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How Does the NT Use the OT?

We’ve all experienced it. Matthew 2:15 asserts that Jesus fulfills the prophet’s words. Then, flipping back to Hosea 11:1, we discover Israel coming out of Egypt. “How did Matthew get that?” we wonder. Again, we encounter Revelation 3:9 asserting that self-professed Jews will bow before the church. But tapping your nifty cross references to Isaiah 45:14 and Isaiah 60:14 reveals just the opposite, it seems: nations will bow before the Jews. Then, studying Acts 1:20, we again ask, “How can Peter conclude from Scripture to replace Judas when the Psalms he quotes speak about David’s enemies?” 

When comparing the historical, contextual meaning of an Old Testament (OT) verse with its appearance in a New Testament (NT) context, we often feel tension. What type of connection is this? How are the NT authors using the OT? What led them to use it this way? How do I start seeing what they—and Jesus who taught them—think I ought to see? The following aims to help answer these questions by introducing you to the way the NT uses the OT.

It's not an in-depth article. It only outlines some basic categories to help you see how Jesus and the apostles interpreted the OT. I used it to teach Discipleship Hour in 2019 at Redeemer Church. I have tried improving it to serve as a more accessible resource that you can return to. All the categories may be a bit overwhelming. But they describe what many of you already do intuitively when you read a NT passage and think, "Hmm. Didn't I see something similar in Genesis? in Isaiah? in Proverbs?" Or maybe you're reading the OT and say, "Wait! Didn't John the Baptist also wear a garment of hair and a leather belt like Elijah?" Or, "Didn't I observe a similar pattern in Jesus' ministry?" Or, "Doesn't Paul use that verse in Galatians?" And you then proceed to work out the whats, whys, and hows.

So don't let the labels and technicalities bog you down. My hope is that they will only stir you to think further about Scripture and help sharpen the focus on Christ, the center of Scripture's storyline.

Importance for Discipleship

Why is studying the NT's use of the OT important? Several observations stress the importance of this subject for Christian discipleship. For starters, the divine inspiration of Scripture and God’s sovereign purpose in history force us to wrestle with the NT’s relation to the OT. God is not going to inspire later revelation (i.e., the NT) that contradicts prior revelation (i.e., the OT). God also plans the end from the beginning (e.g., Isa 41:26; 46:10). He orchestrates history in a manner that is purposeful, heading toward a single goal: the revelation and enjoyment of his glory in Jesus Christ. Great unity spans the Testaments because God controls history. By studying this subject, we equip ourselves in apologetics, in defending Scripture's consistent testimony.

Also, Jesus’ lordship includes learning from Jesus (and his apostles) how to read the OT. We don’t want to be like the unbelieving Jews in John 5:39 who missed the point of the OT: “You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me.” Rather, we want to learn how to read the OT as Jesus taught his apostles to read the OT. Luke 24:44-47, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets, and the Psalms must be fulfilled.’ Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures…” By studying the NT's use of the OT, we learn how our Lord read the Scriptures and how to follow him in doing so.

Finally, the Spirit glorifies Jesus in and through the disciples’ post-resurrection understanding of the OT. The disciples did not understand the OT (at least not fully) until Jesus’ glorification (John 2:22; 12:16; 20:9). When Jesus returns to the Father, he then sends the Holy Spirit.[i] The Spirit guides the disciples into all truth, including the way Jesus interpreted the OT.[ii] That’s how the Spirit glorifies Jesus (John 16:14). Studying how the NT uses the OT also helps us see the glory of Jesus.

In sum, the unity of God’s plan, the teaching of Jesus, and the ministry of the Spirit, all imply that learning how the NT uses the OT is important to Christian discipleship. With these things in mind, let’s now turn to several ways the OT appears in the NT.

