Paul’s Use of The Old Testament in The Book of Romans

by Max Andrews

Paul’s use of the Old Testament is very evident in the book of Romans. There are 50 references to Old Testament Scriptures from thirteen different books. Paul does not seem to quote Scripture verbatim every time he refers to it. Paul paraphrases and contextualizes the Scriptures. One example of this is in 2:24:

For, “THE NAME OF GOD IS BLASPHEMED AMONG THE GENTILES BECAUSE OF YOU,” just as it is written. (NASB)

The Old Testament reference is Isaiah 53:5 which states:

Now therefore, what do I have here,” declares the LORD, “seeing that My people have been taken away without cause?” Again the LORD declares, “Those who rule over them bowl, and My name is continually blasphemed all day long. (NASB)

There are other times where he does give verbatim when he refers to the Ten Commandments and Exodus and Deuteronomy when to not covet, etc. (i.e. Rom 7:7). Paul will refer to certain personalities and books depending on what he is addressing, when he addresses Israel in chapter 9, it is mainly the prophetic books. When dealing with the word of faith and salvation in chapter 10, Paul usually sticks to the historical books. If Paul referred to any one personality the most, it would be Abraham when he is justified in his faith and to the prophet Isaiah as he refers to him thirteen times (tied with the most references with The Psalms).

Old Testament references in Romans

Chapter 1

  • Hab 2:4

Chapter 2

  • Isa 52:5

Chapter 3

  • Ps 51:4
  • Ps 14:1-3, 53:1-3
  • Ps 5:9
  • Ps 140:3
  • Ps 10:7
  • Prov 1:16, 3:15-17, Isa 59:7-8
  • Ps 36:1

Chapter 4

  • Gen 15:6
  • Ps 32:1-2
  • Gen 15:5

Chapter 7

  • Ex 20:17; Deut 5:21

Chapter 8

  • Ps 44:22

Chapter 9

  • Gen 25:23
  • Mal 1:2-3
  • Ex 33:19
  • Ex 9:16
  • Hos 2:23
  • Hos 1:10
  • Isa 10:22-23
  • Isa 1:9
  • Isa 28:16

Chapter 10

  • Deut 30:14
  • Joel 2:32
  • Isa 52:7
  • Isa 53:1
  • Ps 19:4
  • Deut 32:21
  • Isa 65:1
  • Isa 65:2

Chapter 11

  • I Kings 19:10,14
  • I Kings 19:18
  • Ps 69:22-23
  • Isa 59:20,21

Chapter 12

  • Deut 32:35
  • Prov 25:21-22

Chapter 13

  • Ex 20:13-17; Deut 5:17-21
  • Lev 19:18

Chapter 14

  • Isa 45:23

Chapter 15

  • Ps 69:9
  • II Sam 22:5; Ps 18:49
  • Deut 32:43
  • Ps 117:1
  • Isa 11:10
  • Isa 52:15

Total: 50 references, 13 books

 

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3 Comments to “Paul’s Use of The Old Testament in The Book of Romans”

  1. Max, you need to look up these texts by Brian J. Abasciano on Paul’s use of the OT in Romans 9. They have been called the most extensive study on the chapter to date (and more volumes are coming out, as a matter of fact): http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=Paul%27s+use+of+the+old+testament+in+romans

  2. Small typo: Isaiah 53:5 should be Isaiah 52:5. You have it correct on your list, but not when it’s quoted.

    Good stuff bro.

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