A Study in the Word – Isaiah’s Background No. 14: Isaiah in the New Testament

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It is an easy segue to move from the Servant in Isaiah to the use of Isaiah in the New Testament.  Fifty-four verses or passages of Isaiah appear sixty-six times in the New Testament.  Matthew is the Gospel that answers the question, “Who is the Messiah?”  Matthew includes ten references from Isaiah to show the Messiah is Jesus of Nazareth.  In Romans Paul quotes Isaiah eighteen times in calling for people to trust in Christ for the righteousness that comes only from God.  This is an echo of Isaiah’s call for Israel to trust in God alone.  The theme of faith in Isaiah is magnified in Paul as faith in Jesus Christ (see Rom. 1:17).  

One of the more significant citations from Isaiah is found in Luke 4.  Jesus entered the synagogue at Nazareth and read from Isaiah 61:1-2, an Ebed Yahweh passage that outlines his task.  Jesus then announces, “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing” (Luke 4:21).  His announcement was in fact a declaration that the Messianic Age had begun.  Last week we looked at three major themes in Isaiah: God is the Holy One of Israel (He is holy, so making us holy is what He does); the Lord will provide for a Faithful Remnant; and redemption will be provided by the Suffering Servant of God.  As you read your New Testament and encounter a quotation from Isaiah, look for one of these three themes in the context of the New Testament passage.  For example, all three themes can be inferred from First Corinthians 2:6-16.  

Dr. David Moore is a Baptist preacher in Pampa and an online instructor in Bible and theology for Taylor University and Nations University.  Email: dm5867se@outlook.com.

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