๐Ÿ’ก๐Ÿ‘‘ Is The Mystery In The Old Testament?

No, of course not! Then why does Paul oftenย quoteย the Old Testament toย substantiateย the Mystery (e.g., Rom. 15:9-12)? Letโ€™s start in Acts 26:22, where Paul testifies:

โ€œI continue unto this dayโ€ฆsaying none other things than those which the prophets and Moses did say should come.โ€

This statement seems to belie Paulโ€™s insistence that his message was โ€œhid from ages and from generationsโ€ (Col.ย 1:26). However, he explains himself in the next verse:

โ€œThat Christ should suffer, and that He should be the first that should rise from the dead, and should shew light unto the people, and to the Gentilesโ€ (Acts 26:23).

The death and resurrection of Christ was not a mystery, nor was Godโ€™s plan to show light unto โ€œthe peopleโ€ (of Israel) and โ€œto the Gentiles.โ€ Thus Paul is saying that while his message did notย fulfillย the prophets, generally speaking it did notย contradict the Old Testament. We see the same in Acts 15, where the leaders in the church met to decide what to make of Paulโ€™s new gospel. James concluded:

โ€œSimeon hath declared how God at the first did visit the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for His name. And to this agree the words of the prophetsโ€ฆโ€ (Acts 15:14,15).

James didnโ€™t say that Paulโ€™s new messageย fulfilledย the prophets. Rather he said itย agreedย with them, i.e., God always intended to visit the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for His name. Of course, according to Prophecy this was supposed to happen through Israelโ€™s rise (Isa. 60:3), not through herย fallย (Rom.ย 11:11). Someday in the kingdom it will. But in the meantime, James could not deny that generally speaking Paulโ€™s new message wasย in accord with the Old Testament.

When most New Testament writers quote the Old Testament, it is to showย fulfillmentย of prophecy. However, whenย Paulย quotes the Old Testament, it is to showย harmony, not fulfillment.

Letโ€™s close with an example. In Romans 10:19, Paul quotes Deuteronomy 32:21, where God vows to provoke Israel to jealousy by โ€œa foolish nation.โ€ This cannot be the Gentiles, for they are โ€œthe nations,โ€ plural. Peter rather identifies the believing Jews to whom he wrote as the โ€œholy nationย โ€ that God originally used to provoke the apostate nation of Israel to jealousy (I Pet. 2:9 cf. Matt.ย 21:43; Lukeย 12:32) andย fulfillย Deuteronomy 32:21. But in theย nextย chapter of Romans, Paul says,

โ€œโ€ฆI am the apostle of the Gentilesโ€ฆif by any means I may provoke to emulation them which are my fleshโ€ฆโ€ (Rom.ย 11:13,14).

Here Paul declares that God wasย nowย usingย the Gentilesย to provoke Israel to jealousy. Not inย fulfillmentย of Deuteronomy 32:21, but certainlyย in harmonyย with it!

So while the Mystery is not in the Old Testament, Paul can quote it freely to show how his new message wasย in agreementย with it. source

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