The second of John N. Oswalt’s two-part study of the book of Isaiah for the NICOT series, this commentary provides exegetical and theological exposition on the latter 27 chapters of Isaiah for scholars, pastors, and students who seek to know the perennial meaning of the text in contemporary terms.
Though Oswalt’s main introduction to Isaiah is found in his commentary on chapters 1–39, this second volume opens with an important discussion of scholarly debate over the unity/diversity of Isaiah. In this work Oswalt makes stronger his case for reading the entire book of Isaiah as written by a single author—a position not common in other recent commentaries. Oswalt’s work stands alone, then, as an attempt to take seriously Israel’s historical situation at the time chapters 40–66 were composed while also seeking to understand how these chapters function as a part of Isaiah’s total vision written in the late 700s or early 600s BC.
Assuming the single authorship of Isaiah, the verse-by-verse commentary aims to interpret chapters 40–66 in light of the book as a whole. While not neglecting issues of historical criticism or form criticism, the commentary focuses mainly on the theological meaning of the text as indicated especially by the literary structure. Building on his earlier argument that the central theme of Isaiah is servanthood, Oswalt keeps readers focused on the character of Israel’s sovereign Redeemer God, on the blind servant Israel, and on the ultimate work of the Suffering Servant in whom the world can find its Savior.
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.
This is a commentary in which the meaning of the book of Isaiah for today is taken as seriously as is its meaning for its original readers.
—R. N. Whybray, former professor emeritus of Hebrew and Old Testament studies, University of Hull, England
The prophetic book of Isaiah has called for major critical reappraisal in the past two decades with renewed awareness of the significance of its structure as a single complete book. Oswalt’s second volume on Isaiah explores fully the thematic interconnections and developments that lend to the book its essential unity. I feel confident that it will mark a significant turning point in which its combination of critical and evangelical insights will lead to a better understanding of the complex nature of the biblical prophetic writings.
—Ronald E. Clements, professor emeritus of Old Testament studies, King’s College, University of London
John N. Oswalt is a visiting distinguished professor of Old Testament at Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore, Kentucky. Former president of Asbury College and former professor of Old Testament and Semitic languages at Asbury Theological Seminary, he also served on the translation team for the New International Version of the Bible.