Archive for August, 2010

Isaiah: Author, Author??

Posted in Isaiah with tags , , , on August 30, 2010 by paulthepoke

At this point, we would like to welcome the critics, the experts, and the scholars to the discussion. Who wrote Isaiah? Well, according to some of these folks there were at least two different writers. The critics divide Isaiah into two sections. One section is Isaiah chapter one through thirty nine, Proto Isaiah. The second section is Isaiah chapters forty through sixty-six, Deutero Isaiah. Proto and Deutero are Greek for “first” and “second”. Their argument is there are differences in style, vocabulary, and subject matter. The fundamental problem with the critic is the prophecy of Isaiah 45:1-8.

Isaiah 45:1-8 So says Jehovah to His anointed, to Cyrus, whom I have seized by his right hand, to subdue nations before him. Yea, I will open the loins of kings, to open the two leaved doors before him, and the gates shall not be shut. I will go before you and make hills level; I will tear apart the bronze doors, and cut the iron bars in two.  And I will give you the treasures of darkness, even treasures in secret places,  that you may know that I am Jehovah, who calls you by your name, the God of Israel. For My servant Jacob’s sake, and for Israel My elect, I entitle you. I name you, but you do not know Me. I am Jehovah, and there is none else; there is no God except Me. I will clothe you, though you do not know Me, that they may know from the rising of the sun, and to its going down, that there is none besides Me; I am Jehovah, and there is none else; forming light, and creating darkness; making peace, and creating evil. I, Jehovah, do all these things. Drop down from above, O heavens; and let the clouds pour down righteousness. Let the earth open and let salvation bear fruit; and let righteousness spring up together. I, Jehovah have created it.

Now the problem for the critic is this prophecy was written approximately 150 years before the birth of Cyrus. Cyrus was the Persian King who overthrew Babylon and freed the Jewish people from exile. His decree (see Ezra 1:1-4, 2 Chronicles 36:22-23) in 539 BC allowed the return of the Jews to rebuild Jerusalem and the temple. The critic response is that Deutero Isaiah had to be written in the fifth century BC because there is no way that prophecy could be that specific and be that accurate. Therefore, this prophecy was written after the history of Cyrus. The critic just cannot fathom and believe in the accuracy of prophecy.

I have news for the critic, there is much more prophecy written about a coming Tribulation and a coming time of judgment. Will that really happen? Is God really going to judge the Earth? Can that be true?

In regards to the issue of style, the critic argument is that because there are differences in style, there must be two authors. I am sure these critics have different styles of writing depending on who they are writing to. The critic’s professional writing is likely different when they compose an e-mail or a letter. Using their logic, their must be multiple people writing in their name. I know personally that how I write a professional, medical report is different than how I write an e-mail is different than I how I write this blog.

The critic is correct, the subject matter is different. Chapter one through forty is about the condemnation of Israel. Chapters forty one through sixty-six are about the salvation of Israel. I am sure that Isaiah was capable of writing on different subject matters. That hardly disqualifies him from being the single author. Using this line of thinking, the critic should be disqualified from discussing multiple topics because they can’t possibly be that well versed on multiple topics.

Just for giggles, let’s give the critic their argument for two authors. The problem they have next is the prophecies concerning Jesus. By the way, these prophecies are in both “Proto” and “Deutero” Isaiah. There is the prophecy of the virgin conception of Jesus in Isaiah 7:14. Maybe Isaiah was written after Jesus was born. That would explain being born of a virgin (sarcasm for those of you who do not know me)? Christ’s ministry is discussed in Isaiah 11 and Isaiah 61. Isaiah 53 discusses death for sins, the gospel message. Did the authors of Proto and Deutero Isaiah conspire (more sarcasm)??? Just because the critic thinks there are two authors, it does not disprove the prophecies. The prophecies still happened before and after “Proto” and “Deutero” as it was written.

Archaeological and historical evidence are in support of one author. The Dead Sea Scrolls are dated to first or second BC. The scrolls were found in 1947. In the scrolls, there is no interruption in the text from chapters thirty-nine to forty. The Septuagint (the Greek translation of the Old Testament) was written from 300-200 BC. It confirms a single book and a single author.

If that is not enough, Jesus Himself quoted Isaiah on both sides of the critic’s divide. In John 12:38, Jesus quotes Isaiah 53:1. In John 12:40, Jesus quotes    Isaiah 6:10. Jesus credits a singular prophet, Isaiah.

The bottom line is this. Critics don’t let facts, history, archaeological evidence, or Heaven forbid, Jesus Himself, get in the way of their personal agenda.

Don’t take my word or any other critic’s word; look it up yourself and verify, confirm. Acts 17:11, be a Berean.

