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Products>The Book of Isaiah, Chapters 1–39 (The New International Commentary on the Old Testament | NICOT)

The Book of Isaiah, Chapters 1–39 (The New International Commentary on the Old Testament | NICOT)

, 1986
ISBN: 9780802825292

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The first of John N. Oswalt’s two-part study of the book of Isaiah for the NICOT series, this commentary on chapters 1–39 combines theological acumen, literary sensitivity, philological expertise, and historical knowledge to present a faithful and accurate reading of one of the Old Testament’s most important books.

In the introduction to this work, Oswalt considers Isaiah’s background, unity of composition, date and authorship, canonicity, Hebrew text, theology, and problems of interpretation, and he offers a select bibliography for further research. Oswalt also provides substantial discussions of several issues crucial to the book of Isaiah. He notes, for example, that scholars often divide Isaiah into three divisions, with chapters 1–39 addressing Isaiah’s contemporaries in the eighth century BC, chapters 40–55 presupposing the exile of the sixth century, and chapters 56–66 presupposing the eventual return from exile. While taking this scholarship into account Oswalt defends the unity of the prophetic book and argues convincingly that the whole book can be attributed to the Isaiah of the eighth century.

The commentary proper, based on Oswalt’s own translation of the Hebrew text, provides pastors, scholars, and students with a lucid interpretation of the book of Isaiah in its ancient context as well as an exposition of its message for today.

With Logos, the NICOT will integrate into the Passage Guide. Whenever you enter your passage and click go, results from the NICOT will appear on the text you’re studying. This gives you instant access to exactly what you’re looking for—in far less time than it would take you to walk over to the bookshelf and begin flipping through a print volume, let alone find the information you need.

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Key Features

  • Verse-by-verse commentary
  • In-depth discussion of textual and critical matters
  • Introduction to the authorship, date, purpose, structure, and theology of Isaiah

Top Highlights

“It is my conviction that the overarching theme of the book of Isaiah is servanthood.” (Page 54)

“The thought of Isaiah can be organized under four heads: God, Humanity and the World, Sin, Redemption.” (Page 32)

“So for Isaiah the announcement of God’s holiness meant that he was in the presence of One distinct from—other than—himself. But for Isaiah as a Hebrew, it also meant that the terrifying otherness was not merely in essence but in character. Here was One ethically pure, absolutely upright, utterly true.” (Page 181)

“One of the unique features of Isaiah’s book, and one which has led to the theory of multiple authorship that will be discussed below, is its address to three different historical settings. The first of these is during Isaiah’s lifetime, from 739 to 701 B.C. This time span is covered in chs. 1–39. The second and third periods are long after Isaiah’s death. They are the periods of exile (605–539 B.C.), chs. 40–55, and of the return (the total period is 539–400 B.C., but probably here restricted to 539–500 B.C.), chs. 56–66.” (Page 4)

“God has called all people, but particularly his own people, to lay down their self-exaltation and be dependent upon him, to become evidence of his character and deliverance in order that the whole world might know him as he is and thus be delivered from their own destruction.” (Page 54)

Praise for the Print Edition

An excellent conservative commentary on the book of Isaiah. Oswalt’s work is a treasure. It provides solid help in understanding the text and message of this Old Testament book.

Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society

This book is a solid piece of scholarship and may be recommended to pastors and teachers alike as an exemplary piece of conservative research and exposition.

Review & Expositor

This commentary will be one of the most widely used and appreciated [in the NICOT series], and perhaps even one of the flagship volumes.

Southwestern Journal of Theology

Product Details

  • Title: The New International Commentary on the Old Testament: The Book of Isaiah, Chapters 1–39
  • Author: John N. Oswalt
  • Series: New International Commentary on the Old Testament (NICOT)
  • Publisher: Eerdmans
  • Publication Date: 1986
  • Pages: 759

Dr. John Oswalt returned to the Asbury Theological Seminary faculty in 2009 as visiting distinguished professor of Old Testament. He served as research professor of Old Testament at Wesley Biblical Theological Seminary in Jackson, Miss., since 1999. Prior to that, he was professor of Old Testament and Semitic Languages at Asbury Seminary from 1989 to 1999. This was his second term on Asbury Seminary’s faculty, having first served from 1970 to 1982. In the interim, he was president of Asbury College from 1983 to 1986 and a member of the faculty of Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Ill., from 1986 to 1989. Oswalt received a B.A. from Taylor University; a B.D. and Th.M. from Asbury Seminary; and a M.A. and Ph.D. from Brandeis University. His writings have appeared in Bible encyclopedias, scholarly journals and popular religious periodicals. Many of his these articles have dealt with the application of Biblical teachings to modern ethical questions. He has written eight books. His most recent book is a study of I John, entitled On Being a Christian (Francis Asbury Press, 2008). He was the Old Testament editor of the Wesley Bible, a study Bible from the Wesleyan perspective published by Thomas Nelson Publishers in 1990. He also served as consulting editor for the New International Dictionary of Old Testament Theology and Exegesis (Zondervan, 1997). He was a member of the New International Version translation team, and is currently one of a six-member editorial team that has revised the Living Bible (New Living Translation, 1996), and is continuing the revision process with Tyndale House Publishers. Oswalt is an ordained minister in the United Methodist Church, with membership in the Kentucky Annual Conference. He has served as a part-time pastor to congregations in New England and Kentucky, and is a frequent speaker in conferences, camps and local churches. He is married to the former Karen Kennedy, and they have three children and two grandchildren.


11 ratings

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  1. Christian Beltran
  2. Nathan



  3. Matt Bedzyk

    Matt Bedzyk


    This is not only one of the best commentaries available on Isaiah (along with Motyer), but one of the most delightful and 'worshipful' commentaries I have ever read. Few authors today combine textual-critical, biblical-theological, and pastoral insights like Oswalt does in these two volumes. But even better than this, Oswalt faithfully points the reader to Jesus Christ at every turn—something many OT commentaries fail to do. Oswalt treats Isaiah as truly Christian Scripture and thus interprets Isaiah the way it should be interpreted. Sound, evangelical, Christ-centered, and full of theological implications and practical applications for the church. This would be an excellent commentary to use even in personal devotions. I cannot recommend this highly enough.
  4. Scott Sullivan
  5. Scott S. Scheurich
  6. Martijn



  7. DB



  8. Pastor Mark Stevenson
  9. Rob Bailey

    Rob Bailey


  10. greypilgrim




Print list price: $60.00
Save $9.01 (15%)