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Studies on Isaiah (12 vols.)
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Overview

Isaiah is a central text for both Jewish and Christian traditions. As prophecy, it offers words of hope and warning, forgiveness and condemnation. As a work of history, it reveals the trials of the Israelite nation. As literature, it has shaped the liturgical life of the church and the imaginations of artists for more than two thousand years. The frequent use of Isaiah in the New Testament, and the fulfillment of Isaianic prophecy through New Testament events makes the book of Isaiah profoundly important for Christians today.

Studies on Isaiah examines the composition and meaning of Isaiah in both its original context and in contemporary settings. Contributors examine the structure and rhetoric of Isaiah, the imagery, themes, and metaphor. They also discuss questions of authorship, historicity, and canonicity of Isaiah, as well as the wildly different interpretations of Isaiah throughout history.

The Logos Bible Software edition of these important works on the book of Isaiah helps you access these books more efficiently for sermon preparation or scholarly research on Isaiah. Every word from every book is indexed and catalogued. When you double-click on any word in any language, your library opens your preferred lexicon and searches for a match. All Scripture references are also linked directly to your Hebrew texts and English Bible translations. That makes the Logos edition perfect for reading, sermon preparation, scholarly research, and Bible study.

Key Features

  • Examines the composition, meaning, and interpretive challenges in Isaiah
  • Discusses questions of authorship, historicity, and canonicity
  • All Scripture references linked to the Hebrew texts and English Bible translations in your library

Individual Titles

Concentricity and Continuity: The Literary Structure of Isaiah

  • Author: Robert H. O'Connell
  • Publisher: Sheffield Academic Press
  • Publication Date: 2009
  • Pages: 272

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

This monograph explores the structure and rhetoric of the book of Isaiah. Its thesis is twofold. First, the book of Isaiah best manifests its structural unity, thematic coherence, and rhetorical emphasis when read as an exemplar of prophetic covenant disputation. Second, the principal arrangement of the book comprises seven asymmetrical concentric sections, each made up of complex (triadic and quadratic) framing patterns. They are: an exordium (1:1, 2–5), two threats of judgment (2:6–21; 3:1–4:1), two programs for the punishment and restoration of Zion and the nations (4:2–11:16; 13:1–39:8), an exoneration of Yahweh (40:1–54:17), and an appeal for covenant reconciliation (55:1–66:24).

Robert O'Connell is Associate Professor of Biblical Studies at Colorado Christian University, Lakewood, Colorado.

From Chaos to Restoration: An Integrative Reading of Isaiah 24–27

  • Author: Dan G. Johnson
  • Publisher: Sheffield Academic Press
  • Publication Date: 2009
  • Pages: 150

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

This work takes seriously the compositional nature of Isaiah 24–27 and moves beyond the schema established by Bernard Duhm who defined these chapters as a composite of unrelated pericopae. This new approach has enabled new light to be brought to such perennial problems as the identity of the city (or cities), the date of the composition, the structure of the four chapters, the perspective of the composition and the nature of the resurrection alluded to in 26:19. This study concludes that Isaiah 24–27 was written during the exile, a time significantly earlier than is commonly held by critical scholars. The composition exhibits the marks of a coherent and integrated work. It is not apocalyptic in the sense of envisioning the termination of the present age, nor is there any notion of an individual resurrection such as one finds in the book of Daniel.

Isaiah 34–35: A Nightmare/A Dream

  • Author: Peter D. Miscall
  • Publisher: Sheffield Academic Press
  • Publication Date: 1999
  • Pages: 147

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

By a poetic analysis of Isaiah 34–35 as a single poem, the reading explores in depth its imagery, themes and structure. Attention to detail is combined with wide-ranging discussions of reading and interpretation, which revolve around the contrasting, and strangely interrelated, scenes of destruction (nightmare) and restoration (dream) found in the two parts of the poem. The poem emerges as an integral part of Isaiah, which is treated as a single work. The consistency is revealed in parallel terms, images and structure. Implications of the analysis and mode of reading for the whole of Isaiah are commented on throughout.

