The Study Of Isaiah Since The Time Of Joseph Addison Alexander -- By: Edward J. Young

Journal: Westminster Theological Journal
Volume: WTJ 10:1 (Nov 1947)
Article: The Study Of Isaiah Since The Time Of Joseph Addison Alexander
Author: Edward J. Young


The Study Of Isaiah Since The Time Of Joseph Addison Alexander

Edward J. Young

Second Article

IV. The Work Of Bernhard Duhm

A NEW stage in the study of Isaiah was reached with the appearance in 1892 of the commentary of Bernhard Duhm.1 Born in 1847, Duhm became in 1888 professor in Basel.2 He was a friend of Julius Wellhausen and in many respects the writings of the two men served to complement one another. Wellhausen, however, expended his labor in an endeavor to indicate the position of the prophets in Israel’s history, whereas Duhm was more concerned to disclose what he considered the true meaning of the prophetical message.3 Above all, Duhm was an interpreter and more theologically inclined than Wellhausen.

Previous to the appearance of his commentary on Isaiah, Duhm had written his Theology of the Prophets and Aim and

Method of Theological Science.4 The commentary on Isaiah is of particular importance, and one may readily understand why it assumed such an influential position in Biblical study.5

After a few introductory remarks concerning the canon Duhm declares that to determine the various individual collections which are contained in the present book of Isaiah we are for the most part dependent upon internal criticism.6 However, it may be noted, he points out, that the Prologue to Ecclesiasticus, while it does mention the Law and Prophets, says not a word as to the form in which they existed. Likewise, the passage in II Maccabees which speaks of the sacred library (i.e., 2:13ff.) may indicate that the canon of that time appeared in a different form from that which we have at present.

More important, however, is II Chronicles 36:22ff. ( = Ezra 1:l-4), which clearly attributes the Cyrus prophecy of Isaiah 44:28 to Jeremiah. From this it follows that at this time Isaiah 40–66 was not reckoned as being Isaianic. The real book of Isaiah concludes with chapter 39.7

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