Form: Ways the OT Appears in the NT

One can observe various instances in the NT where we see the apostle’s dependence on the OT. At the most basic level, we could ask, “In what form does the OT appear in the NT?” Such a question does not yet address what the apostles are doing with the OT. It only looks at the data and classifies ways the OT appears in the NT.[iii]

1. General linguistic influence. NT writers are steeped in the OT. Terms/idioms sometimes influence their words but without intending to interpret an OT passage. Such influence compares to the way we often use idioms from Shakespeare without seeking to interpret his play (e.g., “break the ice” comes from The Taming of the Shrew, Act I, Scene II; “be-all, end-all” comes from Macbeth, Act I, Scene VII). An example of this could include Jesus saying, “My soul is very sorrowful, even to death…” The word appears three times in Pss 42:5, 11; 43:5 (LXX), but nothing in Mark 14:34 suggests he’s interpreting Psalms 42-43. Or, regarding sinful passions, James 4:4 rebukes the church with “You adulterous people!” No text cited, but unfaithfulness often related to adultery in OT.

2. Significant conceptual influence. NT writers often work with the same concepts developed in the OT such as the word (John 1:1-3); covenant (e.g., Abraham [Luke 1:72; Gal 3:17]; Moses [Matt 26:28; Heb 9:4]; New [1 Cor 11:25; Heb 8:13]), sin (Rom 5:12), final judgment (Rom 2:5), atonement (1 John 2:2), peace (Rom 1:7), kingdom (Mark 1:15), jealousy (1 Cor 10:22), etc.

3. OT symbols and imagery. Quite often the same OT symbols or imagery reappear in the NT, but in relation to the person and work of Jesus, his church, or the age to come. E.g., “I am the true vine” (John 15:1; cf. Ps 80:8-14; Isa 5:1-7; 27:1-6; Ezek 15:1-8); “I am the good shepherd” (Ps 23:1; Ezek 34; Jer 23:1-7; John 10:1-18); the cup of wrath (Ps 75:8; Isa 51:17; Jer 25:15; John 18:11; Rev 14:10; 16:19); the four beasts (Dan 7; Rev 13); horses and riders (Zech 1:7-17; 6:1-8; Rev 6:1-8); “root” from David’s line (Isa 11:1, 10; Rev 5:5); etc.

4. Summaries of OT history. Stephen’s sermon in Acts 7 moves from Abraham through the patriarchs to Egypt, Moses, the Exodus, David, Solomon, the prophets, and into the present implications. Paul’s sermon in Acts 13 extends from Egypt to David to Jesus. Paul makes a point about the promise to Abraham preceding the Law in Galatians 3 and Romans 4. The larger, chronological narrative extending from Genesis 12-22 through Exodus 19-20 is crucial to understanding the gospel. See also the exodus, wilderness, and idolatry/unbelief in 1 Corinthians 10 and Hebrews 3-4.

5. Explicit/Implicit quotations. A straightforward reproduction of the OT text, either utilizing the LXX or translating the Hebrew. Explicit involves a clear, intentional referent with an introductory formula: “just as it is written” (John 12:14); “as God said” (2 Cor 6:16); “as also in another place” (Heb 5:6); “this is what was uttered by the prophet Joel” (Acts 2:16). Implicit involves a clear, intentional referent without an introductory formula, but other factors make it obvious that a specific text is in mind. E.g., Hebrews 13:6; 1 Peter 2:7-8; 3:10-12.

6. Allusion. A word, idea, or brief phrase that an author uses to send us back to an OT context, though not a quotation. E.g., “kingdom and priests to our God” (Rev 1:6; 5:10; cf. Exod 19:6); “blood of the covenant” (Matt 26:28; cf. Exod 24:8); “he is coming with the clouds” (Rev 1:7; cf. Dan 7:13); “Christ, our Passover lamb” (1 Cor 5:7; cf. Exod 12:14-17); “by hanging him on a tree” (Acts 5:30; cf. Deut 21:23). Some questions[iv] to ask:

  • What verbal parallels are evident? One word is possible, but two or more words of significance between the OT and NT passages is best.

  • What thematic parallels are evident? NT passage may use a similar OT idea or theme, but without the exact vocabulary (Simple word search is insufficient!). E.g., “the seal of God on their foreheads” in Revelation 9:4 differs from the vocabulary of Ezekiel 9:4, but surrounding themes make allusion apparent.

