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LIBERTY UNIVERSITY

THE OLD TESTAMENT IN ROMANS

PRESENTED TO
DR. MARTIN SHELDON
IN COMPLETION OF RESEARCH REQUIREMENTS FOR
BIBL 425 D01 201230 ROMANS

BY
MICHAEL JAMES WRIGHT
L23893877

SPOKANE, WASHINGTON
JULY 2012

Contents

Abbreviations

ii

Introduction

The Issue of Sources

Old Theology

Methods of Biblical Exegesis

12

Citations in Romans

18

Conclusion

23

Bibliography

24

Scripture Index

27

Abbreviations

A.D.

Anno Domini, or Year of our Lord. As referred to a starting date once


believed to be the birth of Christ, now believed some four years after to
present day. Also expressed as CE or Common Era

ANE

Ancient Near East

BBE

Bible in Basic English

B.C.

Before Christ, expressed as the time beginning some four years after His
birth and before. Also expressed as BCE or Before Common Era

BH or BHS

Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia, a Hebrew eclectic Masoretic text


published by the German Bible Society.

ESV

English Standard Version

LXX

Septuagint, the Greek translation of Hebrew scripture

MT

Masoretic Text, the Hebrew/Aramaic scripture written in the traditions of


the Masoretes.

NA37

Nestle-Aland Novum Testamentum Gracea 37th Edition, a Greek eclectic


text of the New Testament as published by the United Bible Societies.

NASB

New American Standard Bible

NETS

New English Translation of the Septuagint

NIV

New International Version

NRSV

New Revised Standard Version

UBS4

The Nestle-Aland Novum Testamentum Gracea 36th Edition with Friberg


Morphology, published by the German Bible Societies.

ii

Introduction

Christianity is a faith born of the historical identity, teachings, death, and resurrection of
a Galilean carpenter named Yeshua ben Yosef, most commonly referred to as Jesus Christ. 1 Our
earliest source of testimony are the letters of Paul, a converted Jew and Christian Missionary
who wrote to Christian congregations between 48-65 A.D. 2 As Christianity emerged from Jewish
identity, the corpus of the New Testament attributes the coming of Christ as prophesied from Old
Testament Jewish scripture. 3 While these are quoted in multitude, a third of which from Paul,
even express quotations appear incongruent with their original citation. 4 The issue of textual
integrity of Old Testament quotations in the New Testament, particularly in the Epistle to the
Romans has raised questions among scholars. The nature of Pauls hermeneutical process has
drawn both critical and curious examination over both his intentions and influences. Answering
this criticism involves a difficult journey into the mind and theology of First Century Judaism.
The nature of citations in the New Testament in general should be regarded as
Christocentric. That is to say Paul and early Jewish Christians operated from two fixed points of
understanding. The first is the Messianic Lordship of Jesus Christ as validated by his resurrection
and the witness of the Holy Spirit. Second is the revelation of God in Scripture. 5 The one
difference that could be said to determine Pauls exegesis from that of other First Century

David H. Stern, Jewish New Testament Commentary (Clarksville, MD: Jewish New Testament
Publications, Inc., 1992), 1-3.
2

Mike Licona, The Resurrection of Jesus : A New Historiographical Approach, Kindle ed. (Downers
Grove, Ill.: IVP Academic; Apollos, 2010), Location 2073.
3

N. T. Wright, Simply Christian : Why Christianity Makes Sense, 1st ed. (San Francisco, Calif.:
HarperSanFrancisco, 2006), 80-81.
4

Geoff and Lehrer Volker, Steve, "Did Paul Misinterpret the Old Testament?," In-Depth Studies (2008).
http://www.ids.org/ids/notes/conferences/reading.pdf (accessed 7/29/2012).
5

Richard N. Longenecker, Biblical Exegesis in the Apostolic Period (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1974), 104.

Christians is that while theirs more resembled that found in the commentaries amongst the Dead
Sea Scrolls, Paul appears rightly to have followed his own Pharisaic senses.
This of course raises the question, is it fair to say that a Christocentric view of the Old
Testament Scripture is in keeping with the same context as those writers being quoted? It seems
historically fallacious to believe that, say for instance Hosea wrote his scripture some 700 years
before the birth of Christ with the very idea of Christs ministry in mind for Paul to write about.
However as we will come to see Hosea himself in this scripture is using the same hermeneutical
method Paul will later use. Its as if the Bible as one unit is simply building upon its own
argument.

The Issue of Sources


Perhaps the first step to be taken in building our argument is in addressing how our Bible
is written. The casual Bible reader will likely understand early that the book is made up of two
cannons, or collections of literature; an Old Testament and a New. The former is some two
millennia old, written in Hebrew and primarily written to and for a pre-70 A.D. Jewish people. 6
In our modern day Bible this is typically translated into our spoken language from what is
considered to be the original Hebrew and Aramaic texts, while the New Testament comes from
an eclectic (edited from multiple witnesses) text in the original Koine (or common) Greek. 7 Each
translation is determined by a person or committee who sets out a philology that will render how
that translation is to be read and studied. Common styles include formal equivalence (word for
word translations such as the NASB or ESV), dynamic equivalence (sense for sense
6

Timothy K. Beal, Biblical Literacy : The Essential Bible Stories Everyone Needs to Know, 1st ed. (New
York, NY: HarperOne, 2009), 3-5.
7

J. Scott Duvall and J. Daniel Hays, Grasping God's Word : A Hands-on Approach to Reading, Interpreting,
and Applying the Bible, 2nd ed. (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Zondervan, 2005), 15-60.

