Old Testament References in the Epistles of Paul

Author: Grzegorz Rafiński

DOI: https://doi.org/10.26142/stgd-2018-001

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Abstract

The following statement by M. Silva is the starting point for the article: “Although many Jews in the first century saw the Christian gospel as antithetical to their faith, Paul regarded his message as the fulfillment of God’s promises to Israel. His letters are therefore filled with OT references used to clarify and defend the Gospel”. The article includes an enumeration of OT quotations which are present in the Letters of Paul, classified according to three criteria: 1) their origin from specific books of the Old Testament, 2) their origin from the Septuagint, the Masoretic Text, or other sources, 3) their occurrence in specific Letters of Paul. While Paul knew the Jewish subdivision of biblical books into the Torah, Prophets, and Writings, he pointed out the necessity of a Christian rereading of the Bible in which Abraham is the key figure and Genesis 15:6 – the key text. The multitude (101) of citations and references to Old Testament texts which is present in the Epistles of Paul indicates that Paul assumed that all important matters which he taught were rooted in the will of God which had already been revealed in the Bible. The ease with which Paul navigated various books of the Bible shows how deeply it permeated his way of thinking. Paul “thought with the Bible” as he was interpreting reality.

Keywords

Epistles of Paul, Quotations from the Old Testament in the Letters of Paul