  • What about structural parallels? NT passage may put themes in a particular order that recalls an OT context. E.g., like Moses/Israel, notice how Jesus comes out of Egypt (Exod 1-14; Matt 2:15), gets tested in the wilderness (Exod 16-17; Matt 4:1), and then interprets the Law from a mountain (Exod 20; Matt 5-7). Or, note how events in Revelation 20-22 parallel Ezekiel 37-48—“resurrection of God’s people (Ezek 37:1-14; Rev 20:4-6); Christ’s reign over land restored from war (Ezek 37:24; 38:8, 11; Rev 20:4-6); satanic attack by God and Magog (Ezek 38:1-4, 8, 11; Rev 20:7-8); defeat of Gog and Satan (Ezek 38:16-39:24; Rev 20:9-10); new heaven and new earth presented as a cosmic temple (Ezek 40-48; Rev 21-22).”[v]

  • Do other NT authors reference the same OT text/context but with clearer evidence than the allusion at hand? E.g., “tree” in Acts 5:30 and Galatians 3:13; “Passover” in 1 Corinthians 5:7 and John 19:36.

Function: Ways the NT Interprets the OT

Having observed how the OT simply appears in the NT, we next move toward the ways Jesus and the apostles interpreted the OT.[vi] We’re now asking how the OT passage functions in its NT context. What exactly are the NT writers doing/showing in their use of the OT? The following examples are not exhaustive. Nor are these examples all mutually exclusive (e.g., typological fulfillment may differ from direct fulfillment, but both appear when a NT writer may advance a theme).

1. To show direct fulfillment. The OT promises a specific event and the NT shows how the event comes to pass in a direct manner: a ruler to be born in Bethlehem and Jesus is born in Bethlehem (Mic 5:2; Matt 2:5-6); Zion’s king will ride on a donkey and Jesus rides into Jerusalem on a donkey (Zech 9:9; John 12:15-16); a people will look on the Lord whom they pierced and people look on Jesus whom they pierce (Zech 12:10; John 19:37). Also includes how NT writers expect other OT promises to receive their direct fulfillment at day still future to them: “we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth” (Isa 65:17; 2 Pet 3:13); “the lawless one will be revealed” (Dan 7:25; 11:31; 12:4; 2 Thess 2:3).

2. To show typological fulfillment. A few contexts explicitly use the word type (Greek: tupos in Rom 5:14; 1 Cor 10:6; Heb 8:5), but most occurrences simply utilize the concept without identifying it as such. Typology looks at the way God reveals himself through events, persons, and institutions in the OT, and then teases out how those shadows/patterns point forward to Jesus and the kingdom. Typology is not simply retrospective (looking back from Christ); the OT events themselves are prospective (looking ahead to Christ). Two necessary characteristics: historical correspondence wherein clear parallels exist between the type and its fulfillment; end-time escalation wherein the fulfillment always surpasses the type/shadow/pattern.

  • Events: creation (2 Cor 4:6; 5:17), flood (1 Pet 3:20-22), Sodom (Rev 14), exodus (Matt 2:15; 1 Cor 10:1-5), serpent (John 3:14), exile (1 Pet 1:17)

  • Persons: Adam (Rom 5:14), Melchizedek (Heb 7:1-28), Moses (Matt 5; Acts 3), Israel (Matt 2:15), David (John 13:18; 19:24), David’s enemies (Acts 2:20), Solomon (Matt 12:42), Elijah (Matt 11:14), Jonah (Matt 12:40), Daniel’s Beasts (Rev 13:1-18), Babylon (Rev 14:8)

  • Institutions: Sabbath (Col 2:16-17; Heb 4:6-10), Passover (John 19:36; 1 Cor 5:7), high priest/day of atonement (Heb 9:7-12), temple (John 2:21; 1 Cor 3:16; Rev 21-22), priestly sacrifices (Rom 12:1; 15:16)

3. To advance a recurring theme or motif. Numerous themes span the OT’s storyline seeking their greater resolution in a coming age. The NT then demonstrates how the person and work of Christ advance these themes within the flow of redemptive history (i.e., creation, fall, redemption, consummation). The themes do not stand independent of one another, but are interdependent parts of a whole (e.g., God created image-bearers to exercise dominion over a place/land before his presence).

