Keith Hunt - PAUL'S USE OF THE OLD TESTAMENT Restitution of All Things

All Emphasis is by Keith Hunt


     The writings of the apostle Paul reveal a person immersed in
the content and teaching of the OT.  H.A.A. Kennedy, after a
study of Paul's religious terminology, found that practically
every leading conception in this field of Paul's thought had its
roots definitely laid in OT soil (H.A.A. Kennnedy, St. Paul and
the Mystery Religions, London, 1913, pp. 154-60).  Whether he is
giving a dogmatic proof (e.g. Rom.3:10-18), an analogy
(e.g. Rom.2:24), or an illustration (e.g. Rom.10:6-8), or merely
using language with which to clothe his own thoughts (e.g.
Rom.12:20; 1 Cor.15:32; 2 Cor.10:17; 13:1), the OT
appears frequently throughout the Pauline epistles.........
     The Pauline use of the OT appears in THREE DISTINCT forms: 
     The task of defining "quotation" in the Pauline literature
is rather difficult, and the decision in the end is somewhat
arbitrary. The apostle probably did not have OUR CONCEPT of
quotation marks; he certainly did not give it the sanctity which
characterises our literary usage.  Some references which are
introduced with an explicit citation formula echo only the TENOR
OF THE PASSAGE (e.g. 1 Cor.14:31); others, not given even the
dignity of an introductory conjunction, follow the OT text
verbatim ac literatim (e.g. 1 Cor. 15:32). 
     The gradation from quotation to illusion is so imperceptible
that it is almost impossible to draw any certain line.........



     Paul quotes the OT NINETY-THREE TIMES (About one-third of
all New Testament quotations are cited by Paul)........
     Although the quotations are drawn from SIXTEEN OT books, 
THREE-FOURTHS of them are from the PENTATEUCH (thirsty-three),
ISAIAH (twenty-five), and the PSALMS (nineteen).
     The citations appear both SINGLY and in COMBINATION........

     FIFTY-ONE of Paul's citations are in ABSOLUTE or VIRTUAL
agreement with the LXX,  TWENTY-TWO of these are at VARIANCE with
the Hebrew.  In FOUR passages Paul follows the Hebrew AGAINST the
LXX;  THIRTY-EIGHT times he DIVERGES from BOTH.  Combined
quotations show a much greater variation than the others.......

     The PRIORITY of the LXX in Pauline quotations has long been
recognised.......Swete affirms that more than HALF of the Pauline
QUOTATIONS were taken from the LXX without MATERIAL CHANGE and
that, by any test, the LXX "is the principal source from which
the writers of the New Testament derived their Old Testament
quotations........Affinities with the LXX are not only evident in
Paul's quotations but EXTEND to his GENERAL STYLE and VOCABULARY
as well........"The careful student of the Gospels and St. Paul,"
concludes Swete, "is met at every turn by words and phrases which
cannot be fully understood without reference to their earlier use
in the Greek Old Testament.

     The quotations show considerable distribution among the LXX
TEXT-FORMS, none of them being followed CONSISTENTLY.  Sometimes
they agree with LXX-B, more often with LXX-A and LXX-F........In
general, LXX-A appears to be more in accord with Paul's
quotations than the other manuscripts.......

     As noted above, there are a considerable number of
variations from the LXX in Paul's quotations.  To account for
them several hypotheses lie at hand:  a direct use of the Hebrew
or its employment to correct the LXX,  citations from an Aramaic
Targum or translation,  the use of the Greek translations,  or
free quotations from memory.
     Paul often gives the impression of quoting from memory, yet
the memory which was the storehouse of more than one language,
and one trained in Jewish methods of bringing together passages
from different books of the OT.  From a psychological viewpoint
it might be expected that one who knew the Scriptures in several
languages would be less ties to any text-form.........

