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Isaiah Hardcover – Aug 11 2003
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""This series doesn't fool around. It gets right down io business, bringing this ancient and powerful Word of God into the present so that it can he heard and believed with all the freshness of a new day, with all the immediacy of a friend's embrace."
From the Back Cover
A unique commentary that explores each passage from three vital perspectives: original meaning, bridging context, contemporary significance. Isaiah wrestles with the realities of people who are not convicted by the truth but actually hardened by it, and with a God whose actions sometimes seem unintelligible, or even worse, appears to be absent. Yet Isaiah penetrates beyond these experiences to an even greater reality. Isaiah sees God's rule over history and his capacity to take the worst of human actions and use it for good. He declares the truth that even in the darkest hours, the Holy One of Israel is infinitely trustworthy.See all Product Description
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
For example, Oswalt deals with several theological ramifications from Hezekiah's story in Isaiah 38-39. (Hezekiah's life was extended by 15 years after crying out to God in prayer). Oswalts exegetical comments are careful, insightful and lead to practical and powerful application. In this passage he points out that Hezekiah's illness was not necessarily a result of sin, and deals with the issue that sin is often a result of sin but not always. He brings in both concepts with multiple scripture references.
Then he swings to the issue of God's sovereignty, man's freewill and the Open Theism debate and it's potential support from an overly simplistic interpretation of this passage. He clearly and without a lot of fluff deals accurately with that issue. He leaves no room for an over emphasis on God's sovereignty in light of the multiple references to human freewill, yet fully embraces a biblical concept of sovereignty. He also explains with a minimum of verbage (something I always appreciate by a technical scholar) why Open Theism is an over simplistic conclusion from this passage. He shows why this passage does not warrant a conclusion that has too much of an emphasis on the 'freewill of man' or an over emphasis on the Sovereignty of God. The points are pretty hard to reject if one welcomes all the data involved and comes without a blinding bias.
This particular volume in the NIVAC series may be the very best one that exists. It certainly is my best one, and I have several. It is also a 'Gold Medallion Book' sporting the coveted award on the front cover. So it has been widely embraced by a variety of editors, scholars and pastor/teachers. In fact I will say this much...I stopped using this commentary series after finding several of them promoting applications that I thought were way out of touch with the people I minister to. This commentary has completely reversed that general thought in my mind.
As I work through Isaiah, I find myself turning to this volume more and more. It's a great companion to the more technical and less practical 'The Prophecy of Isaiah' by Motyer, and to the NICOT 2 volume series by this same author, Oswalt.
It's my recommendation that you buy this volume first unless you are only doing a more critical exegetical paper. In that case I recommend Oswalt's NICOT and Motyer's volumes instead. I went ahead and got all four books and am not sorry at all. They are all fantastic tools.
I am grateful for great scholars who provide so many helpful insights to the text.
I actually look forward to reading this before my lesson as it puts everything in proper perspective for the period of study, bridges then and now, then puts it in today's perspective. I plan on buying more of this series as it really helps with my bible reading and understanding my walk with God.
It seems the author of this book struggled with exactly that.
I've been using the book for a month now preaching through the daily devotional book to our church (covered about first 30chapter of Isaiah)...,
I found "original meaning" part somewhat helpful, but most of the historical backgrounds can be found in most of the Study Bibles I own.
"contemporary significance" part does not seem to draw many of the good implications from the "original meaning" thus lacking in its
inspiration. "contemporary significance" tend to reduce the focus down to one or two central issues rather than covering the overall trajectory of the text.
I still have half way to go in the book, so I hope to find greater content in the future.