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Thread: OT quotes in the NT in Matthew

  1. #1
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    Default OT quotes in the NT in Matthew

    In Matthew 4:4 it seems to me that Matthew relies more on the LXX as a source than the WTT.

    In Matthew 27:46 it seems to me that Matthew relies more on the WTT as a source than the LXX.

    My first question: Has anyone done any work on the number of times Matthew follows the LXX as opposed to the WTT or vice versa?

    My second question: In general, when Matthew quotes the OT, is there any significance, other than stylistic preference, to citing one source over the other?

    My third question: As we approach Passion Week, does anyone have any musings about Matthew 27:46 they care to share?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Precha1 View Post
    My third question: As we approach Passion Week, does anyone have any musings about Matthew 27:46 they care to share?
    I won't go into the textual issues, but one quick observation here is how infinitely holy and pure Jesus was even in the flesh. Even when he was in the flesh he was as holy and as righteous as his Father. There has never been a moment, not in eternity nor in time, when Jesus Christ has not been as infinitely holy and as infinitely righteous as his Father, and thus even in his darkest moment of despair he resorted to quoting Scripture. And why?

    Because as the Living Word, who in truth authored all Scripture HIMSELF by the Holy Spirit, in the most holy moment in the history of creation, he now quoted HIMSELF, for it is written again, "If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny HIMSELF." 2 Timothy 2:13

    It is said that A.B. Simpson once preached a sermon solely on the text, "HIMSELF".

    I can deeply identify with that exposition.

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    Default Matthew quotations

    Resources that can help:
    Old Testament Quotations in the New Testament by Gleason L. Archer and Gregory Chirichigno (In BW8 Resources/Miscellaneous or on your resource summary window for a given passage.)
    Synopsis Window files (In BW8: Tools/Viewing the Text/Synopsis Window). There are several synopsis files that can be opened which may be of aid to your study: matthewot, ntot, and others. If I recall, the original leg work for these files was done by Jeff Jackson: http://www.jeff-jackson.com/
    Last edited by Greg Ward; 04-01-2009 at 11:14 PM. Reason: addition

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    Default Credit where credit is due

    Actually, I think one of those synopsis files comes from Scott Jones (aka Adelphos).
    Quote Originally Posted by Adelphos View Post
    I developed a module for the Synopsis Tool some years ago that BW now includes in its package called matthewotquotes.sdf, or something like that, which you can quickly navigate through to see where Deuteronomy is quoted in the book of Matthew.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Wert View Post
    Actually, I think one of those synopsis files comes from Scott Jones (aka Adelphos).
    Yes, and it's now called "otquotes.sdf" in BW8. I am working on the other three gospels as well, which I will make available when finished, assuming the Lord Jesus gives me the grace and time to finish it.

    I might just add, the x-refs tab now makes this project INFINITELY more easy to accomplish.
    Last edited by Adelphos; 04-02-2009 at 10:56 PM.

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    Regarding the question about studies of Matthew's use of quotations from LXX or Hebrew, the classic work is The School of St. Matthew, and Its Use of the Old Testament, by Krister Stendahl, widely available in libraries and from used book sellers.

    As regards Matt 27:46, note that (1) this is essentially identical to Mark, and manys scholars believe that Matthew is actually following Mark here; (2) however one considers the Matthew/Mark relationship, the main thing is that the quotation is neither from Hebrew nor LXX, but is in Aramaic, either from a Targum or a freely composed Aramaic translation of Psalm 22:1. (The TAR of Psalm 22:1 in BibleWorks has a slightly different wording for "why.")

    Musings on Matt 27:46 -- too many for the time available! The deep mystery of the incarnation is that the Second Person of the Trinity became fully and utterly human. Thus, while from one perspective he was never separated from the Godhead, from another perspective Jesus knew the depths of our alienation from God, our sense of distance from our Maker, our grief when we feel abandoned even by God. There is no sugar-coating this. Psalm 22 expresses the grief of someone who knows that he is suffering innocently and unjustly, and it is not surprising that Jesus would take it on his lips (and that the church would subsequently read the psalm in light of his crucifixion). But if you read the entire psalm, the final 10 verses shout for joy at God's rescue of the sufferer from death. Thus, from the Christian viewpoint, we can see in Psalm 22 both the depths of human suffering and the height of human joy in God's care, and we can see how these would find their ultimate expression in Jesus' crucifixion and resurrection, and in our commemoration of these events on Good Friday and Easter.

    Just my thoughts -- with no intent to stir up controversy!

    David Rensberger

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    Quote Originally Posted by DavidR View Post
    ...the main thing is that the quotation is neither from Hebrew nor LXX, but is in Aramaic, either from a Targum or a freely composed Aramaic translation of Psalm 22:1. (The TAR of Psalm 22:1 in BibleWorks has a slightly different wording for "why.")
    From the Greek of Matthew 27:46 it looks almost certainly like Jesus quoted directly from the Hebrew, not from some speculated text, nor is it likely that Jesus would ever have quoted anything but Hebrew.

    Norman Golb, for one, in his discourse on the DSS, has demonstrated the fiction of Aramaic primacy --

    "We may thus observe, as a notable example, how the Paean to Alexander Jannaeus-one of several Jewish historical personalities mentioned in the scrolls-emerges as the work of a Palestinian poet who took pride in that ruler's reign and had a conception of the overall unity of the Jewish nation, both in Palestine and in the widespread diaspora that already existed long before the destruction of the Second Temple. The hymn is ONE SMALL FRAGMENT AMONG MANY HEBREW POEMS FOUND IN THE CAVES that have no apparent sectarian bias. From it, as from others, WE MAY NOTE THE LYRICAL RICHNESS OF ANCIENT HEBREW up to the very destruction of the Second Temple in A.D. 70; AND WE OBSERVE THAT VIRTUALLY ALL OF THIS POETRY, AS WELL AS OVER THREE QUARTERS OF THE PROSE TEXTS, WAS COMPOSED IN HEBREW, DISPROVING THE VIEW THAT ARAMAIC HAD OVERTAKEN HEBREW AS THE MAIN LANGUAGE OF THE JEWS OF PALESTINE IN THE FIRST CENTURY A.D." Norman Golb, Who Wrote The Dead Sea Scrolls?, Scribner, p 361.

