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series: Baker Commentary on the Old Testament: Prophetic Books

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The book of Isaiah has been regarded from the earliest Christian period as a key part of the Old Testament's witness to Jesus Christ. This commentary by highly regarded Old Testament scholar J. Gordon McConville draws on the best of biblical scholarship as well as the Christian tradition to offer a substantive and useful commentary on Isaiah.

McConville treats Isaiah as an ancient Israelite document that speaks to twenty-first-century Christians. He examines the text section by section--offering a fresh translation, textual notes, paragraph-level commentary, and theological reflection--and shows how the prophetic words are framed to persuade audiences.

Grounded in rigorous scholarship but useful for those who preach and teach, this volume is the second in a new series on the Prophets. Series volumes are both critically engaged and sensitive to the theological contributions of the text. Series editors are Mark J. Boda, McMaster Divinity College, and J. Gordon McConville, University of Gloucestershire.


"Having plowed my way through many Isaiah commentaries, both critical and devotional, I am struck by the rare balance that McConville manages to maintain, addressing the complex literature of Isaiah with clarity and pastoral sensitivity. Here is a commentary that elucidates the rhetoric and literary nuances of this ancient prophetic book while attending to its theological and ethical claims for ancient Judah and our contemporary world. This is now my recommended commentary for seminary students."

J. Richard Middleton, Northeastern Seminary, Roberts Wesleyan College

"McConville is a wise guide through the myriad options that confront the reader when engaging the monumental prophecy of Isaiah. He gives balanced and unbiased views on structure and translation and points us to historical layering, to authorial and redactional stages, and to complex theological themes. McConville has achieved that rarity of a commentary that is at once learned and highly readable."

Katharine J. Dell, professor of Old Testament literature and theology, University of Cambridge

"Readers of a commentary on Isaiah may hope that it will help them grasp the book of Isaiah as a whole, the way different parts relate to different contexts, the theological significance of these different parts, how Isaiah looks when read in light of the New Testament, what we might learn from modern study of it, and the actual meaning of individual chapters. McConville gives sensible and illuminating answers to all these questions."

John Goldingay, senior professor emeritus of Old Testament, Fuller Theological Seminary

"A book as complex and rich as Isaiah requires an informed, seasoned commentator. Gordon McConville is that. In this volume, he offers a close reading of the biblical text, judicious discussions of technical details and debated issues, and sensible theological reflections. This is Old Testament scholarship at its most useful. Substantive, yet accessible, this will be a mainstay among Isaiah commentaries for a long time."

M. Daniel Carroll R., Scripture Press Ministries Professor of Biblical Studies and Pedagogy, Wheaton College and Graduate School

"McConville showcases the strengths of traditional exegetical practice even as he incorporates newer trends in biblical scholarship. He is refreshingly modest about our ability to contextualize the Isaiah traditions historically, demonstrating how the book itself subordinates historical reference to thematic patterning. His commentary offers a rich tapestry of theological insights on one of the Bible's best-loved, most-influential books. He situates Isaiah skillfully within the overarching witness of the Christian Bible while remaining scrupulously accountable to the biblical text."

Stephen B. Chapman, associate professor of Old Testament, Duke University

"Long admired as a world-class scholar on Deuteronomy and the Prophets, McConville leverages considerable insight and theological sensitivity in this magisterial commentary on Isaiah. With judicious comments throughout and fresh theological interpretation, this is a must-have resource that will inform scholar, student, and minister. Highly recommended!"

Heath A. Thomas, president and professor of Old Testament, Oklahoma Baptist University

"The book of Isaiah is long, complex, and theologically challenging, so we are fortunate to have McConville as an experienced and insightful guide. Not everyone will accept his views on the authorship of the book, but he is particularly helpful in explaining issues of translation, literary artistry, wordplay, and especially intertextual connections with other books in the Old and New Testaments. His focused and helpful theological reflections at the end of each unit situate Isaiah's message in the trajectory of God's salvation in Christ."

Eric J. Tully, associate professor of Old Testament and Semitic languages, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School

"In this volume, McConville demonstrates the perception and ingenuity of a scholar at the height of his craft. He offers a deft treatment of critical issues and substantive insight into historical, cultural, and linguistic matters. The greatest contribution, however, are the rich theological reflections, which treat difficult and often complex issues with nuance and profound insight. McConville's commentary is a gift to anyone who seeks to understand Isaiah's prophetic witness, both to its original audience and to the church today."

Aubrey E. Buster, assistant professor of Old Testament, Wheaton College

The Author

  1. J. Gordon McConville

    J. Gordon McConville

    J. Gordon McConville (PhD, Queen's University, Belfast) is Professor Emeritus of Old Testament Theology at the University of Gloucestershire in Gloucestershire, England. He previously taught at Trinity College, Bristol, and Wycliffe Hall, Oxford....

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