Isaiah 6 in the NT

THE THEOLOGICAL IMPLICATIONS OF THE NEW TESTAMENT’S CITATION OF ISAIAH 6:9-10:

ACCENTUATING THE SOTERIOLOGICAL TENSION

Taylor E. Terzek

INTRODUCTION

By consequence, the previous study of Isa. 6 in its OT context beckoned the elucidation of its prevalence, by mode of quotation, in the NT. No action speaks greater volumes to the substance of an OT passage than its reapplication throughout dispensations. Isaiah’s prophecy in ch. 6 of his book is excerpted in all four gospel accounts, as well as Luke’s book concerning the acts of the apostles.

Before proceeding unto the exegesis and study of these citations, one must be provided with essential concepts guiding the modern investigation of the NT’s use of the OT. (1) Despite the growing consensus of contemporary Biblical scholarship that the NT writers ‘proof-text’ OT passages out-of-context for the application of NT themes, one must not presuppose such a claim before entering analysis. This conjecture would highly limit true Biblical understanding, outdate the message of OT, and (more inferior) open the exegesis of the Scriptures into a less objective standard. Furthermore, there is no need for such an inference to qualify the text as coherent. (2) In the NT’s citation of the OT, no passage is nullified from its original context and understanding. Yet, there is a possibility of further clarification in light of Scripture’s ability to express practical application (limited to dispensational execution) by its standard of eternal significance. (3) Textual matters weigh heavily in this subject, but that is an exhaustive study within itself, and is placed in the backdrop of all the analysis that follows.[1] Linguistic experts have toiled over the issue and published their consensuses, and the current investigation leads from their conclusions.  Thus, the proceeding study explicates the quotation of Isa. 6 in Matthew 13:14, Mark 4:11-12, Luke 8:10, John 12:39-41, and Acts 28:25-27 with emphasis regarding its NT context and overarching theological function.

CONTEXTUAL ANALYSIS

In light of Matthew, Mark, and Luke’s citation occurring in the same narrative context, these quotations will be analyzed together. The synoptic gospels equivocate in the general sequence of events and apply the quotation of Isa. 6 as spoken by Jesus. The Johannine account, however, presumably cites Isa. 6 in a similar contextual function, but more so as a method of narrative analysis – commentary – by the beloved author, not Christ. Moreover, Luke’s account in Acts positions the Isaianic quotation “comparable to its position in John 12:39-40”.[2] Therefore, the Gospel of John and Acts will be reserved for secluded examinations in regards to their contextual analysis. Distinctions between the accounts will be made in light of their apparent textual dissimilarities and thematic contexts.

Synoptic Narrative Context

The following summation is the attempt to compile the synoptic account into one harmonious description of the narrative. Jesus’ disciples petition explanation regarding the parable of the sower (Matthew 13:10; Mark 4:10; Luke 8:9).[3] Jesus replies that it is because the disciples have been given ‘the secrets of the kingdom’, and to others -‘those outside’ – it has not (Matthew 13:11; Mark 4:11a; Luke 8:10a). Indeed, to such ‘outsiders,’ ‘everything is in parables’ (Mark 4:11b; cf. Luke 8:10b) Moreover, ‘whoever has’ will receive abundantly more, but ‘whoever does not have’, everything will be stripped away from them (Matthew 13:12). Thus, Jesus explains that His parabolic teaching strips these ‘outsiders’ of any inkling of understanding or spiritual vision (Matthew 13:13). Herein, Jesus states that this is a fulfillment of Isa. 6:9-10, and recites the quotation (Matthew 13:14-15; Mark 4:12; Luke 8:10c).[4] By contrast, Christ joyfully adds that the disciples are blessed with soft hearts – eyes that see, and ears that hear (Matthew 13:16).[5] Even the prophets and righteous people of old were ‘eager’ to see the very things the disciples graciously witnessed (Matthew 13:17).

