The Theology of the Book of Isaiah
Preaching's Preacher's Guide to the Best Bible Reference
"Yahweh sits enthroned, high and lifted up
A shoot grows from the stump of Jesse
A Servant pours himself out to death
Kings and nations stream to Zion"
The book of Isaiah's imagery sparkles as it inspires. It draws us in to meditate and extends our vision toward the future. But what should we make of this sprawling and puzzling book—so layered and complex in its composition—as a whole?
John Goldingay helps us make sense of this "book called Isaiah" as a tapestry of patterned collages, parts put together in an intentional whole. The Theology of the Book of Isaiah studies the prophecies, messages and theology of each section of the complex book, then unfurls its unifying themes—from Zion to David to the Holy One of Israel. Like a program guide to Handel's Messiah, Goldingay helps us see, hear and understand the grandeur of this prophetic masterpiece among the Prophets.
"Just the book for Bible readers who feel lost reading Isaiah! Goldingay proves an engaging, reliable guide, leading us through Isaiah's parts, showing its overall coherence and reviewing its treatment of key theological topics at the end. The result is a readable guidebook to the Isaiah masterpiece, and I'm pleased to recommend it."
"Based on decades of concentrated analysis of the details of this key prophetic work, John Goldingay's volume highlights those golden threads that wind their way throughout Isaiah, glistening in the light of illumination. The strength of this work is its sensitivity to the thematic emphases of the major sections of Isaiah as well as the book as a whole. It is a helpful guide for those seeking to discover order in the midst of the creative intricacies of the book of Isaiah, whether before they tackle a detailed study of the book or at the end of a period of patient exegesis."
"John Goldingay lucidly and accessibly illuminates both the parts and the whole of the book of Isaiah. He incorporates the best insights of modern scholarship while nimbly dancing 'round the complexities of scholarly debate. Here is a theological reading of Isaiah that can inform contemporary faith."
"With the dust beginning to settle on fresh efforts to read the book of Isaiah as a whole, Goldingay here provides a clear and engaging reintroduction to Isaiah and its theological testimony. Written with his customary wit and flair, and with sensitivity to the literary flow of this ambitious masterwork, The Theology of the Book of Isaiah will profit beginner and expert alike. An impressive accomplishment for a publication of this length and a tribute to Goldingay's clarity of purpose and Isaiah's vision both."
"(Goldingay) offers helpful perspectives for surmounting some of the critical issues with which Isaiah confronts beginning readers, such as the problem of authorship, the New Testament writers' peculiar appropriations of Isaiah, and messianic interpretations that have been inappropriately applied to Isaiah for centuries."
"Goldingay has managed admirably to condense the vast 'theologies' of Isaiah in an easy-to-understand style. Lucidly he explains all the technical terms . . . the reader encounters. This helps the general reader access the essential theologies of the book. His study is therefore especially valuable for preaching as well as for Sunday school classes."
"This book could be useful for Christians in a number of ways. For the pastor or ministry leader preparing a talk or sermon on Isaiah, Goldingay will provide broad-stroke and expert commentary on the larger units of the book."
"Goldingay has written a very readable and provocative book, which could be enjoyed by and beneficial to both undergraduates and graduate students. Furthermore, thoughtful laypeople, who are willing to be challenged and stretched, would find it a helpful resource for better understanding what the book of Isaiah is driving at. Goldingay refuses to confuse obscurity with profundity."
"Goldingay has succeeded in presenting a study regarding the theology of the book of Isaiah that is well worth reading. By working with the metaphor of collage he is able to emphasize not only the diversity of the different prophetic voices in the book of Isaiah but also their theological composition as a whole."
Part One: The Theologies in Isaiah
1. Isaiah 1-12
2. Isaiah 13-27
3. Isaiah 28-39
4. Isaiah 40-55
5. Isaiah 56-66
Part Two: The Theology That Emerges from Isaiah
7. The God of Israel as the Holy One, Yahweh Armies
8. Holy as Upright and Merciful
9. Israel and Judah
10. Jerusalem and Zion Critiqued and Threatened
11. Jerusalem and Zion Chastised and Restored
12. The Remains
13. The Nations
14. The Empires and Their Kings
15. Divine Sovereignty and Human Responsibility
16. Divine Planning and Human Planning
18. Yahweh?s Day