Of all the texts in the Hebrew and Christian Scriptures, perhaps no book has a more colorful history of interpretation than Isaiah. A comprehensive history of this interpretation between the prophet Malachi and the first days of Christianity, Joseph Blenkinsopp’s Opening the Sealed Book traces three different prophetic traditions in Isaiah—the “man of God,” the critic of social structures, and the apocalyptic seer.
Blenkinsopp explores the place of Isaiah in Jewish sectarianism, at Qumran, and among early Christians, touching on a number of its themes, including exile, “the remnant of Israel,” martyrdom, and “the servant of the Lord.” Encompassing several disciplines—hermeneutics, the Dead Sea Scrolls, Second Temple studies, Christian origins—Opening the Sealed Book will appeal to Jewish and Christian scholars as well as to readers fascinated by the intricate and influential prophetic visions of Isaiah.
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- Introduction by the author
- Bibliographical references and indexes
Praise for the Print Edition
This wide-ranging and original book probes the interpretation and use of the book of Isaiah in Second Temple Judaism and the New Testament. An impressive and stimulating contribution to the early history of biblical interpretation.
—John J. Collins, Holmes Professor of Old Testament, Yale University
Joseph Blenkinsopp brings his enormous learning to the use of the book of Isaiah in a later generation of Jewish and Christian reading. This important book makes two immense contributions to our learning. . . . it greatly illuminates our historical understanding of formative Jewish and Christian communities in their use of Scripture . . . it makes clear how relentlessly pluralistic is our long-term reading of Scripture that resists any single reductionist reading.
—Walter Brueggemann, professor emeritus, Columbia Theological Seminary
Blenkinsopp not only explores the history of Isaiah’s reception in early Judaism and Christianity but also uncovers the numerous links between the figure of the prophet (and his book) and Jewish apocalyptic and sectarian movements, including Christianity itself. A brilliant and largely convincing synthesis by a scholar renowned for the depth and range of his learning.
—Philip R. Davies, professor of biblical studies, University of Sheffield
- Title: Opening the Sealed Book: Interpretations of the Book of Isaiah in Late Antiquity
- Author: Joseph Blenkinsopp
- Publisher: Eerdmans
- Publication Date: 2006
- Pages: 335
About Joseph Blenkinsopp
Joseph Blenkinsopp is John A. O’Brien Professor Emeritus of Biblical Studies at the University of Notre Dame. His other books include The Pentateuch: An Introduction to the First Five Books of the Bible, A History of Prophecy in Israel, and the three-volume Anchor Bible commentary on Isaiah.