Saturday, August 22, 2015

Planned Parenthood Protest in Glendale, AZ

Here are a few pictures from today's protest at the Glendale, Arizona Planned Parenthood.

An empty parking abortions today!

This man had a unique sign...

Me with one of my signs...

Thursday, August 20, 2015

"Give us this day our daily bread": A Short Bible Study

The following is the outline I used for a Sunday School lesson on the line from the Lord's Prayer: "Give us this day our daily bread."

“Give us this day our daily bread” (Matthew 6.11)

1.     This is prayer for daily, physical sustenance

a.     AVOID—a hyper-spirituality that denigrates the body or sees it somehow as a “necessary evil.”

                                               i.     Psalm 104.14-15

He causes the grass to grow for the cattle, and vegetation for the labor of man, so that he may bring forth food from the earth, and wine which makes man’s heart glad, so that he may make his face glisten with oil, and food which sustains man’s heart

                                              ii.     Ecclesiastes 9.7

Go the, eat your bread in happiness and drink your wine with a cheerful heart; for God has already approved your works.

                                            iii.     Acts 14.16-17

In the generations gone by he permitted all the nations to go their own ways; and yet he did not leave himself without witness, in that he did good and gave you rains from heaven and fruitful seasons, satisfying your hearts with food and gladness.

b.     God knows what we need physically (watch context for these two verses)

                                               i.     Matthew 6.8

Therefore do not be like them; for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.

                                              ii.     Matthew 6.32

For all these things the Gentiles eagerly seek; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 

c.      We are to pray for our daily bread

                                               i.     Prayer is not opposed to, or in replace of work!

1.     2 Thessalonians 3.10-12

For even when we were with you, we used to give you this order: if anyone is not willing to work, then he is not to eat, either.  For we hear that some among you are leading an undisciplined life, doing no work at all, but acting like busybodies.  Now such persons we command and exhort in the Lord Jesus Christ to work in quiet fashion and eat their own bread.

                                              ii.     Prayer for our daily bread illustrates our dependence upon the Lord to sustain us

2.     Prayer vs. Anxiousness: Matthew 6.24-34

a.     Question: What reasons does Jesus give to help us see that anxiousness is to be avoided?

                                               i.     v. 25: life is more than food and the body is more than clothing

                                              ii.     v. 26: you are more valuable than birds

                                            iii.     v. 27: you can’t add to life by being anxious

                                            iv.     v. 28-30: you are more valuable than flowers and grass

                                              v.     v. 32: your heavenly Father knows what you need

                                            vi.     v. 34: tomorrow comes soon enough; focus on today

b.     Philippians 4.6-7

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.  And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

3.     What does it mean to pray for “daily bread” in the midst of plenty? 

a.     Deuteronomy 8: read whole chapter

                                               i.     Verses 11-14: full bellies can produce proud, forgetful hearts

                                              ii.     Verses 16-18:

1.     v. 17: “Otherwise, you might say in your heart, ‘My power and the strength of my hand made me this wealth.”

2.     v. 18: “…for it is he who is giving you power to make wealth…”

b.     An antidote to pride and forgetfulness is gratitude and thankfulness!

                                               i.     1 Thessalonians 5.17-18

Pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks

                                              ii.     Colossians 4.2

Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with an attitude of thanksgiving

                                            iii.     Philippians 4.6

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

Friday, August 14, 2015

The Unity and Authorship of Isaiah: In Defense of Isaianic Authorship

 * I just finished up a ten week study through the book of Isaiah.  Here is the handout I wrote up concerning the authorship of Isaiah.

The Unity and Authorship of Isaiah
Richard Klaus
August 2015

1.     Isaiah 1.1 states, “The vision of Isaiah the son of Amoz concerning Judah and Jerusalem, which he saw during the reigns of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz and Hezekiah, kings of Judah.”  Up until the late 18th century most Bible scholars accepted that Isaiah was the author of the entire book that bears his name thus making the entirety of the book an 8th century B.C. composition.[1]

2.     Johann C. Doederlein (1745-1792) was the first scholar to publish a systematic argument for a 6th century date for Isaiah 40-66.[2]

a.     Argument: Isaiah, in the 8th century, could not have foreseen the fall of Jerusalem in 586 B.C.

b.     Argument: Impossible to foresee the rise of someone with the specific name of “Cyrus” 150 years before it happened

c.      Isaiah 40-66 considered “Deutero-Isaiah”

