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Discovering Isaiah
Content, Interpretation, Reception
PAPERBACK; Published: 9/23/2021
ISBN: 978-0-8028-7805-2
Price: $ 24.00
207 Pages
Trim Size, in inches: 6 x 9
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This concise introduction to the interpretation of the book of Isaiah encourages in-depth study of the text and deliberate grappling with related theological and historical questions by providing a critical assessment of key interpreters and interpretative debates. It draws on a range of methodological approaches (author-, text-, and reader-centered) and reflects the growing scholarly attention to the reception history of biblical texts, increasingly viewed as a vital aspect of interpretation rather than an optional extra.

Table of Contents

1. An Enduring Word
2. Pre-modern Readings of Isaiah
3. Interpreting Isaiah in the Modern Era
4. The History Isaiah Tells
5. Holy, Holy, Holy
6. Zion
7. The Messianic King
8. The Suffering Servant
9. Justice
10. In the End, Worship

“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
author of The Theology of the Book of Isaiah
“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.
Scripture Press Ministries Professor of Biblical Studies and Pedagogy at Wheaton College
“This introductory study offers a balanced discussion of Isaiah with a focus on its historical setting, theology, and Christian reception. Its pedagogical style and lucid structure render it well-suited to undergraduate teaching.”
— Lena-Sofia Tiemeyer
professor in Old Testament exegesis at Örebro School of Theology, Sweden
“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
author of the International Critical Commentary on Isaiah 1–27
“For anyone looking for a CliffsNotes-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
author of Reading Isaiah: A Literary and Theological Commentary