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The Book of Isaiah, Chapters 1–39

The Book of Isaiah, Chapters 1–39

John N. Oswalt

| Eerdmans | 1986

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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 b.c., 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.

Author Bio

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.