3.     Contemporary critical Old Testament scholarship rejects the unity of authorship of Isaiah.

4.     Arguments used to deny single authorship and posit multiple authors:

a.     Historical Situation

                                               i.     Chapters 1-39: setting is in Jerusalem in 8th century when Assyria is main power

                                              ii.     Chapters 40-55

1.     Audience is in exile in Babylon

2.     Jerusalem and temple in ruins; anticipating reconstruction

3.     Cyrus the king of Persia mentioned by name (44.28; 45.1, 13)

4.     Exile is not being predicted but, rather, presupposed by these chapters

                                            iii.     Chapters 56-66: “Trito-Isaiah” (“Third Isaiah”)

1.     Thought to be post-exilic

2.     “Arguments in favour of a post-exilic Palestinian ‘Trito-Isaiah’ were based on considerations of structure, style and background ideas.”[3]

·      Lacked the coherence of chapters 40-55

b.     Alleged Theological Differences

Chapters 1-39
Chapters 40-66
Emphasizes God’s majesty
Emphasizes God’s universal dominion and infinitude
Leadership: King descended from David
Leadership: Priests and Princes[4]
Messianic King (9.6-7; 11.1-11)
Servant of the Lord (not mentioned in 1-39)
Faithful remnant is a prominent theme
Not a prominent theme
Historical details as background for oracles
No historical setting provided

c.      Language and Style: these can be subjective and subject to varying interpretation

                                               i.     Sometimes 40-66 is described as more “lyric, flowing, impassioned, hymnic”[5]

                                              ii.     Repetition of various elements in 40-66

                                            iii.     Frequent use of interrogative pronouns, imperatives, word-plays, and rhetorical questions in 40-66

                                            iv.     Differing vocabularies

d.     Current critical scholarship has begun to recognize a unity to the book of Isaiah but not a unity of authorship[6]

                                               i.     “Those familiar with the legacy of Duhm in Isaianic studies may be surprised to learn that, for nearly two decades, the dominant emphasis in the historical-critical study of Isaiah has been on the ‘unity’ of the book.  Marvin Tate calls this the new ‘one book’ interpretation in contrast to the older ‘one author’ interpretation.  In the past, critical scholars have largely overlooked or undervalued the numerous intertextual connections and thematic continuities between Isaiah 1-39 and Isaiah 40-66.  Recently, however, these striking features have led a growing number of scholars to posit an intentional relationship, even interdependence or a mutual influence, between what is popularly known as First and Second Isaiah.”
This author adds:

“Although none of the scholars just mentioned would attribute the entire book to Isaiah of Jerusalem, support for the basic unity of the canonical book has been growing steadily within non-evangelical scholarship.”[7]

                                              ii.     Chapters 40-66 are a result of the prophet’s disciples or “school” of his followers (8.16-18; 50.4).  They preserved his memory and applied his perspective in later generations

                                            iii.     Evangelical OT scholar John Goldingay in The Theology of the Book of Isaiah (Downers Grove, Ill.: Intervarsity, 2014) accepts the multi-author approach to Isaiah.[8]

1.     1-39: Isaiah
2.     40-55: Second Isaiah
3.     56-66: Third Isaiah

“There’s no firm reason to assume that ‘Second Isaiah’ was a single person who produced all of chapters 40-55 (though I myself think it likely) or that ‘Third Isaiah’ was a single person who produced all of chapters 56-66 (I’m less sure about that question).  Maybe there were a number of prophets whom Yahweh inspired to further Isaiah’s ministry in this way.  Further, it’s plausible that people such as the hypothetical Second Isaiah had a hand in the development of Isaiah 1-39 and that the hypothetical Third Isaiah had a hand in the development of the book as a whole.”[9]

4.     This is new departure for evangelicals.

“Up until the late 1970s, the consensus among evangelical scholars was to accept the Bible’s claims about the human authorship of some of its books, whether that be Isaiah’s authorship of the entire prophecy, the Mosaic authorship of the Pentateuch, or the attribution of the psalms to David.  This was the position taken by the drafters of the Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy.  It is noteworthy that in almost as brief a period as thirty years, there has arisen in American evangelical scholarship a willingness to accept formerly liberal, higher critical views of the Bible’s claims about authorship of particular biblical books such as Isaiah, though some contemporary Old Testament evangelical scholars still hold to the traditional view about this book.”[10]

