Is the Old Testament Irrelevant? Let’s See What Jesus Thinks (The Gospel of Matthew)
by Steven DiSebastian
The concept of this short blog series is simple: We’re simply asking, Is the Old Testament relevant to the Christian faith? and then reading through the Gospels and seeing what Jesus’ attitude towards the Old Testament tells us.
In the first part of this series, we looked at the Gospel of Mark, the shortest Gospel. We found…
18 References to the Old Testament (OT).
15 of those references to OT were made by Jesus.
Thus, 83% of OT references in Mark are made by Jesus.
THE GOSPEL OF MARK
This time, with the Gospel of Matthew, again we read and counted OT references, excluding again many of the times Jesus calls himself the Son of Man, which is an OT reference.
Matthew has 28 chapters – noting that these chapters are not part of the original text but give us a rough idea of a Gospel’s length compared to the other Gospels. I counted 65 references to the OT. Matthew’s Gospel, the most Jewish of the Gospels, has the major theme of Jesus being the Jewish Messiah; thus, it’s not surprising that the author, Matthew, includes many references to the OT, especially in the first three chapters, to support this idea.
Yet, again, like Mark’s Gospel, we find the majority of OT quotes and references – 44 of them – belong to Jesus.
This means Jesus makes 68% of the OT references in the Gospel of Matthew.
65 References to OT
44 References to OT made by Jesus
68% of OT references are made by Jesus
THE GOSPEL OF MATTHEW
In these references, Jesus speaks of Solomon, Moses, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, David, Sodom and Gomorrah, Elijah, Jonah, Isaiah, the Ten Commandments, Abel, Zechariah, Daniel, and Noah and the Flood. He quotes from the books of the Psalms, Deuteronomy, Zechariah, and others…
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