Jesus and Scripture: The Impact of Jesus’s Use of the Old Testament in the Non-Pauline Epistles

By Thomas J Parker

An integration and exploration of the two key sources of authority for New Testament writers: Jesus, and Scripture.

ISBN: 9780227179833


For the New Testament writers, the Old Testament scriptures and the teachings of Jesus were key sources of authority and influence. When these influences are considered alongside each other, each can illuminate the other, deepening the New Testament writers’ presentation of Jesus and our understanding of their interpretations. In Jesus and Scripture, Tom Parker examines the way in which Hebrews, James, and 1 and 2 Peter deal with these two different sources of authority, how they relate to each other, and what shifts have occurred historically and theologically within the writing of these texts.

Treating the four epistles methodologically, Parker examines the particular ways in which each writer draws on the Hebrew scriptures. Ultimately, he argues convincingly that the nascent Jesus tradition, particularly via oral routes, influenced the way the Old Testament was processed by these various New Testament writers.

Additional information

Dimensions 229 × 152 mm
Pages 234

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Trade Information JPOD

About the Author

Tom Parker is Pastor at Chesterfield Community Church. His PhD, completed at Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam, focused on the use of the Old Testament in Hebrews, James and 1-2 Peter. His previous publications include Teaching 2 Peter (2023), as well as several journal articles.


Abbreviations and Quotations


1. Orality, Scripturalisation and Mnemonic Keying
2. Hebrews and the Son’s Speaking of the Scriptures
3. James, Q and Mnemonic Keying
4. The First Epistle of Peter and Scripturalisation
5. The Second Epistle of Peter and the Primacy of Jesus
6. Conclusions and Suggestions

Index of Passages from Ancient Texts
Index of Passages from Ancient Texts


Endorsements and Reviews

By deftly interweaving scholarship on oral tradition, social memory theory and the use of the Old Testament in the New with careful exegesis of key passages in four major non-Pauline epistles, Parker argues that in place of the thesis of scripturalization (namely that much of the Jesus tradition developed out of early Christian appropriation of the Old Testament) we should instead trace the various ways in which Jesus’ own use of the Jewish Scriptures impacted on early Christian oral tradition, social memory, and written texts. In doing so, Parker provides a valuable contribution to the debates over the development of the Jesus tradition and, potentially, the historical Jesus. Eric Eve – Emeritus Tutor in Theology, Harris Manchester College, Oxford

Thomas Parker’s Jesus and Scripture is a sophisticated but readable study of the use of Old Testament Scripture in the non-Pauline epistles. Parker shows how Jesus’s use of the Old Testament deeply impacted the early Christian community’s understanding of the Old Testament and that its subsequent reading of the Old Testament evoked memories of Jesus. In my opinion Parker has significantly advanced this important field of study. Every student of the New Testament should read this book. Craig A. Evans, John Bisagno Distinguished Professor of Christian Origins, Houston Christian University

Joining the increasing scholarly interest in the impact of orality and memory on the scriptures, Thomas Parker provides a comparative study of the role of the Old Testament in Hebrews, James, and 1-2 Peter. This study illuminates the intertexts and guides the reader in a methodologically sound and theologically thought-provoking journey through these non-Pauline texts. His work is carefully and insightfully written, and it is an important contribution to any discussion on intertextuality, orality, memories studies, and the New Testament epistles. Holly J. Carey, Point University