    Once again it comes down to speculation versus actual evidence.

    Link to Norman Golb -- http://humanities.uchicago.edu/depts...ltypages/golb/
    Last edited by Adelphos; 04-03-2009 at 04:46 PM.

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    Default HIMSELF Follow-up

    Well, I didn't intend to preach, but since I referenced A. B. Simpson above, I looked up the reference for myself, as it had been quite some time since I read it, and so I briefly present it here as a follow-up in the hope that one or two souls will perhaps find and receive the glory which it richly contains...

    Taken from "A Treasury Of A. W. Tozer", Baker Book House, 1980, p 274-275 --

    "Dr. Simpson was asked to go to England to preach in a Bible conference. He discovered that he was to preach the third of three messages on sanctification -- and that is a bad spot to be in. The first fellow said in his sermon that the way to be holy and victorious in the Christian life is to suppress the old man. His was the position of sanctification by suppression. The second man got up and took the position of eradication, deliverance from the old carnal life by eradication. "Get rid of the old man, pull him up, turn up the roots in the sun to die!" Doctor Simpson had to get in between there and he took just one word for his text: "HIMSELF". Then he gave his testimony of efforts and struggles to get the victory. He said, "Sometimes I would think I had gotten it, and then I would lose it. What a blessedness when I came to the knowledge that I had been looking in the wrong place, when I found that victory, sanctification, deliverance, purity, holiness -- ALL must be found in Jesus Christ HIMSELF, not in some formula. When I claimed Jesus just for HIMSELF, it became easy and the glory came to my life." Out of that knowledge and out of that blessing, Dr. Simpson wrote his famous hymn, "Once it was the blessing, now it is the Lord. Once His gift I wanted, now HIMSELF alone."

    That, in a nutshell, is the Christian life. That is the basic Christian life, and that is the deeper Christian life. There is no other. That, in a nutshell, is the true Christian life -- HIMSELF!

  9. #9

    Talking Good questions!

    Hey Precha,

    Good questions; stay encouraged in your studies!

    I also think that Hebrew was the dominate language within STP Israel. Notably, I believe it was Papius who notes that Matthew's Gospel was composed as a Hebrew document. (I believe that all the Gospels/Acts were originaly Hebrew... However, I am not dogmatic about it!)

    In answer to your second question: I believe that the NT authors utilized the particular OT "version/ edition" that was the most useful for the theological point(s) each author was attempting to make. (A notable practice within the hermeneutics of the Rabbis)

    I would highly recommended the following book when learning about the complexities of the NT's usage of the OT: Biblical Exegesis in the Apostolic Period, by Richard Longenecker.

    http://www.amazon.com/Biblical-Exege...878862-8341157

    Keep studying!
    a;koue( VIsrah,l( ku,rioj o` qeo.j h`mw/n ku,rioj ei-j evstin( kai. avgaph,seij ku,rion to.n qeo,n sou evx o[lhj th/j kardi,aj sou kai. evx o[lhj th/j yuch/j sou kai. evx o[lhj th/j dianoi,aj sou kai. evx o[lhj th/j ivscu,oj souĊ

    עשׁה שׁלום במרומיו הוא יעשׂה שׁלום עלינו ועל כל ישׂראל ואמרו אמן׃

    "Will you rise like a lion in the morning sun or will you just lay there bleeding? When the time has come, return to the Kingdom, close my eyes and be screaming freedom!" - Matisyahu

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    Sorry I forgot to come back to this! A couple of points to make in response to previous posts. I'd be inclined to agree with Jay that "the NT authors utilized the particular OT 'version/edition' that was the most useful for the theological point(s) each author was attempting to make." Some seem to prefer one and some another, but I don't know if any are perfectly consistent.

    Also, it's important to remember that we don't have very complete knowledge about the Greek versions of the Jewish scriptures available to people writing in (or translating into) Greek. It's a complex subject, but it's always possible that one or another NT author knew a version that varies somewhat from our Septuagint manuscripts. Add to that the frequency of quotation from memory....

    As to the predominance of Hebrew or Aramaic, I don't feel dogmatic on one side or the other. Clearly Hebrew could be used and was used, perhaps as a spoken language of daily life (maybe esp. in Judaea) but certainly as a literary and scholarly language. But we can hardly doubt the significance of Aramaic. WRT Jesus' quotation of Ps. 22:1 on the cross specifically, I don't see why one would think it unlikely that Jesus would have quoted anything but Hebrew. I said Aramaic because the Greek text uses the word sabacqani, representing yntqbv. And the verb qbv is Aramaic, not Hebrew (as seen in TAR Ps 22:1; the Hebrew text of Ps 22:1, of course, has yntbz[).

    Finally -- and this is the only point I really care about on this Good Friday -- thank you, Scott, for the anecdote about A. B. Simpson. I'm not familiar with him. But I read a fair amount of Christian spiritual writers and one thing I have found is that they all, ancient or modern, Catholic or Protestant, etc., etc., all agree on precisely that point: the spiritual life ultimately consists in no formula, no set of words, no practices, but only in Jesus and in our utterly abandoning ourselves to reliance on him.

    Peace, and a most blessed Easter to come,

    David Rensberger

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