The Book of Isaiah may be the most often read of the prophetic books in the scriptures. During Advent Christians hear prophecies of a “wonderful counselor (Isaiah 9:6).” Good Friday brings us one who “was wounded for transgressions (Isaiah 53.5).” In it we hear of one sent to “Prepare the way of the Lord” (Isaiah 40) and of one who will announce, “The spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me; he has sent me to bring good news to the oppressed, to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and release to the prisoners; to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor (Isaiah 61 and Luke 4).” All of these fixtures in our church year come to us from God through the Book of Isaiah. It is indeed a constant source of food for the faithful.
As profound as these treasured and familiar verses are, in this study we will learn that the Book of Isaiah is not merely a source for good quotations. The spoken prophecies of this book helped the people of Israel look for the life of God with them for the better part of two very turbulent centuries, and it has continued to help Jews and Christians do the same in the twenty-five hundred years since it became a book. Pursue this study to find out more about this influential book of prophecy.
Meet Our Professors
Robert Wilson, Hoober Professor of Religious Studies and Professor of Old Testament at Yale Divinity School, is a specialist in Israelite prophecy, the Deuteronomistic history, and ancient Israelite religion in its social and cultural context. He holds degrees from Transylvania University (B.A.) and Yale University (B.D, M.A., Ph.D.), and is ordained in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).
Stephen Cook, Catherine N. McBurney Professor of Old Testament Language and Literature at Virginia Theological Seminary, is the author of several books, including The Apocalyptic Literature (Abingdon, 2003); The Social Roots of Biblical Yahwism (Society of Biblical Literature, 2004); and Prophecy and Apocalypticism (Fortress, 1995). He holds degrees from Trinity College (B.A) and Yale University (M.Div., Ph.D.).