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Author Topic:   The Authorship of Isaiah
Apostle
Inactive Member


Message 1 of 18 (141504)
09-11-2004 2:56 AM


The Authorship of Isaiah
The traditional view is that the Book of Isaiah was written by a prophet, Isaiah son of Amoz, sometime between 739 and 681 B.C. Isaiah prophesied during the reigns of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah in Judah. Higher critics believe that Isaiah whose history we know was only the author of the first thirty nine chapters. They believe that another individual wrote Chapters 40-55 towards the end of the Exile, and yet another writer wrote the last ten chapters after the Exile.

Because this view is prevalent in quasi-intellectual circles, most just accept it. Yet the unbiased reader, when beginning at Chapter one and reader all the way through to the end of Chapter 66, finds no indication that the Book was written by more than one individual. Why then do the Higher Critics assume that it was?

Such an assumption is based entirely on their belief that there is no such thing as predictive prophecy. Certain prophecies do exist in the first thirty-nine chapters (i.e. The Oracle against Babylon (Isaiah 13-14) or the prophecy concerning the Apocalypse (Isaiah 24-27), it become impossible for the Higher Critic, because of his predetermined bias, to accept that Isaiah could have written in detail about events that would take place hundreds of years later. Hence, a second author is assumed to have written the chapters where such events take place. And a third author is deemed necessary, for he needs to have written about events that take place after the Exile.

So the denigration of a Sacred Book begins with the presupposition that predictive prophecy cannot occur. Now if the Higher Critic were to state such a belief in such clear terms at the beginning of an argument, few sincere believers would buy into his claim that there was more than one author. So they look for more evidence.

They claim that there is a substantial difference in style between Chapters 1-39 and between Chapters 40-66. Actually certain differences can not be explained by simply by attributing each difference to a different author. (Plus, these differences were not the first piece of evidence they suggested; it was the fact that different authors were needed to reduce different prophecies to historical recounts).

Some conservative scholars have been advancing the belief that the first section of Isaiah speaks of Israel and Judah's unfaithfulness, the threat of an Assyrian invasion, and the nations dependence on military 'allies' rather than on God. These scholars believe such information merely paves the way for the prophecies found later. For Chapters 40-66 speak of an invasion, and of the spiritual decline that led to such. Any differences in style or wording are non-existent, and while there is a difference in the subject and matters discussed, this can hardly indicate duo-authorship.

In fact there are some note-worthy similarities between Isaiah 1-39 and 40-66. The term 'Holy One of Israel' occurs fourteen times in the first thirty nine chapters (Isaiah 1:4, 5:19,24, 10:17,20, 12:6, 17:7, 29:19,23, 30:11,12,15, 31:1 and 37:23), while it occurs as many times between Chapters 40-66 (Isaiah 40:25, 41:14,16,20, 43:3,14,15, 45:11, 47:4, 48:17, 49:7, 54:5, 55:5, and 60:9,14). While this hardly constitutes as conclusive evidence for single authorship, the burden of proof remains on the Higher critic to show why the traditional view is mistaken. I have shown a detail supporting the similarity of the document. Higher speak much of the differences, but are in short supply of details.
We also find similar phrases like 'your hands are covered with blood,'
(Isaiah 1:15) and 'your hands are stained with blood,' (Isaiah 59:3) or 'a crown of glory and a diadem of splendor,' (Isaiah 28:5) and 'a crown of splendor...a princely diadem.' (Isaiah 62:3).

Isaiah is the largest Old Testament book of prophecy. The New Testament refers to it often. This also includes references to Isaiah 40-66 which the Higher Critic assumes to be written by another author or two.

Consider Luke 4:17 which says 'they handed him the scroll of the prophet Isaiah.' Jesus then reads from it, and what he reads from is Isaiah 61:1-2. Jesus does not question the authorship of Isaiah. John 12:38 quotes from Isaiah 53:1 claiming that they were the 'words of the prophet Isaiah.' Mathew 3:3 refers the time when 'the prophet Isaiah spoke,' while John 1:23 cites John the Baptizer as claiming 'I am, as Isaiah prophesied,' and Mark 1:2 states 'It is written in the Book of Isaiah.' These three writers are referencing Isaiah 40:3 and all give credit to Isaiah for authorship. Yet the Higher Critic maintains that a different author wrote this. Matthew 12:17 speaks of events that 'fulfill the prophet Isaiah.' These are events that Isaiah, according to Matthew, prophesied about, and they appear not before Chapter 40 but after. (Isaiah 42). Acts 8:30 speaks of Philip hearing 'him reading the prophet Isaiah.' What part was he reading? The man was reading from Isaiah 53:7-8 and yet Philip credited Isaiah. Romans 10:16 reads 'As Isaiah says,' and then goes on to quote Isaiah 53:1.

