Quotations In The New Testament From The Old Testament -- By: William H. Bates

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 077:308 (Oct 1920)
Article: Quotations In The New Testament From The Old Testament
Author: William H. Bates


Quotations In The New Testament From The Old Testament

William H. Bates

The quotation in the New Testament of passages from the Old Testament is thought to present one of the most difficult problems with which Biblical scholarship has to deal. How to adjust the manifest difficulties, how to resolve the seeming discrepancies, consistently with any view of inspiration that shall preserve the integrity and divine authority of the Holy Scriptures, is a problem that some have thought to be insolvable.

New Testament writers have been accused of misquoting, of misunderstanding quotations, of accommodation, of quoting from memory and memory playing false, etc. Tholuck says: “In very many, in most, cases, in consequence of quoting from memory, the passage, so far as the words are concerned, is altered sometimes to such an extent that the deviation has caused the supposition that the citation belonged to some apocryphal book.”

Professor Howard Osgood, a member of the Old Testament Revision Committee, has issued a pamphlet entitled “Quotations of the Old Testament in the New Testament,” in which is the entire embodiment of the Old Testament, so far as it has been embodied, in the New, giving every quotation with the formula, “God said,” “it is written,” “that it might be fulfilled,” etc.; every quotation without a formula; every direct reference; and every similarity of word or thought. We find Genesis quoted 19 times, and in 9 New Testament books; Exodus 24 times, and in 12 books; Leviticus 12 times, and in 9 books; Deuteronomy 26 times, and in 13 books; the Psalms 59 times, and in 12 books; Isaiah 50 times, and in 11 books. But the list need not be extended.

The quotations in the New, from the Old, may be dis-

tributed into three classes: (1) Those agreeing verbatim with the Hebrew; (2) Those agreeing verbatim with the Septuagint where it differs from the Hebrew; (3) Those differing from both, the Hebrew and the Septuagint, of which, according to Home, there are nineteen.

We must of course assume that the Old Testament is inspired of God, since we are told that in old times “holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost” (2 Pet. 1:21), and that “all Scripture [i.e. the Old Testament writings, for when Paul made this affirmation there was no New Testament] is given by inspiration of God” (2 Tim. 3:16). A...

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