5.     “Now is the time to ask, ‘What has changed?’  What new data compel many evangelicals to abandon the traditional view of Isaianic authorship?  The answer is, none whatsoever.  In fact, there is more evidence for the unity of Isaiah than ever before.”[11]

5.     Conservative Arguments for Unity and Isaianic Authorship

a.     Worldview considerations: growth of deism in the late 18th century

                                               i.     “O. T. Allis is correct in rooting the fragmentation of Isaiah is a nineteenth-century rationalism which denied predictive prophecy—for if prediction is impossible, the movement of Isaianic literature progressively into the future can be explained only by the supposition of new authors working in those later times.”[12]

                                              ii.     “With the growth of deism in the late eighteenth century, it was natural that men of antisupernatural conviction would take exception to those extensive portions of Isaiah which exhibit a foreknowledge of future events.  If the book was to be treated as of merely human origin, it was an unavoidable necessity to explain these apparently successful predictions as having been written after the fulfillment had taken place, or at least when it was about to occur.”[13]

                                            iii.     “By and large, however, the principal architects of the two-Isaiah theory have simply assumed on rationalistic grounds the impossibility of divine revelation in genuinely predictive prophecy.  From this philosophical a priori viewpoint they have addressed themselves to the actual data of the text.”[14]

b.     Prediction of Cyrus by name 150 years ahead of time

                                               i.     Persian king who ruled 559-530 BC and captured Babylon in 539 BC

                                              ii.     This specific predictive prophecy makes sense given the supernatural theology of Christian theism; predictive prophecy is a sign of God’s power

                                            iii.     This is in line with the theology of Isaiah 40-48 where Yahweh is challenging the false gods to declare the future.  Yahweh meets this self-imposed challenge by predicting with specificity Cyrus

                                            iv.     Critical scholars often see the Cyrus prophecy as vaticinium ex eventu—the idea that a prophecy was written to appear as if it was given before the event but in reality was written after the event occurred.

                                              v.     Greg Beale properly notes the problem with this approach to Isaiah:

“To claim that these were not prophecies at all, but history written to appear as prophecy, does not appear to do justice to the polemic that Isaiah 40-66 is conducting.  If those to whom this section of Isaiah was originally addressed knew that it was not prophecy, then the polemic against idols’ inability to predict becomes vapid and impotent.”[15]

Even if someone wants to argue there is still a predictive element but the prediction of Cyrus is made by the anonymous author of Isaiah 40-55 closer to the time of Cyrus, there are still problems.  Beale notes:

“Such short-range prophecy also dilutes the polemic against the idols, that they cannot make long-range prophecies.  While short-range prophecy can occur in the Old and New Testaments, the point of the Isaianic statements supports a long-range perspective, as the following texts show.”[16]

                                            vi.     There are other examples of specific long-range prophecies

1.     1 Kings 13.1-2 predicts king Josiah by name some 300 years ahead of time

2.     Micah 5.2 mentions the specific birth place of the Messiah—Bethlehem—some 700 hundred years ahead of Jesus’ birth (Matthew 2.6)

c.      Themes and Vocabulary

                                               i.     Dillard and Longman cite the work of Rachel Margalioth, The Indivisible Isaiah (New York: Yeshiva University, 1964)

1.     Not a single chapter in 1-39 that is not reflected in 40-66

2.     Hundreds of words and phrases peculiar to Isaiah occur in both halves

3.     Looked at 15 different subjects across the entirety of Isaiah to show common designations[17]

                                              ii.     “The difference in the style of chapters 40-55 was an early argument for separating them from chapters 1-39, and is still used as a means of distinguishing authors, even though widely discredited.  It is and always has been a nonsense.  The Lord of the Rings, for example, evidences a narrative style, a dialogue style and a poetic style.  Must it have had three authors? . . . Like all the prophets, Isaiah filed for the future carefully crafted encapsulations of his preaching.  But the days of Hezekiah were followed by the ‘police state’ days of Manasseh (2 Ki. 21:1-18), and maybe in such a time the now elderly prophet would turn exclusively to writing: this is the real contrast between the two styles, the one primarily a record of sermons, the other a solely literary product.”[18]

