Quotations in the Bible
Quotations from the Old Testament in the New, which are very numerous, are not made according to any uniform method. When the New Testament was written, the Old was not divided, as it now is, into chapters and verses, and hence such peculiarities as these:
- When Luke (20:37) refers to Exodus 3:6, he quotes from “Moses at the bush”—the section containing the record of Moses at the bush
- So also Mark (2:26) refers to 1 Samuel 21:1-6, in the words, “in the days of Abiathar;”
- Paul (Romans 11:2) refers to 1 Kings ch. 17-19, in the words, “in Elias”, i.e., in the portion of the history regarding Elias.
In general, the New Testament writers quote from the Septuagint version of the Old Testament, as it was then in common use among the Jews. But it is noticeable that these quotations are not made in any uniform manner. Sometimes, e.g., the quotation does not agree literally either with the Septuagint or the Hebrew text. This occurs in about one hundred instances. Sometimes the Septuagint is literally quoted (in about ninety instances), and sometimes it is corrected or altered in the quotations (in over 80 instances).
Quotations are sometimes made also directly from the Hebrew text (Matthew 4:15-16; John 19:37; 1 Corinthians 15:54). Besides the quotations made directly, there are found numberless allusions, more or less distinct, showing that the minds of the New Testament writers were filled with the expressions and ideas as well as historical facts recorded in the Old.
Besides quotations in the New from the Old Testament, there are in Paul's writings 3 quotations from certain Greek poets (Acts 17:28; 1 Corinthians 15:33; Titus 1:12). These quotations are memorials of his early classical education.