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Thursday, November 15, 2012

The New Testament Use of the Old Testament in Matthew's Gospel

Since I have been studying NT biblical theology on my own, I wanted to balance myself to personally dig deeper one gospel, one Pauline letter, and a general epistle (i.e. Matthew, Romans, 1 John). I have been studying Matthew because of the dominant usage of the Old Testament in his gospel, and find it fascinating how much more explicit Matthew's Gospel polemically argues and reveals that Jesus is indeed the Messiah through OT references.

New Testament scholar Craig Blomberg points out in his explanation of Matthew in the outstanding book, Commentary On the New Testament Use of the Old Testament, "The Hebrew Scriptures - or Christian Old Testament - permeate Matthew's Gospel. Approximately 55 references prove close enough in wording for commentators typically to label them 'quotations,' compared to about 65 [references] for the other three canonical Gospels put together. About twenty of these texts are unique to Matthew. Twelve times Matthew speaks explicitly of a passage or theme of Scripture being 'fulfilled.' In addition to explicit quotations, numerous allusions and echoes of Scripture may be discerned in every part of this Gospel, roughly twice as often as in Mark, Luke, or John. Virtually every major theological emphasis of Matthew is reinforced with Old Testament support, often by the addition of segments of texts to the sources Matthew employed."

I love this stuff! It goes to show you that there is no mistake in Matthew's Gospel to argue and reveal the correct scriptural and soteriological identity of the Messiah. I will post some things about Romans and 1 John later because there are some really cool OT connections in those NT books to assure their audience of the person and work of Jesus Christ.

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