                                            iii.     “It is true that there is a high, poetic style chiefly concentrated in chapters 40-55 and this contrasts with the more workmanlike rhythmic prose or somewhat less artful poetry in which the remainder of the literature is expressed.  It would be misleading simply to say that the one is the product of written poetic skill and the other the product of the preached message, for what we have throughout the prophets is not their verbatim messages as preached but a written distillation of their ministry… Similarly, in the Isaianic literature both styles are literary products, but the fact remains that the one impresses as never having existed other than as a carefully crafted written exercise and the other as the preserved record of spoken ministry… It is intolerably wooden and unimaginative to deny that one author could produce both these styles.”[19]

                                            iv.     Moyter notes a number of stylistic devices used throughout the entirety of Isaiah (i.e., “extended doublets” and “arch/trajectory structures”).  These stylistic devices cross over and run throughout the book.  Moyter then notes that even on a date of 435 BC for “deutero-Isaiah” this causes problems:

“But even this means that over a period of three hundred years there was a continuing group (of which there is no external evidence) so self-conscious in their unity that they maintained not only a theological identity but also identity in presentational skills and in the minutiae of literary styles and figures.  This would register for the Isaianic literature a claim to uniqueness beyond even what its inherent grandeur demands.”[20]

d.     Geographical Indicators

                                               i.     Chapters 40-66 show little knowledge of Babylonian geography but great familiarity with Palestine (example: trees mentioned are native to Palestine—cedars, cypress, and oak; 41.19; 44.14)[21]

                                              ii.     “Topological background is also important.  While the Babylonian scene has not become clear, the Palestinian background has not grown faint.  The idolater goes out into the woods to cut a tree for carving (46:14), not possible in Babylon!  The trees are those a Palestinian knows; the oils are those of West Asia (41:19; 55:13); the landscapes and climate are those of the west—mountains, forests, sea, snow and land refreshed by rain, not by irrigation.  The claim that in chapters 40-55 we move into a Mesopotamian milieu is not borne out by the evidence.”[22]

e.     Historical indicators

                                               i.     Chapters 40-55 lack the first-hand feel of an author familiar with the Babylonian exile

                                              ii.     “There is no evidence of eyewitness participation.  The sort of detail by which an eyewitness would betray himself is simply not there—observations about the city, the way its life is ordered, the structures of its society, the feel and smell of the place.  Nor, Whybray admits, do we find attention given to problems existing within what he calls ‘the Jewish community’.”[23]

f.      Religious indicators

                                               i.     The descriptions of idolatry in Isaiah 40-66 do not match the reality of exilic or post-exilic Judaism

                                              ii.     “It has apparently passed unnoticed by critical scholars that, with the exception of the description of Babylonian idolatry in Isaiah 47:13, all other references to such practices in chapters 40-66 are specifically to the pre-exilic Canaanite variety mentioned in Isaiah 1:13, 29; 2:8ff.; 8:19; and elsewhere.  Such allusions in the later chapters include 40:19; 41:7, 29; 42:17; 44:9ff., 25; 45:15ff.; 46:6f.; 48:5; 57:5; 63:3ff.; 66:3, 17.  Of these, Isaiah 44:9ff., 25, and 57:5 cannot possibly be interpreted as anything other than Canaanite idolatry.  If this section was written in Babylon by an unknown prophet of the exile, as liberal scholars have so commonly assumed, it is curious that the author should have been so actively preoccupied with something which had long since become a dead issue.  The social and religious background of this material is clearly that of the pre-exilic period, as Kissane so ably demonstrated.”[24]

g.     The disappearing prophet of “second-Isaiah”

                                               i.     “If the so-called ‘second’ Isaiah was such a great prophet, how is it that all trace of him has disappeared, and that his work was attached to the writing of ‘first’ Isaiah who in he eyes of the ‘critics’ was by no means as great as ‘second’ Isaiah?  When one begins to contemplate this problem seriously he realizes how difficult it is of solution.  Indeed, there is no solution, and it is understandable that scholars have been so quiet about it.  From Isaiah 40-55 it is impossible to learn anything about the supposed ‘second’ Isaiah whom the ‘critics’ think was the author of these chapters.  All trace of him, who he was, where he lived, what he did—all this has been lost.  Yet, we are told that he was the greatest of the prophets.  Is it asking too much that those who refuse to believe the Word of God should give us an explanation of how chapters 40-55 came to find the place in the prophecy that they now occupy?  What happened to the memory of this great prophet that his works were attached to those of the eighth century Isaiah?”[25]