Peter D. Miscall is on the faculty of the Iliff School of Theology, Denver, Colorado.

Mixing Metaphors: God as Mother and Father in Deutero-Isaiah

  • Author: Sarah J. Dille
  • Publisher: Sheffield Academic Press
  • Publication Date: 2004
  • Pages: 216

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

While most treatments of biblical metaphor examine individual metaphors in isolation, Sarah J. Dille presents a model for interpretation based on their interaction with one another. Using Lakoff and Johnson’s category of “metaphoric coherence,” she argues that when non-consistent or contradictory metaphors appear together in a literary unit, the areas of overlap (coherence) are highlighted in each.

Using the images of father and mother in Deutero-Isaiah as a starting point, she explores how these images interact with others: for example, the divine warrior, the redeeming kinsman, the artisan of clay, or the husband. The juxtaposition of diverse metaphors (common in Hebrew prophetic literature) highlights common “entailments,” enabling the reader to see aspects of the image which would be overlooked or invisible if read in isolation. Dille argues that any metaphor for God can only be understood if it is read or heard in interaction with others within a particular cultural context.

Dille's study demonstrates how profitable, and indeed, necessary it is to study mixed metaphors. She has done a service to the study of biblical metaphors by directing future scholarship to new and rich areas for research.

—Kevin Chau, Hebrew Studies

Dille has given the scholarly community a great contribution in her call to properly understand metaphors in their historical context. . . . Modern scholars surely need a reminder to avoid, as far as possible, overlaying modern associations onto ancient texts. . . . The overall contribution of this monograph is very valuable. . . . This monograph serves as a good reminder of the significance of metaphor in the Bible.

—Charles Halton, Bulletin for Biblical Research

Sarah J. Dille is Visiting Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at Wooster College.

Prophecy and Ethics: Isaiah and the Ethical Traditions of Israel

  • Author: Eryl W. Davies
  • Publisher: Sheffield Academic Press
  • Publication Date: 2009
  • Pages: 185

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

This study attempts to examine the role of tradition in the teaching of Isaiah with a view to discerning the basis of the ethics presupposed by the prophet. The view that Isaiah's ethical pronouncements were dependent upon the legal, covenantal and wisdom traditions of Israel is discussed, and the possibility of a direct dependence on the oracles of his contemporary, Amos, is examined. Davies shows that the whole question of the influence of tradition on the thought of Isaiah is fraught with problems.

Eryl W. Davies is a Reader in the School of Theology and Religious Studies at Bangor University. His previous publications include Prophecy and Ethics: Isaiah and the Ethical Traditions of Israel, a commentary on Numbers in the New Century Bible Commentary Series, and The Dissenting Reader: Feminist Approaches to the Hebrew Bible.

Rhetoric and Social Justice in Isaiah

  • Author: Mark Gray
  • Publisher: T & T Clark International
  • Publication Date: 2006
  • Pages: 320

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

Rhetoric ad Social Justice in Isaiah applies a literary methodology to the book of Isaiah in order critically to explore the nature and sources of the social justice encoded in the world created by the text. After a close reading of Isaiah 1:16–17, Gray establishes grounds for a trajectory to Isaiah 58, preparatory to examining if it offers a deepening of the concept of social justice in the Isaianic corpus.

Gray raises the issue of divine reliability to assess the impact on the theme of social justice of the rhetoric of universal punishment by the divine/prophetic voice. He evaluates the ways the stark Isaianic dichotomy between reliance on God and anything of human origin is affected by trust in God being destabilized: if trust in God is demonstrated to be difficult on account of legitimate doubts about divine justice, then the way is opened for retaining an active human role in the search for justice. Gray demonstrates the ways that social justice attains primacy in Isaiah, the ways that humanity if given a role in pursuing social justice, and the ways that Isaiah 58 impinges upon the idea of social justice within the book as a whole.

