Verse of the Day

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Amos Study Guide, Part Two

II. We will now begin to consider some Bible study guidelines specifically related to the book of Amos.

1. First, it is important to consider what the Bible does with itself. A critically significant and profitable study is a consideration of how the New Testament authors used their Bible, which was the Old Testament. Their New Testament quotations from, and allusions to, or verbal parallels with Amos, should help us:

1) to understand the significance these authors saw in Amos' prophecies,

2) to grow in our appreciation for these important passages in Amos, and hopefully

3) to better understand these portions of the Old Testament in the light of their use in the New Testament.

Twenty-one passages from Amos including twenty-four verses are either quoted from or alluded to in thirty-three New Testament passages. Twelve of the twenty-seven New Testament books contain such quotations or allusions. It is significant that sixteen of these thirty-three quotations or allusions are found in the book of the Revelation (Rev. 1:1, 8; 2:1; 4:8; 8:3, 12; 10:3, 7; 11:17, 18; 15:3; 16:7, 14; 19:6, 15 and 21:22).

The table below is a consolidation of information from Novum Testamentum Graece, 27th Ed., by Eberhard and Erwin Nestle, eds. Barbara and Kurt Aland, Johannes Karavidopoulos, Carlo M. Martini, and Bruce M. Metzger (Stuttgart, Germany: Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft, 1993), pg. 798, and The Greek New Testament, 4th Rev. Ed., eds. Barbara Aland, Kurt Aland, Johannes Karavidopoulos, Carlo M. Martini, and Bruce M. Metzger (D-Stuttgart: Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft, 1994), pp. 888, and 899-900. These works are commonly referred to as NA 27th (Nestle-Aland, 27th), and UBS 4th (United Bible Society, 4th) respectively.

Despite the fact that these works share common editors some differences exist between the information found in their respective indices. No reference listed in either of these works has been left out of the table below. However, issues remain between these sources as to whether a particular reference is to be categorized as a quotation or an allusion, or whether an allusion or verbal parallel actually exists at that reference. A few of these issues were resolved by examining how both of these works handled the citations in question in the New Testament contexts where they are found in order to come to a decision concerning the nature of the citation, i.e., whether it was by way of quotation or allusion.

Perhaps the most significant difference noted was whether Amos 3:13 and 4:13 were cited in Rev. 4:8 and 15:3 (NA 27th), or whether this is an allusion or verbal parallel as opposed to a direct quotation (UBS 4th). I have included these references as citations in the table in agreement with the NA 27th. This decision was based on my belief that this reflects the direct connection that may be seen when the vocabulary of the Septuagint (LXX) text of Amos is compared with the Greek text of the two passages in question in Revelation. I can see at least four remaining issues with this conclusion. Anyone interested in these may obtain them by e-mailing me at

Note: LXX is a symbol for the Greek translation of the Old Testament from the Hebrew, known as the Septuagint (70). This symbol is used in the table where there is noticeable difference in the citation between the extant manuscripts of the Hebrew Old Testament, and this Greek translation from the Hebrew indicating that the Septuagint was the probable source for that particular citation.

In the table the passages considered quotations are listed first, followed by those considered to be allusions or verbal parallels.

Passage in AmosNew Testament Passage(s)Nature of Citation
3:13 (LXX)Rev. 4:8; 15:3Quotation
4:13 (LXX)Rev. 15:3Quotation
5:25-27 (LXX)Acts 7:42-43 Quotation
9:11-12 (LXX)Acts 15:16-17 Quotation
1:2Rev. 10:3Allusion/verbal parallel
1:6 etc Rev. 2:1Allusion/verbal parallel
1:9-10 Mt. 11:21-22; Lk. 10:13-14 Allusions/verbal parallels
2:16 Mk. 14:52 Allusion/verbal parallel
3:7Rev. 1:1; 10:7; 11:18Allusions/verbal parallels
3:8Rev. 10:3Allusion/verbal parallel
3:13 (LXX)

2 Cor. 6:18; Rev. 1:8; 11:17; 16:7, 14; 19:6, 15; 21:22

Allusions/verbal parallels
4:11 1 Cor. 3:15; Jude 23Allusions/verbal parallels
4:13 (LXX) 2 Cor. 6:18; Rev. 1:8; 11:17; 16:7, 14; 19:6, 15; 21:22Allusions/verbal parallels
5:10 Gal. 4:16 Allusion/verbal parallel
5:13 Eph. 5:16Allusion/verbal parallel
5:15 Rom. 12:9Allusion/verbal parallel
6:13 Phil. 1:11Allusion/verbal parallel
7:4Mt. 3:11Allusion/verbal parallel
7:10 Acts 16:20Allusion/verbal parallel
8:3Luke 23:45 Allusion/verbal parallel
8:9Mt. 27:45; Mark 15:33; Luke 23:44-45; Rev. 8:12Allusions/verbal parallels
9:1Rev. 8:3Allusion/verbal parallel
9:9Luke 22:31Allusion/verbal parallel

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