     One of Paul's quotations shows remarkable resemblance to
Greek texts OTHER than the LXX.......It is probable that Paul was
acquainted with other Greek texts; however, the evidence is not
sufficient to draw any final conclusions......Nevertheless,
Aramaic texts of some type probably lie behind some of the
citations.......The variant in Eph.4:8 may also reflect a Targum,
but its immediate source is more probably an interpretive
rendering known to Paul and perhaps used in the early

     As the above observations indicate, the text behind Paul's
quotations is a most DIFFICULT PROBLEM. While the Alexandrian
version probably had the character of an official translation for
the diaspora in certain areas and plays an important part in
Paul's usage, it CANNOT be regarded as the apostle's SOLE textual
source.  His fluency in Aramaic and Greek might, on first
observations, favour an ad hoc rendering.  However,
affinities with other Greek texts and the familiar manner in
which the quotations are often introduced SUGGEST that Paul made
use of variant translations or renderings known to his readers. 
Whether these were independent texts or merely revisions within
the LXX family cannot be determined with certainty, but the
EVIDENCE DOES NOT point to any great number of independent
textual traditions or to a great abundance of Greek Targums. 
Some of Paul's variants show the influence of the Hebrew; other
can to traced to NO TEXT AT ALL - they are Paul's OWN RENDERING
in which he interprets and applies as he quotes.  
     The nature of the problem and the incomplete state of the
textual ecidence preclude any final adjudication of the matter;
the words of Stanley still remain relevant for several Pauline
passages: "(There is) not sufficient evidence to say whether this
(variation) arises from a reminiscence of the Hebrew text.....,
or from an Aramaic Targum, or from the use of an earlier form of
the LXX text."
     The inconclusive character of results obtainable from
textual criteria leads one to consider a solution, or at least a
partial solution, on other grounds.  There is always a
temptation to relieve oneself of textual difficulties by taking
recourse in "free paraphrase" or "interpretive rendering." 
Nevertheless, several factors, both in the textual analysis and
in the overall Pauline hermeneutics, INDICATE that the answer to
many of these problems MAY LIE in THIS direction.


General Considerations

     Paul's use of the OT cannot be understood apart from his
attitude towards it.  To him the Scriptures are holy and
prophetic (Rom.1:2; 4:3); they constitute the very oracles
of God (Rom.3:1-2), and they "were written......for our learning"
(Rom.15:4).  All his important doctrines are buttressed by an
appeal to his Bible; to place the origin of Scripture in God,
Paul's phrase "God-breathed" (2 Tim.3:16) could hardly be
improved upon.  In his view of the OT the apostle is in agreement
not only with Christ and the other NT writers but also with the
whole of Judaism and the early Church.
     Although the OT is sometimes referred to by Paul as "the
law" (e.g. 1 Cor.14:21 with Isa.28:11-12),  "the writings"
(Col.2:14; cf 2 Tim.3:15),  or "the law and the prophets"
(e.g. Rom.3:21),  "the scriptures" is the prevailing usage. 
These designations probably stemmed from the three divisions of
the Jewish canon (Cf. Luke 24:44)............

     The essential difference between Paul and the Jews in their
employment of Scripture was an INTERPRETIVE one......In Paul's
eyes the Jews stood ON the Scriptures; though they extolled it,
they ERRED because they did not KNOW it (Cf. Matt.22:29).........

     In First and Second Corinthians Paul teaches expressly that
a correct understanding of Scripture is impossible without the
Holy Spirit (Cf. 1 Cor.2; 2 Cor.3:14)......The place of the
Spirit does not lesson the authority of the OT for Paul; nor
is there any antithesis between the Scripture and the