More broadly, in the synoptic narrative, this discourse between Jesus and the disciples is placed connecting the parable of the sower and its explanation. Consequently, Jesus’ response “is itself based on the context of the parable.”[6] Indeed, “Jesus was almost compelled by circumstances to explain” the parable and “seeming failure” of belief.[7] Hence, the soils are representative of the human conditions of perceptive aptitude, thus functioning as a precedent of Isaiah’s prophecy, which later entrances the pericope concerning the parabolic interpretation (Matthew 13:18-23; Mark 4:13-20; Luke 8:11-15).

Johannine Context

In the text of concern, firstly, the Jew’s unbelief is noted to fulfill the words of Isaiah mentioned in 53:1 (John 12:38).[8] Secondly, and further elucidatory, it was for the sake of such predicating fulfillment that they ‘could not believe’ (John 12:39).  Herein enters the Isaianic quotation of Israel’s ‘blinded eyes’ and ‘hardened hearts’ – as a referenced explanation of the Jews’ inability of faith (John 12:40; c.f., Isaiah 6:9-10).[9] Finally, the purpose of Isaiah’s claim is noted (John 12:41). Isaiah spoke such words because of his glorious divine vision, which was the context of the Isaiah 6:1-8, and his mission, which was the result of the prophet’s inaugural call in 6:9-13.[10]

More broadly, in the gospel of John, Jesus is about to begin focally devoting himself to His disciples. He is soon to be arrested, trialed, and crucified, so His remaining ministry is with the twelve. Structurally, the beloved apostle’s quotation “appears at the end of John’s record of Jesus’ revelation to ‘the world’ (cf. John 1:11, ‘he came to his own home, and his own people received him not’).”[11] Moreover, the Jews have expressed their unchanging disbelief despite the miraculous signs of Jesus presented in John’s gospel. Thus, Jesus’ mentioned teaching to the twelve commences with “some explanation” for the Jews’ “large-scale, catastrophic unbelief.”[12] Further, most of the strongest arguments against Jesus as messiah, after His resurrection, came from the observation of the Jewish community’s unbelief before Jesus’ resurrection.  The answer to this issue in unfolded by Isaiah 6:9-10; “this unbelief was not only foreseen by Scripture, but on that very account necessitated by Scripture.”[13] In addition, it is the profound consensus of much of the scholastic community that John’s gospel is arranged around seven signs.[14] The signs distinctively function to reveal Christ as the messianic λόγος claimed in John’s prologue of the gospel narrative. Therefore, to uncover the purpose of the Jews’ disbelief of these signs is fundamental to John’s narrative.[15]

Acts Narrative Context

Luke’s immediate context in Acts poses Paul arriving in Rome – marking his final journey – after his ironically warm welcome in Malta (Acts 28:1-10). Three days after Paul began to walk freely amidst the streets of Rome, with a soldier guardian, he called the Jewish leaders together to speak with them (Acts 28:16-17a). The apostle then provides the leaders the history of why he was there; he was arrested by the charge of the Jews, but could not be sentenced by the Romans in any faction (Acts 28:17b-18). Yet, the accusative Jews persisted, and Paul was then ordered to appeal to Caesar in Rome (Acts 28:19). Subsequently, he sought out the Jews of Rome to speak with them concerning his current situation (Acts 28:20). The Jews of Rome had not received any formal insight into Paul’s ‘heretical’ preaching, but were certainly aware of his ‘global’ disruption and desired to hear the apostle speak for himself (Acts 28:21-22). Paul and the Jewish men agreed to meet a few days later and discuss the apostle’s teaching (Acts 28:23a). Upon large assembly, ‘from morning until evening,’ Paul preached concerning ‘the kingdom of God’ and the person of ‘Jesus’ (Acts 28:23b). Some of the men were persuaded by Paul’s use of the Old Testament, but others still would ‘not believe’ and began to leave (Acts 28:24-25a). Hence, Paul utters the prophet Isaiah’s message as the unbelieving Jews walk away (Acts 28:25b-27).[16] The apostle further comments that the Jews have been permissibly warned concerning the offer of salvation now unto Gentiles who ‘will also listen’ (Acts 28:28). In conclusion, Luke then ends his book by speaking of Paul’s seldom residence in Rome for two years where he continued to preach, ‘unhindered,’ the ‘kingdom of God’ and ‘Jesus Christ’ (Acts 28:30-31). “The narrative reaches a solemn climax – rejection on the one side, unchecked success and hope on the other.”[17]

