Book Review: Everyman’s Bible Commentary: Isaiah

Everyman’s Bible Commentary:  Isaiah:  “The Salvation Of Jehovah”:  A Survey Of The Prophet Of Isaiah The Prophet, by Alfred Martin

[Note:  This book was provided free of charge by Moody Publishers.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.]

This book certainly lives up to its name as a survey of Isaiah, and it manages to look at this deeply interesting and meaningful and frequently challenging book [1] with a focus on the Messianic prophecies of the book.  Readers of this book should be aware that this book does not provide an in-depth analysis of the book, citations to other commentaries and other writings on Isaiah, and that it comes from a perspective of biblical inerrancy that is strongly critical of the documentary hypotheses that involve Isaiah.  Of course, if the reader is unaware of these matters, the author is kind enough to talk about them at the very beginning of the book so that the reader does not remain unaware of them for long.  Overall, this is a sound survey of Isaiah that is certainly of great benefit to the reader who does not come with a great deal of prior knowledge about the book and its meaning for contemporary Christians.

Coming in at a short length of less than 130 pages for a book of the Bible that contains 66 chapters, this book makes no pretensions about being complete in its approach to the text of Isaiah.  This book is a survey, and is the sort of book that would be very useful in courses that teach a survey of Isaiah or the prophets in general, but it does manage to contain 21 chapters that provide a basic introduction to the material of the Bible’s longest prophet.  After a look at backgrounds (1) and a general look at Isaiah and its bifid structure (2), the author proceeds go move through the book.  He covers the opening prophecies of the book (3) as well as the prophet’s commission in Isaiah 6 (4) before moving to the Immanuel prophecies of the book (5).  After a brief discussion of the various burdens of Isaiah for Gentile nations (6) the author then covers the judgments along the way to the kingdom (7) and the woes (8) as well as God’s indignation and the blossoming of the desert (9).  Isaiah then discusses the historical interlude during Hezekiah’s reign (10) before discussing the comfort found at the beginning of the second section of the book (11).  The author then looks at some Messianic prophecies (12), Cyrus as God’s anointed (13), the judgment on Babylon (14), and the suffering and future glory of the suffering servant (15) as well as the servant as the lamb (16).  The author continues his look at the last part of Isaiah with salvation coming through the servant (17), the redeemer’s coming to Zion (18), and the ministry of the Messiah (19) before closing the book with the glorious consummation of Creation (20) and a retrospective look at the book of Isaiah by the author (21).

Although this is a short book it does a good job at pointing out the Messianic prophecies of Isaiah in a good deal of depth and manages to include somewhat detailed outlines of the various parts of the biblical book in a way that encourages readers to dig deeper into the book of Isaiah.  This book may be viewed as a gateway to more detailed commentaries about Isaiah and encourage readers to read Isaiah in depth for themselves.  Ultimately, that appears to be the goal of this book, to get its readers to view the book of Isaiah as a book of the Bible worth giving a great deal of study and attention to and not be afraid of its depth or its complexity.  The book’s target reading audience is also likely to appreciate the comments the author makes about the Jewish change in beliefs about the Messianic nature of Isaiah only after these prophecies were fulfilled by Jesus Christ and his criticism of theories of “Deutero-Isaiah” and so on.

[1] See, for example:

About nathanalbright

I'm a person with diverse interests who loves to read. If you want to know something about me, just ask.
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