Higher critics claim that while three authors wrote Isaiah, all of their writings may be placed under the banner of the first author. This is nothing but special pleading; for the Higher Critic sees that their anti-supernatural foundation is crumbling beneath them, and there is nothing left to hold on to but a few arguments unable to support any weight.
Higher Critics have taken a historical Book (previously believed to be the work of one man) and have divided it into parts written by three men. Some scholars have accepted this, and others buy into it. Yet the New Testament authors credit ‘the prophet Isaiah’. Who shall we believe: John the Baptizer, Luke, Matthew, Mark, John, Paul and Jesus or Fred G. Bratton, George Knight, and William Barclay?

I believe the divinely inspired men ( though the way the Higher Critics blindly accept the writing of their co-workers, some reader may wonder which side I am referring to as divinely inspired), and because I believe in a God who can see from beginning to end, I have no difficulty accepting that God told Isaiah about what Cyrus would do. I do not reject the supernatural and because I do not I accept the obvious: That Isaiah was written by one man.

K.J.W.

This message has been edited by Apostle, 09-11-2004 02:07 AM


Replies to this message:
 Message 2 by Adminnemooseus, posted 09-11-2004 3:09 AM Apostle has responded
 Message 5 by PaulK, posted 09-12-2004 9:06 AM Apostle has responded
 Message 8 by Cold Foreign Object, posted 09-17-2004 12:07 AM Apostle has not yet responded
 Message 11 by Cold Foreign Object, posted 09-17-2004 4:59 PM Apostle has not yet responded
 Message 16 by sidelined, posted 09-25-2004 11:32 AM Apostle has not yet responded

  
Adminnemooseus
Director
Posts: 3576
Joined: 09-26-2002


Message 2 of 18 (141505)
09-11-2004 3:09 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Apostle
09-11-2004 2:56 AM


Source please
I don't personally know what to make of this topic, but it sure looks like you copy/pasted it from somewhere. The least you could do, is give credit and supply a link to the source.

Adminnemooseus

Added by edit - Re. the "copy/paste" - I may be wrong; If so, my apologies.

This message has been edited by Adminnemooseus, 09-11-2004 02:29 AM


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by Apostle, posted 09-11-2004 2:56 AM Apostle has responded

Replies to this message:
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Apostle
Inactive Member


Message 3 of 18 (141601)
09-11-2004 3:40 PM
Reply to: Message 2 by Adminnemooseus
09-11-2004 3:09 AM


Re: Source please
Moderator,
It is my own piece introduced through several other religious forums, as well as one or two yahoo groups. Is this acceptable?
It was posted at a Catholic Forums.net, Christiansforums.net, as well as the yahoo groups 'RCQB3' and 'Catholic Theology.' Is this sufficient?
K.J.W

{Note from Adminnemooseus - OK, will advance topic}

This message has been edited by Apostle, 09-11-2004 03:19 PM

This message has been edited by Adminnemooseus, 09-12-2004 01:10 AM


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Adminnemooseus
Director
Posts: 3576
Joined: 09-26-2002


Message 4 of 18 (141710)
09-12-2004 2:11 AM


Thread moved here from the Proposed New Topics forum.
    
PaulK
Member
Posts: 10848
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 1.3


Message 5 of 18 (141722)
09-12-2004 9:06 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Apostle
09-11-2004 2:56 AM


Beating up strawmen
Quite frankly I am surprised this topic got approved.

If you don't know the arguments put forward for the multiple athorship of Isiah you should ask. Or you should find out what they are from other sources (ideally the critics themselves) and address their real arguments.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by Apostle, posted 09-11-2004 2:56 AM Apostle has responded

Replies to this message:
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Apostle
Inactive Member


Message 6 of 18 (141760)
09-12-2004 1:22 PM
Reply to: Message 5 by PaulK
09-12-2004 9:06 AM


Re: Beating up strawmen
This is a brief outline of the issue. If you think there are strawmen, identify them. If not dispute, dispute what I say, or agree with it. Stick with the issue please.
K.J.W
This message is a reply to:
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lfen
Member (Idle past 1145 days)
Posts: 2189
From: Oregon
Joined: 06-24-2004


Message 7 of 18 (141767)
09-12-2004 2:03 PM
Reply to: Message 6 by Apostle
09-12-2004 1:22 PM


apologetics vs. scholarship
You'e written an apologetic piece, so you can do what you like.

As I understand PaulK and I prefer his viewpoint, if your piece was meant as scholarship you have failed to identify the specific scholars and the arguments you are criticising, what their textual arguments are and why yours are better.

I've no patience with the rhetoric of apologetics. And as you offer only a vague opponent of modern scholarship saying vague things I don't find this topic of interest or value.

