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One of the most obvious characteristics of the New Testament which greets the eyes of even the casual reader is its great dependence upon the Old Testament. Words, phrases, topics, personalities, and events from the Old Testament are carried forward into the New on almost every one of its pages. It has often been stated that neither of the Testaments can be understood apart from the other. Centuries ago Augustine declared that, "The New Testament lies hidden in the Old, and the Old is made plain in the New."

The dependence of the New Testament upon the Old is especially seen in the many times it quotes from the Old. Estimates run around two-hundred direct and recognizable quotations with hundreds more indirect quotations and allusions. The book of Isaiah is directly quoted about sixty times and indirectly referred to about 150 times in the New Testament.

The first problem is that of listing all of the places where the New Testament uses the Old and of classifying them according to their degree of directness. As one reads more closely and attempts to compare the quotations with their sources, other problems become apparent. On the word level the first group of problems are seen. Why didn't the New Testament writers quote the O~d Testament with a greater degree of verbal accuracy? Then as the comparison is pressed, questions are raised as to whether the authors of the New Testament really understood the Old or not. Some times they seem to completely ignore the context of the original passage and interpret it to suit their own purposes.

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