                                              ii.     “The rest of the prophetic books show that the literary convention under which the Old Testament was assembled was to preserve separate identity rather than to allow the work of one prophet to merge with that of another—even down to fragments like Obadiah.  In the case of the pinnacle of Old Testament prophecy, however, we are invited to believe that this procedure was abandoned.  It is easy to make up stories around the supposed anonymity of chapters 40-55 such as that since the prophet of the exile was forecasting the fall of Babylon he found it expedient to conceal his name.  But even were this so (and it is a plain case of special pleading), it is one thing for identity to be concealed, another for a name to be lost and yet another for the work itself to be absorbed elsewhere.”[26]

                                            iii.     “There is, however, no external, manuscriptal authority for the separate existence at any time of any of the three supposed divisions of Isaiah.  In the case of the first Isaiah manuscript from the Dead Sea Scrolls (Qa), for example, 40:1 begins on the last line of the column which contains 38:9-39:8.”[27]

                                            iv.     “If Isaiah 40-66 was written by an unknown prophet, why include it in the canon together with Isaiah’s book (Isaiah 1-39)?  Why not make it a separate book following Isaiah’s, without any attribution of authorship, which is the case elsewhere in the Old Testament?  There is no other precedent in the Old Testament for such an extended segment (24 chapters) being attributed to a pseudonymous author, though I realize that number of higher critics would take exception to this statement.”[28]

                                              v.     Some argue that a continuing group of Isaiah’s disciples—a school of disciples—carried on the prophetic tradition in his name.  This accounts for various thematic and stylistic continuities.  They point to Isaiah 8.16 as textual evidence for this school of Isaianic disciples.  Richard Shultz has aptly responded:

“However, this theory, which originated with Sigmund Mowinckel in 1926, is rejected by an increasing number of leading Isaiah scholars today—including Ronald Clements, Christopher Seitz, Hugh Williamson, John Barton and Joseph Blenkinsopp—for several reasons:

·      It lacks firm textual support, being based primarily on a questionable interpretation of Isaiah 8:16 and the description of Baruch in Jeremiah 36.

·      It lacks logical cogency, since the existence of the group is deduced from the existence of the book.

·      It lacks historical plausibility.  What basis is there for assuming that an Isaianic school could exist for two centuries?”[29]

h.     Closely aligned with (d-g) above is the issue of the relationship of this non-Isaiah author in the sixth century to other of Israel’s prophets.

                                               i.     “Taken at face value this assertion would imply that there were still members of an Isaianic school in existence up to one hundred and fifty years after the death of the master, despite the influential career of Jeremiah, the catastrophe of the exile for the inhabitants of the southern kingdom, the tribulation of the early stages of captivity in Babylonia, and the fundamentally important ministry of Ezekiel.  Furthermore, it would endeavor to assert that the Palestinian Isaianic tradition received a new burst of life in Babylonia during the period of the exile with the labors of an ‘unknown prophet’ who added to the prophetic corpus in the spirit of the long-deceased master in language seldom paralleled for its beauty and majesty of expression, but whose theology bore little relationship to the crucial issues of the day as exemplified in the thought and teaching of Ezekiel.”[30]

                                              ii.     “On the other hand, however, the work of a truly exilic prophet whose identity is clearly known, namely Ezekiel, gives every indication of immediate and continuing contact with the exilic situation, ranging from the typically composite Babylonian beasts of the first vision (Ezek. 1;5ff.) to the use of building terminology describing the foundation and summit of Babylonian staged towers or ziggurats (Ezek. 43:14f.).”[31]

                                            iii.     “While critical scholars have invariably tended to evade the issue, it still remains a fact that the relationship of the work of Deutero-Isaiah to the accredited ministry and writings of Ezekiel constitutes one of the greatest difficulties in the way of the Second Isaiah theory, and it is of such magnitude that it has never been resolved to the satisfaction of all concerned by an liberal scholar.

