Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Religious Studies


Professor Stephen R. Westerholm


The book of Psalms, which contains prayers and songs, is one of the most frequently cited books in the New Testament. The Synoptic evangelists seem to read the Psalms not primarily as prayers but as prophecies of the future. They discovered in its language prophecies concerning the life and ministry of Jesus and attempted to show how Jesus' life was prefigured in the Psalms. The present study is undertaken with a view to examine a topic within the broaf subject of the use of the OT in the NT, that of the prophetic reading of the Psalms in the Synoptic gospels, in the context of Second Temple Judaism. This study will consist of six chapters. Chapter 1 provides an overview of the topic which includes examples of the use of Psalms in the NT, a survey of selected earlier studies done in related areas, and a working definition of a "citation" and "prophecy". This study deals with four psalm citations in Mark, nine in Matthew, and six in Luke. This study presupposes no particular stance on the order of the Synoptic gospels. Chapter 2 examines the prophetic reading of the Psalms in Second Temple Jewish literature. chapters 3, 4, and 5 discuss direct psalm citations found in Mark, Matthew, and Luke respectively. Chapter 6 summarizes the conclusions of the work and make suggestions for further research. This study contributes to a broader understanding of the early Christian view that Jesus' life and ministry fulfilled what was foretold in the Psalms.

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