On The Authorship Of Isaiah 40-66 -- By: Henry Cowles

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 030:119 (Jul 1873)
Article: On The Authorship Of Isaiah 40-66
Author: Henry Cowles

On The Authorship Of Isaiah 40-66

Rev. Henry Cowles

This question, linking itself with the historic integrity of the books of the Old Testament, and practically involving the whole issue as to real prophecy, deserves at the hands of all intelligent friends of divine revelation a thorough and fearless investigation. The issue upon this point in our times comes up in the form of a challenge from the neological critics of the present century to make good the long-admitted doctrine that the one Isaiah of the age of Hezekiah wrote as well the last twenty-seven chapters of this book as the first thirty-nine. The animus of this challenge is a denial of all real inspiration, inasmuch as on their admission stubborn proofs of divine prescience appear in these latter chapters, provided they were really written in the age of Hezekiah, and because, if these proofs can be set aside, other like proofs of real prophecy may be summarily disposed of by similar criticism.

This question was discussed at some length, yet not exhaustively, in the Introduction to my Notes on Isaiah (pp. 12-21). That discussion called forth some adverse criticism,1 much in the spirit of modern neology, mainly useful as re-opening the discussion and suggesting new points in support of the ancient faith of the church of God. The present Essay may therefore be regarded both as supplementary to my Introduction to Isaiah, and as a reply to the points of adverse criticism above referred to.

Who Was The Author Of Isaiah 40-66?

The neological critics (as above) held thus: 1. That a striking difference of diction and literary char-

acter in general distinguishes the last twenty-seven chapters from the first thirty-nine.

2. That the compilers inserted the historical chapters (36–39) between the two divisions intentionally, to guard the reader against the mistake of supposing that the same author wrote both portions.

3. That the compilers (not the author) prefixed the name of Isaiah to the whole book as in our Bibles, just as they prefixed the name of Samuel to the two books which bear his name.

4. That, inasmuch as certain other books of the Old Testament (e.g. those of the Pentateuch and of Job) appear without the names of their authors, there is no objection a priori to their hypothesis that this portion of Isaiah appears without the name of its author.

5. That the author of the latter portion may have been Baruch, Zerubbabel, or Daniel.

6. That the allusions in chapters

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