The Servant Song of Isaiah 53 has been highly significant in both Jewish and Christian thought. Rarely, however, has it been explored from the broad range of perspectives represented in this long-awaited volume.
In The Suffering Servant ten talented biblical interpreters trace the influence of the Servant Song text through the centuries, unpacking the theological meanings of this rich passage of scripture and its uses in various religious contexts. Chapters examine in depth Isaiah 52:13-53:12 in the Hebrew original and in later writings, including pre-Christian Jewish literature, the New Testament, the Isaiah Targum, the early church fathers, and a sixteenth-century rabbinic document informed by Jewish-Christian dialogue.
The unique and pivotal role that Isaiah 53 has played in Christian theology fully justifies the focus and scope of the essays that make up this volume. Their detailed and thorough analysis of the text, its pre-Christian and Jewish interpretation, and the significance and impact of its reference to Christ make for a book both magisterial and seminal. It will serve as an indispensable starting point and reference work for the next generation of students of 'the Suffering Servant.
—James D. G. Dunn
Few texts of the Bible have played such a significant role in Christian and Jewish thought, as well as in the encounter between these two traditions, as the Suffering Servant song in Isaiah 53. In this volume much of what matters about this great text and much of what is conflicted and debated comes to light in a group of scholarly interpretations that pay close attention to the real difficulties of the text on the one hand and the large questions of how to read and understand the identity and work of the Servant on the other. Since one cannot deal with the Suffering Servant text without paying attention to how others have interpreted it in church and synagogue, the editors have included essays that probe in depth the appropriation of this text by both communities of faith. An indispensable book for thinking about the place of the Suffering Servant text in biblical theology and Christology.
—Patrick D. Miller
It is a happy event to have this volume appear in a superb English translation. The essays are learned, probing, and, above all, theologically alert. Scholars and pastors will be greatly illuminated by the depth and breadth of these interpretations of the Suffering Servant.
—Brevard S. Childs
Bernd Janowskiis is professor emeritus of Old Testament at the University of Tübingen, Germany. He is the author, editor, or coeditor of numerous books, including the thirteen-volume Religion Past and Present: Encyclopedia of Theology and Religion.
Peter Stuhlmacher is professor emeritus of New Testament studies at the University of Tübingen and the author of many books, including Historical Criticism and Theological Interpretation of Scripture and Revisiting Paul’s Doctrine of Justification.