Matthew 4:14–16—Why does Matthew incorrectly quote Isaiah?

Problem: Matthew does not seem to quote Isaiah 9:1–2 accurately. Rather, he seems to have changed it.

Solution: It is not necessary to quote a passage verbatim to cite it accurately. Matthew does not distort the meaning of this passage. He simply condenses or summarizes it. To paraphrase accurately is not to distort. Otherwise, no news report or historical account was ever accurate, since summary is essential to history.

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This excerpt is from When Critics Ask: A Popular Handbook on Bible Difficulties (Wheaton, Ill.: Victor Books, 1992). © 2014 Norman Geisler and Thomas Howe. All rights reserved. Used by permission. Click here to purchase this book.