Sunday, February 24, 2013

The Gospel According to Isaiah 53

Encountering the Suffering Servant in Jewish and Christian Theology
Published by Kregel Publications 

I was excited when Kregel Publications invited me to review a copy of this book. I have taught The Gospels and The life and Teachings of Jesus in Bible College and Church settings.  I am always looking for materials that can be recommended to others on anything related to this Jesus and the Gospel message.

I  believe one of the greatest challenges the church has had and does face is the proclamation of God’s plan for humankind as revealed in Jesus as He revealed not only God in the flesh but also as He fulfilled scores of old testament prophecies which demonstrate God’s plan and His role in the Life of Israel as a people of promise and which reveals Jesus the Messiah the fulfillment of God’s promise for a deliverer and Anointed One for Israel and all of humankind. The publisher has well said the following about this book:
“The Gospel According to Isaiah 53 presents the redemptive work of the Messiah to the Jewish community, exploring issues of atonement and redemption in light of Isaiah chapter 53. It is clear that Jesus fulfills the specifications of the suffering servant of Isaiah 53. This book has many potential uses in its presentation of the gospel for Jewish people. Pastors who study it will find unparalleled help in preparing Bible studies and sermons, so that their listeners will become better equipped to tell Jewish people about Jesus. It will be beneficial as supplemental reading for classes on Isaiah, the Prophets, and Jewish evangelism. And believers will be trained to share Isaiah 53 with Jewish friends and family. Contributors include: • David L. Allen • Richard E. Averbeck • Darrell L. Bock • Michael L. Brown • Robert B. Chisholm Jr. • Craig A. Evans • John S. Feinberg • Mitch Glaser • Walter C. Kaiser Jr. • Donald R. Sunukjian.” 

The book has three parts:
1.     Interpretations of Isaiah 53
2.     Isaiah 53 in Biblical Theology
3.     Isaiah 53 and Practical Theology

The conclusion is a concise review of the primary subject matter of each of the 11 chapters.
This is an excellent book in that it addresses the primary matter of the suffering servant both from the Christian and Jewish perspectives using in-depth study of the subject matter.

Books written as a team effort sometimes fail to flow from chapter to chapter and thought to thought which can weaken the point being made or the premise of the book. This is not so in The Gospel According to Isaiah 53.

In addition the structure of the book  makes it easy to find a subject once you have read the book and want to refer back to the teaching laid out in any chapter.

I whole-heartedly recommend this book for the Christian, the Messianic Christian and the Jewish believer seeking greater understanding of God’s Suffering Servant who was revealed as the Messiah, Jesus of Nazareth.
This book meets a great need in the Church today.

Wayne Newcomb

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