The Significance Of Creation In The Book Of Isaiah -- By: Terrance R. Wardlaw Jr.

Journal: Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society
Volume: JETS 59:3 (Sep 2016)
Article: The Significance Of Creation In The Book Of Isaiah
Author: Terrance R. Wardlaw Jr.


The Significance Of Creation
In The Book Of Isaiah

Terrance R. Wardlaw Jr.*

* Terrance Wardlaw is a linguist and translator with SIL International. He may be contacted at 5742 20th St., Holdingford, MN 56340, Terry_Wardlaw@sil.org.

Abstract: In moving beyond the previous fragmentation of the book of Isaiah, canon critics now look to themes spanning the three major sections of Isaiah 1-66. The present investigation examines the theme of creation through these three major sections to its climax in the new creation of chapters 65-66 under the assumption of the unitary authorship by Isaiah of Jerusalem during the Assyrian period. This analysis will demonstrate that Isa 4:2-6, 40-48, and 65-66 hold creation (Gen 1:1-2:3) in tension with exodus and wilderness themes (Exodus 1-18; Numbers 10-21) as types for understanding exile, future return, and the telos of election and redemption. The manner in which Isaiah understands redemption through the lens of creation will be contrasted with more recent discussions in Biblical theology in order to substantiate the argument that Isaiah understood redemption as the process moving toward new creation through the ministry of the ideal Servant.

Keywords: creation, Isaiah, canon criticism, redemption, typology

The contemporary critical consensus regarding the tripartite division and the exilic relecture of Isaiah impacts both the identification of macrostructural features and the interpretation of their microstructural manifestations.1 With the ascendance of critical views, scholars focused on Isaiah 1-39, 40-55, or 56-66 as discrete units with their own respective author and historical setting. In conjunction with the application of literary, form, and redaction criticism to genre units within the text of Isaiah, the book was atomized by mainstream scholars until the latter half of the twentieth century.2 Then beginning with the application of rhetorical criticism by

James Muilenburg, and growing to fruition with the emphasis on final-form reading by...

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