The Relation....To Other Authorities

     Besides the Scriptures there are several other authorities
to which Paul appeals to support his assertions.  There are the
law of nature, the conscience of the individual, his own
revelation from Christ or the Holy Spirit, and the teaching of
Christ as received through oral or written apostolic tradition. 
Although the natural order is the source of many analogies, it is
evoked only a few times as an AUTHORITY (Analogies of law -
Rom. 7:1-3; Gal. 3:15; 4:1ff,  occupations - Rom.9:21; 1
Cor.3:7,24ff, and natural phenomena - Rom.11:16-24; 1 Cor.12:14,
are common. The Ot is used in this manner as well, e.g. 
2 Cor.4:6,13, as is the example of Christ, e.g. 2 Cor.8:8-9. 
They serve only as illustrations, however, and not as an appeal
to authority; their propriety depends upon the authority of the
user or their appeal to the logic of the hearer);  in Rom.1:18ff
(cf. Rom.2:14ff) God's power and Deity are declared to be taught
by nature;  distinction between the sexes in manner of appearance
and dress is also in the very nature of things (1 Cor.11:14). 
The authority of the individual conscience plays an important
part for Paul:
Regarding the eating of food offered to idols, one's own
conscience is to be obeyed, and the conscience of others are not
to be offended (1 Cor.8:7ff; 10:25ff; cf. Rom.14:23. Also
Rom.2:15; 13:5 may be viewed as referring to a sort of universal
conscience);  by disobeying the voice of conscience the faith of
some has been made shipwreck (1 Tim.1:19). 
     Writing to the Galatians, the apostle grounds the very
nature of his Gospel in a personal revelation from Jesus Christ
(Gal. 1:12, 16ff; 2:5, but contrast Rom.1:2; cf. 1 Thes.4:15. 
The instances in Rom. 14:14, cf. 1 Cor.7:40, seem to be more in
the nature of a "witness of the Spirit" than specific revelation;
cf. Col.3:16);  it is only after citing this authority and the
witness of their own experience that the evidence of the OT is
brought to bear (Gal.3:1-5, 6ff).  
     The condemnation of the Corinthians for their desecrations
of the Lord's Supper is founded upon Christ's own words as to the
nature of that service (1 Cor.11:23ff);  Paul's command against
divorce is similarly based upon the known teaching of the Lord
(1 Cor. 7:10 with Matt.7:31; cf. 1 Cor.9:14 with Matt.10:10;
Gal.6:2 with John 13:34).  These appeals to other authorities are
not inconsistent with the apostles appeal to scriptural authority
(There are authorities inconsistent with Scripture which Paul
condemns: any authority contrary to his Gospel - Gal.1:8f - and
the wisdom of this world - 1 Cor.1-3; cf. Rom.1:22; Col.2:23. The
touchstone for judgment is not to go "beyond that which is
written" - 1 Cor.4:6).........

     This appeal to different authorities is at times found in
close combination though there seems to be no consistent pattern
of association.  For example, in 1 Cor.9:7-14 Paul proceeds from
the analogy of nature to the witness of the OT; immediately he
returns to another analogy, the practice of the temple, and
clinches the whole argument citing the command of Christ directly
bearing on the subject.  
     1 Cor.15:3-11 is even more noteworthy:  Christ's
resurrection is grounded in the OT, the apostolic tradition, and
Paul's personal revelation........
     Paul's OWN authority plays a MUCH LARGER role in his
epistles than is usually assigned to it.  A few times it is of a
very much qualified nature (Cf. 1 Cor.7:12, 25, 40), but for the
MOST PART it is ASSERTED with no indication of being anything
LESS thanb ABSOLUTE. He does not often state its basis, but it
appears to arise from his firm conviction of guidance from the
Holy Spirit and from his authority as an apostle. Paul
concludes his discussion of GLOSSOLALIA with the words: "If
anyone thinks that he is a prophet, or spiritual, he should
acknowledge that what I am writing to you is a command of the
Lord" (1 Cor.14:37. The verse may refer to a teaching of Christ;
but the words imply primarily the guidance of the Spirit....).  
     With reticence but firmness he warns the Corinthians in his
second letter of the AUTHORITY he has from the Lord (2 Cor.10:8;
     Instructions concerning the Christian's relation to the
State are enjoined WITHOUT CITING an authority (Rom.13:1-7 but
cf. Matt.22:21), as are his COMMANDS regarding spiritual gifts (1
     MANY OTHER themes are developed at least in part WITHOUT
reference to ANY RULE apart from his OWN. It is true that
sometimes OT texts (e.g. Rom.2:13; cf. Rom. 10:5; Gal.3:12 with
Lev.18:5), and his former instructions (Former instructions from
Scripture or the apostolic traditions appear implied.....
1 Cor.6:3, 9, 15, 16; only the last instance is followed by an OT
citation, cf. 1 Cor.3:16; 2 Cor.6:16. It may, however, only
refer to their Christian commonsense), underline the words, but
they do not account for all of his paragenetic and doctrinal
     It is impossible, of course, to know just how much knowledge
of the OT and the apostolic traditions Paul assumes on the part
of his readers; but his OWN apostolic jurisdiction is
UNMISTAKABLE in a number of passages.......

