The answer to both of your questions is a definite YES! Let’s look at the very beginning of the New Testament, which was written by Matthew, one of the 12 Apostles. Matthew 1:1 says, “The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the Son of David, the Son of Abraham” (NKJV). Matthew was inspired to write about “The Messiah” (the “King of the Jews”) and thus he begins his gospel by tracing the genealogy of Jesus Christ to prove that He was the Messiah. He uses two phrases which show us that he was acquainted with the Old Testament and Jewish history. He called Jesus Christ “the Son of David” which brings to mind God’s promise to King David that he would one day have a “son” who would rule over Israel. This promise is given to us in 2nd Samuel 7:12-13 where God told David, “When your days are fulfilled and you rest with your fathers, I will set up YOUR SEED after you, who will come from your body, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build a house for My name, and I WILL ESTABLISH THE THRONE OF HIS KINGDOM FOREVER.” Matthew then refers to Jesus Christ as “the Son of Abraham.” Every pious Jew knew that the Messiah would also come from the line of Abraham, for God promised Abraham that he would have “a son” who would be the means of blessing the whole world.
Let’s read Genesis 12:2-3, “I will make you a great nation; I will bless you and make your name great; and you shall be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who curses you; and IN YOU ALL THE FAMILIES OF THE EARTH SHALL BE BLESSED.” Later, in Genesis 22:18 God said, “In YOUR SEED all the nations of the earth shall be blessed.” Abraham understood this to mean that in time he would have a descendant who would be the Messiah, the Savior of the world! This is confirmed in Galatians 3:16, “Now to Abraham and his Seed were the promises made. He does not say, ‘And to seeds,’ as of many, but as of one, ‘And to your Seed,’ who is Christ.”

The Apostle Peter recognized that Jesus Christ was the promised Messiah and thus he boldly confessed, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God” (Matthew 16:16).  In this confession he not only proclaimed Jesus as the Christ, but as “the Son of the living God.” He knew, from Old Testament scriptures, that the long-awaited Messiah would not be a mere man, but “God manifest in the flesh.” What Old Testament scriptures revealed that the Messiah would be both a Man and God? In Micah 5:2 we read, “But you, Bethlehem Ephrata, though you are little among the thousands of Judah, Yet out of you shall come forth to Me the One to be Ruler in Israel, WHOSE GOINGS FORTH ARE FROM OF OLD, FROM EVERLASTING.” Peter knew that Jesus Christ fulfilled the first part of this prophecy, for He was born in Bethlehem, and thus he concluded that He must also have been God who had no beginning but was “from everlasting” (from “eternity”). Peter, who was a student of Scripture, surely knew the prophecy in Isaiah 9:6, “For unto us a Child IS BORN, unto us a Son IS GIVEN; and the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” By faith in this grand prophecy Peter knew that Jesus Christ fulfilled these words, for He was a true Man (a Child is born) but He was also “the Son of the living God” (a Son is given).

We could multiply passages which prove that the Apostles were well-acquainted with “the Old Testament” and “the world before Christ.” Yet for some reason they were blind to the Old Testament scriptures (such as Psalm 22 and Isaiah 53) which foretold that the Messiah must also suffer, die and rise from the dead in order to provide salvation for lost sinners. They firmly believed in WHO HE WAS, but failed to see WHAT HE WOULD DO ON THE CROSS.  They (along with other believers) were shocked, depressed and scared after His crucifixion (see Luke 24:13-24, 36-37), but the Lord Jesus graciously revealed this truth to them from the scriptures. In Luke 24:25-27 Jesus revealed the truth to two believers on their way home from Jerusalem, “Then He said to them, ‘O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! Ought not Christ to have suffered these things and to enter into His glory’? And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself.” Later that day, He appeared to the eleven Apostles (Judas, the unbelieving traitor, had already committed suicide), “And He opened their understanding, that they might comprehend the Scriptures. Then He said to them, ‘Thus it is written, and thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day, and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem’” (24:45-47).

With this new revelation from the Old Testament scriptures, they now understood why He was named Jesus, for an angel had told Joseph before He was born, “And she (Mary) shall bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name JESUS, for He will save His people from their sins.” Armed with the truth of His Person and His Work, along with the indwelling Holy Spirit that was given to them days later on the Day of Pentecost, they were able to go forth to preach the gospel of salvation “in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem” (see Acts 1:6-9; 2:1-38; 4:8-12; 10:1-6, 34-48, etc.).  (385.1)  (DO)