Why Did the NT Authors Overlook This?

Trivia question: where in the New Testament are these verses cited?

“For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; And the government will rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Pele’-yo’etz-el-gibbur-avi`ad-sar-shalom (Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace).

There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace, On the throne of David and over his kingdom, To establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness From then on and forevermore. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will accomplish this.” (Isa 9:6-7)

Trick question: these verses–unlike many others from Isaiah that were picked up by the NT authors and read christologically–are nowhere cited in the NT. The question is–why the heck wasn’t Isa 9:6-7 cited by the NT authors?!

This one has always puzzled me. The Gospel of Mark has Isaianic themes throughout. Paul uses Isaiah quite a few times. In fact, Isaiah is the second-most-frequently cited book of the OT in the NT (only Psalms is cited/alluded to more frequently). Matthew 1:21 even picks up on the “virgin will be with child” mis-translation of LXX Isa 7:14 and applies it to Mary and Jesus.

So, why didn’t the NT authors read Isa 9:6-7 as a prophecy about Christ? Certainly Christians who believe in the unity of God’s revelation in the Old and New Testaments will acknowledge this connection. But it seems very strange that Matthew in particular, given the lengths to which he goes to see Christ in the OT (even apparently “shoehorning” Christ into some passages), didn’t pick up Isa 9:6-7 and take it all the way like Mark Sanchez fumble.

I have no answers here–do you?

About Benj

I’m a native North Jerseyan, transplanted to Pennsylvania...lived and taught in Eastern Europe for six years…Old Testament professor, ordained minister, occasional liturgist…husband to Corrie…father to Daniel and Elizabeth.
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1 Response to Why Did the NT Authors Overlook This?

  1. Pingback: Best of 2012 | think hard, think well

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