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Jul 31

Resources for Reading the Book of Isaiah

2015 | by Trent Hunter | Category: Sermon Follow-Up

There are over 400 quotations or illusions to the book of Isaiah in the New Testament. For that reason alone, Isaiah is a good book to get to know. But there are a variety of reasons that Isaiah can be intimidating: it’s 66 chapters long, its organization can be difficult to grasp, and its ancient context can be a bit obscure to us.

There’s no substitute for simply reading and rereading Isaiah. The more you do the more its message will become clear, and the more you’ll hear its echoes as you read the New Testament. That said, there are a number of excellent resources published for a variety of purposes and in a variety of formats.

To help you walk through the text, two resources are worth mentioning. First, Drew Hunter’s, Isaiah: A 12 Week Study, will walk you through the book with questions and provide instruction along the way. Then, in Isaiah by the Day: A New Devotional Translation, Alec Motyer provides his own translation of Isaiah (he’s an Isaiah scholar, so he can do that) and concisely explains the heart of each section as it relates to the whole.

Motyer also has a full readers commentary, titled, Isaiah, in Tyndale’s Old Testament Commentary Series. If you had one commentary on Isaiah, this should be it. If you’re going to be teaching Isaiah or if you’re a university student dealing with challenges to Isaiah’s unity, Motyer’s more technical work is for you: The Prophecy of Isaiah: An Introduction and Commentary. Finally, for a compilation of sermons edited for publication by a faithful pastor, Ray Ortlund Jr.’s, Isaiah: God Saves Sinners is excellent.