  • Bigger themes spanning the whole Bible: creation (life, new creation), God’s word, image/likeness of God (identity, manhood/womanhood), dominion (rule, dynasty, kingdom), land (inheritance), rest (peace, wholeness), marriage (jealousy, intimacy, adultery), home (sojourner, exile), priesthood (service, sacrifice), God’s dwelling place (meeting, temple, fellowship), glory of God (worship, praise, thanksgiving), holiness (sanctification, God’s presence), wisdom (knowledge), righteousness (justice, shame), etc.

  • Smaller themes sometimes limited to one author or corpus: abomination of desolation (Dan 12:11; cf. 8:13; 9:27; 11:31; Matt 24:15; Mark 13:14); Day of the Lord (Prophets; Acts 2:20; 2 Pet 3:10, 12; Rev 16:14), Israel = the Lord’s “vine” (Prophets; John 15:1), etc.

The table below exemplifies how a few of the themes listed above develop across the storyline of Scripture.

Four Communities Table

4. To (re)appropriate principles of wisdom, ethics, morality. Referring to the OT (i.e., “the sacred writings”), Paul says that “all Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent for every good work” (2 Tim 3:16-17).

  • Matthew 5:17-26 – Jesus brings the Law to its truest intent and creates citizens who live out the law’s truest intent. It’s not a matter of choosing which OT laws apply and which don’t, but how those laws are fulfilled in Christ and our union with Christ. E.g., if we understand the law’s truest intent, we wouldn’t just avoid murder; we would eliminate every cause that can lead to murder like anger in our hearts. Cf. also Romans 13:8-10; Galatians 5:14.

  • 1 Corinthians 10:1-12 – Christians were redeemed but falling into patterns of idolatry as Israel once had. Paul lists several OT examples wherein idolatry led to God’s judgment. Paul then says, “these things happened to them as an example, but they were written down for our instruction, on whom the end of the ages has come.” Conclusion: “Take heed!”

  • 1 Timothy 5:17-18 – Paul instructs the church to compensate elders who labor in preaching and teaching. He then grounds the instruction in Deuteronomy 25:4, “You shall not muzzle an ox when it treads out the grain.” The one benefiting from the labor of an ox should not take economic advantage of the owner of the ox. Cf. 1 Corinthians 9:9-10.

  • 1 Timothy 2:12-15 – Paul doesn’t permit a woman to teach/exercise authority over a man. He then grounds the instruction in the created order (“For Adam was formed first, then Eve”) as well as how deception entered (“Adam was not deceived but the woman…”). Cf. 1 Corinthians 11:7-12; 14:34-35.

  • Revelation 2:14-16, 20-23 – Teaching of Balaam and Jezebel are both held up as negative examples who led God’s people into covenant unfaithfulness (i.e., idolatry and sexual immorality). Conclusion: Repent!

  • 2 Corinthians 13:1 – “Every charge must be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses.” Same principle appears in Deuteronomy 19:15. Cf. also 1 Timothy 5:19.

5. To show how the new covenant affects the old. The apostles often draw from the old covenant to help us see what has been fulfilled or abrogated in Christ. To be clear, this doesn’t mean we disregard the Law. Nor does it mean the Law is now less important, less authoritative. Rather, we just can’t read the Law apart from how the apostles interpret it and apply it to the church under the new covenant.

