Paul D. Hanson covers Isaiah 40 – 66 in the Interpretation Bible Commentary (IBC) series, picking up where Christopher Seitz left off. In the preface, the author gives his explanation for why the book of Isaiah was divided in this series while most other books of the Bible were not.
He doesn’t provide an Introduction to Isaiah, or even to Isaiah 40 – 66, as a whole. Instead, he divides this work into two parts with the first one being on Isaiah 40 – 55. He does, however, give a good overview in these two sections. He begins his overview in part one by covering the historical setting. He writes well and always incorporates the theological underpinnings. Next, he discusses the personal dimension of the prophetic message, and then goes into the worldview of what he calls “Second Isaiah”. He ends the overview by discussing the literary qualities found in this section.
From there, he jumps into the commentary section, which is more of a passage by passage presentation rather than a verse by verse one. He highlights both God’s compassion and justice often. There’s much theology throughout.
In part two, he tackles Isaiah 56 – 66, which he calls “Third Isaiah”. The overview and the following commentary are done in the same fashion as before. While I cannot agree with several historical or source theory statements, I do appreciate the theology he draws out throughout the book.
This book is a great companion to its predecessor on Isaiah 1 – 39. Again, the author makes good use of the IBC format. I recommend this book for those looking for one of the better critical presentations on Isaiah out there today.
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