Here are the Old Testament Scripture References that Jesus Quoted More Than Anything Else

Here are the Old Testament Scripture References that Jesus Quoted More Than Anything Else November 16, 2010

Everytime I read the New Testament I see Jesus quoting the Old Testament quite a bit. As I learned in my Bible interpretation classes in seminary, parallel passages and repeat quotes are there to drive points home more directly. Maybe it’s just me, but for a while now I’ve wondered if Jesus quoted any one verse(s) more than others to really drive a certain point home?

So what I did was go back and read all of Jesus’ words and made a chart of every OT verse he quoted. As it turns out, it was recorded that Jesus quoted 49 different Old Testament verses (not including the repeats of the same verses throughout the different books). Of those 49, Jesus quoted three particular verses more than any other.

Jesus quoted different parts of the Ten Commandments on four separate occasions:

Matthew 5:21 – Exodus 20:13

Matthew 5:27 – Exodus 20:14

Matthew 15:4 & Mark 7:10 – Exodus 20:12, Deut 5:16

Matthew 19:19 & Mark 10:19 & Luke 18:20 – Exodus 20:12-16, Deut 5:16-20

But other than the Ten Commandments, Jesus quoted two individual verses on two separate occasions – more than any other he quoted in all of Scripture!

Hosea 6:6 – For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings. (Matthew 9:13 and Matthew 12:7)

Leviticus 19:18 – Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against one of your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the LORD. (Matthew 5:43, Matthew 22:39 (with a repeat in Mark 12:31))

I don’t see how it is any coincidence that Jesus separately quoted the, a) Ten Commandments, b) a subversion of the dogmatic religious institution of the day, and c) an expectation of love, more than any others in all of Scripture.

Let that sink in to your life! Jesus repeatedly gave us three very clear instructions on how to live a Jesus-shaped faith…

Much love.

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8 responses to “Here are the Old Testament Scripture References that Jesus Quoted More Than Anything Else”

  1. “Let that sink in to your life! Jesus repeatedly gave us three very clear instructions on how to live a Jesus-shaped faith…”

    That’s a pretty interesting post, but there are two more factors:

    1) the audience;
    2) the people who wrote the Bible.

    It seems to me that Jesus had been saying things that were most important at that time. So he probably would say something a little different if he actually was talking to us. Who knows, maybe he would say, “Love your neighbor. No homo.” 🙂

    Similarly, the people who wrote the Bible had been picking out the most relevant quotes, the quotes that were different from the religious tradition of that time. I guess it partially explains why some verses are quoted more often.

    Sometimes I think that some Christians forget that Jesus is a person, not a book. 🙂

    • I thought the whole point of Christianity was that Jesus wasn’t a person, he was the son of god, and therefore all his words are the words of god?

      • Even the son of God is a person. 🙂 Not a regular one, but it doesn’t matter. The point is that the Bible cannot possibly contain all the things Jesus have thought, said or would have said to us.

        • Yes, Jesus was fully man and fully God. So He was a person (regular person) and God. Not that I think we can fully comprehend that.

          I don’t believe the Bible’s purpose was to catalog everything Christ said. However, God gave us what we needed in the Bible, don’t you think?

    • The culture of the day of Jesus was certainly different in some ways, but the kind of lifestyles people were living, the sin available to people, the standards of culture…are all similar. I do not believe that Jesus had a different word for the people of Biblical times than he does for us today. We have the powerful ability to look back at history and culture to see the difference. I believe that ability gives us great understanding.

  2. Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD [Deut. 6:4]
    “The LORD” is the Hebrew tetragram transliterated YHWH or JHVH, translated in English as Jehovah. “God” is the translation for ELOHIM. ELOHIM is plural. In the Hebrew language a noun is singular, dual, or plural. When it is plural, but no number is given, one can assume it to be three. It could be translated, “Hear, O Israel: Jehovah, our Trinity is one Jehovah.” J. Vernon McGee God is one, existing in three Persons.

  3. I saw your comment” So what I did was go back and read all of Jesus’ words and made a chart of every OT verse he quoted”. I would love to use your chart. Could you email it to me? I would really appreciate it. I am teaching an apologetics class and could use this information. Thanks..

    a bro’ in Christ,


  4. Hi Andrew from Aussie, I was most interested to read of your chart listing the 49 times that Jesus quoted the Old Testament Scriptures

    Would it be possible to have a copy of this enlightening chart?

    Yours inthe Gospel of the zlord Jesuc Christ


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