The Cyrus Notations of Deutero-Isaiah -- By: Ronald E. Manahan

Journal: Grace Journal
Volume: GJ 11:3 (Fall 1970)
Article: The Cyrus Notations of Deutero-Isaiah
Author: Ronald E. Manahan


The Cyrus Notations of Deutero-Isaiah

Ronald E. Manahan

[Ronald E. Manahan holds the B.A. degree from Shelton College, and the Master of Divinity degree from Grace Theological Seminary. He is presently pursuing the Master of Theology degree in Old Testament at Grace Theological Seminary.]

A recurring problem in our day is that of the Isaianic authorship of the entire book of Isaiah. The scope of this problem is enormous since Christ’s own integrity is at stake in the question. Christ quotes from every portion of Isaiah’s book and either assumes or states Isaianic authorship in each case. Therefore, to say that Isaiah is not the sole author of the book bearing his name is to undermine not only written revelation but also the personal revelation by God to us through His Son. In yet another sense the scope of this problem is awesome; so much written material is available on the subject. With respect to “Deutero-Isaiah” the problem concerning authorship centers about the geographical background, and therefore the chronological placement of chapters 40–66. To discuss this milieu of chapters 40–66 goes very far beyond the scope of this paper. But there is one particularly knotty problem which to a large measure will dictate the interpretation one gives to the background of Deutero-Isaiah.

And that problem is the concern of this paper: The “Cyrus” notations of Deutero-Isaiah. In turn this paper will discuss the point of tension in the problem, several solutions that have been proposed by destructive criticism, and finally a palatable solution of the problem.

The Point of Tension

Critical attacks upon Scripture have been numerous. And the attacks are no longer simply made by those who have some claim upon scholarship. Nor are the attacks being confined to a few select places of apostasy; the attacks are now being waged through a host of Sunday school materials that have repercussions among those of the grass-roots level of Protestantism. A brief glance through the Sunday school materials of the main line denominations of America will support such an assertion.

It is, of course, true that the Word of God has been attacked from all sides in the centuries of the Church’s existence. Yet the present attack is more subtle than the attacks of the past. For one thing, many of the attacks are coming from within the ranks of the Protestant denominations. They are coming from those who purport to be theologians, those who supposedly are equipped to interpret Scripture. Another interesting fact about the present-day attack is that several assumptions are made with respect ...

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