     But the OT was not one of those things which Paul counted
loss for the sake of Christ; indeed, it could be understood ONLY
in the LIGHT of CHRIST.
     There are many explanations for Paul's infrequent use of the
OT in the shorter letters.....The use of an authority other than
the Jewish Scriptures may well have been more suitable for many
questions which arose, especially in a young Gentile assembly.
But it DOES NOT FOLLOW that thereby the OT was set aside or
subordinated, any more than a citation from Isaiah implies a
lower view of Jeremiah........
     For Paul, Jesus was ABOVE ALL the CHRIST; to divorce the
Messiah from the "book-religion" of the OT was hardly a task for
a Jew - even one converted through personal revelation.

The Extent.....Paul's Canon

     ........There are a few quotations in the Pauline epistles
which do not appear on first observation to be derived from the
OT.  The passages most often questioned in this regard are  
1 Cor. 2:9.....Eph. 4:8.....Eph. 5:14.....1 Cor. 15:45b.....1
Tim. 5:18b......... 

     1 Cor. 2:9 has been attributed to:
     1. An apocryphal writing;  2. an apocryphal phraseology of
the OT texts; 3. a Jewish anthology of OT passages;  4. and a
free paraphrase of the OT by Paul.
     Eph. 4:8 is generally taken to be a Pauline use of a common
Jewish interpretation of the OT passage.....
     Eph. 5:14, older commentators have generally assigned it to
an exegetical paraphrase or summary of Isa.60:1, 19ff
(cf.Isa.9:2; 26:19; 52:1).......Recent writers have suggested a
verbum Christi or, more often, an early Christian hymn giving a
messianic paraphrase of several OT passages.......

     The quotations in 1 Cor. 15:45 and 1 Tim. 5:18, both cited
as Scripture, suggest another answer to the whole problem (Cf.
also 2 Tim.2:11-13, 19;  2 Cor.6:2; 1 Tim.3:16). The latter
clause in each of these passages seems logically and
grammatically within the quotation (e.g. the argument in 1 Cor.15
partly rests on that portion of the "quotation"), yet neither is
from the OT.  
     1 Tim. 5:18b is a saying of Jesus (Matt.10:10; Luke 10:17;
cf. Acts 20:35); the former passage (1 Cor. 15:45b) is of
undetermined origin........

     Christ was regarded as the Word of God by Paul, and 2 Peter
3:16 appears to equate the Pauline writings WITH SCRIPTURE;
furthermore, the exercise of the gift of prophecy was no less
from the Holy Spirit than the oracles of the OT prophets (Cf.
Acts 2:17ff;  19:6;  21:4, 9ff;  1 Cor.14. These Spirit-inspired
utterances evidently included hymns as well; cf. 1 Cor.14:15).  
     If these observations are correct, and if Eph.5:14 does not
find its ultimate source in the OT, the most probable alternative
source is a saying either of Jesus or of a Christian

So I end quotations from chapter one.

Chapter two is titled "PAUL AND JUDAISM" and contains a large
amount of instructive wealth for those wanting a full study on
that part of Paul as it pertains to his background in Judaism. 
For our purposes in this article the following few passages will
be enough for the average reader.


     .......... Without doubt the apostles understanding of the
OT was completely REVOLUTIONISED after his conversion;
nevertheless his Jewish heritage remained of fundamental
IMPORTANCE for his understanding and use of the Bible. His
reverence for and study of the Scriptures LONG PRECEDED his
knowledge of Christ.......Having recognised the place of Judaism
in Paul's thought, a note of CAUTION should be added.  From that
day on the Damascus road, the home of Paul's heart and of his
mind NEVER AGAIN lay in Judaism.......The commonly used
fragmentary quotation, with the continuance of given portion
sometimes implied (e.g. 1 Cor.2:9.....), the insertion of
hortatory, ethical sections, and other procedures more
distinctively Jewish, were probably acquired by Paul in his
training as the rabbinate.  It is most natural, and not in the
least derogatory, to find these methods in his epistles.  As Prat
well states, "the interests of truth did not require him to
unlearn all that he had been taught."

