Paul Regularly Used the Old Testament as the Authority for His Teaching

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Paul Regularly Used the Old Testament as the Authority for His Teaching

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Some, however, like the Complete Jewish Bible, make those references obvious.

This version points out 183 Old Testament passages that Paul quotes or paraphrases in his writings. And this figure doesn’t include his additional dozens of references to people, places and events in the Old Testament.

Curiously, two of the books that misguided theologians quote from the most in arguing that Paul dismissed the Old Testament are those with the highest number of quotes from it: Romans (with quotes or paraphrases of 84 Old Testament passages) and Hebrews (which many scholars believe was written by Paul, with 83).

Paul’s other books, with the number of references to Old Testament passages, are as follows: 1 Corinthians (26); 2 Corinthians (18); Galatians (14); Ephesians (12); Philippians (6); Colossians (3); 1 Thessalonians (1); 2 Thessalonians (7); 1 Timothy (4) and 2 Timothy (9). Only Paul’s two shortest epistles, Titus and Philemon, contain no quotes from the Old Testament.

It’s obvious from these figures that Paul used the Hebrew Scriptures to support his teaching. In fact, he constantly used the Old Testament as the authority for his teaching!

What did Paul expressly say about those same Scriptures?

• In 2 Timothy 3:16-17 2 Timothy 3:16-17 16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 17 That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished to all good works.
American King James Version×
he writes: “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God [literally ‘God-breathed’], and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.” The “Scripture” here, known to Timothy since childhood (2 Timothy 3:15 2 Timothy 3:15And that from a child you have known the holy scriptures, which are able to make you wise to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
American King James Version×
), could only have been the Old Testament.

• In Romans 3:2 Romans 3:2Much every way: chiefly, because that to them were committed the oracles of God.
American King James Version×
, referring to the Old Testament, Paul says that the Jewish people “have been entrusted with the very words of God” (NIV).

• Referring to various incidents recorded in the Old Testament, he tells us in 1 Corinthians 10:11 1 Corinthians 10:11Now all these things happened to them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, on whom the ends of the world are come.
American King James Version×
that “all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages have come.”

• In Hebrews 3:7 Hebrews 3:7Why (as the Holy Ghost said, To day if you will hear his voice,
American King James Version×
he speaks of the Holy Spirit directly inspiring the words of the Old Testament.

• In Hebrews 4:12 Hebrews 4:12For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
American King James Version×
, referring to the Old Testament, he writes: “For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”

Do these passages sound like the statements of a man who taught that the Old Testament was obsolete or no longer necessary? The answer is obvious!

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