We continue our series in Isaiah 58-59, with guest writer Rev. Christine Redwood.
Dividing Isaiah (Everyone has an opinion!)
Sometimes we can be unaware of the fierce debates happening in the academic world! This can be a good and a bad thing. I remember how shocking it was to discover that there is no consensus concerning who wrote Isaiah or how to divide it. So let me introduce you to some of these arguments so you’re prepared. Many commentaries will refer to chapters 56-66 as Trito-Isaiah. Interestingly, the third part of Isaiah has not received the same scholarly attention as chapters 40-55, which have been perceived to be the ‘pinnacle’ of Isaiah’s theology (Christians also love the middle of Isaiah which contains those beautiful servant songs which Jesus fulfills).  It is easy to ignore the difficult and obscure parts of the Bible! Yet in recent years as scholars have studied the whole of Isaiah they have rediscovered the unity between the three sections and now appreciate how the final section brings the previous two sections together. Goldingay creatively calls the voice in Isaiah 56-66 the ‘preacher, a bringer of good news’.