Following the work of C.H. Dodd (1952) and R.B. Hays (1989), it is often assumed that the task of explaining scriptural quotations in the NT is to look beyond superficial discrepancies and discover sophisticated patterns or frameworks of meaning. Those who argue that the rhetorical purposes of the NT authors should take priority over what the text once meant in its ancient context are said to be blind to this level of sophistication, which often involves evoking texts at some distance from the quoted text. In this article, I examine two quotations (Isa 40:3; 52:5) where scholars have argued that the meaning and function of the texts (in Mark 1:2-3 and Rom 2:24 respectively) depends on their ability to evoke a wider Isaian framework. I first establish that the arguments for Isa 40:3 in Mark 1:2-3 are very much stronger than the arguments for Isa 52:5 in Rom 2:24. I then show that there are significant counter-arguments to the case for Isa 40:3 in Mark 1:2-3, which are not necessarily fatal but do raise serious questions. I conclude that the much weaker case of Isa 52:5 in Rom 2:24 can safely be dismissed.