.......In Rom.9-11 and Gal.3 Paul employs the ancient MIDRASHIC
form of commentary; but his incisive manner and compact,
integrated treatment is quite at odds with the rabbinic system. 
Often to support an opinion the rabbis quote the Law, Prophets
and Hagiographa in succession and Paul also adopts this custom on
occasion (Cf. Rom.11:8- 10; 15:9-12......The custom is evident in
Christ as well; cf. Luke 24:44; Mark 12:3-8; Luke 16:16,29).  It
is not HABITUAL with the apostle, however, and probably 
represents only an incidental reminiscence. Hillel's principles
of a fortiori and analogy are implicit in MANY Pauline passages
(e.g. Rom.4-5. Paul's exposition in 1 Cor.7 is an example of NT
Halacha; the allegory in Gal.4 is Haggada).......

     .....certain other Pauline practices may be compared with
QUOTATIONS, and his use of ALLEGORY.........

     Warfield's words are apropos: "There is probably not a
single mode of alluding to or citing Scripture in all the NT
which does not find its exact parallel among the Rabbis. 
The New Testament so far evinces itself a THOROUGHLY JEWISH book"
(Warfield, op. cit., pp. 118f)

Combined Quotations

     .........The apostle never introduces his haraz in the
explicit rabbinical manner, i.e. The Law says....., the Prophets
say......, the Writings say.....  However, the rationale
behind the Jewish usage, "not as though the words of the Law need
confirmation, but to show how the Scriptures emphasises the
lesson by iteration," IS EVIDENTLY operative also in Paul's
     Examples of the haraz, so frequent in Rom.9-11, 15, are
NUMEROUS in the TALMUD.......In the haraz, then, Paul follows the
PRACTICE of the rabbis, but for the SOURCE of his frequently used
MERGED quotations one must look elsewhere.


     .......the method is employed by the apostle in connexion
with a DIVINELY DESIGNED type (e.g. 1 Cor.10:4: "The Rock was
Christ") or with the ILLUSTRATIVE use of an OT passage (Cf.
Gal.4:25: "this Hagar is Mt.Sinai"......)

     .......The whole of Paul's TYPOLOGICAL exegesis has more in
common, as a method, with the Alexandrian school than with the

     .......In conclusion. Paul's treatment of the OT often finds
much in common with the methods of his day as reflected in Jewish
literature; his IF and haraz are especially to be noted in this
regard.  In other respects Pauline methods find FEW parallels in
contemporary Jewish writings.  The use of MERGED quotations is
LITTLE found in the rabbis.  In contrast to PHILO, Paul's use of
ALLEGORY is VERY MINOR and its character altogether DIFFERENT
from that of Alexandrian writers; and his TYPOLOGICAL view of OT
history is a RARE, if not unknown, element in contemporary
Jewish exegesis.  In all things but allegorical interpretation,
Paul's Jewish methodology reflects a Palestinian milieu, and even
in that the Alexandrian contact does not appear to be close or
     The apostle is NOT averse to using methods from his Jewish
training as they suit his purpose; ON THE OTHER HAND, some of his
methods seem to arise from a Christian hermeneutic and from the
practice of the apostolic community and CANNOT be explained by
his Jewish background.......

Messianic Consciousness

     .......In the rabbis it was a standing principle to refer to
the predictions of the prophets as to the "days of the Messiah," 
and this principle is almost always in evidence in Paul's
interpretations.......Almost a century ago Westcott examined the
question and found that of NINETY-FOUR passages quoted
messianically in the NT only FORTY- FOUR were interpreted in the
same manner in Jewish writings; there are FEW revisions
of that estimate to be made today.......the main sources for
Paul's messianic interpretations of the OT are the principles and
emphases received from the apostolic tradition and his own
exegesis of the OT as a Christian,  One would find it hard to
root this element of his thought immediately in Judaism........