“Any attempt in this direction would have to take cognizance of Ezekiel 2:5, which suggests that there was no other prophet in the community who was issuing the same warnings of Ezekiel.  Again, in Ezekiel 22:30 God was represented as stating to the prophet that He had sought for a man to stand in the breach but had discovered nobody.  This would be distinctly surprising if the ‘unknown prophet of the exile’ was actually living in the community at that time, and inspiring his hearers to new heights of spiritual endeavor by means of his lucid and stimulating utterances, as credited to him by the activities of critical scholars.  Surely under such circumstances he would have been ideally suited for whatever tasks God had for him to perform on behalf of the dispirited exiles.  The evidence furnished by Ezekiel, however, points to quite a different situation.”[32]

                                            iv.     “If this unknown exilic individual were to regarded as anything more than a sheer figment of the critical imagination, it would be necessary to establish his place in the history of Hebrew thought and religious institutions.  Despite his alleged exalted abilities he was evidently completely unknown to Ezekiel and Daniel, and neither his name nor his theological contributions played any noticeable part in the representations of the post-exilic period by Haggai and Zechariah on the one hand, or by Ezra and Nehemiah on the other.  The facts of the situation are that it was the thought of Ezekiel that influenced the nature of both Temple and synagogue worship in post-exilic Judea, and the enthusiastic application of the Mosaic Torah by Ezra that gave Judaism its characteristic stamp of legalism.”[33]

i.       New Testament use of Isaiah: quotes from Isaiah—including chapters said to be from “second-Isaiah” but the NT consistently says the quotations come from “Isaiah”[34]

Matthew 3.3
Isaiah 40.3
Matthew 8.17
Isaiah 53.4
Matthew 12.17
Isaiah 42.1-2
Matthew 13.14
Isaiah 6.9
Matthew 15.7
Isaiah 29.13
Mark 1.2
Isaiah 40.3
Mark 7.6
Isaiah 29.13
Luke 3.4
Isaiah 40.3
Luke 4.17
Isaiah 61.1-2
John 1.23
Isaiah 40.3
John 12.38-41
Isaiah 53.1 and 6.10
Acts 8.28-35
Isaiah 53.7-8
Acts 28.25
Isaiah 6.9-10
Romans 9.27
Isaiah 10.22
Romans 9.29
Isaiah 1.9
Romans 10.16
Isaiah 53.1
Romans 10.20
Isaiah 65.1
Romans 15.12
Isaiah 11.10

i.                “The New Testament speaks not so much of the prophecy of Isaiah (although it does so speak) as of the individual man himself…If one will examine the usage which the New Testament makes of the prophecy he will soon see that the New Testament very definitely does intend to attribute authorship to Isaiah.”[35]

ii.              “Thus, in this particular quotation [John 12.38-41] both parts of the prophecy are tied together and both are attributed to the eighth century Isaiah.  In as much as the New Testament is the Word of God, the question is settled.  God has spoken, and we have but to follow His Word, irrespective of what the latest ‘critical’ theories may be.”[36]

iii.             Objection: “These New Testament references are merely to the literary collection known as Isaiah.  They do not necessarily mean that the New Testament authors were speaking of the literal prophet Isaiah.

iv.             Answer to objection based on Greg Beale’s exhaustive analysis (see footnote #22 for materials covered by Beale):

a.     “That the references are not made merely to a literary collection but to sayings spoken by the actual prophet is apparent from the specific personal language often used: there is allusion not typically to the prophecy or prophecies of Isaiah but to Isaiah as a prophet.”[37]

b.     “The cumulative effect of these references shows no substantial evidence that such references could have been seen as merely part of a literary work known as ‘the book of Isaiah.’”[38]

c.      “The option that does not seem feasible is that those writers were reflecting a stylistic convention that referred only to a literary work known as ‘Isaiah.’  At least, the early evidence about Isaianic authorship points away from this option.”[39]

6.     Conclusions

a.     “If we are to read the book of Isaiah on its own terms, it is necessary to take its superscriptions seriously.  Isaiah 1:1 claims that all that follows does not simply include but rather is ‘the vision of Isaiah son Amoz, which he saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz and Hezekiah, kings of Judah,’ a prophetic ministry spanning more than half a century.”[40]

b.     “In this chapter I’ve tried to demonstrate that the New Testament’s repeated affirmation of Isaiah as the sole author of the book that bears his name is so clear and probable that to maintain multiple authorship of it will, unavoidably, take a person down one path: the New Testament writers and Christ were mistaken in their conviction about the authorship of the book.  For some scholars this may not be a problematic conclusion, but for those of a more conservative persuasion, this is a difficult position to hold.”[41]

c.      “One’s position on this issue, especially in recent times, can be an indicator of one’s overall view of the authority of Scripture.”[42]

Sources Cited

Archer, Gleason L.  A Survey of Old Testament Introduction—rev. ed. Chicago, Ill.: Moody, 1974.

