We have to consider these factors when we read the New Testament. These four factors are:
- The four ways the New Testament uses the Old Testament,
- The four types of Messianic prophecy,
- The Targumim Factor, and
- The Septuagint Factor.
Considering these four factors sufficiently answers the majority of objections raised by anti-missionaries, especially when those objections center on the idea that the Church tampered with the text. We are simply recognizing what was going on in the Jewish community during the first century for the purpose of communicating understanding. Slight differences in quotations did not invalidate the New Testament text. Slight differences in quotations did not invalidate the Targumim in the Jewish community. Slight differences in quotation did not invalidate the Septuagint in the Jewish community either.
Let me emphasize, free renderings of the Old Testament in the New Testament are of no concern. They simply reflect the Jewish literature of the First Century. To criticize the New Testament because of free translations is simply rabbinic quibbling. What does it mean to “quibble”? The meaning of “quibble” is to evade the truth or importance of an issue by raising trivial distinctions and objections; to find fault or criticize for petty reasons. Let me close this summary with two statements by A. Lukyn Williams on pg. 111 of Christian Evidences for the Jewish People:
…it is doubtful if a single Jewish writer of ancient times can be found who is punctilious about the exact accuracy of his quotations from Scripture. What does R. Joshua haLevi say (after 1467 A.D.) in his Halikoth ‘Olam, II, 2?
“The method of traditional teaching is to shorten the passages of Scripture, and it does not bring them forward as they are.”
Also on pg. 79 of Christian Evidences for the Jewish People:
With Jewish writers mere verbal accuracy in a quotation is almost of no importance at all. When a Jew, in arguing with a Gentile, pretends that it is, he is presuming on the Gentile’s ignorance of things Jewish.
You would be wise to master this information. With this background information in mind let us move on to our first section of Scripture that anti-missionaries challenge.