The Prophet Isaiah looms large in the Christian and Jewish faith traditions. The corpus of Isaiah’s writings spans critical moments at the heart of the collective faith memory. The Book of Isaiah includes writings regarding the times preceding the exile of Israel into Babylon through their return. Marvin Sweeny writes, “The book of Isaiah serves as a theological reflection upon Jerusalem’s experience of threat, exile, and restoration. It takes up fundamental questions of divine involvement in human history.”
Jesus called Isaiah simply “The Prophet.” In Advent, we lean heavily on Isaiah’s writing both that a Messiah is coming and what that Messiah will do. When disciples of John the Baptist inquired as to whether Jesus was the Messiah, Jesus simply responded saying that the prophecies of Isaiah were coming into fulfillment.
In our study, led by Rick Floyd, Patty Fox and Brent Damrow, we will attempt to get to know the history and context in which Isaiah was written. We will explore the book of Isaiah, breaking down the writings into the time periods and sections in which scholars believe they were composed. Finally, we will look at the influence of Isaiah both on the ministry of Jesus and the development and ongoing ministry of the church.
We will utilize forty-five-minute sessions on Sunday mornings before worship (9:30-10:15) to introduce the subject matter. We then invite people to sign-up for a discussion session to more deeply probe and consider what was shared on Sunday. Participation in these sessions is highly encouraged although not mandatory. Sign-up sheets for the study and discussion sessions are in the J.E. Room or you can call the church office.
The schedule is:
March 10 – Introduction including the setting and context of Isaiah’s work.
March 17 & 24 – Isaiah Chapters 1-39
March 31 & April 7 – Isaiah Chapters 40-66
April 14 – Isaiah’s influence on Jesus and the Church