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Unto Us a Child is Born
Isaiah, Advent, and Our Jewish Neighbors

PAPERBACK; Published: 6/9/2020
ISBN: 978-0-8028-7398-9
Price: $ 22.99
200 Pages
Trim Size, in inches: 5.5 x 8.5
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Whether through a hymn, Handel’s Messiah, or the lectionary reading, the book of Isaiah provides a familiar voice for congregations during the season of Advent. So how do we create faithful, Christian interpretations of Isaiah for today while respecting the interpretations of our Jewish neighbors? 

Integrating biblical scholarship with pastoral concern, Tyler Mayfield invites readers to view Isaiah through two lenses. He demonstrates using near vision to see how the Christian liturgical season of Advent shapes readings of Isaiah and using far vision to clarify our relationship to Jews and Judaism—showing along the way how near vision and far vision are both required to read Isaiah clearly and responsibly.

Table of Contents

Part One: Isaiah through Bifocals
1. Using Our Near Vision during Advent
2. Using Our Far Vision to Love Our Jewish Neighbors
Part Two: Isaiah’s “Messianic” Texts
3. Isaiah 7:10–16
4. Isaiah 9:2–7
5. Isaiah 11:1–10
6. Isaiah 61:1–4, 8–11
Part Three: Isaiah’s Visions of the Future
7. Isaiah 2:1–5
8. Isaiah 35:1–10
9. Isaiah 40:1–11
10. Isaiah 64:1–9

“Tyler Mayfield’s Unto Us a Child Is Born overflows with insight. I recommend it as a lucid way in which we Christians might envisage the power of Scripture for our world today.”
— Mary C. Boys
Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York
“Whereas Christians traditionally read Isaiah as a prophet who predicts the coming of Christ, Mayfield demonstrates that Isaiah must be read from different angles as a book that gives expression to the issues that faced ancient Israel and Judah in the prophet’s own day as well as to some of the highest ideals of Judaism in our own.”
— Marvin A. Sweeney
Claremont School of Theology
“Mayfield’s way with eight Isaiah texts that are especially familiar to the church is rich, imaginative, and thick with multiple meanings.”
— Walter Brueggemann
from the foreword
The Expository Times
“As a resource to challenge a narrow Christian reading of Hebrew scripture and a way of honouring the Jewish interpretations of the prophet Isaiah, it has much to offer.”
“Mayfield’s bifocal approach illumines dynamic interpretive axioms, judiciously inviting readers to see common denominators in the two religious traditions, as well as Judaism’s own unique interpretive heritage which can enlighten Christian interpretations.”
Religious Studies Review
“The book goes beyond critical analysis of Christian hermeneutics and includes informed engagements with contemporary Jewish readings, as well as emerging approaches such as African-American and liberation theologies. The end result is a master class in the description and demonstration of ethical reading practices within the Christian tradition.”