Lessing, Reed. Isaiah 40-55 (Concordia Commentary). St. Louis, Concordia, 2011. 737 Pages. Cloth. $49.99. www.cph.org (P)
Bock, Darrell L. and Mitch Glaser, Editors. The Gospel According to Isaiah 53: Encountering the Suffering Servant in Jewish and Christian Theology. Grand Rapids: Kregel, 2012. 334 Pages. Paper. $27.99 (Purchased). www.kregel.com (LHP)
Each summer, I hope to encourage continued participation in Bible Class by covering an interesting topic from a fresh perspective. This year it is a study of Jesus in the Book of Isaiah.
I was extremely thankful when each of these books crossed my desk!
I am humbled at the magnitude of Professor Lessing's humble Hebrew scholarship. I was swimming along, enjoying my reading of Isaiah, and then, suddenly, I needed a lifeguard. This commentary also helped me while wrestling with the core of Isaiah and of Isaiah 40-55, Isaiah 52:13-53:12, titled, "The Servant Suffers for the Straying Sheep," covering pages 578-623.
As is standard in Concordia Commentary, the author provides his own translation, indicating parallel lines by indenting them equally (104), textual notes (exceptionally extensive in this volume), commentary, and reflections. Footnotes pepper nearly every page.
Lessing weaves in liturgy, hymnody, and Luther as appropriate. His introductory sections are as fascinating as they are faithful in confessing one author for the book of Isaiah: Isaiah. He artfully and factually defends the idea of prophecy predicting events, as opposed to the dishonest mindset of accepting a so-called "prophecy" after the fact, written to order by a supposed deutero- or trito-Isaiah.
Worth your time, money, and shelf space, R. Reed Lessing's Isaiah 40-55 for the Concordia Commentary is a keeper. Keep the commentator in your prayers as he prepares the forthcoming volume Isaiah 56-66.
We had lost contact with the publisher Kregel for a time. We rejoice to present to you The Gospel According to Isaiah 53.
$28 for a paperback? Don't worry. It is well worth the price.
I was surprised to learn that some Jews, even today, admit and teach that Isaiah 52-53 is about the Jewish Messiah. They deny, though, that Jesus is He.
This book is a great reference for the whole book of Isaiah and the Hebrew Scriptures, putting this familiar Gospel text into its proper context. You will learn this pericope's potential for evangelism to the Jewish people, see all of the connections between this portion of Scripture and New Testament Scripture, delve deep in to the text's meaning and structure, and be encouraged to Tell the Good News About Jesus!
Isaiah Old Testament book most frequently read for Old Testament readings. I remember a time when we just heard the Epistle and Gospel on a regular basis. Consider a study of the Book of Isaiah at your next opportunity.
The Rev. Paul J Cain is Pastor of Immanuel Lutheran Church, Sheridan, Wyoming, Headmaster of Martin Luther Grammar School, Yellowstone Circuit Visitor (LCMS Wyoming District), a member of the Board of Directors of The Consortium for Classical and Lutheran Education, Wyoming District Worship Chairman, and Editor of QBR.