Instead of the verb “to say”, the term frequently used to introduce quotations is the verb “to write” in the Greek perfect tense, expressing the permanent effect of a past action: gegraptai, “it has been written” or simply “it is written”. This gegraptai carries considerable weight. Jesus successfully counters the tempter in the first temptation by simply saying: “It is written: Man does not live by bread alone. ” (Mt 4:4; Lk 4:4), adding palin “on the contrary”, the second time (Mt 4:7) and gar, “for”, the third time (Mt 4:10). This “for” makes explicit the weight of argument attributed to the Old Testament text, something already implicit in the first two. Such is the case with the Law of Moses regarding divorce: “Because of your hardness of heart [Moses] wrote (egrapsen) this commandment for you” (Mk 10:5; cf. also Lk ).
It can also happen that a biblical text is not definitive and must give way to a new dispensation; in that case, the New Testament uses the Greek aorist tense, placing it in the past
5. Frequently, the New Testament uses texts of the Jewish Bible for the sake of argument, both with the verb “to say” and the verb “to write”. ”, 11 more often: “For it is written. 12 The formulae “for it is written”, “because it is written”, “according to what is written” are very frequent in the New Testament; in the Letter to the Romans alone there are 17 instances.
In his doctrinal arguments, the apostle Paul constantly relies on his people’s Scriptures. He makes a clear distinction between scriptural argumentation and “human” reasoning. To the arguments from Scripture he attributes an incontestable value. 13 For him the Jewish Scriptures have an equally enduring value for guiding the spiritual lives of Christians: “For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, so that by steadfastness and by the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope”. 14
The New Testament recognises the definitive value of arguments based on the Jewish Scriptures. In the Fourth Gospel, Jesus declares that “Scripture cannot be annulled” (Jn ). Its value derives from the fact that it is the “word of God” (ibid.). This conviction is frequently evident. Two texts are particularly significant for this subject, since they speak of divine inspiration. In the Second Letter to Timothy, after mentioning the “Sacred Scriptures” (2 Tm 3:15), we find this affirmation: “All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be proficient, equipped for every good work” (2 Tm 3:16-17). Specifically referring to the prophetic oracles contained in the Old Testament, the Second Letter of Peter declares: “First of all you must understand this, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation, because no prophecy ever came by human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God” (2 Pt 1:20-21).
6. A twofold conviction is apparent in other texts: on the one hand, what is written in the Jewish Scriptures must of necessity be fulfilled because it reveals the plan of God which cannot fail to be accomplished; on the other hand, the life, death and resurrection of Christ are fully in accord with the Scriptures get more.
These two texts not only affirm the authority of the Jewish Scriptures; they reveal the basis for this authority as divine inspiration
The clearest expression of this is found in the words addressed by the risen Christ to his disciples, in the Gospel of Luke: “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you – that everything written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets, and the Psalms must (dei) be fulfilled” (Lk ). This assertion shows the basis of the necessity (dei, “must”) for the paschal mystery of Jesus, affirmed in numerous passages in the Gospels: “The Son of Man must undergo great suffering. and after three days rise again”; 15 “But how then would the Scriptures be fulfilled which say it must happen this way?” (Mt ); “This Scripture must be fulfilled in me” (Lk ).