The Old Testament and the Birth of Jesus (introduction)

This Advent series offers a study on key Old Testament passages which relate to the birth of Jesus—or, more precisely, to the Infancy narratives in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke. The notes and articles in this series cover three areas:

  1. Specific Scriptures cited by the Gospel writers (and/or traditions they inherited)
  2. Scriptures related to the Messianic background of the narrative, and
  3. Old Testament parallels consciously utilized by the author and/or the underlying Gospel tradition

We will begin with two famous passages from the book of Isaiah—7:14 and 9:5-6—understood by early Christians in a Messianic sense, applied specifically to Jesus as prophecies of his birth.

After this, we will undertake an exegetical survey of relevant verses in the Lukan and Matthean narratives, examining at each point the important Old Testament passages involved.

Along the way, we will touch on issues related to the interpretation of prophecy, and also consider briefly several important extra-biblical texts which help us to understand the cultural and religious background of the Infancy narratives.

NOTE: This series was originally posted on the previous Biblesoft Study Blog. It has been modified and reworked slightly here.

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