Mark Gray is the author of Amnon: A Chip Off the Old Block?, Rhetorical Strategy in 2 Samuel 13: 7-15 The Rape of Tamar and the Humiliation of the Poor.

There is Hope for a Tree: The Tree as Metaphor in Isaiah

  • Author: Kirsten Nielsen
  • Publisher: Sheffield Academic Press
  • Publication Date: 2009
  • Pages: 301

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

Insights gained from the study of metaphorical language in other fields, particularly New Testament parable research, are here applied to the tree metaphors in Isaiah 1–39. The focus of investigation is the content of the metaphors, the intentions underlying their use, and the consequences of that use.

The author suggests that (1) the informative function of the tree metaphors is to provide theological interpretations of the political situation; (2) the performative function of the metaphors is to engage the audience in such a way that they adopt the metaphors' interpretation of reality as their own; (3) the use of metaphorical language encourages continual reinterpretation of the original proclamation.

The tree in the Garden, the felling of trees, new growth of felled trees and the forest fire, are among the images Isaiah uses to make his political statements. He shows himself to be an extremely competent rhetorician in using these images to instill an active response in his audience. The modes in which the metaphors can be reinterpreted and reapplied in new contexts are perceived as significant not only for the composition of Isaiah, but for that of subsequent religious literature.

Kirsten Nielsen is Professor in the Department of Biblical Studies at the University of Aarhus, Denmark.

To See and Not Perceive: Isaiah 6.9–10 in Early Jewish and Christian Interpretation

  • Author: Craig A. Evans
  • Publisher: Sheffield Academic Press
  • Publication Date: 2009
  • Pages: 261

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

In his famous vision of the enthroned and exalted Lord, Isaiah is told to harden the hearts of his people, “lest they repent” (Isaiah 6:9–10). According to Mark's Gospel, which cites this text, Jesus speaks in parables for the same reason. Interpreters of all generations have, not unnaturally, found the text difficult and disturbing. This study is concerned with the fascinating variety of early Jewish and Christian interpretations and modifications that have attempted to cope with the difficulty. At different stages in Judaism and Christianity the Isaianic vision of God is more clearly perceived than at other times. Isaiah 6:9–10 is itself indeed shocking and disturbing, but this is not inappropriate in the context of the prophetic message.

Craig A. Evans is Payzant Distinguished Professor of New Testament, Acadia Divinity College Wolfville, Nova Scotia, Canada.

Until the Spirit Comes: The Spirit of God in the Book of Isaiah

  • Author: Wonsuk Ma
  • Publisher: Sheffield Academic Press
  • Publication Date: 2009
  • Pages: 256

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

The surge of the Pentecostal movement in this century has brought new relevance to the study of the Spirit of God in the Old Testament. Surprisingly, however, this theme has been largely neglected by Pentecostal scholars. Ma seeks to fill this gap by providing an in-depth study of the Spirit of God in the Isaianic traditions. He argues that the Old Testament concept of the Spirit of God has more than one root, and that the development of the various spirit traditions can be fruitfully traced. The study utilizes a synchronic approach together with historical analyses in order to elucidate the message of the book of Isaiah. The author concludes that the concept of the Spirit of God retains a strong eschatological significance throughout the book.

Wonsuk Ma is Academic Dean and Lecturer in Old Testament Studies at Asia Pacific Theological Seminary, Baguio City, Philippines.

New Visions of Isaiah

  • Editors: Roy F. Melugin and Marvin A. Sweeney
  • Publisher: Sheffield Academic Press
  • Publication Date: 2009
  • Pages: 344

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This collection of essays arises from the lively discussions in the Formation of the Book of Isaiah Seminar of the Society of Biblical Literature. The essays exhibit the diversity that has always been present in the Seminar. Each contributor has a unique perspective and thus extends the frontiers of research on the book of Isaiah. Yet, taken as a whole, the essays fall into two broad groups, being either objective in their approach to the text—embracing historical-critical method or a synchronic approach in which text rather than reader is the focus—or postmodern, in the sense that meaning is in no small degree located in what the reader does. In addition to the editors, the contributors are Mark Biddle, David Carr, Edgar Conrad, Chris Franke, Kathryn Pfisterer Darr, Rolf Rendtorff, Gerald Sheppard, Benjamin Sommer, Gary Stansell, and Roy Wells.

