Old Testament Passages Cited in the New Testament

What Christians call the Old Testament was the Bible of the Apostles. The division between Old and New Testaments while significant in history is not as significant in thought as many today seem to believe. Christianity came out of Judaism. They parted company in the first century when the New Testament was being written. By the end of the first century Christianity was largely gentile. Still New Testament Scripture quotes heavily from the Old Testament. The New Testament writers were aware that there was new revelation but really they did not think that is was a major departure from their own tradition. The New Testament writers, apart from Luke, were Jewish. In Jesus' interactions with the Jewish leadership he points them back to the scriptures that they should have understood but could not because they were too tied up in their tradition.

There is a famous quotation that goes something like:

The New Testament is in the Old Testament concealed;
the Old Testament is in the New Testament revealed.

This is often attributed to Augustine but there are those who think that it is actually from the Bible itself. We recall that after Jesus had risen from the dead, He appeared to the disciples and told them: "These are the words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms concerning Me (Luke 24:44)."

Comparing the two sayings we see that maybe what is being cited is more the idea than the words. While we generally think of a quotation as a word-for-word citation as above we often use the notion when we connect common ideas, we also paraphrase things when memory fails.These "citations" often time are judgement calls as there are no foot notes in the original manuscripts.

The other problem that arises when connecting the Old and New testaments is that the New Testament writers generally used the Septuagint (LXX) which is the Hebrew Bible in Greek. Sometimes the Greek and the Hebrew, that is the basis of modern Christian translations, do not quite line up. In those instances I have an entry marked LXX for comparison. I have come to the conclusion that this must be more clear in the Greek as it had been difficult to follow using the various English translations I have used for this.

So as to the number and details of the citations, there are different counts by different people and this and the subsequent pages that link off of the list below will probably never be complete. In compiling this I was most interested in how the New Testament writers used the Old Testament. That is where my commentary focuses. The actual count is a secondary issue but according to Peter Krol:

The 10 Old Testament Books most quoted in the New Testament

  1. Psalms (68 times)
  2. Isaiah (55)
  3. Deuteronomy (44)
  4. Genesis (35)
  5. Exodus (31)
  6. Leviticus (13)
  7. Proverbs (8)
  8. Zechariah (7)
  9. Jeremiah (5)
  10. Hosea (5)

These represent only the places where the citation was preceded by "it is written" or some such indicator. Combining Krol's list with lists from various references produced the following table where links to details of each book can be found. Following the links below will display an annotated list of the quotations from and allusions to that book or group of books. Clever observers will note that not all of the Old Testament books are present in this list. Specifically Judges, Ruth, Ezra, Jonah and Song of Solomon are not there. I am assured from several sources that they are not quoted, although some of the stories are referenced. This project is big enough without them.

Torah History Wisdom Prophets
Genesis Joshua Job Isaiah
Exodus Samuel Psalms Jeremiah
Leviticus Kings Proverbs-Ecclesiastes Ezekiel
Numbers Chronicles   Daniel
Deuteronomy Neamiah   The Minor Prophets


Krol, Peter; Top 10 OT Books Quoted in NT; March 20, 2013: https://www.knowableword.com/2013/03/20/top-10-ot-books-quoted-in-nt/ 12/23/20

Robinson, Robert Clifton; The Old Testament Is The New Testament Concealed, The New Testament Is The Old Testament Revealed; May 23, 2020: https://robertcliftonrobinson.com/2020/05/23/the-old-testament-is-the-new-testament-concealed-the-new-testament-is-the-old-testament-revealed/ 1/1/21

Marotta, Krisan; Quotations: where Scripture quotes Scripture; May 25, 2020: https://www.wednesdayintheword.com/scripture-quotations/ 1/1/21

Old Testament Passages in the NT: https://www.preceptaustin.org/old_testament_passages_in_the_nt 1/1/21