Was wondering if you had any resources I could check out about the authorship of the book of Isaiah?


Any good commentary on Isaiah will discuss this. Some claim that Isaiah Ch 1-39 has a different author from Ch 40-end. They do so both because they claim there is a different style of writing and a significant break in the theme after Ch. 40. They claim (with some truth) that the first 39 chapters have more personal information on Isaiah. This is called (by those who like to use impressive sounding names) the Deutero Isaiah theory. Their biggest “evidence” for a second author is that the book mentions Cyrus. These folks do not believe in the inspiration of the Bible so, a-priori, they assume that this must have been written after Cyrus lived. This, of course, is circular reasoning. Conservative scholars point out that, in fact, the style of the supposed two parts is in fact very similar, with similar use of the same words. I believe these claims about the differences are exaggerated. The majority of conservative scholars believe the book has one author. I have read both sides on this and believe that the conclusion Isaiah wrote the whole thing is the more reasonable conclusion. However, we should admit that we cannot absolutely disprove the two-author theory.

I just pulled out my three volume commentary on Isaiah and, surprisingly, it does not mention this claim. Interesting. Apparently, my claim above that “any good commentary” would discuss this is overstated.

John Oakes

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