Old Testament Citations By Paul

Note below that Paul’s quotes O.T. passages … and all such passages (there are many, many, more) that appear were quote before Acts 28:28 when He was going “to the Jew first.”

Tables of Old Testament Citations By Paul

Some 107 explicit citations to the Old Testament appear in Paul’s writings. Many of these passages are set off by stereotypical formulae quotations such as “as it is written,” “for the scripture says,” “for [prophet] says,” or “according to the law.” By far, the greatest number of Old Testament citations are in Romans, followed by 1 Corinthians, Galatians, and 2 Corinthians.

Several of Paul’s epistles do not include any explicit Old Testament citations (for example, 1 and 2 Thessalonians, Philippians, and Philemon). The most oft-quoted book of the Old Testament in Paul’s writings is Isaiah, followed by Psalms, Genesis, and Deuteronomy. For the most part, these quotations were copied closely from the Septuagint and Hebrew versions of the Old Testament with only minor changes. Sometimes, however, larger differences are found. A detailed analysis of these variations is not possible here, but listed below are the basic, noteworthy discrepancies where one text varies from the other two, or in the last case, where all three differ from one another. Overall, Paul seems to rely most heavily on the Septuagint, but occasionally he seems to be giving his own translation of the Hebrew text.

Hebrew (Masoretic Tradition) Differs from Septuagint and New Testament



LXX and NT

Isa. 40:13; 1 Cor. 2:16



Isa. 49:8; 2 Cor. 6:2



Isa. 54:1; Gal. 4:27

“children of the

married wife”

“she which

hath an husband”

Isa. 42:5; Rom. 2:24


“among the Gentiles”

Ps. 50:6; Rom. 3:4

Be pure


Ps. 14:1–3; Rom. 3:10–18


Verses 13–18; LXX Psalms 13:3b*

Gen. 15:6; Rom. 4:3, 9, 22


Abraham “on the Lord”

Isa. 1:9; Rom. 9:29



Isa. 28:16; Rom. 10:11


(stumble) “on this”

Joel 3:5; Rom. 10:13


Be saved

Isa. 53:1; Rom. 10:16



Isa. 65:2; Rom. 10:21



Ps. 68:23–24; Rom. 11:9–10



Isa. 40:13; Rom. 11:34



Isa. 45:23; Rom. 14:11b

“sworn by myself ” (missing)

Confess “to God”

*Material found in Rom. 3:13–18 and LXX Ps. 13:3b is found in other places in the Hebrew Bible: Ps. 5:10; 140:4; 10:7; Isa. 59:7–8; and Ps. 36:2.


New Testament Differs from Septuagint and Hebrew Bible



LXX and Hebrew

1 Cor. 1:19; Isa. 29:14



1 Cor. 1:31; Jer. 9:23

Paraphrase (glory) “in the Lord”

“thus saith the Lord”

1 Cor. 14:21; Isa. 28:11–12

Another “will not hear”

Stammering “do not want to hear”

2 Cor. 6:16; Lev. 26:12

“I will dwell in them”


2 Cor. 6:17; Isa. 52:11

“I will receive you”

“be ye clean that bear the vessels of the Lord”

2 Cor. 6:18; 2 Sam. 7:14

“and daughters”


2 Cor. 10:17; Jer. 9:23

“in the Lord”

“in this”

Rom. 9:9; Gen. 18:14



Rom. 9:25; Hosea 2:23

Call “beloved, which was not beloved”

Say “have mercy upon her that had not obtained mercy”

Rom. 9:27; Isa. 10:22–23


“with righteousness”

Rom. 9:33; Isa. 28:16

“stumblingstone and a rock of offence”

“precious cornerstone”

Rom. 10:7; Deut. 30:13

“descend into the deep”

“go over the sea”

Rom. 11:8; Deut. 29:3

“spirit of slumber”

“heart to perceive”

Rom. 11:9–10; Ps. 68:23–24

“and a trap”



Septuagint Differs from New Testament and Hebrew Bible



NT and Hebrew

Isa. 64:3 and 1 Cor. 2:9 

Plural nouns (missing)

Singular nouns “ear” (to hear)

Job 5:13 and 1 Cor. 3:19

“way of thinking”


Hab. 2:4 and Gal. 3:11a, Rom. 1:17

“(faith) in me”


Job 41:3 and Rom. 11:35

Many differences*


Deut. 32:35 and Rom. 12:19

“in the day” (of vengeance)

“vengeance is mine”

*Rom. 11:35 “may be a quotation of Job 41:3, but it does not agree with LXX of that verse, being closer to the MT [Hebrew Masoretic text] (who has preceded me that I should repay). But the OT text is uncertain; others think that Paul may be alluding to Job 35:7 or 41:1.” From Joseph A. Fitzmeyer, Romans, volume 33 of the Anchor Bible series (New York: Doubleday, 1993), 635.


All Three Versions Differ





1 Cor. 15:54; Isa. 25:8

“in victory”



1 Cor. 15:55; Hosea 13:14


“penalty” or “justice”


Rom. 2:24; Isa. 52:5

“through you”

“through all you”

“all the day”

Rom. 10:20; Isa. 65:1


Reverses verbs

Reverses phrases