Beale, Greg K. The Erosion of Inerrancy in Evangelicalism: Responding to New Challenges to
Biblical Authority. Wheaton, Ill.: Crossway, 2008.

Beall, Todd S. “Evangelicalism, Inerrancy, and Current Old Testament Scholarship.” Detroit
Baptist Seminary Journal 18 (2013), 67-81.

Dillard Raymond B. and Tremper Longman III An Introduction to the Old Testament. Grand
Rapids, Mich.: Zondervan, 1994.

Goldingay, John. The Theology of the Book of Isaiah. Downers Grove, Ill.: Intervarsity, 2014.

Harrison, R. K. Introduction to the Old Testament. Peabody, Mass.: Prince Press, 1999 [reprint
from the Eerdmans original—1969].

Motyer, J. Alec. Isaiah: An Introduction and Commentary. Tyndale Old Testament Commentary,
volume 18. Downers Grove, Ill.: Intervarsity, 1999.

Moyter, J. Alec. The Prophecy of Isaiah: An Introduction and Commentary. Downers Grove, Ill.:
Intervarsity Press, 1993.

Shultz, Richard L.  “How Many Isaiahs Were There and What Does It Matter? Prophetic
Inspiration in Recent Evangelical Scholarship.” Pages 150-170 in Evangelicals and Scripture: Tradition, Authority and Hermeneutics. Eds. V. Bacote, L. Miguelez, and D. Okholm. Downers Grove, Ill.: Intervarsity Press, 2004.

Shultz, Richard L. “Isaiah, Isaiahs, and Current Scholarship.” Pages 243-261 in Do Historical
Matters Matter to Faith? A Critical Appraisal of Modern and Postmodern Approaches to Scripture. Eds. James K. Hoffmeier and Dennis R. Magary. Wheaton, Ill.: Crossway, 2012.

Young, Edward J. “The Authorship of Isaiah.” Themelios 4.3 (1967), 11-16.