translations such as the NLT or BBE), functional or optimal equivalence (combining formal and
dynamic disciplines for both study and ease of reading, such as the NIV or HCSB), and idiomatic
or paraphrase (idea for idea, such as the Living Bible or The Message). 8 Sources typically
come from eclectic texts such as the Biblia Hebraica for the Old Testament and Nestle-Aland
37th Edition for the New. Today any Bible student could fill a library with available translations.
This was not the case in Pauls day. In fact coming from Jewish tradition, Christians
practiced controlled oral transmission, often through the use of aphorisms. 9 There was no New
or Old testaments, and written scripture was limited to what access one had in a library or
synagogue and what that institution collected. As a Pharisee (Phil. 3:5) and Roman citizen (Acts
22:27) Paul was likely limited to very little in any town he journeyed to. The leather scroll was
the medium of the day, so the chances of transcription errors were minimal. 10
That said while it is almost certain Paul had knowledge or access to virtually any Hebrew
Scripture in any form, language, or commentary, bridging the gap of knowledge between that
period in history and now is extremely problematic. After the burning of the Second Temple in
70 A.D., the original Hebrew form of scripture was thought to be all but eradicated. While the
Masoretes (groups of rabbis and scribes who collected scripture) began the process of rewriting
the Hebrew cannon the only remaining text in existence was the Samaritan Pentateuch and the
Greek Septuagint.11 The Masoretic Text was completed in 900 A.D. and is in large part used
today. The discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls in 1947 led to an archaeological explosion of
8

Gordon D. Fee and Mark L. Strauss, How to Choose a Translation for All Its Worth : A Guide to
Understanding and Using Bible Versions (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Zondervan, 2007), 26-30.
9

Henry Wansbrough, Jesus and the Oral Gospel Tradition, T & T Clark Academic Paperbacks (London ;
New York: T & T Clark International, 2004), 211-13.
10

F.B. Huey J.R., "Scrolls," in The Zondervan Encyclopedia of the Bible, ed. Merrill C. Tenney and
Moiss Silva (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Zondervan, 2009), 369-70.
11

A.A. Macrae, "Test and Manuscripts (Ot)," in The Zondervan Encyclopedia of the Bible, ed. Merrill C.
Tenney and Moiss Silva (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Zondervan, 2009), 786-8.

Second Temple Judaism research as well. Among the 972 texts recovered from Qumran all but
the book of Esther has been recovered in its original Hebrew form, some dating as far back as
200 B.C.12
This lends to the question, how do we know what material Paul was using when he
quoted the Old Testament in his work? Unfortunately the issue of sources is only a part of the
issue at hand. Paul, being trained as a Pharisee under Rabbi Gamaliel of the school of Hillel
would have been rigorously trained in all forms of Judaic Hermeneutics, especially the popular
technique amongst the Pharisees at the time, Midrash. 13 To confound matters further as a
resident of Tarsus, home to one of the most respected Stoic philosophical schools of the day,
Paul would have been a Sophist trained in Rhetorical technique. 14 It is unlikely this would have
affected anything but his usage of paraphrase in quotations however.
One conclusion we can at least reach initially is that the primary theological and literary
text used by New Testament writers was the Septuagint. 15 As the Letter of Aristeas explains, the
Septuagint was translated in Alexandria, Egypt during the reign of Ptolemy Philadelphus and
completed around 150 B.C. The purpose of this Greek translation was for the benefit of
synagogue worship and instruction amongst the Hellenistic Diaspora. As the letter explains, it is
called the LXX because 70 of the 72 translators were hand chosen by Ptolemy himself. 16

12

Gza Verms, The Dead Sea Scrolls in English, 50th Anniversary Edition Revised ed. (Baltimore:
Penguin Classics, 2012), 11-14. The lack of the Book of Esther is thought to be due to the extreme community rules
of the Essene community rejecting a story about a Persian Queen.
13

Steve Moyise, Paul and Scripture (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2010), 3-4.; Longenecker, , 26-

14

Moyise, 3-5.

34.
15

K.H.; Silva Jobes, M., "Septuagint," in The Zondervan Encyclopedia of the Bible, ed. Merrill C. Tenney
and Moiss Silva (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Zondervan, 2009), 402.
16

Ellis R. Brotzman, Old Testament Textual Criticism : A Practical Introduction (Grand Rapids, Mich.:
Baker Books, 1994), 72-3.

The LXX was initially praised for its fidelity to the Hebrew; if only things had stayed that
way. There were many revisions performed on the LXX until the Second Century A.D. when
debates between Jews and Christians led to three competing recensions of the Septuagint texts;
the Aquila, Symmachus, and Theodotian texts. The Aquila was a Jewish version that downplayed
Messianic text, the Symmachus was largely paraphrase, and the Theodotian contained a version
of Daniel almost entirely different from the Hebrew, which somehow made it into Jeromes
Latin Vulgate. Origen tried to repair the damage with his version called the Hexapia, which
compared the three with three other anonymous versions. 17
Asking which of these versions of the Septuagint has survived until today is essentially
fruitless. While many attempts have been made to repair the Greek Old Testament, the
superior nature of the Masoretic Text trumps any effort at using it. 18 And because the process of
textual criticism is only effective in comparing like manuscripts, determining influence requires
us to either have those original documents, or know something about what those documents
would have said.
Our mission is not lost however. In 1907 German Philosopher and Theologian Dr. Alfred
Rahlfs began work on a manual of the reconstruction of the Septuagint by using existent versions
and correcting the language so that it reflected an original Hebrew to Greek effort. Even though
Rahlfs died before completing his effort, the translational spirit of this undertaking has continued
under the name of the Gttingen Septuagint. 19 While two notable English translations have
also been released, in 2007 the New English Translation of the Septuagint (or NETS) was
published by the International Organization for Septuagint and Cognate Studies. Using the same
17

Tim McLay, The Use of the Septuagint in New Testament Research, Kindle ed. (Grand Rapids, Mich.:
W.B. Eerdmans Pub. Co., 2003), Location 1458-1567.
18

Jobes, 412-15.

