I’m currently reading an intriguing book by C. Kavin Rowe, Assistant Professor of New Testament at Duke University called Early Narrative Christology: The Lord in the Gospel of Luke. The book is based on his doctoral work under Richard B. Hays, noted scholar and professor at Duke. Toward the beginning of the first chapter, I found this excellent quote concerning the use of the Old Testament in Luke’s Gospel:
The characters and events of the Old Testament are everywhere present and nowhere mentioned. For those who have ears to hear, the stories of Abraham and Sarah and Isaac, Hannah and Samuel, Sampson, King David, and the prophecies and promises of Isaiah, Daniel, Zephaniah, Micah, and Malachi echo throughout the birth-infancy narrative, thereby rendering direct citation of the LXX superfluous. The hallowed past extends into the hallowed present even as this present reaches backward into the past. The promises and their fulfillment form a single narrative grounded in the God of Israel’s act in Jesus (pp. 33-34).
This is one of the best explanations of the role of the Old Testament in the New Testament that I have come across in my reading.