Consider the following basic facts:
1. 10% of the New Testament consists of Old Testament Quotations.
2. A knowledge of the Old Testament is essential to the understanding of the New Testament.
3. The Old Testament is inspired of God and used authoritatively by Jesus Christ and the writers of the New Testament.
4. The word “Scripture” refers to “that which is written.” Written language requires words. The words are the words of God. The word Scripture is always used of inspired words and never used of secular writings (in the Bible itself).
5. Whenever the New Testament writers quote from the Old Testament, sometimes they use the Hebrew Scriptures, sometimes they use the Septuagint (LXX) and sometimes they make their own translation of the text.
6. Whenever a New Testament writer quotes from the Old Testament, he himself is under the influence of the Holy Spirit.
7. In the Gospel of John, there are fourteen Old Testament passages quoted. A list of these passages follows:
a. 1:23 Isa. 40:3 (LXX)
b. 2:17 Psa. 69:9
c. 6:31 Psa. 78:24
d. 6:45 Isa. 54:13
e. 10:34 Psa. 82:6
f. 12:13 Psa. 118:25-26
g. 12:15 Zech. 9:9
h. 12:38 Isa. 53:1 (LXX)
i. 12:40 Isa. 6:10 (LXX)
j. 13:18 Psa. 41:9
k. 15:25 Psa. 35:19, 69:4
l. 19:24 Psa. 22:18
m. 19:36 Ex. 12:46; Num. 9:12
n. 19:37 Zech. 12:10
These Old Testament passages are specifically chosen by John to prove his thesis that Jesus is the Christ the Son of the living God. John 20:31,32. We must believe that Jesus is the Messiah and that He is the Son of God in order to have eternal life.
We have just completed VBS for the summer. We studied an important theme: Exploring the Nature of God. The material was published by Promise Press, c. 2010 and distributed through Gospel Advocate, Nashville, TN. I enjoyed the study of God through in-depth consideration of five names for God: Elohim, Yahweh Elohim, Yahweh Jireh, Yahweh Nissi, and Yahweh Ra-ah. The first name for God in the Bible comes from the Hebrew term Elohim (Gen. 1:1). “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” Here are some significant facts about this name for God.
First, Elohim is a plural noun. The singular form would be Eloah which is poetic and rare. In prose, the plural has to be used whether polytheistically or monotheistically because there is no other suitable word (Baker’s Dictionary of Theology, p. 239).
Second, the plural form in and of itself does not indicate a Triune God, but hints in the context of Genesis 1 do indicate a Triune God. In Genesis 1:2, “And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.” The Holy Spirit is referenced in this passage. In Genesis 1:26, the Scriptures declare, “And God (Elohim) said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.” The plural pronoun “us” indicates that more than one person was present in the Godhead. From John 1:1-3, we learn that the eternal Word was present at the time of the creation of all things and all things were created by Him (see also Col. 1:16-18). A grammatical analysis of John 1:3 shows that Jesus Christ is the indirect agent in creation and God the Father is the direct agent. Therefore, the word Elohim refers to God the Father, the Eternal Word and the Holy Spirit as the context of Genesis 1 affirms.
Third, The plural form is better understood as indicating a plenitude of power (Baker’s Dictionary of Theology, p. 239). The fullness of the authority and power of God is inherent in this word. By the word of God (Elohim), the universe and everything in it comes into existence (Heb. 11:3, Psa. 33:8-9). God is the First Cause and He Himself is uncaused. Only God (Elohim) can create (bring into existence out of nothing material that which did not exist before).
Fourth, man (created by God in His image) sustains a relationship to God by virtue of God being his creator. This is a general relationship in which all men and women are the offspring of God. Consider Paul’s words delivered on Mars hill in Athens, “For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you. God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands; Neither is worshipped with men’s hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things; And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation; That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us: For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring. Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man’s device. And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent” (Acts 17:23-30).
Fifth, God (Elohim) has the power to bring man into full reconciliation with Himself through Jesus Christ (II Cor. 5:18-19). Consequently, we can become the “children of God” in a spiritual sense which elevates us to the status of “sonship”. This spiritual status is achieved through the redemptive work of Jesus Christ. We obtain the remission of our sins through the power of His blood (Eph. 1:7) and we are regenerated through the power of the Holy Spirit (Titus 3:5). Remission of sins and regeneration (new spiritual life) lead to sonship. “…Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God” (John 3:5).
Sixth, God (Elohim) is the only one to be worshipped. God the creator is the only God and He is the only being in the universe worthy to be worshipped. (see Exodus 20:3).