An examination of the allusions to Isaiah 52:13--53:12 in the New Testament
Dixon, Robert John
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The writers of the New Testament make extensive use of the Old Testament in their writings. One passage, Isaiah 52:13-53:12, is of particular importance as evidenced by the fact that it is quoted seven times by five different writers. However, the use of Isaiah 52:13-53:12 is not limited to quotations. Some scholars also believe that allusions from this passage play a vital role in the writing of the New Testament. Of particular importance are the questions: did Jesus understand his life and mission in relation to Isa 52:13-53:12, and what is the nature of the atonement? Other scholars think the writers of the New Testament made very little or no use of allusions to Isaiah 52:13-53:12 in their writings. The goal of the dissertation is to determine how extensive is the use of allusions to Isaiah 52:13-53:12 in the New Testament? This is accomplished by evaluating the validity of the allusions most commonly suggested by scholars. The allusions are assessed using the seven-fold criteria of Richard B. Hays as set forth in his book Echoes of Scripture in the Letters of Paul. In the conclusion, the results of the analysis are categorized according to the probability that they are actual allusions. The dissertation also includes a chapter that presents an exegesis of both the Hebrew and Septuagint of Isaiah 52:13-53:12. This exegesis attempts to explain how this passage was understood by the early church. A chapter is also devoted to the seven quotations from Isaiah 52:13-53:12 in the New Testament.