THEOLOGICAL IMPLICATIONS

In spite of textual discrepancies, the major theological theme that scholar’s suggest is consistently manifested in each account’s incorporation and modification of Isa. 6 is the soteriological item of God’s sovereignty and human choice. Simply, some assert that by textual emendations to Isaiah 6:9-10 in the NT, the writers are seeking to alleviate (if not abolish) its brute and harsh emphases on God’s hardening and blinding of people’s hearts.[18] Yet, this conclusion is only held by contextual negligence and textual isolation, and will be proved unfounded in the study. Thus, three truths need to be expounded in regards to this theological implication, and the conclusion will incorporate and summate mentioned points to end analysis.

Drawing Distinctions

Firstly, the NT writers were presumably disinterested in expressing the dividing lines of God’s sovereignty and human choice.[19] The only logical deduction from observing the text-at-hand is that both are emphasized, and the seemingly contradictory aspects of such are inconsequential. Even amidst the textual alterations of the NT quotations, “the rhetorical effect is… not very different.”[20] The prophecy still depicts that God must have intended the outcome. It is an inescapable truth; and yet, the NT writers apparently do not see a need to escape from it. For example, Matthew’s alteration according to the LXX, which renders the people’s numbness contrived by their own self-hardening, “is not in direct contradiction to the Hebrew, which attributes it to the divinely intended effect of Isaiah’s proclamation; they are two sides of the same coin.”[21] John noticeably expresses both human responsibility and human inability in his interpretation of Isaiah 6:9-10 in correlation with another. The beloved disciple may then be termed a ‘theological compatibilist’. Divine sovereignty, in his passage, does not quell man of their free choice or rejection. There is a presumption of human culpability and “reprehensible human motive for unbelief” (John 12:37, 43).[22] Therefore, this ostentatious theological contest of rightly drawing distinction between divine causation and human freedom appears to be a non-issue for the NT writers.

The Direction of Modern Scholarship

Secondly, the direction of modern scholarship is greatly askew in its labored attempts to dissolve God’s sovereign condemnation of ‘outsiders’ presented in these texts as it disrupts the necessary soteriological tension. Bock claims, “it is wrong to see the parables functioning only in a concealing role;” their function is too accentuate the enlightened and unenlightened.[23] Even amongst the scholastic debate regarding the condensed quotation of Isa. 6:9-10 in Mark 4:12 and Luke 8:10, the principle of God’s sovereignty is not threatened in the least.[24] Though Stein proposes proof-texts from Mark’s own gospel to alleviate the dominance of God’s causation in Mark’s quotation, his assertions remain incomplete and exegetically unsatisfactory.[25] C. F. D. Moule proposes a dispute hoping to annex the apparent subjectivity considering a limited “predetermined circle of favored followers;” yet the issue is not ultimately resolved, but rather, it “is merely pushed one stage further back.”[26] Furthermore, despite the several attempts to render ἵνα (hina, in order that) and μήποτε (mepote, lest) in a less harsh translation, the functioning thought of predestination remains: Jesus’ parabolic teaching was ‘intended’ to keep those who are ‘outside’ from understanding and repenting.

