The book of Isaiah depicts for its readers what happens when Isaiah volunteers to become Yahweh's gofer--when he acts and speaks on Yahweh's behalf with Yahweh's authority. In this careful and insightful commentary on Isaiah, Goldingay unfolds the voices and messages of those prophetic actions and experiences.
While doing this he points out that three attributes of Yahweh come into distinctive focus in Isaiah: Yahweh's majesty and authority, Yahweh's passion in anger and compassion, and Yahweh's insight and capacity to formulate a plan and put it into effect. Goldingay also examines the way Isaiah thinks about the people of God and the relationship between the vision of who they could be, the reality of who they were, the calamity of that contrast, and ultimately the promise Yahweh offers to them.
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Customer Reviews for Isaiah: Understanding the Bible Commentary Series
Review 1 for Isaiah: Understanding the Bible Commentary Series
Goldingay writes well. This volume is both imaginative and interesting. There is also some helpful theology within these pages. I appreciate Goldingay's decision to treat the Book of Isaiah as a complete book as it stands. However, he describes four voices in the book – the Ambassador, the Disciple, the Poet, and the Preacher. This is clearly just another way of presenting the old composite authorship / editorship view of Isaiah. While I feel the evidence for a single author is stronger than most modern scholars seem to think, the multi-author view is not impossible. God can certainly work through multiple authors and multiple editions. But those holding this view almost always do so in part, due to a skepticism regarding miracles and/or the predictive element of prophecy. Goldingay is at best hesitant in allowing for specific predictions of the future in Isaiah. This negatively impacts much of his interpretation and commentary. Also, the four voices listed above seem to be overdone, are foreign insertions into to the text itself, and seem to complicate rather than clarify the overall message. Sadly, even with the limitations discussed in this review, Golingay's volume is still one of the better commentaries on Isaiah. This is because he presents his skeptical views in a more respectful and less offensive manner than most. But the approaches of Motyer and Oswalt are considerably better.