The Book of Psalms is one of the most frequently cited books in the New Testament. The Synoptic Evangelists seem to read the Psalms not primarily as prayers but as prophecies of the future. They discovered in its language prophecies concerning the life and ministry of Jesus and attempted to show how Jesus' life was prefigured in the Psalms. Samuel Subramanian examines the topic within the broader use of the Old Testament in the New Testament, that of the prophetic reading of the Psalms in the Synoptic Gospels and in the context of Second Temple Judaism. Although others have treated individual psalm quotations as prophecy, my work is the first to examine all of the psalm quotations within the Synoptic Gospels in this light and the first to demonstrate that these excerpts were used prophetically. In some cases, these psalm quotations were used by the Synoptic Evangelists in a manner that is thought to fulfill a prophecy from or about Jesus within the gospel narratives, even though this particular use of the psalms by the Synoptic Evangelists has not been widely recognized previously.
This study shows how similar exegetical techniques of looking for prophecies in the Psalms was practiced by non-Christian Jews of the period.
J. Samuel Subramanian is a recent graduate from McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, and is currently serving as an Adjunct Faculty at Wartburg College, Waverly, Iowa.