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Discovering Isaiah is the perfect introduction to the interpretation of Isaiah. Through a critical assessment of key interpreters and interpretative debates, this is an Old Testament commentary that encourages in-depth study of the text and a genuine grappling with the theological and historical questions raised.
As part of the Discovering Biblical Texts series, Discovering Isaiah draws on a range of author-, text- and reader-centered methodological approaches as complementary rather than mutually exclusive ways of understanding the text. It also focuses on the reception history of the book of Isaiah, increasingly viewed by Biblical scholars as a vital aspect of interpretation rather than an optional extra.
Discovering Isaiah is an ideal Bible commentary for students and those looking to dig deeper into this key prophetic book of the Old Testament. You will gain a solid grasp of the structure and content of Isaiah, and a thorough understanding of a wide range of interpretative approaches and theological concerns that will enhance your own reading of the text.
Special note: For the best experience when navigating this resource, we recommend setting the table of contents to list view. As an introductory series covering the theological and historical background of the text, much of the included information is broadly thematic and not verse-specific.
“Isaiah is the richest book with the richest story, from its origins to the present day. Andrew Abernethy has written a rich guide to this story and to the book itself.” — John Goldingay
“The first chapter in Discovering Isaiah is aptly titled ‘An Enduring Word.’ This prophetic book has been central to the Christian church for two millennia. Abernethy skillfully integrates careful readings of texts in their historical settings with illuminating examples of their reception across the centuries. This wonderful exploration of key themes and Isaiah’s ongoing relevance make this a helpful window into research on the book and into the God and Christ of Christian faith.” — M. Daniel Carroll R.
“Isaiah is full of famous bits, but they come in a long and complicated book that is difficult to grasp as a whole. In fact, most Bible readers don’t even try. But in easily readable style and with a firm grasp of current scholarship in the background, Abernethy here shows how even the famous bits come alive in fresh ways for the Christian reader once they are set in their context in the book as well as in the history of how they have been interpreted through the centuries. Taking each of the book’s most prominent themes in turn, he encouragers and challenges us all to pay greater attention to God’s proclamation embedded in the prophetic word.” — H. G. M. Williamson
“For anyone looking for a Cliffs Notes-like handbook on the book of Isaiah, Abernethy’s Discovering Isaiah is an updated, extensive, and accessible gem. Without getting bogged down in redactional theories or interpretive debates, the book astutely guides Isaiah readers comprehensively through history, literature, and reception history. Its interpretive approach is thorough and extensive, presenting a manual for reading Isaiah in 3D or 4D. It scans the metahistory of ancient landscapes in four phases (Assyria/Babylon, Persia under Cyrus, the suffering servant toward reconstruction, and the new world) in judicious juxtaposition with five theological themes (holiness, Zion, messianic king, suffering servant, and justice, together culminating in worship). It not only instructs readers with meticulous, erudite lectures but also invites inspirational homiletics into a journey of theological history, toward hope and healing amid despair and brokenness in the age of Black Lives Matter and the COVID-19 pandemic.” — Hyun Chul Paul Kim
Andrew T. Abernethy is Associate Professor of Old Testament and degree coordinator of the MA in Biblical Exegesis at Wheaton College, Illinois. His previous books include the Old Testament commentaries The Book of Isaiah and God’s Kingdom (IVP, 2016) and Eating in Isaiah (Brill, 2014).