“The meaning of Scripture is enacted in the Christian community, and only those who participate in the enactment can understand the text. Consequently, the transformation of the community is not only the presupposition but also the result and proof of true interpretation. Where God’s [S]pirit is at work, the community (“we all”) is being transformed into the image of Christ and liberated to see, when they read Scripture, that the old covenant prefigured precisely this transformation. Where this transformation is not occurring in a community of the faithful, no interpretation, however careful and learned, can penetrate the veil that lies over the text.
Thus, the putative dichotomy between hermeneutics and ethics dissolves, as the text is transfigured into the community. . . In Paul’s new covenant hermeneutic, there is no true reading without moral transformation, and there is no moral transformation without true reading. The daily life of a community that lives with its roots in Scripture is its reading of Scripture. . .”
Richard Hays, Echoes of Scripture in the Letters of Paul, p. 152.