19

Ibid. 417.

spirit as the Gttingen Septuagint in approaching the Greek text with Hebrew as text-critical
leverage, the NETS is unique in one other aspect. As an English translation the translators also
chose to use the spirit of the NRSV in choosing its language, so that maximum compatibility
with reading of other English Bibles would be possible. 20

Old Theology
Louie Giglio, pastor of Passion City Church and founder of the Passion Movement
(through which he operates sixstep records managing artists such as David Crowder Band and
Chris Tomlin) is a self-described astronomy nerd who in the course of his ministry has
delivered amazing presentations, three in particular worth noting. In 2005 Giglio released
Indescribable, which was a companion to Chris Tomlins release of the song of the same name.
It is noteworthy as Giglio uses a combination of science and Old Testament scripture
(particularly centered on Psalm 19:1-3), along with amazing visuals to express the indescribable
awesomeness of God. 21 For example in quoting Isaiah 40:25-26 Giglio compares the statistic that
if one were to count each star in the Milky Way Galaxy one per second, it would take 2,500
years to count them all; to which Isaiah reports God knows each by name. 22 The culmination of
the presentation is fully Christocentric as Giglio presents a Hubble telescope picture of the center
of the Whirlpool Galaxy, which contains some five hundred billion stars; at the center is what
scientists have named the X-Structure at the center of M51. It is essentially a black hole with a
20

Albert; Wright Pietersma, Benjamin G., A New English Translation of the Septuagint : And the Other
Greek Translations Traditionally Included under That Title, Kindle ed. (New York ; Oxford: Oxford University
Press, 2007), Location 354.
21

The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour
forth speech; night after night they display knowledge. There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard.
Psalm 19:1-3 (NIV)
22

"To whom will you compare me? Or who is my equal?" says the Holy One. Lift your eyes and look to
the heavens: Who created all these? He who brings out the starry host one by one, and calls them each by name.
Because of his great power and mighty strength, not one of them is missing. Isaiah 40:25-26 (NIV)

bluish light about it, illuminating two orbital tracks that from the Earths advantage point reveal
the appearance of the Cross of Calvary. As far as the East is from the West, 33 million light
years away and farther God has separated us from our sins, and there is now no more
condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. 23
His second is equally memorable and appropriately called How Great is Our God. The
central verse is Psalm 33:6; By the word of the LORD were the heavens made, their starry host
by the breath of his mouth. The purpose is to express the immense power of God and the depth
of His love for us, and the humor of the presentation is Giglios statement If the Earth were the
size of a golf ball then explaining how you can fill some unimaginable space with golf balls
compared to some of the things in space. This time Giglio decides to take a turn inwards to the
human body in Christocentricity, revealing the cell adhesion molecule Laminin, the rebar of the
human body, which happens to share a cross shape. Giglio compares this to Colossians 1:15-17;
and in Him all things hold together! Of course they do! he shouts. 24
Finally his most recent presentation, Symphony: I lift my hands. 25 Continuing in the
spirit of Psalm 19, Giglio moves to Psalm 148:1-12 by speaking in a very literal sense of the
praise everything listed in these verses are giving to God. In verse three, praise him, all you
shining stars Giglio reveals that radio telescopes have recorded sound from distant stars and
pulsars. Moving to verse seven, praise him all you sea creatures, and ocean depths he shows a
video he took of whales breaking the surface near Hawaii singing. Playfully he asks the young in

23

Louie Giglio, "Indescribable," in Passion Talk Series (Atlanta, Georgia: Six Step Records, 2005)

24

Louie Giglio, "How Great Is Our God," in Passion Talk Series (Atlanta, Georgia: Six Step Records,
2007); He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by him all things were created: things
in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were
created by him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. Colossians 1:15-17 (NIV)
25

I had the pleasure of attending this presentation during the last stop of Chris Tomlins And If Our God
Is For Us tour. It was easily the most amazing event Ive ever attended.

the audience to explain to their parents what a mix is as he takes all these sounds and mixes
them together on his iPad in such a way that he can add Chris Tomlins voice track of How
Great is Our God, inviting the audience to sing along. The point of the symphony Giglio says is
that God is calling all of creation to join this chorus, and He wants to hear you personally.
This presentation ended in a very somber, yet victorious way. Giglio talks about the
natural reaction of people who raise their hands in joy and praise, showing pictures of people
doing so, but then saying its also natural to do so in the depths of despair. 26 He goes into a
personal story of developing general anxiety disorder, when he remembered that the Bible says
God gives us songs in the night.27 Eventually God gives him a short start; Be still, there is a
healer. 28 This of course led to the writing of Christ Tomlins I Lift My Hands. 29
So what exactly is the point of recapping three DVDs from a guy who reaches out to
college students? Because in Giglios message lies the heart of the theology of the Old
Testament. There are in fact two theologies between the Old and the New Testament, but it has
far less to do with whether or not 613 Mitzvoh are still valid or not. Theologian Bruce Waltke
said it well; The Bible is not merely a collection of sixty-six books of various authors; it is one
book, a canon inspired by one God, symbolized by the covers that bind them together as "The
Holy Bible." 30