Pausing here, a pivotal point is revisited – asserted in the prior section. Although Mark and Luke’s ‘lest’ “complements the earlier ‘in order that’ to express the purpose of Jesus’ parabolic method,” in Matthew’s (and thus, Acts’) linguistic formation it expresses the “result.”[27] Simply stated, Mark=Luke emphasize the divine purposing of God’s causation and Matthew (and thus, Acts) underscore the result of human choices. Although Matthew and Mark=Luke are “nuanced differently”, they “are in essential agreement.”[28] Herein, a student clearly observes the soteriological tension that presents itself. Conclusively, since both divine causation and human choice are truthfully presented in complement, any attempts to diminish one will quell the other.[29]

The Accentuation of the Synoptic Writers

Thirdly, the NT writers were not seeking to diminish God’s sovereignty, and if they were attempting anything in regards to this soteriological issue, they were modestly seeking to ‘describe’ the necessary human response. Hence, the NT writer’s direction provides glorious truths emphatic for those in – not outside of – Christ. France elegantly states, “To focus on the problem of the unenlightened misses the point of these sayings, which is the positive blessing of God’s gift of knowledge.”[30] The concern of the quotation does not function primarily to condemn ‘others’ or ‘outsiders,’ though this is the natural byproduct of the dialectic tension, but rather it concerns the ‘portrayal’ of the blessed ones of receptivity. For added emphasis, the enlightened cannot be revealed without the revelation of the unenlightened.

Specifically, in the gospel accounts, the enlightened are represented by the disciples. Exhaustive proof for such a claim is in “the fact that the disciples, and they alone, receive an interpretation of the parable” in the gospels.[31] The larger crowd’s rejection provides Christ with the austere contrast to accentuate the antithesis – the enlightened disciples. Agreeably, in the gospels, “what the disciples get in parables is insight into the Kingdom.”[32] The contexts of these quotations in the NT “are revelatory of the kingdom and of the hearer’s hearts.”[33] Therefore, the stress is inasmuch on who are included in the Kingdom as who are not included.

Observing the proceeding context in Matthew, one finds hopeful paradigms (contrasting the cynicism of Isaiah) of ‘holy seeds’ – those, who compromise the Kingdom, that truly hear and see the message of Christ (cf. Isaiah 6:13). Those with fertile ground experience the magnificent growth likened to that of a mustard seed and the leavening of bread (Matthew 13:32-33). Their beginnings are small, but the granted condition of soteriological fecundity provides the splendor of abundance (cf. Matthew 13:12). Moreover, Mark’s specific function focalizes on the Kingdom and those that are in it.[34] Thus, concerning assurance, the narrative’s depicted rejection and unbelief by the ‘outsiders’ was according to the divine will, foretold in the Scriptures, towards the Kingdom of God. Indeed, “somehow all this was in accord with the will of God and has taken place ‘in order that’ what God has decreed would find fruition.”[35] Austerely and remarkably, Mark uses the brute and tinted-grim passage of Isa. 6 as a comfort and reassuring message for the disciples and those who truly hear Christ’s message.

Theologically, John’s narrative notably provides Isaiah 6:9-10 – a weighted passage for divine sovereignty – a necessary credence of human responsibility. Aligning with the covenantal principles seen in Isaiah ch. 6, John emphasizes that “the nation of Israel” has “refused the regeneration through the Spirit that lay at the core of the promised new covenant” (c.f., John 3:3-5; Ezekiel 36:26-27).[36] Importantly noted, John does not nullify the prophet’s message, but rather exposes it in alliance with the current context. Additionally, in Luke’s second book, the enlightened are represented by Paul’s mentioned progression unto the believing Gentiles – a similar function to John. The Jews’ rejection aids Paul in describing a more vivid picture of the soteriological make-up of the Kingdom.

