Why New Testament Words and Phrases Are in the Book of Mormon Part 5 (Knowhy #533)
Far more often than readers may realize, many New Testament passages in the Bible quote or paraphrase Old Testament texts. Some scholars estimate that nearly one of
every twenty-three verses of the New Testament contains a quotation of the Old Testament. This information can help us understand some of the New Testament phrases found in the Book of Mormon. Often, although a phrase may parallel something in the New Testament, the Book of Mormon may be using phrases or ideas from the Old Testament, that were on the plates of brass had among the Nephites. For example, although this line used by Jacob
in Jacob 1:7, matches Hebrews 3:8, it is clear that the source of these words in both passages is actually Psalm 95:8. Furthermore, it would not be an exaggeration to suggest that an even greater amount, over ten percent of the New Testament text, is alluding to, or drawing from, Old Testament ideas or expressions. Therefore, it is also likely that the Book of Mormon is quoting or paraphrasing Old Testament passages on such other occasions, drawing on New Testament sounding expressions which were also likely available to the Nephites through the plates of brass. It can be difficult to detect quotations from or allusions to the Old Testament in English versions of the New Testament. New Testament authors often used language from their much older Israelite scriptures freely and without any attribution. Furthermore, the King James translators were not always consistent in their renditions. For these reasons, readers may be unaware that sometimes what appears to be a New Testament phrase or idea in the Book of Mormon may originally come from a common Old Testament source. This perspective can be helpful in certain cases where readers encounter New Testament language in their Book of Mormon reading and wonder why it is there. The appearance of Old Testament writings and prophecies in both the New Testament and the Book of Mormon can also serve as a testimony to readers that the authors of both the New Testament and the Book of Mormon considered the writings of the Old Testament to be the word of God and felt that it was their duty and privilege to share these sacred texts for the eternal benefit of others. And now you know why.