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How to Read Isaiah

How to Read Isaiah

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Excerpt from How to Read Isaiah: Being the Prophecies of Isaiah, Arranged in Order of Time and Subject, With Explanations and Glossary

The aim of this manual is to place within the reach of a large number, some of the chief results of modern investigations into the life and times of the great prophet Isaiah. While time and qualification are necessary for the understanding of the processes through which specialists work their way, all may understand results, and should know them. Absolute certainty as to all details can never be expected here, and perhaps would be of no particular value, if possible: a broad general view of the circumstances in which any prophet lived is of high importance. Where the letter killeth, the Spirit giveth life.

A commentary this is not. It is rather an historical representation of a prophet's views and environment, very much in the words of his own choosing, or in the literature of the time in which he lived. Hence in the very forefront stands the text without note or comment - in an unbroken continuity. And this as far as possible - consistently with the accuracy required, and the placing of the portions of dialogue and poetry in appropriate form - has been done in the words of the authorised version, dear from its associations to all. Changes are absolutely necessary to bring out the meaning of the text; but assuredly the Revisers have erred, either from timidity in some places, leaving the best translation in the margin, or in other places from making unnecessary changes, which have not markedly made the meaning clearer. Explanations are placed by themselves in a glossary, while a continuous series of sections gives an historical account of the prophet's sayings and doings. All chapter and verse divisions are omitted in order that the text may appear in its natural order of delivery, and without the mechanical form, which they give to the Scripture.

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