TIP of the day: Why I don't use the Cross-Reference section of the Passage Guide - Part II

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Posted: Thu, Dec 31 2015 7:51 PM

In Part I I showed how I used parallel, harmony and deuterograph resources to obtain the same information that parallel cross-references give me. In this part, I will show how I obtain the information that is given by quotation or source cross-references. Again my alternatives likely provide for complete data.

1.The New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge is the best starting point if you believe there are relevant prophet quotations of the Pentateuch as this is the only resource in my library that specifically addresses this issue. [Unless someone has a resource to prove me incorrect.] This is an Old Testament verse quoted in the New Testament.

2. This is how it appears in the New Testament where it quotes the verse.

3. This is an example of a prophet quoting the Pentateuch.

4. This is how the same example appears in the Pentateuch.

5. A less comprehensive but much more easily accessed is the interactive "New Testament Use of the Old Testament". Note that on the upper right you may choose to sort by the New Testament reference or by the Source reference.

6. In addition, the interactive has Search capabilities on the data which comes from Jones, David A. Old Testament Quotations and Allusions in the New Testament. Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software, 2009. which itself comes from "This set of parallel passages was derived from cross-reference information from web sites, United Bible Society indices, and other volumes on OT in the NT."

7. Therefore, we can view the same basic data either in a Harmony format or in the interactive format. Here is the harmony format.

8. Note that in the interactive we can navigate by either the NT reference or the source

9. Both the Jones resource and Beale, G. K., and D. A. Carson. Commentary on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament. Grand Rapids, MI;  Nottingham, UK: Baker Academic;  Apollos, 2007. include allusions as well as quotations. Allusions are identified more subjectively than quotations so the following criteria should be considered.

"Probably the most referred-to criteria for validating allusions is that offered by Richard Hays.12 He discusses several criteria that have an overall cumulative effect in pointing to the presence of an allusion. These criteria may be summarized in the following way:

    1.      Availability. The source text (the Greek or Hebrew OT) must be available to the writer. The writer would have expected his audience on a first or subsequent reading to recognize the intended allusion.
    2.      Volume. There is a significant degree of verbatim repetition of words or syntactical patterns.
    3.      Recurrence. There are references in the immediate context (or elsewhere by the same author) to the same OT context from which the purported allusion derives.
    4.      Thematic Coherence. The alleged OT allusion is suitable and satisfying in that its meaning in the OT not only thematically fits into the NT writer’s argument but also illuminates it.
    5.      Historical Plausibility. There is plausibility that the NT writer could have intended such an allusion and that the audience could have understood the NT writer’s use of it to varying degrees, especially on subsequent readings of his letters. Nevertheless, it is always possible that readers may not pick up an allusion intended by an author (this part of the criterion appears to have some overlap with the first). Also, if it can be demonstrated that the NT writer’s use of the OT has parallels and analogies to other contemporary Jewish uses of the same OT passages, then this may enhance the validity of the allusion.
    6.      History of Interpretation. It is important to survey the history of the interpretation of the NT passage in order to see if others have observed the allusion. Yet this is one of the least reliable criteria in recognizing allusions. Though a study of past interpretation may reveal the possible allusions proposed by others, it can also lead to a narrowing of the possibilities since commentators can tend to follow earlier commentators and since commentary tradition always has the possibility of distorting or misinterpreting and losing the fresh and creative approach of the NT writers’ intertextual collocations.
    7.      Satisfaction. With or without confirmation from the preceding six criteria, does the proposed allusion and its interpretative usage make sense in the immediate context? Does it illuminate the surrounding context? Does it enhance the rhetorical punch of the point being made by the NT writer? Does the use of the allusion result in a satisfying account of how the author intended the allusion and how this use of the allusion would have made its effect upon the reader?

Hays’s approach is one of the best ways to discern and discuss the nature and validity of allusions (though he likes the term “echoes”), despite the fact, as we have seen, that some scholars have been critical of his methodology"


G. K. Beale, Handbook on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament: Exegesis and Interpretation (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2012), 32–34.

10. Beale, G. K., and D. A. Carson. Commentary on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament. Grand Rapids, MI;  Nottingham, UK: Baker Academic;  Apollos, 2007. is probably the most popular contemporary source for NT quotations/allusions/echoes of OT.

Beale gives excellent advice on how to use these quotations:


Here I elaborate on the following ninefold approach to interpreting the use of the OT in the NT. First, it will be helpful to see an overview of the approach before elaborating on each of the nine steps.2

    1.      Identify the OT reference. Is it a quotation or allusion? If it is an allusion, then there must be validation that it is an allusion, judging by the criteria discussed in the preceding chapter.
    2.      Analyze the broad NT context where the OT reference occurs.
    3.      Analyze the OT context both broadly and immediately, especially thoroughly interpreting the paragraph in which the quotation or allusion occurs.
    4.      Survey the use of the OT text in early and late Judaism that might be of relevance to the NT appropriation of the OT text.
    5.      Compare the texts (including their textual variants): NT, LXX, MT, and targums, early Jewish citations (DSS, the Pseudepigrapha, Josephus, Philo). Underline or color-code the various differences.
    6.      Analyze the author’s textual use of the OT. (Which text does the author rely on, or is the author making his own rendering, and how does this bear on the interpretation of the OT text?)
    7.      Analyze the author’s interpretative (hermeneutical) use of the OT.
    8.      Analyze the author’s theological use of the OT.
    9.      Analyze the author’s rhetorical use of the OT.


G. K. Beale, Handbook on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament: Exegesis and Interpretation (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2012), 42–43.

<continued in subsequent posts ... each going through another type of cross-reference>

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