“Mercy triumphs over judgment.” (James)
October 5, 2014
A good problem
Isaiah is a problem for many Bible readers. For one thing, he has a credibility problem, and he knows it: “Who has believed our message?” (53:1).
Even today, Isaiah is one of the most hotly debated books of the Bible, in part because he speaks to different historical contexts spanning two or even three centuries. You probably recall that the nation of Israel split into two kingdoms rather soon after its establishment under King David about 1000 years before Christ. The northern kingdom fell to Assyria about three centuries later. Assyria also threatened the southern kingdom, but they survived miraculously, then fell to Babylon 150 years after that. Isaiah lives and writes before the Assyrian invasion in Part 1. But in Part 2 he also speaks to his people during and after the Babylonian captivity. That problem leads many modern scholars to insist there had to be two or even three Isaiahs. Read more »