Contributions to this volume include:

  • “The Book of Isaiah: A Complex Unity,” Rolf Rendtorff
  • “The Book of Isaiah as Prophetic Torah,” Marvin A. Sweeney
  • “Isaiah 28–33: Blest Be the Tie that Binds (Isaiah Together),” Gary Stansell
  • “Reversals of Fortune in the Ancient Near East: A Study of the Babylon Oracles in the Book of Isaiah,” Chris A. Franke
  • “Lady Zion’s Alter Egos: Isaiah 47:1–15 and 57:6–13 as Structural Counterparts,” Mark E. Biddle
  • “Isaiah as an Exponent of Torah: Isaiah 56:1–8,” Roy D. Wells, Jr.
  • “Allusions and Illusions: The Unity of the Book of Isaiah in Light of Deutero-Isaiah’s Use of Prophetic Tradition,” Benjamin D. Sommer
  • “Reading Isaiah from Beginning (Isaiah 1) to End (Isaiah 65–66): Multiple Modern Possibilities,” David M. Carr
  • “No Strength to Deliver: A Contextual Analysis of Hezekiah’s Proverb in Isaiah 37:3b,” Katheryn Pfisterer Darr
  • “The ‘Scope’ of Isaiah as a Book of Jewish and Christian Scriptures,” Gerald T. Sheppard
  • “Figurative Speech and the Reading of Isaiah 1 as Scripture,” Roy F. Melugin
  • “Prophet, Redactor and Audience: Reforming the Notion of Isaiah’s Formation,” Edgar W. Conrad

Roy Melugin is Professor of Religion at Austin College, Sherman, Texas.

Marvin A. Sweeney is Professor of Hebrew Bible at Claremont School of Theology and Professor of Religion at Claremont Graduate University.

Opponents of Third Isaiah: Reconstructing the Cultic History of the Restoration

  • Author: Brooks Schramm
  • Publisher: Sheffield Academic Press
  • Publication Date: 2009
  • Pages: 216

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

In several places in Isaiah 56–66 a group of Israelites is accused of engaging in various forms of aberrant religious practice: the sacrifice of children, the eating of swine, participation in fertility rites, the practice of necromancy, offering sacrifice to deities known as Gad and Meni, and a host of other things. Who are these people? Certainly not the Zadokite priesthood, as Paul Hanson claimed in his The Dawn of Apocalyptic. More likely argues Schramm, they are simply traditional syncretistic Yahwists.

Brooks Schramm is Assistant Professor of Old Testament, Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.

Forming Prophetic Literature: Essays on Isaiah and the Twelve in Honor of John D.W. Watts

  • Authors: James W. Watts and Paul R. House
  • Publisher: Sheffield Academic Press
  • Publication Date: 1996
  • Pages: 324

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

These essays are written in honor of John D.W. Watts, formerly Professor of Old Testament at Southern Baptist Seminary, Louisville, Kentucky and Old Testament editor of the Word Biblical Commentary, well known for his scholarly contributions on the prophetic books. Accordingly, the essays here address the literary, redactional and canonical questions posed by the Hebrew Bible's prophetic literature. The prophetic books have defied easy classification according to genre or facile explanation of their historical development. With a special focus on the books of Isaiah and of the Twelve Prophets, the nature and formation of prophecy as literature is probed from a variety of methodological standpoints, including textual criticism, synchronic literary analysis, tradition history and redaction criticism.

Product Details

  • Title: Studies on Isaiah (12 vols.)
  • Volumes: 12
  • Pages: 2,992