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The Dead Sea Scrolls and the Book of Isaiah

September 29, 2016

http://dss.collections.imj.org.il/isaiah

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3 Comments
  1. Colin permalink

    A rewarding read.

    I wonder what your take is on the authorship of Isaiah, which gets a mention. The notes in my 1984 NIV Study Bible set out to demonstrate its unity. My two “easier level” commentaries one by Webb and one by Harman point to unity. The late lamented Alec Motyer over here was a very strong supporter of unity. My usual start point on such debates is what does the Spirit inspired text say? If it says the word of the Lord came to “x” then “x” is its originator, whether or not he used a scribe, or there was some later editing, itself surely inspired. A principle I apply to the epistles as well.

    Clearly our understanding of what Scripture is and how it came to us is key here. But I do wonder if current tendencies over Isaiah, and probably Micah, Zechariah, Daniel etc are driven by a reluctance to accept the possibility that God might deliver a glimpse of the longer time period intertwined with a more immediate foresight. Personally I have no difficulty with accepting that a sovereign God might choose to do that. Not a universal view I realise.

    • @Colin: Yes, the debate over the authorship and depth of the Book of Isaiah has become very immense today! If you have access to the ESV Study Bible, I would recommend reading that Introduction, it is very good and covers most of this ground. And takes the view, as the Holy Scripture, that “the entire book comes from Isaiah, the son of Amoz.” And Jesus Himself quotes Isaiah in John 12: 41: “Isaiah said these things because he saw his glory and spoke of him.” And as the ESV Study Bible notes, “The intertestamental book of “Sirach” (48: 24-25) and the first century Jewish historian Joesephus (Jewish Antiquities 11.5-6) attest Isaiah’s authorship of the whole book.” As too the Hebrew manuscript of Isaiah from the Dead Sea Scrolls bears witness to “the seamless unity of the book of Isaiah.” (Intro. ESV Study Bible) And, “At the central theme of the book is God himself, who does all things for his own sake (48: 11).” So I will also take the internal witness and authority itself of the Book, and itself sort of a progressive Prophecy, especially chapters, 40-66! But even here this is meaningful to the exilic and postexilic community of Judah!

      Yes, please read the Intro of Isaiah from the ESV Study Bible itself (if you can), I know of no better! So I will not over labor myself here with quotes from therein. Forgive me, I know this is short, but I am on the fly this Friday! 🙂

      *But I agree, the “Unity” of the Book of Isaiah is everything!

  2. Colin: Yes, busy here this A.M., but I always opt for the basic presupposition of the authority and truth of Holy Scripture! And Jesus Himself said “Isaiah” “saw”… HIM! Good enough for me! 😉

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