26

While not on the DVD exactly at the presentation we attended Giglio ended the slideshow with the
Druids worshiping the sun, saying I never want to be accused of giving any less to God than these people. I shared
this with our worship team when I got back and they were especially inspired by it.
27

Job 35:10; Psalm 4:4; 16:7; 63:6; 77:6; 119:55; 148; 149:5

28

Lamentations 3:22-24

29

Louie Giglio, "Symphony (I Lift My Hands)," in Passion Talk Series (Atlanta, Georgia: Six Step
Records, 2012)
30

Bruce K.; Yu Waltke, Charles, An Old Testament Theology : An Exegetical, Canonical, and Thematic
Approach, 2nd ed. (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Zondervan, 2011), 6.

While the center of all New Testament theology is said to be the person and work of
Jesus Christ, the center of Old Testament theology is the revelation and work of God as One.
This work is expressed as a progressive revelation, with a unique approach that it is both
narrative and covenantal in form. 31 While there are many ways to distinguish any theology, with
the OT it can be said that all scripture can be tied to six aspects of Gods nature; Gods existence,
Gods activity, Gods personality, Gods revelation, Gods holiness, and Gods presence. 32
The theology of the existence of God goes much farther than any sort of debate with an
atheist. That Genesis begins with the cosmic works of God is no accident; the existence of God
and that He alone established all things were not only presupposed to Jewish society, the proof of
all things were based on God. An example of this sort of theological point might be Psalm 19
where David discusses the nature of celestial being. Even now weak radio waves remain from
an immense primordial fireball of matter and energy that brought the universe into being. 33 Or
at least that may be how hed have written it today, he actually wrote The heavens declare the
glory of God, and the sky proclaims the work of His hands.
Gods activity can be additionally categorized in six ways, God establishing His Temple,
God establishing His People, God establishing his Covenant, God expressing His Authority, and
God establishing His Rule. John Walton is probably the foremost proponent of the idea that the
beginning of Genesis is a Cosmological account of God establishing the universe as his
Temple. 34 While Adam and Eve were to be Gods first established people in the Garden, the long

31

Ibid. 143-5.

32

R. Cole, "Old Testament Theology," in The Zondervan Encyclopedia of the Bible, ed. Merrill C. Tenney
and Moiss Silva (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Zondervan, 2009), 588-94.
33

D.C. Morton, "Astronomy," in The Zondervan Encyclopedia of the Bible, ed. Merrill C. Tenney and
Moiss Silva (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Zondervan, 2009), 424-5.
34

John H. Walton, The Lost World of Genesis One : Ancient Cosmology and the Origins Debate (Downers
Grove, Ill.: IVP Academic, 2009), 14-20.

accounting of Israel as Gods chosen people begins in Genesis 12. Gods first Covenant with
mankind takes place in Genesis 9, the Noahide Covenant, followed by the Abrahamic
Covenant in 15:7-21. The more known Covenant of the OT is the Mosaic Covenant of course
and is given in Exodus 19. Breaking these Covenants or Gods stated will was one sure way of
bringing about Gods expression of his Authority, as He is Holy and requires justice. An
example might be the conquest of Canaan in Joshua (a punishment for the sin of the Amorites
had not met its full measure; Genesis 15:16) or the death of King Davids son for his adultery (2
Samuel 11). The Rule or Kingship of God was established by creating humans in His image
(Gen. 1:26) and recognized by the priest Melchizedek and Abraham (Gen. 14:18-22). The idea of
human kingship was seen as an affront to Israel until 1 Samuel 8. This was not a failure on Gods
part however, as it would be used to ultimately fulfill His purposes on Earth.
Gods personality is expressed in two ways, through anthropomorphism and through His
names. Genesis is particularly full of humanistic anthropomorphisms, God says things (Genesis
20:6), He sees (Genesis 6:5), He has a nose (Genesis 8:21) which leads to a good question, does
God sneeze? It is understood that to speak of God in these terms is not to limit Him to them, but
they allow God to be understood in a personal way. The second, the divine names of God were
important to Israel as they were expressions of Gods divine utility in unity. 35 The commonality
of Gods earliest given name El or Elohim has led to some confusion, as this is not only the
plural form of gods but was also used in Arabia to describe their deities. It has been suggested
that the association of power and authority, and the explicit distance in nature between God and
Israel that is expressed throughout the Old Testament is why this name came to be used. The
name Yahweh was probably in use by Abrahamic times, expressed as He which is or He who
35

H.B. Kuhn, "God, Names Of," in The Zondervan Encyclopedia of the Bible, ed. Merrill C. Tenney and
Moiss Silva (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Zondervan, 2009), 802.