The Beggarly Elements

     When Paul warned Timothy and Titus to beware of Jewish
FABLES and commandments of MEN (1 Tim.1:4; Titus 1:14; 3:9), NO
rabbinic literature. Although some of their exegesis is
praiseworthy.....nevertheless its essential character is indeed
"weak and beggarly."  Prat has well summarised it: "In the slough
of Apocryphal and rabbinical writings a few particles of gold can
sometimes be met with, but with how much dross they are
combined."  To realize the GREAT GULF which separates Paul's use
of the OT from that of the rabbis, one need only observe a FEW
examples from talmudic literature:

     1. "The dust of the first man was gathered from all over the
earth because Ps.139:16 says God saw the unformed substance, and
Zech. $:10 says the eyes of the Lord run to and fro through the
whole earth" (Sanh. 38b; SBT, p.241).

     2. "Why did Obadiah hide fifty prophets in the cave" (1
Kings 18:4)?  "Because the cave would only hold fifty" (Sanh.
39b; SBT, p.253).

     3. "The first man had two faces because Ps.139:5 says, 'Thou
hast formed me behind and before' " (Ber.61a; SBT, p.381).

     4. "The first man reached from earth to heaven because it
says (Deut.4:32), 'since the day God created man upon the earth
and from one end of the heaven' " (Sanh. 38b; SBT, p.243).

     5. "Whoever places his bed north and south will have male
children because Ps. 17:14 says, 'Whose belly thou fillest with
treasure, who have sons in plenty' " Treasure, also means north
(Ber. 5b; SBT, p.22).
     Although there are exceptions, and the above examples are
graphic, they are by no means UNTYPICAL or EXTREME and can be
adduced AD INFINITUM ET AD NAUSEAM from almost any section of the
Talmud.  The ruling principle of rabbinic exposition of Scripture
is well expressed in Sanh. 34a (SBT, p.214):  "A verse is capable
of as many interpretations as splinters of rock crushed by a
hammer, for Jer.23:29 says, 'Like a hammer that breaketh a rock
in pieces.....' "
     Their SPLINTERING, purposeless, speculative musings....have
not the REMOTEST kinship with Paul's theology or hermeneutical

     The rabbis worshipped the LETTER and sought to justify their
TRADITIONS by arbitrary exegesis; Paul's usage, on the other
hand, is NOT arbitrary or AGAINST the LITERAL sense if the
typological usage be granted.  Toy sums up the rabbinic exegesis
in the principle "that EVERY SENTENCE and EVERY WORD of the
Scripture was credited with ANY MEANING that it could possibly be
     Concerning Paul's relation to Jewish thought Kennedy has
given a better evaluation than most: "........His writings reveal
every here and there affinities with his native environment. But
the remarkable FACT REMAINS that these affinities are largely
SUPERFICIAL, that they disclose themselves at the CIRCUMFERENCE
rather than at the CENTER of his thought" (H.A.A.Kennedy,
St.Paul's Conception of the Last Things, London, 1904, pp. 43ff).

Paul's Use of Non-Canonical Literature


     The question of Paul's knowledge and use of Jewish Apocrypha
has been debated since.....1795, and it continues to be a matter
of dispute.  His knowledge of Palestinian writings in general
circulation may be presumed; as for the literature of the
diaspora the problem becomes more complex......What writings were
in general circulation?  Which ones would be seen and used by a
student of the rabbinate?  To what extent does the extant
literature represent the really "important" literature of Paul's
day, and for his party?
     Paul's ONLY non-canonical citations are from GREEK

     Paul's relation to Philo is best mutual
dependence upon a common tradition........Philo arrives at a
position regarding the law which approximates to that of St.
Paul.....Each in his own manner has come to realize the
accomplishments of Jeremiah's epoch-making utterances: "I will
put in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts"
     Philo also resembles Paul in making salvation totally
dependent upon the word of God........serves to strengthen the
hypothesis of a common tradition underlying certain Philonic
concepts which appear in CLEARER LIGHT in the NT, but there is NO
GROUNDS for assuming a DIRECT connection.
     Jowett's essay on "St.Paul and Philo" sums up the relation
of Christianity to Alexandrian Judaism:  "(Alenxandrianism) was
MYSTICAL and dialectical, NOT MORAL and was a
literature not of LIFE......It spoke of a Holy Ghost; of a Word;
of a divine man; of a first and second Adam; of the faith of
Abraham; of bread which came down from heaven; but knew NOTHING
of the God who had made of one blood all nations of the earth; of
the VICTORY over SIN and DEATH; of the CROSS of Christ.  It was a
picture, a shadow, a surface, a cloud above, catching the rising
light ere He appeared.  It was the reflection of a former world,
not the BIRTH of a NEW ONE. It lifted up the veil of the temple,
to see in a glass only dreams of its own creation" (p.454).