CONCLUSION

Conclusively, Isaiah’s prophecy is not fundamentally modified in its message, but rather its essence is revealed in the apotheosis of its indivisible complement. The NT’s accentuation is in exposing the subjectivity of human freedom, complementing the objectivity of divine causation, thus generating the vision of the dialectical balance. An attempt at simplicity: at the heart – or essence – of soteriology there motions a tension between God’s sovereignty and human free choice. The former is accentuated in the rhetoric of Isa. 6, and the latter is accentuated in the context and textual emendations of its NT citations. The mentioned objectivity of God’s sovereignty must penetrate the subjectivity of one’s existence for salvation to occur. Soteriologically, this is commonly expressed as ‘saving grace’ and ‘saving faith.’ One process cannot occur without the other. Yet, one process seems to become nullified in the solitary observance of the other, and the rationalistic circulation thence begins. Herein, the emphasis of human responsibility throughout the NT’s citations of Is. 6:9-10 can be rendered as functioning to uphold the tension by accentuating the subjective. Certainly, the tension must be preserved as to reckon each process its valid function. Again, and in summation, the quotations of Is. 6:9-10 in the NT do not contradict the essence of Isaiah’s prophecy in the OT, but rather accentuate its subjectivity as to aid in the existential method of interpretation.[37]

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Bock, Darrell L. Luke. Baker Exegetical Commentary. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Academic, 1994.

Bruce, F.F. Book of Acts. Revised edition. New International Commentary On the New Testament. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Eerdmans Publishing, 2011.

Carson, D.A. The Gospel According to John. Pillar New Testament Commentary. Leicester, England: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1991.

Chase, F.H. The Credibility of the Acts of the Apostles. London, England: Macmillan, 1902.

France, R.T. The Gospel of Matthew. New International Commentary On the New Testament. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 2007.

________. The Gospel of Mark: A Commentary On the Greek Text. New International Greek Testament Commentary. Carlisle: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 2002.

Kostenberger, Andreas. “John.” In Commentary On the New Testament Use of the Old Testament, eds. D. A. Carson and G. K. Beale. Nottingham, England: Baker Academic, 2007. 415-512.

Moule, C. F. D., “Mark 4:1-20 Yet Once More”. In Neotestamentica et Semiticia (FS M. Black), eds. E. E. Ellis and M. Wilcox. Edinburgh, England: T. & T. Clark, 1969. 95-113.

Pao, David W., and Schnabel, Eckhard J. “Luke.” In Commentary On the New Testament Use of the Old Testament, eds. D. A. Carson and G. K. Beale. Nottingham, England: Baker Academic, 2007. 251-414.

Stein, Robert H. Mark. Baker Exegetical Commentary. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Academic, 2008.

Watts, Rikk E. “Mark.” In Commentary On the New Testament Use of the Old Testament, eds. D. A. Carson and G. K. Beale. Nottingham, England: Baker Academic, 2007. 111-250.


[1] Some, not all, textual analysis that adds background to the current study will be briefly footnoted and direct one to a better resource for further investigation.

[2] F.F. Bruce, Book of Acts, rev. ed., New International Commentary On the New Testament (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Eerdmans Publishing, 2011), 509.

[3] Mark and Luke provide a linguistic correlation, either through blunt statement or implication, that the question posed by the disciples was in direct reference to the parable of the sower, not parables as a whole (cf. Mark 4:13; Luke 8:9). Although Matthew is not linguistically explicit concerning the disciple’s question as regarding the specific parable of the sower, the proceeding explanation of the mentioned parable in Matthew 13:18-23 is viable proof to assert its specificity. For further comments, see: David W. Pao and Eckhard J. Schnabel, “Luke,” in Commentary On the New Testament Use of the Old Testament, eds. D. A. Carson and G. K. Beale (Nottingham, England: Baker Academic, 2007), 307.