For example, as the new covenant in his blood, Jesus’ death fulfills and transforms the Passover (Luke 22:15-20; Matt 26:28; 1 Cor 11:25-26). Physical circumcision no longer marks God’s people, but union with Christ by the Spirit (Gal 6:15; Col 2:11-12). The Law governed the Lord’s people until the coming of Christ, whereas now the apostle’s instruction does (Acts 15:5, 19; 1 Cor 9:20; Gal 3:24). After quoting from Jeremiah 31, Hebrews explains that “in speaking of a new covenant, [the Lord] makes the first one obsolete” (Heb 8:13). After listing commands from the Decalogue, Paul explains that “love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law” (Rom 13:10). With Christ’s once-for-all sacrifice being ultimate, our priestly service now involves sacrificial love (Eph 5:2; Phil 2:17), meeting needs (Phil 4:18), evangelism (Rom 15:16), praise (Heb 13:15), even martyrdom (Rev 6:9).

6. To show a reversed appropriation of an OT situation. Sometimes the particular end-time moment will create a reversal of a situation the OT depicted.

  • Hosea 13:14 invites death to conquer Israel for their sin: “O Death, where are your plagues? O Sheol, where is your sting?” But in 1 Corinthians 15:55 Jesus’ final victory over death transforms the invitation into a taunt against death. It’s not that 1 Corinthians 15:55 contradicts God’s initial word of judgment. Rather, God’s judgment falls on Jesus in our place. For believers, death lost all power.

  • Micah 5:2 says, “But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, who are too little to be among the clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for me one who is to be ruler in Israel…” However, when Matthew cites the prophet’s words within the birth narrative of Jesus, he does so in a manner that stresses the greatness of the fulfillment: “And you, O Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah…”[xiv]

  • Zechariah 12:10-14 foresees people looking on the Pierced One and mourning with repentance. For John, that actually happens when Jew and Gentile look upon the Pierced One by faith during the inter-advent age (John 19:37). But in Revelation 1:7 Jesus’ second coming closes the inter-advent age as well as the opportunity for repentance.[xv] The only mourning left is that of great dread.

Faith: Theological Convictions Driving the NT Writers

Based on God’s ultimate self-revelation in Jesus Christ—including how Jesus himself interpreted the OT—certain theological convictions drive the NT writers’ use of the OT. Stated differently, we’re now seeking to answer the question of warrant. What gives the apostles warrant to use the OT this way? What gives Matthew warrant to interpret Jesus’ flight from Egypt as a fulfillment of Hosea 11:1, which describes Israel? When the soldiers divide Jesus’ garments on the cross in John 19:24, what gives John the warrant to say that happened to fulfill Psalm 22:18, which describes David? Answering the question of warrant helps us understand how the apostles interpret the OT. Once we see their theological convictions, we too can imitate their interpretation of the OT even beyond the passages they draw from more explicitly. Some of these theological convictions include the following:

The OT is God’s word. The Lord Jesus treated the OT as God’s word, which presents a unified message (Luke 24:44-47) that is true (John 10:35) and has abiding, binding authority (Matt 5:17-19; 15:6). The apostles follow Jesus, reading the OT with the same convictions. The OT is God’s word (2 Tim 3:16). The OT presents a unified message, seen in how the NT presents the OT storyline pointing to Jesus (Rom 1:2-3; 16:25-26), uses the OT to interpret itself (Acts 7:42-43; Gal 4:21-31; Heb 4:3-10), and shows consistency across various genres and epochs (Acts 13:33-41). The OT is true (Rom 9:6). The OT has abiding and binding authority (2 Tim 3:16-17; 1 Pet 1:23).

God rules history. God sovereignly orchestrates history, so that earlier parts correspond with and point to later parts.[xvi] Jesus read the OT this way and taught his disciples to do the same (e.g., Matt 11:13-14; John 13:18-19; 15:25). Even where the OT writers didn’t understand the full extent of what their experiences pointed to (cf. Eph 3:5; 1 Pet 1:10-12), God still designed their experiences and had them write about those experiences in a way that anticipated his work in Christ.

Corporate solidarity/representation. Seeing the one in the many and the many in the one. That is, “…a single member of a community can represent the whole. Biblical illustrations of this concept include how the figure of Adam is used by Paul as a representative of all humanity, just as Christ represents redeemed humanity (Rom 5:12-21; 1 Cor 15:20-23, 45-49). ”[xvii] The concept is rooted in the OT itself. E.g., when Israel’s anointed king represents the people—as goes the king, so goes the people (Ps 2; 118); or when the priests wore the “breast-piece of judgment” and represented the nation before God (Exod 28:29).