I am curious if others will get involved in this topic though.

lfen


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Cold Foreign Object 
Suspended Member (Idle past 1399 days)
Posts: 3417
Joined: 11-21-2003


Message 8 of 18 (142849)
09-17-2004 12:07 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Apostle
09-11-2004 2:56 AM


Re: The Authorship of Isaiah
So the denigration of a Sacred Book begins with the presupposition that predictive prophecy cannot occur.

Apostle:

Absolutely correct conclusion.

Higher Criticism = circular argument:

Miracles cannot occurr so we must reinterpret.


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Replies to this message:
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Cold Foreign Object 
Suspended Member (Idle past 1399 days)
Posts: 3417
Joined: 11-21-2003


Message 9 of 18 (142850)
09-17-2004 12:11 AM
Reply to: Message 5 by PaulK
09-12-2004 9:06 AM


Re: Beating up strawmen
Content deleted for lack of content - sorry.

WT

This message has been edited by WILLOWTREE, 09-17-2004 12:30 AM


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ramoss
Member
Posts: 2809
Joined: 08-11-2004


Message 10 of 18 (142895)
09-17-2004 9:27 AM
Reply to: Message 8 by Cold Foreign Object
09-17-2004 12:07 AM


Re: The Authorship of Isaiah
Actaully, there is more than just that. There is also

1) Theme.
2) Writing style
3) Vocabulary.

The evidence is clear. Only the most reactionary people whose mind set disagree.


This message is a reply to:
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Cold Foreign Object 
Suspended Member (Idle past 1399 days)
Posts: 3417
Joined: 11-21-2003


Message 11 of 18 (142972)
09-17-2004 4:59 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Apostle
09-11-2004 2:56 AM


Re: The Authorship of Isaiah
Apostle:

I just want to tell how well-written the OP is.

I wish I wrote it !

As the topic progresses you will find that your opponents will accuse you/I of "arguing the man".

This is true.

However, we only "argue the man" when the man bases the intent and motivation of his attack/criticism upon the worldview of our sources.

Higher Criticism likes to claim an objectivity that does not exist - as if they have no axe to grind.

Everyone has an axe to grind either for the Bible or against.

We theists admit our bias but the HC's do not which makes them deceivers spewing out personal worldview bias under the disguise of an objectivity that does not exist.


This message is a reply to:
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Cold Foreign Object 
Suspended Member (Idle past 1399 days)
Posts: 3417
Joined: 11-21-2003


Message 12 of 18 (142976)
09-17-2004 5:09 PM
Reply to: Message 10 by ramoss
09-17-2004 9:27 AM


Re: The Authorship of Isaiah
Ramoss:

No amount of evading can erase the fact that atheists populate the ranks of "Higher Criticism".

Also, some persons from time to time claiming to be "christian" will agree with the HC's.

The latter are the worst liars the world can produce.

Imagine that; a "christian" who rejects Isaiah and his prophetic office speaking for God.

Your position is one of deception, that objectivity resides naturally in whatever view you profess.

In reality, you are the vocal minority of scientism of whom the American (God believing) public at large pays no attention to.

This message has been edited by WILLOWTREE, 09-17-2004 04:57 PM


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ramoss
Member
Posts: 2809
Joined: 08-11-2004


Message 13 of 18 (142999)
09-17-2004 6:28 PM
Reply to: Message 12 by Cold Foreign Object
09-17-2004 5:09 PM


Re: The Authorship of Isaiah
Actually, when it comes to the critisim about Isaiah, Jews and Christians populate it. The scholars who populate the debate tend to be theists. I would hardly characterize the people who wrote the 'Harper's bible commentary" , or the "Introduction to the Old Testament" as atheists.

Attacking higher critisism by saying most of them are atheists is a strawman. Unless you have someone whose religious beliefs interfers with their conclusions, such as Gene Scott, a persons religious and
political beliefs have little to do with their scholarly conclusions.


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Apostle
Inactive Member


Message 14 of 18 (144581)
09-25-2004 12:24 AM
Reply to: Message 13 by ramoss
09-17-2004 6:28 PM


Re: The Authorship of Isaiah
Is there anyone here familiar enough with the issue to respond intelligently, or do we hide behind the accusation of strawmen? If anyone feels comfortable, point out a problem and get the discussion going. If not, find a new topic to pass your comments on. In the past, responses have always been intelligent, what is the difference now?
Apostle
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PaulK
Member
Posts: 10848
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 1.3


Message 15 of 18 (144609)
09-25-2004 5:59 AM
Reply to: Message 14 by Apostle
09-25-2004 12:24 AM


Re: The Authorship of Isaiah
When you come up with an intelligent post on the subject maybe you'll get intelligent responses. As initiator of the thread you set the tone, and it is incumbent on you to find something worth saying.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 14 by Apostle, posted 09-25-2004 12:24 AM Apostle has responded

Replies to this message:
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