10

is truly present. 36 The usage of I AM is said not to be understood metaphysically but with
regard to functional ontology, in that to the Israelites God existed and operated in the here and
now. Adonai was another popular name with many variants that especially came to be used for
Jesus.
When speaking of the revelation of God in the Old Testament, eschatology is only a
small part of it. In fact the OT concept holds that every form of communication and act of God
from the Creation on is to be considered divine revelation (Psalm 103:7). Prophetic revelation is
usually preceded by the word of Yahweh came to (Hosea 1:1) or thus says Yahweh
(Amos 1:3). 37
While it can be said that Gods holiness is expressed through Gods activity of His
Covenant and Authority, in actuality they are the resultant, not the attribute. Gods holiness has a
double meaning, in that it implies Gods total separation and distance not only from evil but man.
It also speaks of His total moral perfection, a term called Kadosh. An example of this latter
principle in action is in Isaiahs accounting of coming before the Lord in Isaiah 6:1-6. Gods
separation from sin and man should not be seen as an imperative of distance, but rather a need
for those in Gods company to conform to His righteous standard, as in Exodus 3:1-6; Leviticus
19:2.
Finally, the concept of Gods presence amongst believers is distinctly different from the
New Testament. After the ascension of Christ comes the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, but in the
Old Testament Gods presence was represented symbolically. In Jacobs day a stone pillar was
common, and during the Exodus Moses has the Israelites build the Tabernacle. When Solomon
finally builds the first temple it is said that Gods Shekinah enters the Holy of Holies. Other
36

Ibid. 798. Yahweh comes from adding the consonants of Adonai to the Tetragrammaton, YHWH.

37

Cole, 588-89.

11

symbols included columns of cloud, lightning, thunder, storm, darkness, wind, earthquakes, fire,
etc. But these were all temporary things, as this symbolism regards Israels nomadic existence.
Once settled in the Holy Land and the Temple was built they had a permanent place to worship,
but because of their unfaithfulness it was taken from them. 38
Note that six things are mentioned as God-centric to Old Testament Theology. Seven
ought to be the perfect number, but obviously the OT is not perfect or there would be no need for
a New Testament. The arrival of Jesus will fulfill the Theology of God and His people, but as we
examine scripture quotations it is important to remember where weve been before we can get to
where were going.

Methods of Biblical Exegesis

So now that we know where the apostolic writers got their sources and how the Old
Testament was understood, now we just need to understand the rules under which they would
have selected and wrote these verses. It should be noted that with one exception, Christian and
Jewish exegesis would not have been especially different in the first century. Christianity was
born of Judaism and as far as anyone was concerned initially, the New Testament documents
were simply commentary on Scripture with a Christocentric slant. As we will see, this is actually
in perfect keeping with Jewish hermeneutics.
Regardless of exegetical method, Jewish writers would have agreed on four principals.
First and foremost was the belief that the scripture was the divinely inspired word of God.39 With
some variation of course, to one extreme were the Sadducees who only believed the Torah was

38

Ibid. 591-2.

39

Longenecker, 19.

12

divine. 40 The Pharisees so believed in the divine nature they believed that the literal letters were
divine and to leave out the smallest of them was wrong. 41 Second, they believed the Torah
contained the entire truth of God for the guidance of man. 42 Third, because they believed every
word was pregnant with meaning, they approached the texts from the aspect of implied, deduced,
plain or obvious meanings. Finally, they considered the purpose of interpretation to be the life
application of Gods instructions in a current and relevant way. 43
Another important element that needs to be mentioned in the discussion of these
exegetical methods is that of the Targums. When Israel returned from Babylon a good portion of
the population now spoke Aramaic, and by the time of Jesus Hebrew was essentially a dead
language. In order to meet the needs of the community in Synagogue service, scribes would
interpret the Hebrew Scriptures into Aramaic Targums, or paraphrases of the scripture. These
would be read in Synagogue service, and many have been found with the Dead Sea Scrolls. 44
This practice of paraphrasing Hebrew scripture would come into use in all other exegetical
practices.
Now there are four known hermeneutical methods of interpreting scripture in the First
Century. These are Jewish in origin but were practiced by Paul and other writers. The first is the
literal interpretation, which was just the straight-forward reading and understanding of scripture
as written. The School of Shamai held to an extreme form of literal reading and application
40

Josephus Antiquities 13.10.6

41

Craig Keener, The Ivp Bible Background Commentary: The New Testament (Downers Grove, IL:
InterVarsity Press, 1993), 57-58.
42

One would assume this would not be true of the Christian writer, and for all I know that may be accurate.
But frankly scholars are too divided on this point and Longeneckers argument is not over compliance to Torah law
but the observation that it contains Gods truth. Moos opinion may be conservative but as I read it Moo sees the
need to present a God that must correct himself for his own mistakes.
43

Longenecker, 19-20.

44

A.A. MacRae, "Targum," in The Zondervan Encyclopedia of the Bible, ed. Merrill C. Tenney and Moiss
Silva (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Zondervan, 2009), 693.

13

called Peshat, meaning to strip off. This form of the method was also popular among the
Qumran community; however Christians avoided it, but had no problem with quoting straightforward understanding of scripture. 45
The next method was most popular under the early Pharisees, only to become the near
standard model of interpretation is Midrash. The central idea behind it is to penetrate the
narrative structure of scripture and examine it on all sides, looking for any and all meanings to
determine the missing pieces of the overall narrative. 46 Rabbi Hillel the Elder, the founder of one
popular school of Jesus day discerned seven rules of interpretation known as middoth to use in
this method;
1. Qal wahomer: What applies in a less important case will certainly apply in a more
important case. This can be expressed explicitly or implicitly by the text. Example:
"Consider the ravens, for they neither sow nor reap; they have no storeroom nor barn,
and yet God feeds them; how much more valuable you are than the birds! Luke
12:24 | Explicit. Reaping requires more work than sowing, a barn is larger than a
storeroom, you are more important than ravens.
2. Gezerah shawah: Verbal analogy from one verse to another where the same words
are applied to two separate cases it follows that the same considerations apply to both.
Example: (1) To which of the angels did God ever say, "Sit at my right hand until I
make your enemies a footstool for your feet"? Hebrews 1:13 (2) ...and put
everything under his feet." In putting everything under him, God left nothing that is
not subject to him. Yet at present we do not see everything subject to him. Hebrews
2:8 | The functioning word is feet, speaking in one instance of the Messiah, in the
45

Longenecker, 28

46

Ibid. 32-33.