Isaiah Introduction

Posted in Isaiah on August 19, 2010 by paulthepoke

Isaiah (Yahweh saves, Salvation of God) was born to Amoz (Isaiah 1:1). Amoz is Hebrew for strong. Isaiah is the son of strong. He was married to an unnamed prophetess. Isaiah and his wife had two sons, Shear-jashub (meaning the remnant shall return) and Maher-shalal-hash-baz (meaning speed the spoil, hasten the prey). This is noted in Isaiah 8:3. Jewish tradition notes that Isaiah may have been a relative to Jewish nobility, a nephew to King Amaziah. His cousin would have been King Uzziah in Chapter 6. Imagine this family cruising the aisles of Wal Mart and the commentary their presence would generate. “Oh great hear comes the son of strong, God saves, and his wife the prophetess. And look their two kids, judgment and mercy”. The names of this family carried a message to the public.

Isaiah was written approximately between 760-673 BC. This was about the time of the Greek poet Homer who wrote the Iliad and the Odyssey in 800-701 BC. Rome was founded in approximately 753 BC.

Contemporary Jewish Prophets include Micah in Judah. Jonah, Amos, and Hosea were in Israel. The Jewish kingdom was divided at the time of Isaiah.

Isaiah was called to service by God in Isaiah 6:8. His appearance was not that of the modern day TV evangelist. He wore sackcloth of goat’s hair (Isaiah 20:2). Sackcloth was traditionally worn in times of mourning and repentance by the Jews. Check out the remainder of this verse, you will see that Isaiah was obedient to God by walking around naked and barefoot. Can you imagine the discomfort and itching of wearing a gunny sack? I am willing to bet you will not see any TV evangelist on TBN wearing clothing like this anytime soon.

Society during Isaiah’s times was dominated by Babylonian idol worship. Bel was the god of weather, war, and sun. Nebo was the god of learning, astronomy, and science. Worship in the culture of the day consisted of prostitution and child sacrifice. Babylonian culture was degrading and abusive to women and children.

Tradition, according to the Talmud, has it that Isaiah’s death was the result of being sawed in half with a wooden saw. Hebrews 11:37-38 reviews the plight of the prophets. Isaiah is not directly named but one can see he suffered through some of these difficulties.

Hebrews 11:37-38 they were stoned; they were tried; they were sawn in two; they died by murder of sword; they went about in sheepskins and in goatskins, being in need, being afflicted, being ill-treated; of whom the world was not worthy, wandering in deserts, and mountains, and caves, and the holes of the earth.

The book of Isaiah can be separated into two main sections. Section one is the condemnation of Israel in chapters 1 through 40. Section two is the salvation of Israel in chapters 41-66.

BE a Berean

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on August 13, 2010 by paulthepoke

Be a Berean!!

Acts 17:10-11 But the brothers at once sent both Paul and Silas to Berea during the night; who having arrived went into the synagogue of the Jews. And these were more noble than those in Thessalonica, for they received the Word with all readiness, daily examining the Scriptures if these things are so.

This is the point of the blog. Don’t take my word for it, look it up, and verify. The culture loves to say, “Well that is just your interpretation.” Personally, that is code for “I really don’t know what it says.”  This is a cop-out. The culture loves to say, “My God would or would not do …” Is that the God of your mind or is that the God of the Bible? If one’s ethics and morals are not consistent with Scripture, then that mindset becomes idolatry and it is not the God of the Bible. What do you think about Scripture? Make a decision based out of knowledge and not somebody’s opinion or personal ignorance.

1 Chronicles 12:32a And of the sons of Issachar, having understanding of the times, to know what Israel should do.

The sons of Issachar are one the twelve tribes of the nation of Israel. Issachar is a son of Jacob (Genesis 30:18). His name in Hebrew means “he will bring a reward.” The sons of Issachar are the descendants. These sons read the Word. They knew what the times had to offer because they read and believed in God’s promises through His Word.

Matthew 16:1-3 And having come the Pharisees and Sadducees tempting, asked Him to show them a sign out of the heaven. But answering, He said to them, Evening coming on, you say, Clear sky, for the sky is red. And at morning, today a storm, for the sky is red, being overcast. Hypocrites! You indeed know how to discern the face of the heaven, but you cannot the signs of the times.

Jesus held the religious leaders of His day accountable to know His arrival was here. The Bible foretold in prophecy the arrival of the Messiah and His character and deeds. One prophetic example is Isaiah 7:14 So, The Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold! The virgin will conceive and will bring forth a son; and she shall call His name Immanuel (meaning “with us is God”).

The same is true for us today. God has not changed. Hebrews 13:8 Jesus Christ, the same yesterday and today and forever (yes, Jesus is God). We are accountable to what is stated in the Bible. What does the Bible say about the times we are living? Does it have anything to say?

Welcome and please feel free to comment and share with others. God praises those who verify His Word. Look it up, does the Bible really say … ?

2 Timothy 3:16-17 All Scripture is God-breathed and profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, so that the man of God may be perfected, being fully furnished for every good work.

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