Because of all the crazy weather over the last month our family had a bit of a delayed Christmas time together in combination with Mercy’s brithday (you could say she got a lot of presents!). One of my gifts was Dr. Bryan E. Beyer (PhD, Hebrew Union College) Encountering the Book of Isaiah: A Historical and Theological Survey (Baker Academic, 2007). If you go to the Amazon page where this is, I was hpoing for the combo where it says “Frequently bought together.” But, alas! I’ll take this as a start!
Here is a descriptor from the Baker website:
In this new addition to the Encountering Biblical Studies series, Bryan Beyer offers a comprehensive introduction to the book of Isaiah that surveys the book’s content, its meaning in its original context, and its application for people today. Beyer presents the prophet’s recurring themes of remnant, the sovereignty of God, the Day of the Lord, covenant obligations, Messiah, and God and the nations. He gives special attention to Isaiah’s use of geographical issues to illustrate his message, Isaiah’s place in the canon of Scripture, and the implications of the book for mission.
Beyer has provided a clear and readable text based on his experience of teaching the Old Testament for over twenty years. As with other volumes in the series, Encountering the Book of Isaiah is specifically designed with students in mind. Chapters begin with outlines and objectives that allow easy entry into the discussion and end with conclusions and study questions that aid comprehension and recall. Informative sidebars delve further into the language, theological connections, and controversies of Isaiah. This helpful survey will be valued by any serious student of the Bible.
I was surprised in browsing the preface that he said he wrote it for upper undergrduate and graduate level students since it is pretty much a basic introduction/survey of the book of Isaiah. Well, perhaps, he says one will need some prior knowledge of the Bible in general and biblical studies as well and even a working knoweldge of the issues in Isaiah to get the best use of the book. I’ll have to read it and see how I do. I did get OT studies in seminary but didn’t get the chance to do a study specifically on Isaiah (that came after I left the seminary (shouldn’t wonder)! 😉
Here are a couple of the endorsements/reviews:
“[An] accessible tour of one of the most complex and magisterial books of the canon. Beyer’s judicious discussions show a depth of knowledge and a balanced assessment of difficult issues. The student of Isaiah will find the book opened up in ways that will promote scholarship as well as faith.”–John H. Walton, Wheaton College
“[This book] is written in reader-friendly fashion, with sidebars, chapter outlines and objectives, glossaries of key terms, study questions, and suggestions for further reading. I think people with very little background would cope with it fine. . . . The book also works hard to show how Isaiah relates to people’s individual lives. It shows good awareness of many aspects of modern study of Isaiah. . . . It includes useful documents such as the Siloam inscription and Sennacherib’s account of his siege of Jerusalem. I can imagine it being useful in Bible College courses and in study groups in conservative churches.”–John Goldingay, Expository Times
Depending on how this book works out, if it goes well and I like it, I plan on getting one for each of the what I consider to be the major books of the Bible – Genesis, (I have Isaiah), one of the Gospels, maybe John, Romans, and the Revelation.