Did Matthew Misquote Jeremiah? image

Did Matthew Misquote Jeremiah?

The pedantic ones among us tend to worry when we find the New Testament writers sourcing things to one prophet when they were actually uttered by another one. Like Matthew 27:9-10, for example:

Then was fulfilled what had been spoken by the prophet Jeremiah, saying, “And they took the thirty pieces of silver, the price of him on whom a price had been set by some of the sons of Israel, and they gave them for the potter’s field, as the Lord directed me.”

The first part of this citation is from Zechariah, though, not Jeremiah. Did Matthew not know his Bible? Did he, and thereby the Bible, make a mistake? Doug Wilson responds to Sam Harris on this point:

Matthew is referring to both, quotes one, and gives the credit, according to their custom, to the major prophet [cf. Matt. 27:9-10; Zech. 11:12-13; Jer. 32:9]. Your objection here actually amounts to saying that Matthew should have followed the Chicago Manual of Style. But it would be just as valid for Matthew to claim that you had cited a source incorrectly because you wrote Ibid in one of your footnotes. ‘I looked and looked,’ Matthew said, ‘and there is no book in the whole library called Ibid.’

Tee hee.

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