Isaiah II, Volume 2: Chapters 28–39
Pages 420 pages
Publisher Peeters Publishers
he Historical Commentary on the Old Testament is an international series of commentaries which devotes explicit attention to the history of interpretation of biblical tradition in all its stages, both within and without the Hebrew canon. As the term 'Old Testament' indicates, the commentary stands in the Christian exegetical tradition. The team of those who committed themselves to contribute comprises scholars from all over the world and from many different churches and denominations. The commentary is intended not only for Old Testament scholars, but also for ministers and other interested parties. The treatment of every pericope is preceded by a new translation and a section called 'Essentials and Perspectives' in which the author summarizes the results of the exegesis in non-technical language. The primacy here is assigned to the final stage of the text. The summary should incite the user to consult the main body of the exegesis which is headed 'Scholary Expositon'. Here the approach is that of modern critical scholarship.
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Claremont School of Theology and Claremont Graduate University Claremont, CA 91711 Willem Beuken is especially well-known for his four volumes of commentary on Isaiah 40-66 in the Dutch series, "De Prediking van het Oude Testament" (1979-89). Unfortunately, these volumes have not been translated. The appearance of the first of his projected two-volume commentary on Isaiah 13-39 in English is therefore all more welcome. The decision to assign the commentary on Isaiah 1-12 to another author is unusual, and it is apparently based on the view of the editorial board of the "Historical Commentary on the Old Testament" series that Isaiah 1-12 constitutes a distinct collection within the book of Isaiah. Although chapters 1-12 do function as a sub-unit within the larger book, critical discussion of these chapters at both the synchronic and diachronic levels has demonstrated repeatedly that they are closely tied to the present form of the book of Isaiah at large as well as to its compositional history. Indeed, scholars are increasingly recognizing that it is difficult even to separate chapters 1-39 and chapters 40-66 in the interpretation of the book. The decision to separate chapters 1-12 is even more difficult to defend. The absence of these chapters from Beuken's projected commentary is regrettable, particularly since many elements of these chapters must be considered in relation to chapters 28-39. This does not prevent Beuken from offering a thorough and penetrating commentary on Isaiah 28-39, although his methodological focus prompts great strength in the diachronic understanding of these chapters. [Full Review]