The book of Isaiah has nourished the church throughout the centuries. However, its massive size can be intimidating; its historical setting can seem distant, opaque, varied; its organisation and composition can seem disjointed and fragmented; its abundance of terse, poetic language can make its message seem veiled—and where are those explicit prophecies about Christ? These are typical experiences for many who try to read, let alone teach or preach, through Isaiah.
Andrew Abernethy’s conviction is that thematic points of reference can be of great help in encountering Isaiah and its rich theological message. In view of what the structure of the book of Isaiah aims to emphasize, this New Studies in Biblical Theology volume employs the concept of “kingdom” as an entry point for organising the book’s major themes. In many respects, Isaiah provides a people living amidst imperial contexts with a theological interpretation of them in the light of YHWH’s past, present and future sovereign reign.
Four features of “kingdom” frame Abernethy’s study: God, the King; the lead agents of the King; the realm of the kingdom and the people of the King. While his primary aim is to show how “kingdom” is fundamental to Isaiah when understood within its Old Testament context, interspersed canonical reflections assist those who are wrestling with how to read Isaiah as Christian Scripture in and for the church.
1. God, the king now and to come in Isaiah 1-39
2. God, the only saving king in Isaiah 40-55
3. God, the warrior, international, and compassionate king in Isaiah 56-66
4. The lead agents of the king
5. The realm and the people of God’s kingdom
Appendix: Teaching series outline
Index of authors
Index of Scripture references
Andrew T. Abernethy is Assistant Professor of Old Testament at Wheaton College. He is the author of Eating in Isaiah: Approaching Food and Drink in Isaiah’s Structure and Message (Brill), co-editor of Isaiah and Imperial Context: The Book of Isaiah in Times of Empire, and has published numerous articles, essays, and reviews on topics pertaining to Isaiah, Jeremiah, Psalms, and biblical theology.
Abernethy, Andrew T., (Author)
Inter-Varsity Press (2016), 256 pages