Christ represents true/ideal Israel. Based on Jesus’ own teaching—e.g., that he is the “true vine” (John 15:1; cf. Ps 80:8-14; Isa 5:1-7; 27:1-6; Ezek 15:1-8)—the apostles read the OT with the assumption that Jesus is the ideal Israelite. Jesus represents all that Israel was supposed to be. E.g., though Hosea 11:1 speaks of Israel the nation coming out of Egypt, Matthew 2:15 sees Hosea’s prophecy fulfilled in Jesus. As true Israel (and God’s son, cf. Exod 4:22-23), Jesus comes to lead us out of our ultimate bondage. Or, Isaiah’s servant-individual embodies everything the servant-nation was supposed to be (Isa 41:8-9; 42:1, 6, 19; 48:3-5, 20; 49:1-6). Luke 2:32 then applies the servant of Isaiah 49:6 to Jesus. Paul goes further and applies Isaiah 49:6 even to us. Meaning, we become true Israel when united to Christ (cf. Gal 4:26; 6:16; Phil 3:3).

Jesus is God/Yahweh. With God’s self-revelation climaxing in Jesus the Son, the apostles see that Jesus himself is God and fulfills the mission of God. Jesus himself taught and embodied this reality (John 8:58; 10:30; 14:9). The apostles witnessed God’s glory in Jesus (John 1:14) and then applied to Jesus OT passages, titles, and functions once reserved exclusively for Yahweh. E.g., “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord” (Joel 2:32; Acts 2:21, 36, 39); “every knee should bow” (Isa 45:23; Phil 2:10-11) “they will look on me [Yahweh], whom they pierced” (Zech 12:10; John 19:37; Rev 1:7); “hairs of his head like pure wool” (Dan 7:9; Rev 1:14); “behold, the Lord is coming” (Isa 40:10; Rev 22:12); “the first and the last” (Isa 41:4; 44:6; 48:12; Rev 22:23).

Jesus is the Christ/Messiah. Jesus identified himself as the Messiah (Matt 16:16-17) and interpreted the Scriptures for the disciples in that light (Luke 24:27, 44-47). The disciples followed suit in general (Acts 3:24; 15:15-16; 28:23; 1 Cor 15:3-4) as well as in the specific functions of Jesus’ role as Messiah: Prophet (Acts 3:22); Priest (Heb 4:14) and new-covenant Mediator (Heb 8-10); King (Acts 13:33).

The age of fulfillment dawned in Jesus’ coming. Jesus described his coming in terms of the kingdom of God being “at hand” (Matt 4:17), “the time being fulfilled” (Mark 1:15), or fulfilling the Law and the Prophets (Matt 5:17). Likewise, the apostles were convinced that Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection inaugurated “the last days” (Acts 2:17; Heb 1:2), “the end of the ages” (Heb 9:26), “the end of all things” (1 Pet 4:7). We are those “upon whom the end of the ages has come” (1 Cor 10:11). Still, the kingdom is not yet fully present on earth. With Christ’s return consummating the age, we now live in the “already-not-yet.”

Christ is central to the OT’s storyline and the key to understanding it. Seen in Jesus’ own teaching (Luke 24:27, 44-47; John 5:39). The disciples then follow suit (Acts 8:35; 13:27; 2 Cor 1:20; 2 Tim 3:15). But even more, the disciples didn’t and couldn’t understand the OT fully until God’s later revelation in Christ (John 12:16; Rom 16:25; Eph 3:5, 9; Col 1:26; 1 Pet 1:10-11). Therefore, no passage of Scripture has been fully understood until it has been read in light of God’s fuller and climactic self-revelation in Jesus Christ, to whom the apostles bear witness in their writings.

