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Encountering the Book of Isaiah

A Historical and Theological Survey

series: Encountering Biblical Studies

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"Beyer does an excellent job of helping the modern reader apply lessons learned from Isaiah to life. . . . A splendid choice as a textbook for undergraduate or seminary students who have completed some survey of the OT."--Lee M. Fields, Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society

In this new addition to the Encountering Biblical Studies series, Bryan Beyer offers a comprehensive introduction to the book of Isaiah that surveys the book's content, its meaning in its original context, and its application for people today. Beyer presents the prophet's recurring themes of remnant, the sovereignty of God, the Day of the Lord, covenant obligations, Messiah, and God and the nations. He gives special attention to Isaiah's use of geographical issues to illustrate his message, Isaiah's place in the canon of Scripture, and the implications of the book for mission.

Beyer has provided a clear and readable text based on his experience of teaching the Old Testament for over twenty years. As with other volumes in the series, Encountering the Book of Isaiah is specifically designed with students in mind. Chapters begin with outlines and objectives that allow easy entry into the discussion and end with conclusions and study questions that aid comprehension and recall. Informative sidebars delve further into the language, theological connections, and controversies of Isaiah. This helpful survey will be valued by any serious student of the Bible. 


"Although not a traditional verse-by-verse commentary, Bryan E. Beyer's Encountering the Book of Isaiah does a good job of discussing the major themes and issues contained in this most important of the Old Testament prophetic books. Especially commendable are Beyer's numerous explanatory sidebars as well as his chapter objectives and study questions, geared to helping the reader apply Isaiah's teachings to contemporary Christian life and ministry. He is also eminently fair in analyzing and evaluating divergent viewpoints with respect to authorship, date, and other disputed matters before stating his own conclusions. Whether beginners or veterans in encountering the book of Isaiah, readers of this volume will be grateful to its author for his careful and thoughtful treatment of the writings of Isaiah, the 'Prince among the Prophets.'"--Ronald Youngblood, professor emeritus of Old Testament and Hebrew, Bethel Seminary San Diego

"The book of Isaiah is easy to get lost in, so having a knowledgeable guide can be crucial. Bryan Beyer has provided just such a service in this accessible tour of one of the most complex and magisterial books of the canon. His judicious discussions show a depth of knowledge and a balanced assessment of difficult issues. The student of Isaiah will find the book opened up in ways that will promote scholarship as well as faith."--John H. Walton, professor of Old Testament, Wheaton College

"Bryan Beyer has done a service for all those who struggle to understand the complex book of Isaiah. In clear yet engaging prose he has made the profound theology of the book available to all of us. In addition, he goes the next step, addressing the related questions that study of the book raises. This is the best general handbook to Isaiah that is currently available."--John N. Oswalt, research professor of Old Testament, Wesley Biblical Seminary

The Author

  1. Bryan E. Beyer

    Bryan E. Beyer

    Bryan E. Beyer (PhD, Hebrew Union College) is Bible professor emeritus at Columbia International University in Columbia, South Carolina, where he has taught for more than thirty-five years. He is the author or coauthor of several books, including...

    Continue reading about Bryan E. Beyer


"[This volume] is a good entry point, and its use will certainly foster a thorough grasp of the contents of Isaiah in their various historical and theological contexts. . . . This is an excellent resource for those who want to understand the book of Isaiah and its Christian interpretation."--Philip S. Johnston, Theological Book Review

"[This book] is written in reader-friendly fashion, with sidebars, chapter outlines and objectives, glossaries of key terms, study questions, and suggestions for further reading. I think people with very little background would cope with it fine. . . . The book also works hard to show how Isaiah relates to people's individual lives. It shows good awareness of many aspects of modern study of Isaiah. . . . It includes useful documents such as the Siloam inscription and Sennacherib's account of his siege of Jerusalem. I can imagine it being useful in Bible College courses and in study groups in conservative churches."--John Goldingay, Expository Times

"The format of the book clearly shows that the author had the student in mind. An outline of each chapter precedes the material discussed; pedagogical objectives for that chapter are stated at the outset; sidebars with additional information are found throughout; black-and-white illustrations exemplify the content of the text; key terms are set out within the text in bold and are then explained in a glossary at the end of the book; study questions close each chapter; suggestions for further reading follow the ending glossary. After treating questions of authorship, dating, and historical background, Beyer moves carefully through the text in section-by-section explanations. The book will serve as a fine text for teaching on the undergraduate level."--Dianne Bergant, CSA, Bible Today

"A splendid addition to Baker's Encountering Biblical Studies series. . . . Particularly useful is that most of the descriptions include study suggestions to maximize learning. . . . The study questions are helpful and often probing. . . . Beyer does an excellent job of helping the modern reader apply lessons learned from Isaiah to life. . . . Encountering the Book of Isaiah is a splendid choice as a textbook for undergraduate or seminary students who have completed some survey of the OT. . . . Teachers of adult church Bible classes will find Beyer's work invaluable. Beyer is neither overly technical . . . nor is he overly simplistic. Beyer treats Isaiah from a thoroughly evangelical Christian perspective. Those who share his presuppositions will richly benefit from his excellent guidance. Those who do not can still learn much about the content and Christian understanding of Isaiah through this presentation."--Lee M. Fields, Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society

"This is an attractively produced book. . . . Clearly, this is designed for lay Bible readers and perhaps introductory college students. . . . The style of writing too is simple and clear."--H.G.M. Williamson, Journal for the Study of the Old Testament

"A praiseworthy feature of the book is its user-friendly format. Each chapter begins with an outline of its content . . . as well as study objectives for Beyer's readers. Throughout the book are several sidebars which summarize information closely related to the discussion at hand, and which give students a base from which to launch further exegetical study. Each chapter concludes with study questions which help Beyer's readers review the highlights of the most recent subject matter. . . . [This volume] would be quite useful for studying the book of Isaiah in a number of contexts. Beyer tackles the exegetical issues of Isaiah while maintaining an interest in the relevance of the book for the lives of Christians. I recommend the book not only to professors and seminary students, but to pastors and experienced teachers in the local church who wish to lead congregations through a study of this important prophet."--Lance Higginbotham, Southwestern Journal of Theology

"Beyer's book is highly useful whether you agree or disagree with his conclusions. He provides an excellent introduction for any student or interested nonspecialist who wants more background information. Beyer allows the reader the freedom to weigh the evidence for him/herself and decide. He is honest in his analysis and avoids ambiguous language so as not to confuse the reader about where he stands; and while his own bias is clear, his conclusions are still based on evidence. . . . Beyer has provided the readers with a text that will not only inform them of scholarly issues, but give him/her a richer and deeper appreciation for the book of Isaiah."--Christopher R. Chadwick, Near East Archaeological Society Bulletin