Eight interesting facts about Revelation’s use of the Old Testament

  1. There are no formal or direct quotations to the Old Testament (OT) in Revelation.
  2. But Revelation is saturated with the OT. Almost every verse of Revelation contains some sort of allusion to it.
  3. There are somewhere between 200 to 1,000 references to the OT in Revelation, depending on how you count them.
  4. Isaiah is the book that is referenced the most.
  5. Ezekiel comes in second place in terms of references, but is probably the most influential book over all.
  6. Daniel comes in third place, but percentage wise is referenced the most in comparison to its length.
  7. Many of the OT references are found in clusters of four or five or more (see Revelation 4.1-11 for an example).
  8. Scholars debate whether the author of Revelation is faithful to the context of his OT references. Some say he ignores the original meaning and merely ‘uses’ the OT; others say that the reader gains a richer understanding by studying the context of many of the references.

Source: G. K. Beale and D. A. Carson, eds. Commentary on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament. (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2007), pp. 1081-1088.

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