14

next Man, the same considerations apply. Also note the second quotation makes
usage of the LXX. 47
3. Binyan ab mikathub ehad: Building up a family from a single text; when the same
phrase is found in a number of passages, then a consideration found in one of them
applies to all of them. Example: |Foundation| Exodus 24:8; |Family| Hebrews 9:11-22;
The Foundation phrase is blood, the Family verses explain how blood is necessary to
make one clean, and why Christ is the better sacrifice.
4. Binyan ab mishene kethubim: Building up a family from two texts; a principle (a
provision of equals weights and measures) is established by relating two texts
together, the principle can then be applied to other passages. Example: |Family|
Galatians 3:6-8; |Principle| Paul in quoting Genesis 15:6 and 18:18 that Abraham
believed and was credited righteous, and that through his offspring the nations would
be blessed, is here appealing that Gentiles who believe in the same manner are
credited the same righteousness, while this is not the context of those verses it was
considered by Jews an appealing argument.48
5. Kelal upherat: The general and the particular; a general principle may be restricted by
a particularization of it in another verse; or conversely, a particular rule may be
extended into a general principle. Example: |General| Matthew 19:3;7 |Particular|
Matthew 19:9; While Moses commanded a man give a woman a certificate of divorce,
the School of Hillel held that a man may divorce a woman is she so much burned the
toast; the School of Shammai held divorce restricted to marital unfaithfulness, but did

47

Keener, 654.

48

Ibid. 525-6.

15

not restrict remarriage. Here Jesus particularizes the rule by restricting divorce and
remarriage by marital unfaithfulness. 49
6. Kayoze bo bemagom aher: As is found in another place; a difficulty in one text may
be solved by comparing it with another which has points of general (though not
necessarily verbal) similarity. Example: |Conflict| Psalm 14:3 & Habakkuk 2:4;
|Resolution| Psalm 32:1,2; This example is also cited in Romans. The conflict is that
(Hab. 2:4) the righteous will live by faith, however (Psalm 14:3) there is no one who
does good. The conflict is resolved by Psalm 32:1,2 that blessed are those whose sins
are forgiven by God. (See also Romans 1:17; 3:10; 4:7-8)
7. Dabar halamed meinyano: A meaning established by its own context. 50 Example:
See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy,
which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than
on Christ. Colossians 2:8; While the full context of the instructions of this verse are
contained herein, it is often read to mean avoid all philosophy rather than hollow
and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles
of this world. In context of Colossians, it is a mistake to try and identify the specific
heresy Paul is addressing as Judaism in the Lycus Valley was held captive to many
Hellenistic ideas and worship of angels. 51 Paul however is speaking in the
philosophy and rhetoric inspired by God. 52

49

Ibid. 96-97.

50

Longenecker, 34-35.

51

Ben Witherington, The Letters to Philemon, the Colossians, and the Ephesians : A Socio-Rhetorical
Commentary on the Captivity Epistles (Grand Rapids, Mich.: William B. Eerdmans Pub. Co., 2007), 108.
52

Keener, 578.

16

These are the most accepted (and likely only at the time) rules of Midrash used by New
Testament writers, and to have been especially used by Paul, a Pharisee educated under Gamaliel.
There are in fact notable differences in the way Paul quotes scripture compared to his fellow
writers. For instance that Peter, James, etc. begin with Jesus as Messiah and then move to a
Christocentric view of Scripture (similar to the method of Pesher), Paul begins with Scripture
and through Midrashic exegesis draws out the Christocentric nature. 53 Additional methods begin
to appear as one considers inter-textual quotation via allusion, possible inter-textual inspiration,
narrative approaches, and usage of rhetoric. 54
The third method of interpretation, Pesher, was in large part discovered with the Dead
Sea Scrolls. This word in Aramaic means solution, and employs the very same methods of
exegesis found in Midrash. The primary difference is that while Midrash is exegesis centered
towards the text, Pesher is exegesis towards eschatology or the Messianic age. 55 In that way all
apostolic writers who spoke of Jesus, especially in terms of Messianic fulfillment used Pesher.
The Gospel of Matthew in particular has many examples of this. 56
The fourth method of interpretation is allusion, the usage of which was made famous by
Philo of Alexandria, who wrote of the scriptures in Jesus day. Philo indeed was so captivated by
Hellenism that he regarded the whole of the Hebrew Scriptures as fully symbolic. 57 This is not to
regard the method as devoid of use however as Paul was also known to use it. In Galatians 4:21-

53

Longenecker, 104-5.

54

Moyise, 111-122. Of course all these notions have their various proponents and detractors.

55

Longenecker, 38,39.

56

Ibid. 130.

57

Ibid. 45-47.

17

31 Paul uses an allegory of Sarah and Hagar different than Philo and more in the spirit of
scripture by using a freedom and slavery comparison. 58
When considering the various methods of exegesis it is first and last important to
remember Pauls primary source of understanding; the source understanding of the Holy Spirit.
For as many textual variations or interpretations appear in Pauls writing we must remember
foremost Pauls divine mission while he lived, to take the Gospel to the Gentiles, and in so doing
particularly in Romans, mend the drift between Jew and Gentile. To the unbelieving Jew the
form of Christocentric exegesis was of such caliber to make the writings worthy of their
consideration. But to us these matters are of more academic value since we also carry the Holy
Spirit, and will receive the message according to Gods will for us.