[4] Mark and Luke do not record Christ as explicitly mentioning the prophet Isaiah along with the citation. Textually, in summation, (1) Matthew uses the LXX text without variation. (For the LXX’s notable variations from the Hebrew [alteration of verb voice, transposition of Hebraic idioms, etc.], see: R.T. France, The Gospel of Matthew, New International Commentary On the New Testament (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 2007), 506-515.) (2) Mark differs from both the MT and LXX texts and follows the Targum. (Robert H. Stein, Mark, Baker Exegetical Commentary (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Academic, 2008), 210., R.T. France, The Gospel of Mark: A Commentary On the Greek Text, New International Greek Testament Commentary (Carlisle: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 2002) 193., and [analysis of Mark’s reversal of Isaiah’s hearing-seeing] Rikk E. Watts, “Mark,” in Commentary On the New Testament Use of the Old Testament, eds. D. A. Carson and G. K. Beale (Nottingham, England: Baker Academic, 2007), 151.) (3) Luke has a notable Markan influence, and thus his condensed quotation follows Mark’s with slight deviations (Pao and Schnabel, Luke, 306-307. and Darrell L. Bock, Luke, Baker Exegetical Commentary (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Academic, 1994), 719-721.)

[5] Mark and Luke both transition immediately into Jesus’ elucidation of the parable of the sower. They do not include any direct or surrounding equivocations to Matthew 13:16 and 13:17, thus enforcing the assumption that Luke used Mark as a source for information. Therefore, most of the analysis concerning Mark can be safely asserted to Luke as well, unless otherwise stated.

[6] France, The Gospel of Matthew, 507.

[7] Bock, Luke, 720. This contextual factor is not too far removed from John’s insistence.

[8] In application of Isaiah 53:1, ‘our report’ references the principles and person of Jesus, and ‘the arm of the Lord’ references Jesus’ miraculous signs.

[9] In relation to the reference, it is important to note that the normal sequence in Isaiah 6:10 begins with the heart, moves to the ears and eyes, and then swaps the sequence, motioning from eyes to ears to heart. John, however, negates all allusions to the ears and hearing, presumably, to emphasize the eyes in reference to their observance of Jesus’ signs (c.f., John 9:39-41). More technical, “John seems to exhibit a pattern of closeness to the OT text in the Hebrew and as reflected in the LXX. John’s default version seems to have been the LXX, but in no way does he use it slavishly, and throughout he exhibits a highly intelligent and discerning mode of OT usage. In four passages his Greek is identical to the LXX wording (10:34; 12:13, 38; 19:24). In four cases John seems to be independent of the LXX (12:15, 40; 13:18; 19:37… It therefore appears that John was familiar with both the Hebrew text and the LXX (as well as with Jesus’ own use and earlier Christian quotation practices) and thus was able to cite the Scriptures either in the exact or slightly adapted LXX version or to draw on the Hebrew where this suited his purposes or seemed necessary for some reason or another.” Andreas Kostenberger, “John,” in Commentary On the New Testament Use of the Old Testament, eds. D. A. Carson and G. K. Beale (Nottingham, England: Baker Academic, 2007), 417-418.

[10] See D. A. Carson for his proved claim that the reference alludes to Isaiah seeing Jesus himself (as the glory of God), thus applying Isaiah ch. 6 beautifully with John’s theme of seeing Christ through His signs as one’s soteriological means. D.A. Carson, The Gospel According to John, Pillar New Testament Commentary (Leicester, England: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1991), 449.

[11] Bruce, Book of Acts, 509.

[12] Carson, John, 447. The passage of concern is not noted as Jesus’ words in John’s gospel, rather, it is added commentary by the author himself, the beloved John.

[13] Ibid., 447.

[14] Ibid., 166.

[15] Ibid., 447.

[16] Luke in “Acts” uses “the full LXX text,” just as it “is quoted in Matt. 13:14-15.” F.F. Bruce, Book of Acts, 509.

[17] F.H. Chase, The Credibility of the Acts of the Apostles (London, England: Macmillan, 1902), 52.

[18] “Emendation” may be a dangerous word, but it is simply expressive of the NT’s definite superficial interaction with the OT text; there is no condemning connotation meant here.

