The book of Isaiah has nourished the church throughout the centuries. However, its massive size can be intimidating; its historical setting can seem distant, opaque, varied; its organization and composition can seem disjointed and fragmented; its abundance of terse, poetic language can make its message seem veiled—and where are those explicit prophecies about Christ? These are typical experiences for many who try to read, let alone teach or preach, through Isaiah.
Andrew Abernethy's conviction is that thematic points of reference can be of great help in encountering Isaiah and its rich theological message. In view of what the structure of the book of Isaiah aims to emphasize, this New Studies in Biblical Theology volume employs the concept of "kingdom" as an entry point for organizing the book's major themes. In many respects, Isaiah provides a people living amidst imperial contexts with a theological interpretation of them in the light of YHWH's past, present and future sovereign reign.
Four features of "kingdom" frame Abernethy's study: God, the King; the lead agents of the King; the realm of the kingdom and the people of the King. While his primary aim is to show how "kingdom" is fundamental to Isaiah when understood within its Old Testament context, interspersed canonical reflections assist those who are wrestling with how to read Isaiah as Christian Scripture in and for the church.
Addressing key issues in biblical theology, the works comprising New Studies in Biblical Theology are creative attempts to help Christians better understand their Bibles. The NSBT series is edited by D. A. Carson, aiming to simultaneously instruct and to edify, to interact with current scholarship and to point the way ahead.
"In a well-written and remarkably comprehensive treatment, Dr. Andrew Abernethy takes us through the book by unfolding the way God and his kingdom are presented in each of the three major sections of the prophecy, and then by outlining the way this reigning God uses agents to accomplish his purpose. Dr. Abernethy undertakes all of this exegetical and theological exploration with an eye peeled for the way New Testament writers, seven centuries later, pick up on these trajectories to bring us to Christ."
"The Book of Isaiah and God's Kingdom is a model of how to synthesize the theological message of a biblical book. Abernethy presents a multifaceted central theme reflective of the whole of Isaiah and has effectively incorporated exegetical analysis, historical background materials, and structural features of Isaiah that are supportive of this theme. While tackling numerous interpretive issues, the book maintains its focus on the overarching message of Isaiah. Abernethy's attention to canonical issues and even the inclusion of suggested preaching outlines reflect his concern to demonstrate the prescriptive relevance of Isaiah for the church. I highly recommend this book for students, pastors, and those who teach Isaiah."
"This volume is a stunning achievement. . . . What is most impressive about this book is the way in which Abernethy has made one of the longest and, arguably, most daunting books in the Bible accessible and meaningful for the lay reader without dumbing it down. It is the perfect resource for the pastor, student, and scholar who wants to preach through or study Isaiah. If you love the book of Isaiah, this book is for you!"
"This book would be of interest and of benefit to a variety of audiences, from scholars engaged in the study of Isaiah and the task of reading the Old Testament as Christian Scripture to preachers and teachers faced with the task of introducing the book of Isaiah."
1. God, the king now and to come in Isaiah 1-39
2. God, the only saving king in Isaiah 40-55
3. God, the warrior, international, and compassionate king in Isaiah 56-66
4. The lead agents of the king
5. The realm and the people of God?s kingdom
Appendix: Teaching series outline
Index of authors
Index of Scripture references