Peter’s use of Old Testament

by | Jun 19, 2017 | 02 Library, Peter, Quotations

The New Testament is our divinely inspired commentary on the Old Testament. When studying a passage, it’s often helpful to see how other biblical authors understood it. Here is the Apostle Peter’s use of the Old Testament in his letters.

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1PeterOld TestamentType
1 Pe 1:16 since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.”Leviticus 11:44quotation
1 Pe 1:24-25 for “All flesh is like grass and all its glory like the flower of grass. The grass withers, and the flower falls, but the word of the Lord remains forever.” And this word is the good news that was preached to you.Isaiah 40:6quotation
1 Pe 2:3  if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good.Psalm 34:8-9possible allusion
1 Pe 2:4 As you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious,Psalm 118:22allusion
1 Pe 2:6 For it stands in Scripture: “Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone, a cornerstone chosen and precious, and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame.”Isaiah 28:16quotation
1 Pe 2:7 So the honor is for you who believe, but for those who do not believe, “The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone,”Psalm 118:22-23quotation
1 Pe 2:9 But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. Exodus 19:6quotation
1 Pe 2:9  But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.Deuteronomy 10:15    Hosea 1:10allusion
1 Pe 2:10 Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.Hosea 2:23allusion
1 Pe 2:17 Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor.Proverbs 24:21allusion
1 Pe 2:22 He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth.Isaiah 53:9quotation
1 Pe 2:24 He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healedIsaiah 53:4-5quotation
1 Pe 3:6 as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord. And you are her children, if you do good and do not fear anything that is frightening. Genesis 18:12allusion
1 Pe 3:7 Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered. Proverbs 17:13possible allusion
1 Pe 3:10-12 For “Whoever desires to love life and see good days, let him keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit; let him turn away from evil and do good; let him seek peace and pursue it. For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are open to their prayer. But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.” Psalm 34:12-16quotation
1 Pe 3:14-15 But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you will be blessed. Have no fear of them, nor be troubled,
1Pe 3:15  but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, 
Isaiah 8:12-13possible allusion
1 Pe 3:20 because they formerly did not obey, when God’s patience waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through water.Genesis 6:3   Genesis 6:12allusion
1 Pe 4:8  Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sinsProverbs 10:12quotation
1 Pe 4:18 And “If the righteous is scarcely saved, what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?”Proverbs 11:31allusion
1 Pe 5:5 Likewise, you who are younger, be subject to the elders. Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”Proverbs 3:34allusion
1 Pe 5:7 casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for youPsalm 55:23possible allusion


2 PeterOld TestamentType
2Pe 2:5 – if he did not spare the ancient world, but preserved Noah, a herald of righteousness, with seven others, when he brought a flood upon the world of the ungodly;Ge 7:23;
Ge 8:1-22
2Pe 2:6 – if by turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to ashes he condemned them to extinction, making them an example of what is going to happen to the ungodly;Ge 19:1-38allusion
2Pe 2:15-16 – Forsaking the right way, they have gone astray. They have followed the way of Balaam, the son of Beor, who loved gain from wrongdoing,Nu 22:1-41allusion
2Pe 2:22 – What the true proverb says has happened to them: “The dog returns to its own vomit, and the sow, after washing herself, returns to wallow in the mire.”Pr 26:11
2Pe 3:4 – They will say, “Where is the promise of his coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things are continuing as they were from the beginning of creation.”Eze 12:22allusion?
2Pe 3:5-6 – For they deliberately overlook this fact, that the heavens existed long ago, and the earth was formed out of water and through water by the word of God, and that by means of these the world that then existed was deluged with water and perished.Ge 1:1-2,
Gen 1:6;
Ge 7:21
2Pe 3:8 – But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.Ps 90:4allusion
2Pe 3:10 – But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed.Ps 102:26-27allusion?
2Pe 3:13 – But according to his promise we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.Isa 65:17;
Isa 66:22

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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