[19] From now on, ‘NT writers’ will be used only in reference to those NT writers that cite the text of the study – Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.

[20] France, Matthew, 514. Regarding Matthew’s modification of Isa. 6:10: “it is hard even in that version to avoid the conclusion that this is the way God has planned it”, pg. 508.

[21] Ibid., 508.

[22] Carson, John, 447. Emphasis added.

[23] Bock, Luke, 728.

[24] Rikk E. Watts gives a most possible reason for the omission, in that, Mk. 3:1-6 “has already raised the issue of stubbornness/hardness of heart.” The argument of Mark’s omission bypasses the very text that was included, thus, making it a departure from the essential passage. Luke is resolved in the inclusion of the full citation in Acts 28. Watts, “Mark,” in Commentary On the New Testament Use of the Old Testament, 151.

[25] Robert H. Stein has failed to correlate ‘those outside’ in his proof-texted Lk. 15:1-2 to the phrase’s use in Mk. 4:12. Are ‘those outside’ really just the ‘tax collectors and sinners’ as mentioned in Lk. 15? Mk. 12:12 does just as little to provide a more meaningful definition to such ‘outsiders’. Certainly, an effortless resolution to Stein’s supposed issue is found that ‘those outside’ are not distinguished through the religious standards of the Pharisees and scribes, but rather, as reference to those who do not believe – who are not of God’s sheep (cf. John 10:26-29).

[26] C. F. D. Moule, “Mark 4:1-20 Yet Once More”, in Neotestamentica et Semiticia (FS M. Black), eds. E. E. Ellis and M. Wilcox (Edinburgh, England: T. & T. Clark, 1969), 97-103. Moule contends that the oi peri auton, those whom Jesus answers in Mk. 4:11, are made up of people ‘doing the will of God’ as expressed in Mk. 3:35. Thus, the conditions of these people merit “the gift of special revelation” that is “offered to those who ask for it”; the group is “self-selected, rather than predestined.” However, no one (in their right senses) claims that people do not respond differently to the gospel, but the argument hinges upon the rationale for the differentiation. By what prevenient grace were they alleviated from their moral inability and empowered to strive towards believing (cf. Romans 8:7)? Logically deduced, it must be resolved, that these people either were smarter or better than those who left – whereby they have grounds to boast – or they were granted the condition of faith by God and led in that same motion. Thus, despite the use of contextual notions, questions still remain unanswered and evidence is still attainable for the opposing view.

[27] France, Matthew, 515. Pao and Schnabel discuss Luke’s involvement: “the telic force of hina (‘in order that’) in Mark 4:12 is retained in Luke 8:10”, pg. 307. Bock summarizes it well: “Matthew has a ὅτι (hoti, because) clause instead of ἵνα, which shows that the background of this remark is not the parables considered in abstract from the rest of Jesus’ ministry. Rather, the parables are introduced because of the previous lack of response to Jesus’ teaching, as the movement in Luke already shows.” Bock, Luke, 729.

[28] Bock, Luke, 729.

[29] This truth will be unpacked and proved in the next section.

[30] France, Matthew, 508. Emphasis added.

[31] France, Matthew, 507.

[32] Bock, Luke, 729. Emphasis added.

[33] Watts, “Mark” in Commentary On the New Testament Use of the Old Testament, 155.

[34] Ibid., 154. He notes the “often missed… parallels” that “exist between the setting of Is. 6 and Mark’s presentation” – e.g., “the fundamental datum is Yahweh’s kingship” in Is. 6 and the inauguration of Jesus and the kingdom of God is central in Mark’s Gospel

[35] Stein, Mark, 212.

[36] Carson, John, 448.

[37] “Existential” is meant in its most basic sense, as to pertaining to one’s ‘existence’. Thus, the NT unpacks the abstract and implements practical obedience.

Advertisements

3 thoughts on “Isaiah 6 in the NT

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s