John’s use of the Old Testament

by | Nov 3, 2020 | 02 Library, John, Quotations

The Apostle John’s use of the Old Testament in his gospel and his letters.

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JohnOld TestamentType
Joh 1:23 – He said, “I am the voice of one crying out in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way of the Lord,’ as the prophet Isaiah said.” Isa 40:3
Joh 1:51 – And he said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you will see heaven opened, and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man.”  Ge 28:12allusion
Joh 2:17 – His disciples remembered that it was written, “Zeal for your house will consume me.”  Ps 69:9
Joh 3:14 – And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, Nu 21:8,9allusion
Joh 4:37 – For here the saying holds true, ‘One sows and another reaps.’ Mic 6:15allusion
Joh 6:31 – Our fathers ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written, ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’” Ps 78:24;
Ex 16:15
Joh 6:45 – It is written in the Prophets, ‘And they will all be taught by God.’ Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to me— Isa 54:13
Joh 6:49 – Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died.Ex 16:15allusion
Joh 7:22 – Moses gave you circumcision (not that it is from Moses, but from the fathers), and you circumcise a man on the Sabbath.Le 12:3allusion
Joh 7:38 – Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’”Isa 44:3;
Isa 55:1;
Isa 58:11;
Zec 13:1;
Zec 14:8;
Pr 18:4;
Isa 12:3
Joh 7:39 – Now this he said about the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were to receive, for as yet the Spirit had not been given, because Jesus was not yet glorified. Isa 44:3allusion
Joh 7:42 – Has not the Scripture said that the Christ comes from the offspring of David, and comes from Bethlehem, the village where David was?” Ps 89:4;
Ps 132:11;
Mic 5:1-2
Joh 8:5 – Now in the Law, Moses commanded us to stone such women. So what do you say?” Le 20:10;
De 22:21
Joh 8:17 – In your Law it is written that the testimony of two people is true. De 19:15
Joh 9:31 – We know that God does not listen to sinners, but if anyone is a worshiper of God and does his will, God listens to him. Ps 82:6
Joh 10:34 – Jesus answered them, “Is it not written in your Law, ‘I said, you are gods’? Ps 82:6allusion
Joh 12:13 – So they took branches of palm trees and went out to meet him, crying out, “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, even the King of Israel!” Ps 118:26allusion
Joh 12:14-15 – And Jesus found a young donkey and sat on it, just as it is written, “Fear not, daughter of Zion; behold, your king is coming, sitting on a donkey’s colt!” Zec 9:9
Joh 12:34 – So the crowd answered him, “We have heard from the Law that the Christ remains forever. How can you say that the Son of Man must be lifted up? Who is this Son of Man?” 2Sa 7:13;
Ps 89:30;
Ps 89:37;
Ps 110:4;
Isa 9:7
Joh 12:38 – so that the word spoken by the prophet Isaiah might be fulfilled: “Lord, who has believed what he heard from us, and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?” Isa 53:1
Joh 12:40 – “He has blinded their eyes and hardened their heart, lest they see with their eyes, and understand with their heart, and turn, and I would heal them.” Isa 6:9
Joh 12:49 – For I have not spoken on my own authority, but the Father who sent me has himself given me a commandment—what to say and what to speak. De 18:18allusion
Joh 13:18 – I am not speaking of all of you; I know whom I have chosen. But the Scripture will be fulfilled, ‘He who ate my bread has lifted his heel against me.’ Ps 41:9
Joh 15:25 – But the word that is written in their Law must be fulfilled: ‘They hated me without a cause.’ Ps 69:4;
Ps 109:3;
Ps 35:19
Joh 17:12 – While I was with them, I kept them in your name, which you have given me. I have guarded them, and not one of them has been lost except the son of destruction, that the Scripture might be fulfilled. Ps 41:10;
Ps 109:8;
Ps 109:17
Joh 19:24 – so they said to one another, “Let us not tear it, but cast lots for it to see whose it shall be.” This was to fulfill the Scripture which says, “They divided my garments among them, and for my clothing they cast lots.” So the soldiers did these things, Ps 22:19
Joh 19:28 – After this, Jesus, knowing that all was now finished, said (to fulfill the Scripture), “I thirst.” Ps 69:21;
Ps 34:20;
Joh 19:36 – For these things took place that the Scripture might be fulfilled: “Not one of his bones will be broken.” Ex 12:46;
Ps 34:20;
Nu 9:12
Joh 19:37 – And again another Scripture says, “They will look on him whom they have pierced.”Zec 12:10
Joh 20:9 – for as yet they did not understand the Scripture, that he must rise from the dead. Ps 16:10allusion
Joh 20:17 – Jesus said to her, “Do not cling to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to my brothers and say to them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’” Ps 22:22allusion

John’s Letters

1JohnOld TestamentType
1Jo 1:8 – If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. Pr 20:9allusion
1Jo 3:5 – You know that he appeared in order to take away sins, and in him there is no sin. Isa 53:4allusion?
1Jo 3:12 – We should not be like Cain, who was of the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own deeds were evil and his brother’s righteous. Ge 4:8;
Nu 22:41;
Nu 16:1;
Nu 16:31

No references for 2 John or 3 John.

A quotation is a word-for-word citation of the original source, often preceded by “it is written” or “saying”.

An allusion is a reference to the original source using the the same key words or thoughts without quoting word for word.

Because the New Testament writers often borrow the language of the Old Testament (allusion) rather than quote verses directly, different scholars suggest different counts for the number of times the New Testament quotes or refers to the Old Testament.

Quotes from the Septuagint (LXX) may have appear to have somewhat different wording than the linked translation of the Hebrew text.


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