A thorough study of quotation within ancient and modern literature is the background for this new approach to alleged quotations within the prophetic writings. The common claim that specific verbal parallels result from the conscious repetition of the words of a predecessor is beset by difficulties. After examining quotation in non-prophetic (ancient Near Eastern, early Jewish, Old Testament wisdom and narrative, and modern Western) literatures, Schultz proposes a new model for interpreting verbal parallels that utilizes several criteria for identifying quotation and combines diachronic with synchronic analysis. He then applies this model to five representative verbal parallels involving the book of Isaiah. This book illustrates how an awareness of the versatility of quotation facilitates a more accurate interpretation of verbal parallels, and at the same time calls for greater caution in employing them in support of various theories.
Richard L. Schultz is the Armerding Chair of Biblical Studies and Professor of Old Testament at Wheaton College, Wheaton, Illinois.