     The importance of Paul's Jewish heritage cannot be ignored
if his writings are to be fully understood........The significant
conclusion, however, is the great CHASM separating the writings
of Paul from the rabbis.  The apostle's OT exegesis was not just
an adoption of current traditions but reveals a VITALITY and
UNDERSTANDING  totally FOREIGN to rabbinical literature.  
     If Paul used Jewish interpretations, he CULLED and MOULDED
them to a Christological understanding of the OT; if he was a
"child of his times, " they were for Paul the times of the
TRUE meaning of Scripture. Paul was a disciple of Christ NOT of

     The Pauline use of the OT cannot really be understood in
terms of his Jewish contemporaries.  This is ESPECIALLY true
where principles of INTERPRETATION are involved.  The affinities
which occur are in PERIPHERAL areas and never reach the HEART of
his thought.  After his conversion the OT became a NEW book for
Paul; all that went before now stood only as a prelude - a
prelude set QUITE APART from all that was to follow. Although
echoes of the prelude remain, the REAL MEANING which the OT has
for him lies at a DIFFERENT source.  And to find it one MUST GO
to Christ and to the apostles.

     The end of quotes from chapter two.

     Chapter three covers in some depth Paul and the Apostolic
Church. The author spends some interesting time with the NT
parallels between Paul and the teachings of Christ. And in a
second section some parallels of Paul with other NT writers.

     The FOURTH and last chapter of the book is titled "PAUL'S

     The author lists the various topics Paul expounded upon,
which include:

     The fall of mankind into sin and its effects.
     The Universality of sin.
     The Coming of Christ and the Gospel.
     Justification by Faith.
     Forgiveness of sin.
     Faith and Works.
     Divine Election.
     Calling of the Gentiles.
     The Gifts of the Spirit.
     Christian Conduct.
     The Resurrection of Christ and the Saints.
     The Return of Christ.
     The Final Overthrow of Death.

     Covered in this chapter is the very important Pauline
subject of the Jew and the Gentile, and the NT Israel of God, and
how Paul ties it all in with the OT.  Then there is the often
used "Typology" of Paul. And Earle Ellis shows that Paul chiefly
used THREE OT period with his use of typology, they are: the
Creation, the Age of the Patriarchs, and the Exodus.
     This fourth chapter also expounds on Paul's exegesis with
regards the NEW Covenant. 
     Mt. Ellis gives a reasonably lengthy discourse on what may
be some of the answers to the quotations by Paul that vary from
the LXX and the MT texts.
     Towards the close of this chapter the author has some
interesting and very true comments about Paul in how he
understood the "historial" aspects of the OT.

     ......The apostle does not ignore the historical
significance of the text......Paul would probably begin by
saying, "The OT Scripture has a wider meaning than its IMMEDIATE
historical application (Cf. Rom.15>4; 1 Cor.10:11); even OT
history is God-moulded history whose significance does NOT LIE
MERELY in the event but in the MEANING of the event FOR ITS LATER
FULFILMENT.......If Paul's presuppositions as to the nature
of the OT and of its history are accepted, little fault can be
found with his handling of the individual texts........

     In conclusion, the significance of the OT for Paul's
theology can hardly be OVERESTIMATED......Rather, his knowledge
of Christ opened to him a NEW WAY in which he found the true
meaning of the Scriptures.......

End of quote.

     The APPENDIX of the book is very useful as a reference to
the OT as used by Paul. There is a list of quotations as
pertaining to the agreement or not with the LXX and Hebrew. All
the ALLUSIONS and PARALLELS used by Paul as listed. There is a
list of all the COMBINED quotations that Paul used. And there is
a list of Paul's PARALLEL quotations.

     The book "PAUL'S USE OF THE OLD TESTAMENT" by Earle Ellis,
published by Baker Book House, Grand Rapids,  is well worth
having in your personal library, especially if you are an elder
or leader in the Church of God.


Written February 1998 
by Keith Hunt

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