Citations in Romans
There are roughly sixty quotations to the Old Testament in the book of Romans. After
careful analysis using the NASB, NETS, Rahlfs Septuaginta, NA37, UBS4, Strongs
Concordance and Thayers Lexicon, along with guidance from the commentaries of Wilmington,
Keener, Moo, Bruce, Metzger, Moyise, Longenecker, and Ellis the following conclusions
become apparent. 59 Based on previously noted instances, examples of similarity in phonology

58

Keener, 531-32.

59

New American Standard Bible, WORDsearch CROSS e-book ed. (La Habra, CA: The Lockman
Foundation, 1995); Pietersma, ; Alfred; Hanhart Rahlfs, Robert, Septuaginta; Vetus Testamentum Graece Iuxta Lxx
Interpretes, 2nd Revised ed., 1 vols. (Stuttgart,: German Bible Society; American Bible Society, 2006); Erwin
Nestle and Kurt Aland, Nestle-Aland Greek-English New Testament, trans., Bruce M. Metzger, 27th ed., Novum
Testamentum Graece (Deutsche Bibelgesellshaft, Stuttgart: German Bible Society, 2008); Barbara; Friberg Friberg,
Timothy; Aland, Kurt, Analytical Greek New Testament : Greek Text Analysis, UBS4; WORDsearch CROSS ebook ed., Baker's Greek New Testament Library (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Book House; WORDsearch Corp.,
1981); James Strong, Strong's Concordance of the Bible, WORDsearch CROSS e-book ed. (Nashville: T. Nelson;
WORDsearch Corp., 2007); James; Kohlenberger Strong, John R.; Swanson, James A., The Strongest Niv Strong's
Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible, 21st century ed. (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Zondervan, 2001); Joseph Henry;
Strong Thayer, James, A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament WORDsearch CROSS e-book ed. (Grand
Rapids, MI: Baker Book House; WORDsearch Corp., 1977); Ben Witherington and Darlene Hyatt, Paul's Letter to

18

and accentuation (with the full understanding that what is being used is a comparison of multiple
eclectic texts with the stated translational purpose of simplification and leaning towards more
primitive or in this particular case, Masoretic influence and not original manuscript copies) it
appears that there are about nineteen instances of usage of the LXX in Romans alone. 60 Of these
instances seven appear to be directly literal citations; Romans 9:25, 29; 10:11, 16, 19; 11:34;
12:20; and 15:21. Between six and thirteen are paraphrase, with the most likely being 10:5, 15;
11:3, 26-27; and 14:11.
Perhaps not as surprisingly, fewer identify directly to the Masoretic Text. Only about six
appear of that influence, and only Romans 9:7 appears in a literal fashion. Paraphrased verses
include 9:25 and 11:3.
Another group consists of verses that appear to mix LXX and MT influence. Most of
these are identified by Longenecker, and feature a distinct combination of phonology that
partially identifies with the LXX. 61 Their distinguishing characteristic is word choice that in
specific context of an individual word leans more towards the Hebrew. A very good example of
this would be Romans 8:38; Just as it is written, "FOR YOUR SAKE WE ARE BEING PUT
TO DEATH ALL DAY LONG; WE WERE CONSIDERED AS SHEEP TO BE
SLAUGHTERED." These fit directly with Psalm 44:22 and shows synonymous parallelism in

the Romans : A Socio-Rhetorical Commentary (Grand Rapids, Mich.: W.B. Eerdmans, 2004);Keener, 1993; Douglas
J. Moo, Romans, Kindle ed., The Niv Application Commentary (Grand Rapids, Mich.: ZondervanPublishingHouse,
2000); F. F. Bruce, The Letter of Paul to the Romans : An Introduction and Commentary, 2nd ed., The Tyndale New
Testament Commentaries (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Inter-Varsity Press; W.B. Eerdmans Pub. Co., 1985); Bruce
Manning Metzger and United Bible Societies., A Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament; a Companion
Volume to the United Bible Societies' Greek New Testament (3d Ed.) (London, New York,: United Bible Societies,
1971); E. Earle Ellis, Paul's Use of the Old Testament, 1st ed. (Edinburgh,: Oliver and Boyd, 1957); Moyise, 2010;
Longenecker, 1974.
60

Granted non-eclectic manuscripts are freely available for study online, with perhaps the exception of the
Hexaglot which can be purchased from Amazon but as they say, why re-invent the wheel.
61

Longenecker, 108-9.

19

such a manner that one section is directly LXX and one MT. 62 The first half,
is in full agreement between Psalms and Romans for the LXX
part. The second part gets a little weird, one diacritical mark on Logizomai and you go from
were considered to are accounted (which seems like an irrelevant verb tense issue) but then
the difference between (we were considered as sheep of
slaughter in Romans) and elogisqhmen wv probata sfaghv (we are accounted as sheep for
slaughter LXX) then compare that to the Hebrew ( , are considered sheep to
be slaughtered). So whats the difference between of, for, and to be? The answer is
diacritical marks, but to get further into it really is a matter for a different class.
That being said there are fourteen verses of mixed LXX/MT influence. The directly
literal ones would be 8:36; 11:9-10, 35; 12:19; and 15:3. Paraphrased verses include 10:18.
Now we have the fourth type of quotation which seemed appropriate to call Source
Irrelevant as either the translation is exactly the same in Romans, the LXX or MT, or if Paul has
used Midrash to effectively eliminate any chance of identifying (with any logical certitude) what
source he is using. There are four verses that can be taken literally, 4:18; 7:7; 9:12, and 15. Some
were classified as paraphrase in that the verse was paraphrased of an LXX and MT that agree,
these are 9:9, 13, 17; 11:4, and 8.
Before moving forward its would be interesting to note to peculiarities that showed up in
the analysis. The first happens at 9:27-28, and has nothing to do with Paul or his sources, but
identified by Bruce Metzger appears to be a copyist error. Apparently in translating between the
Septuagint and Romans someone passed over the word suntetmhmenon (Suntemno, meaning to

62

Bill T. Arnold and Bryan Beyer, Encountering the Old Testament : A Christian Survey, 2nd ed.,
Encountering Biblical Studies (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Academic, 2008), 282.

