What version of the Psalms are in the Bible?

Greeting! I would be very grateful for help in resolvong s problem I have. I have read that the psalms quoted in the New Testamemnt are mainly (85%) from the Greek OT, Septuagint (LXX), and not from the Hebrew Bible. Is this so?

If it is so then when Jesus quotes from the Psalms did he use the Septuagint Greek Bible, or did the evangelists use the Greek OT Bible when quoting Psalms, even though Jesus used the Hebrew Psalms. If so, why? Was it because the NT was written possibly more than 40 years after the time of Jesus and after the fall of Jeruslame when many Jews lived outside Palestine in the Diaspora, and hence actual and potential Christians did not use the Hebrew Bible, but the LXX?

Yes, and in general, the majority of OT quotes in the NT are from the Septuagint.

More that likely because the Septuagint was what was commonly used by everyone during that time period.



There is no single, universally approved list of OT quotes and allusions in the NT, but here is one list, from Fr. Felix Just’s website (link below). There are close to four hundred references altogether, including about eighty from Psalms, the most quoted book.

It is generally accepted, as you say, that wherever there is a discrepancy between the Hebrew and Greek versions of the OT, almost always the NT quotation follows the Greek. I haven’t heard that there is any difference, in this regard, between quotations from the Psalms and quotations from the other OT books.

That’s about as much as I know. We have some Greek specialists here, particularly @OddBird , @Bithynian, and @Gorgias, who are much better informed than I am.


Yes. And the Dead Sea Scrolls have more in common with the Septuagint than the current Hebrew Canon. Which proves that the Septuagint was closer to what was being used at the time of Jesus. The key is the previous Hebrew canon, the so-called old Masoretic Text. Their canon changed in the 6th century.


Greek was the Lingua Franca in the Mediteranian and Middle East areas 2000 years ago so it was natural to use the LXX. Much like English is spoken either as 1st, 2nd or 3rd language by the majority of people living on Earth today.


Thanks for all the great replies I received. There seems general agreement that most quotations from the Psalms in the NT are from the Septuagint.

I claim that this occurred since the NT was written for those in the Diaspora, after the fall of Jerusalem (70 AD) when Jews were banished from Jerusalem. Greek was the common language used in most of the Roman Empire, but in Palestine Aramaic was used generally and Hebrew was the language of the synagogues and Temple, while in the Diaspora Greek and the Septuagint may have been used more than the Hebrew Bible.

You seem to be saying that the whole NT was written with a Jewish readership in mind. I don’t think that’s true. One or two of the NT books may have been intended primarily for Jewish readers, but certainly not all of them. Remember what Paul wrote in Gal 6:15: “In Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature.”

Hi BB,
many thanks for your replies and interest in my thread.
In my original post I wrote what is noted above hence I am aware that not all the NT was written for Jews, although initially the Church focused on Jews.
But whether the NT was essentiall for Jews or not is not my focus now.
However Mt was written mainly fo Jews, Lk possibly for Gentiles.
Paul wroye to both. Romans in particular was to Jews and Gentiles.
We do not disagree, but perhaps I worded my posts unclearly.

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Thanks for all the brilliant answers to my original queries. These answers have clarified my thinking and I am very grateful.

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