According to Seitz and Childs, the canonical approach is predicated upon some conception of theological continuity within the development of the Biblical tradition. Within this framework, later tradents of the sacred tradition were
seeking to hear the original word, overtaking them and enclosing them, in the context of a new set of circumstances, constraints, hopes, and divine judgments (129).
The theological continuity between traditions means that one can read older traditions in light of their later development, and thus gain a fuller understanding of their original witness (Childs would have said that the old is infused with its “full ontological reality”). The prophetic word of the past lays claim to the future,
without ever ceasing to be relevant on the terms of its original delivery. The dynamic character is fully on view, but the bridge being built enables us to move in two directions and not just one. The book of Joel shows a present generation enacting the repentance (2:12-29 … ) called for in the days of Hosea (… Hosea 14.1 …). In so doing, one is drawn back into the world of Hosea to learn again what the character of God is truly like. More than this, one is given the chance to stand before the mystery of God's ways and the penetrating insight offered through the canonical witness of Hosea to that, which had gone unheeded or was only partially comprehended in the days of the first delivery (125-126, emphasis original).
self-destructs once it has arced from the past into its next phase (125, emphasis removed).