Christ-centered Interpretation Diagram

I can’t remember where I first saw this diagram, but it does an excellent job illustrating the right path of interpretation. Follow the red line. Understand the OT text and how it applied to Israel. Then seek to understand it in light of Christ’s person, work, and the new covenant/age he begins. Only then will we make proper sense of how the OT passage applies to us. Only then will we see in the Scriptures what God wants us to see as he glorifies his Son by the Spirit.

________

[i]John 7:39; 14:26; 15:26; 16:7; 20:22.

[ii]John 14:26; 15:26-27; 16:13. For further explanation, you can read or listen to the fourth point in the following sermon: Seeing God's Glory in Jesus the Son.

[iii]A number of these categories were first introduced to me in two separate seminars, a “biblical theology” seminar taught by B. Paul Wolfe and a “NT use of the OT” seminar taught by Paul M. Hoskins.

[iv]The fourth question is my addition. See Bret Rogers, Jesus as the Pierced One: The Use of Zechariah in John’s Gospel and Revelation, McMaster Biblical Studies Series 4 (Eugene: Pickwick, 2020), 21. The first three questions I saw first organized by Jon Paulien, “Allusive Elusions: The Problematic Use of the Old Testament in Revelation,” Biblical Research 33 (1988), 41-43.

[v]Noted parallels between Revelation and Ezekiel taken from James M. Hamilton, Jr., With the Clouds of Heaven: The Book of Daniel in Biblical Theology, NSBT 32 (Downers Grove: IVP, 2014), 219.

[vi]For this section, I am indebted to the teaching ministries of Paul M. Hoskins, my PhD supervisor, and Wes Duggins, my fellow elder at Redeemer Church. Also influential have been numerous works by others, among which the following stand out: Douglas J. Moo, The Old Testament in the Gospel Passion Narratives (Sheffield: Almond Press, 1983); idem, “The Problem of Sensus Plenior,” in Hermeneutics, Authority, and Canon, eds. D. A. Carson and John D. Woodbridge (Eugene: Wipf & Stock, 1986); G. K. Beale and D. A. Carson, Commentary on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2007); Brian S. Rosner, Paul and the Law: Keeping the Commandments of God, NSBT 31 (Downers Grove: IVP, 2013).

[vii]Credit for the “Four Communities” Table must go to Dusty Deevers, now serving as a pastor at Grace Community Church in Elgin, Oklahoma. I have attempted to add questions that explain each heading and then give examples of how to analyze a few themes spanning the Bible.

[viii]Gen 1-2; John 1:1-3; Col 1:15-16; 1 Cor 11:7; 15:49; Heb 1:2.

[ix]Rom 3:23; 5:12; Jas 3:9.

[x]Gen 1:26-29; 2:18-25; Matt 19:6; Eph 5:31-32 (alongside Eph 1:4; John 17:2, 9, 24);

[xi]Deut 24:1-4; Isa 62:4; Ezekiel 16:8-14; Hos 2:16; Matt 19:7-8.

[xii]Cf. Gen 1-2 with Prov 3:18 (“tree of life”); 8:22-31 (“possessed me at the beginning of his work”).

[xiii]Gen 3:1-7; Deut 4:6-7 (“your wisdom…‘Surely this nation is a wise and understanding people’”); 1 Kgs 3:1-28; Prov 1-22:16; 25-29; Isa 11:2-3 (“Spirit of wisdom and understanding”).

[xiv]I’m thankful that Tyrone Benson pointed out this example to the Discipleship Hour class at Redeemer Church in 2019.

[xv]E.g., John 5:24, 27, 29; Rev 6:16-17; 14:7, 10; 19:15; cf. 1 John 4:17. For further development, see Rogers, Jesus as the Pierced One, 142-48, 167-217.

[xvi]G. K. Beale, Handbook on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament: Exegesis and Interpretation (Grand Rapids: Baker, 2012), 96.

[xvii]Darrell Bock, “Scripture Citing Scripture: Use of the Old Testament in the New,” in Interpreting the New Testament Text, eds. Darrell Bock and Buist Fanning (Wheaton: Crossway, 2006), 261.