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The Theology of the Book of Isaiah

ISBN: 9780830896196
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Digital list price: $21.99
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The book of Isaiah's imagery sparkles as it inspires. It draws us in to meditate and extends our vision toward the future. But what should we make of this sprawling and puzzling book—so layered and complex in its composition—as a whole?

John Goldingay helps us make sense of this "book called Isaiah" as a tapestry of patterned collages, parts put together in an intentional whole. The Theology of the Book of Isaiah studies the prophecies, messages and theology of each section of the complex book, then unfurls its unifying themes—from Zion to David to the Holy One of Israel. Like a program guide to Handel's Messiah, Goldingay helps us see, hear and understand the grandeur of this prophetic masterpiece among the Prophets.

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Key Features

  • Brings theological unity to the complicated structure of the Book of Isaiah
  • Thoughtfully presents the themes of Isaiah for easy understanding
  • Helps contribute understanding to our interpretation of biblical prophecy


  • Part One: The Theologies in Isaiah
    • Isaiah 1–12
    • Isaiah 13–27
    • Isaiah 28–39
    • Isaiah 40–55
    • Isaiah 56–66
  • Part Two: The Theology That Emerges from Isaiah
    • Revelation: Words from Yahweh Mediated Through Human Agents
    • The God of Israel, the Holy One, Yahweh Armies
    • Holy as Upright and Merciful
    • Israel and Judah
    • Jerusalem and Zion Critiqued and Threatened
    • Jerusalem and Zion Chastised and Restored
    • The Remains
    • The Nations
    • The Empires and Their Kings
    • Divine Sovereignty and Human Responsibility
    • Divine Planning and Human Planning
    • David
    • Yahweh’s Day

Top Highlights

“Isaiah 53 is not a prophecy of the Messiah but a portrait of how Yahweh’s servant-prophet becomes the means of Israel’s being put right with God, of Israel’s personal renewal, and of the nations’ coming to acknowledge Yahweh.” (Page 72)

“The word for ‘hosts’ is the regular Hebrew word for armies, the word that appears on the back of Israeli military trucks. The expression looks as if it literally reads ‘Yahweh of Armies,’ which is an odd expression in Hebrew as in English, but one way or another it denotes the fact that Yahweh possesses or embodies all dynamic and forceful power, earthly and heavenly.” (Page 24)

“Isaiah puts before Ahaz a demandingly impractical expectation: that Israel should live its life in the world on the basis of trust in Yahweh rather than on the regular principles that nations and communities accept.” (Page 25)

“Isaiah is a collection of many prophecies that started off life as separate messages that were delivered on different occasions, and have subsequently been collected in this ‘book.’” (Pages 11–12)

“Darkness is a figure for a situation where one does not understand what is going on, for an experience of trouble, for deception and plotting, and for death itself (a tomb is a dark place). It thus suggests a realm from which Yahweh is absent or in which he is inactive. Light is a figure for a situation where one can see and understand, for a place where one doesn’t mind being seen, for an experience of deliverance and blessing, for a realm where Yahweh is present and active.” (Page 27)

Praise for the Print Edition

Just the book for Bible readers who feel lost reading Isaiah! Goldingay proves an engaging, reliable guide, leading us through Isaiah's parts, showing its overall coherence and reviewing its treatment of key theological topics at the end. The result is a readable guidebook to the Isaiah masterpiece, and I'm pleased to recommend it.

—Robert L. Hubbard, Jr., professor emeritus of biblical literature, North Park Theological Seminary, Chicago

Based on decades of concentrated analysis of the details of this key prophetic work, John Goldingay's volume highlights those golden threads that wind their way throughout Isaiah, glistening in the light of illumination. The strength of this work is its sensitivity to the thematic emphases of the major sections of Isaiah as well as the book as a whole. It is a helpful guide for those seeking to discover order in the midst of the creative intricacies of the book of Isaiah, whether before they tackle a detailed study of the book or at the end of a period of patient exegesis.

—Mark J. Boda, McMaster Divinity College, McMaster University

With the dust beginning to settle on fresh efforts to read the book of Isaiah as a whole, Goldingay here provides a clear and engaging reintroduction to Isaiah and its theological testimony. Written with his customary wit and flair, and with sensitivity to the literary flow of this ambitious masterwork, The Theology of the Book of Isaiah will profit beginner and expert alike. An impressive accomplishment for a publication of this length and a tribute to Goldingay's clarity of purpose and Isaiah's vision both.

—Christopher Seitz, Toronto School of Theology, Wycliffe College

John Goldingay has been at Fuller Theological Seminary since 1997 and currently serves as the David Allan Hubbard Professor of Old Testament in the School of Theology. Before coming to Fuller, Goldingay was principal and a professor of Old Testament and Hebrew at St. John’s Theological College in Nottingham, England. He is the author of several books, including Old Testament Theology vol. 1, After Eating the Apricot, and Models for Scripture, as well as commentaries on Daniel, Isaiah, and Psalms. He holds membership in the Society of Biblical Literature and serves on the editorial board for the Library of Hebrew Bible/Old Testament Studies.

Sample Pages from the Print Edition


3 ratings

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  1. Christian Beltran
    John Goldingay falls into the trap of believing Isaiah was written by multiple authors without using evidence from the original Hebrew texts. Goldingay spends little time on this matter, but if you're theologically conservative this book is going to bother you. In Goldingay's assement of Isaiah 7, he claims that Matthew consistently quotes Isaiah out of context out of the belief that the prophecies in Isaiah should only be viewed within their original historical context (this gets VERY problematic when you get to Goldingay's analyses of the servant songs). Goldingay also has an odd tendency to refer to God as Yaweh throughout the book. After investigating the author's claim in the acknowledgments that he used his own translation for the book, I found that Goldingay is the sole translator of an indiosyncratic translation called "The First Testament" that is theologically liberal (despite its claim for literalness) and preoccupied with leaving every name in the Old Testament transliterated. Unsurprisingly, his translation (as well as the section on Isaiah 7 in this book) renders Isaiah 7:14 as "young girl" instead of "virgin" as Goldingay doesn't believe this verse is a prophecy of the Messiah as that supposedly imports New Testament theology into the Old Testament. You're better off looking for one of the more reputable commentaries on Isaiah if you want a better understanding of this magnificent book of the Bible.
  2. Owen Trotter

    Owen Trotter


  3. Edward Wright


Digital list price: $21.99
Save $8.00 (36%)