20

finish quickly) with (syntele, or to finish). It does seem that most translations have
corrected for this however.
A second oddity arises in 9:29, UNLESS THE LORD OF SABAOTH HAD LEFT TO
US A POSTERITY Most translate this The Lord of Hosts or Lord Almighty, Lord of
Sabaoth seems like Paul is talking about someone else. But as it happens Sabaoth is Greek for
armies, which hosts most commonly translates that way. It just so happens that host in Greek
can also mean kale, which does not mean armies but to actually host something. And according
to the NIV it seems only Luke uses the term, so that seemed interesting. 63
Getting back to Pauls exegetical practices, its probably worth saving time to read what
the commentaries have to say about the subject of Midrash before exploring that yourself. As it
turns out Keener was quite adept at noticing these things. Paul in fact uses four kinds of Midrash
in Romans, Gezerah shawah, Binyan ab mi-katub ehad, Binyan ab mi-shene ketubim, and Dabar
ha-lamed me-'inyano. Two things are possible, either Pauls favorite technique was Gezerah
shawah or it is simply the easiest to recognize, as he seems to use it seven times. The first is in
Romans 3:13-18 where the subject is parts of the body conducive to sinning. Next is Romans
4:7-8, where the subject is forgiven sin. Then we have Romans 9:16-18 where Paul makes the
case of Pharaoh as an example of someone who God wills to have his heart hardened. After that
we have Romans 10:6-7 where the principal is raising and lowering, but comparing traveling
through the Red Sea as Christs baptism and climbing Mt. Sinai as Christ being lifted up in His
resurrection for the salvation of all. In Romans 10:11-13 we have Paul making the argument that
the whoever applies to both Jew and Gentile. In Romans 11:8 alone Paul manages to pack in

63

Strong, The Strongest Niv Strong's Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible, 536.

21

some seven verses of Isaiah to argue the hardness of Israel. Finally we have Romans 15:7-12
with Paul arguing the inclusion of the Gentiles as Gods people. 64
Rather than continue the discussion of Pauls usage of Midrash (which the others might
be questionable anyway), its worth stopping for a moment to talk about Timothy Berkley and
his suggestion of reference texts, or as Keener notes proof texts.65 It is astonishing as you
begin to examine the Old Testament quotations just how many ideas Paul is packing. One
explicit quotation from Isaiah could have a word or phrase seemingly out of place such as
Romans 2:24 and within a few words Paul has moved into Jeremiah. Another interesting one is
Romans 3:4 where the context of the quotation in Psalm 51:4 is that God is justified in judging
those who sin against Him, and Paul tosses in Psalm 116:11 to turn the quote around, make it
about Mans need to repent of their sin before God.
It is doubtful Paul carried around a scroll with select passages to quote from, but it is
clear he had many in mind in his writings. According to Moyise, counting explicit quotations
there are nine from Genesis, four from Exodus, two from Leviticus, eight from Deuteronomy,
two from 1st Kings, one from Job, twelve from the Psalms, one Proverb, sixteen from Isaiah, two
from Hosea, one from Joel, one from Habakkuk and one from Malachi. 66 Isaiah is quoted most
and that should be obvious, Isaiah probably prophesied about Jesus the most. But why random
guys like Hosea? Why should he appear in Romans?
In Pauls other letters he likes to make reference between Christ and the church as
husband and wife. Hosea was a prophet during the economically prosperous times of the reign of
Jeroboam II. And likewise God wanted Hosea as a prophet to communicate to the people of
64

Keener, 420-444.

65

Moyise, 115.

66

Ibid. 131-2.

22

Israel that God and Israel were husband and wife, and Israel is being an unfaithful wench,
prostituting herself out to Asherah. So God commands Hosea to marry an unfaithful woman who
will bear other peoples kids and the message is Gods going to send Israel a certificate of
divorce, and make another people that is not His people, His people. Namely the Gentiles, which
is what Paul is saying has happened.

CONCLUSION

Romans is pretty amazing considering its not a systematic theology, a gospel, or written
to a church Paul actually planted, yet it covers so many things. It is like the end of the Gospel of
John, where John says that Jesus did many other things and if they were all to be written down
the world couldnt hold them. The same could be said of Romans. One could spend a lifetime
studying this book and never cover it all.
So is the question answered; was Paul faithful to the Old Testament? One could have
made a very simple argument that since Paul carried the Holy Spirit who also inspired the Old
Testament, you would assume hed know the right context. But in actually examining the
scriptures, factoring in exegetical technique, various sources that were likely around in the day,
and commentary from the experts, it seems very clear. Paul was not only faithful to the Old
Testament, he revealed truths about it that only someone endowed of the Holy Spirit could
accomplish.

23

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Scripture Index

27

34

35

36

37

38

39

40