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Chapter Summary

The influence of the Hebrew scriptures (Old Testament) on New Testament (NT) and other early Christian thought and literature is hard to overestimate. The Gospel of Matthew has fifty-four scriptural quotations, while Paul has sixty quotations in his letter to the Romans alone. Scripture provided the basic categories of Christian thought: covenant, salvation, messiah. The discussion of testimonia in twentieth-century scriptural research has been dominated by three scholars: J. Rendel Harris, C.H. Dodd, and Barnabas Lindars. Dodd insightfully pointed out Christian use of broad sections of scripture, yet his underestimation of early Christian use of non-contextual proof-texts and of evidence for written testimonia collections needs correction. A common core of proof-texts and exegetical traditions is remarkably consistent throughout many of these collections; at the same time, the tradition shows fluidity in local variation of texts and in the application of standard testimonia to new situations.

Keywords: C.H. Dodd; Hebrew scriptures; New Testament (NT); Paul; testimonia



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