Monday, February 25, 2013

Old Testament Quotations in the New Testament

Want a book that compares nearly all(or perhaps all) New Testament quotations of the Old?  Old Testament quotations in the New Testament by Gleason L. Archer and Gregory Chirichigno does that in a chart form.  Made up of nearly a hundred and seventy pages of charts made up of four columns on two large pages. The first column gives the Masoretic text of the verse, the second gives the Septuagint rendering, the third gives the New Testament quotation of the verse and the fourth offers commentary on  the differences.  Now, keep in mind that each of these texts are given in their original languages, not in English.   English is used in the introductions ,instructions and commentary(which also translates some of the texts).  Now, I don't know Hebrew and am just learning Koine Greek, but I still find this book very useful.  Since all of the text references are given in English, I can look up and compare the English verses in the Old and New Testaments, and use my English translations of the Septuagint.  I also used the free Bible program E-Sword with which you may download free Bibles, including ones Keyed to Strong's(such as the Apostolic Bible Polyglot LXX).

What I didn't like about this book was the unapologetic bias towards the Masoretic Text(The late Hebrew text that most of our English Old Testaments are based upon).  The New Testament quotations of the Old are generally held up to the Masoretic Text as the judge of their accuracy.   And so we end up with statements like this:  ""But perhaps Paul was content to let the insertion stand (even though he knew it was not in the Hebrew text) because…"  What if the 'insertion' wasn't an insertion at all, but actually a part of the Hebrew text of Paul's day?

And when the Septuagint(the Greek translation of the Hebrew Old Testament aka the LXX) is quoted in the New testament and when it differs from the MT, often apologetic commentary like this is used, speaking of the quotation of part of  Isaiah 53 in Acts 8:32-33:  "Here we have a gravely deviant translation quoted from the LXX.  This, however, poses no problem for biblical inerrancy, since Acts 8 simply records the wording of the LXX which the Ethiopian  eunuch was reading.  There is no apostolic approval or endorsement of the errors in his rendition, and no doctrinal teaching is built upon them….enough of the truth of Isaiah 53 came through, even in this somewhat defective translation, to lead the Ethiopian to a saving knowledge of Christ.  This furnishes a classic example, incidentally, of the missionary strategy used by the early apostles in making the best use they could of the Septuagint - which with all of its faults was still the only form of the OT available to Diaspora Jews and to the Gentile converts." The quotations from the Septuagint are older than our Hebrew text of today, wouldn't we be more biased towards the Apostle's quotations rather than making our approx. eight or nine hundred years later Hebrew text the judge?  There are a few places where the commentary concedes that the quotation of the Apostles may actually be the correct quotation of the Old Testament, but not half as many concessions as I would like.

I still would recommend it though, simply for the collection of references or allusions to the Old Testament in the New.

Thanks to  Wipf and Stock Publishers for sending me a free copy of this book to review(My review did not have to be favorable)!

This book may be purchased at and at Wipf and Stock Publishers

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