to look beyond the source text to coeval and subsequent texts within a fully healthy intertextual model…He centers only on prior-occurring texts (p. 51).
This problem pervades not only Hays but much of the OT in NT studies. Bates then gives the example of the Commentary on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament which ignores early Christian sources, especially those beyond the horizons of the NT.
What interpreters should do in intertextual studies is include Christian “co-texts,” “post-texts,” and “inter-texts.”