     [1] There were some who began to doubt the single authorship of Isaiah before the 18th century.  Abraham Ibn Ezra (1092-1167) is one such scholar.  Ibn Ezra quotes the work of another twelfth century Jewish author—Moses ben Samuel Ibn Gakatilla—as holding to a similar view.
     [2] There is a full and detailed history of the critical approach to Isaiah that focuses on the 19th and 20th centuries up until the 1960’s in R. K. Harrison, Introduction to the Old Testament (Peabody, Mass.: Prince Press, 1999 [reprint from the Eerdmans original—1969]), 765-774.
     [3] J. Alec Moyter, The Prophecy of Isaiah: An Introduction and Commentary (Downers Grove, Ill.: Intervarsity Press, 1993), 26.
     [4] But see Isaiah 55.3-4 where Davidic leadership is mentioned!
     [5] This language comes from Raymond B. Dillard and Tremper Longman III An Introduction to the Old Testament (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Zondervan, 1994), 270.  They are not endorsing this argument.
     [6] “Arguments from conservatives for unity of authorship based on common themes and vocabulary have now in large part been taken over and pressed into service as arguments for a redactional unity in the book.”  Dillard and Longman, An Introduction to the Old Testament, 274. 
     [7] Richard L. Shultz, “How Many Isaiahs Were There and What Does It Matter? Prophetic Inspiration in Recent Evangelical Scholarship,” in Evangelicals and Scripture: Tradition, Authority and Hermeneutics, eds. V. Bacote, L. Miguelez, and D. Okholm (Downers Grove, Ill.: Intervarsity Press, 2004), 153-154.  Available online:
     [8] In Richard Shultz’s essay (see previous footnote) he documents a number of evangelical scholars who are adopting critical perspectives on the authorship of Isaiah.  See also Richard L. Shultz, “Isaiah, Isaiahs, and Current Scholarship” in Do Historical Matters Matter to Faith? A Critical Appraisal of Modern and Postmodern Approaches to Scripture, eds. James K. Hoffmeier and Dennis R. Magary (Wheaton, Ill.: Crossway, 2012), 243-261. 
     [9] John Goldingay, The Theology of the Book of Isaiah (Downers Grove, Ill.: Intervarsity, 2014), 15.
     [10] Greg K. Beale, “A Specific Problem Confronting the Authority of the Bible: Should the New Testament’s Claims That the Prophet Isaiah Wrote the Whole Book of Isaiah Be Taken at Face Value?” chapter five in Beale’s book The Erosion of Inerrancy in Evangelicalism: Responding to New Challenges to Biblical Authority (Wheaton, Ill.: Crossway, 2008), 124.
     [11] Todd S. Beall, “Evangelicalism, Inerrancy, and Current Old Testament Scholarship,” Detroit Baptist Seminary Journal 18 (2013), 80.  Available online:
     [12] J. Alec Motyer, Isaiah: An Introduction and Commentary (TOTC; Downers Grove, Ill.: Intervarsity, 1999), 29.
     [13] Gleason L. Archer, A Survey of Old Testament Introduction—rev. ed. (Chicago, Ill.: Moody, 1974), 336-337.
     [14] Archer, A Survey of Old Testament Introduction—rev. ed, 339.
     [15] Beale, The Erosion of Inerrancy in Evangelicalism, 151.
     [16] Beale, The Erosion of Inerrancy in Evangelicalism, 151.  Beale lists the following passages: Isaiah 40.21; 41.4; 41.26; 44.6-8; 46.10-11; 48.3; 48.5-6; cf. also 43.9-19.
     [17] Common designations: (1) for God, (2) for Israel, (3) for introductory formula for oracles, (4) for pairing Zion and Jerusalem, (5) for the ingathering of the exiles, (6) for messages of consolation and encouragement, (7) for expressions of joy and gladness, (8) for hopes of a universal millennium, (9) for words of admonition and (10) chastisement, (11) in the use of thesis-antithesis pairs, (12) in distinctive words and linguistic forms, (13) for word pairs, (14) for similar constructions, and (15) for parallel groups having similar content. Dillard and Longman, An Introduction to the Old Testament, 271.
     [18] Motyer, Isaiah: An Introduction and Commentary, 30-31.
     [19] J. Alec Moyter, The Prophecy of Isaiah: An Introduction and Commentary (Downers Grove, Ill.: Intervarsity Press, 1993), 23.
     [20] Moyter, The Prophecy of Isaiah, 25.
     [21] Archer, A Survey of Old Testament Introduction—rev. ed, 345.
     [22] Motyer, Isaiah: An Introduction and Commentary, 32.
     [23] Moyter, The Prophecy of Isaiah, 28.
     [24] Harrison, Introduction to the Old Testament, 779.
     [25] Edward J. Young, “The Authorship of Isaiah” Themelios 4.3 (1967), 13-14.  Article available online:
     [26] Moyter, The Prophecy of Isaiah, 26-27.
     [27] Moyter, The Prophecy of Isaiah, 27.
     [28] Beale, The Erosion of Inerrancy in Evangelicalism, 155.
     [29] Shultz, “How Many Isaiahs Were There and What Does It Matter? Prophetic Inspiration in Recent Evangelical Scholarship,” 167.
     [30] Harrison, Introduction to the Old Testament, 789.
     [31] Harrison, Introduction to the Old Testament, 790.
     [32] Harrison, Introduction to the Old Testament, 790.
     [33] Harrison, Introduction to the Old Testament, 792.
     [34] The following chart lists all the quotations that mention the prophet Isaiah in the New Testament.  This list was compiled from Beale, The Erosion of Inerrancy in Evangelicalism, 126-128.  Beale also compiles all the direct references to Isaiah in the Dead Sea Scrolls, Josephus, Philo, Old Testament Apocrypha and pseudepigrapha, the New Testament Apocrypha, and the apostolic Fathers—see pages 129-133.
     [35] Edward J. Young, “The Authorship of Isaiah” Themelios 4.3 (1967), 12.  Article available online:
     [36] Young, “The Authorship of Isaiah,” 13.
     [37] Beale, The Erosion of Inerrancy in Evangelicalism, 133.
     [38] Beale, The Erosion of Inerrancy in Evangelicalism, 134.
     [39] Beale, The Erosion of Inerrancy in Evangelicalism, 134.
     [40] Shultz, “How Many Isaiahs Were There and What Does It Matter? Prophetic Inspiration in Recent Evangelical Scholarship,” 169.
     [41] Beale, The Erosion of Inerrancy in Evangelicalism, 158.
     [42] Beale, The Erosion of Inerrancy in Evangelicalism, 159.