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Isaiah 1-39 (The Anchor Yale Bible Commentaries) [Paperback]

by Joseph Blenkinsopp
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

December 5, 2000 0300139616 978-0300139617
Writing a commentary on the book of "Isaiah" in the middle of a paradigm shift in biblical studies, and in the study of the prophetic books in particular, is no easy task. The book of "Isaiah" has been the object of more scholarly interest over the past two or three decades than during the preceding century. At the same time, much of the received wisdom on the formation of the book has been called into question, including such matters as the date of its several components, the standard tripartite division, the role (if any) to be assigned to the prophet Isaiah himself, and the passages dealing with the anonymous Servant of the Lord. A great deal of effort has been, and continues to be, expended in exploring new approaches to the book, both within the conventional critical methodologies and beyond them.This commentary by Joseph Blenkinsopp on the first thirty-nine chapters of the book, the first of a three-volume commentary on "Isaiah", is written from a critical perspective in the belief that only in this way can these texts be given the opportunity to say what they have to say - and also in the conviction that what they have to say still retains its transforming power for those willing to listen attentively today. The result is a commentary of unequaled brilliance and insight that will stand as the definitive study of one of the Hebrew Bible's most compelling and elusive books.

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Isaiah 1-39 (The Anchor Yale Bible Commentaries) + Isaiah 40-55 (The Anchor Yale Bible Commentaries) (Volume 19A) + Isaiah 56-66 (The Anchor Yale Bible Commentaries)
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Joseph Blenkinsopp is currently John A. O'Brien Professor Emeritus of Biblical Studies at the University of Notre Dame, where he has taught since 1970. He served as Rector of the Ecumenical Institute, Tantur, Israel, in 1978, took part in excavations at Tel Dan, and coordinated the excavation at the Greek Orthodox site of Capernaum throughout the 1980s. Among his many scholarly publications on the Hebrew Bible is the Anchor Bible Reference Library volume The Pentateuch. He was born in Durham, England, educated at the universities of London and Oxford, and holds dual citizenship in the United States and the U.K. He is married with two grown sons.

Product Details

  • Series: The Anchor Yale Bible Commentaries
  • Paperback: 544 pages
  • Publisher: Yale University Press (December 5, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0300139616
  • ISBN-13: 978-0300139617
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.1 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,004,346 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars missing the target March 10, 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The old Anchor Bible series, now Anchor Yale Bible, was useful not only because of the competence of the scholars involved but even more because of its format. In general the volumes made room for textual notes (recording important variants in manuscripts), detailed translation notes (often giving literal versions and explaining how a Hebrew or Greek phrase was used, and giving alternative ways of reading a phrase), commentary on what the meaning of a pericope may have been to a contemporary audience, and interpretation (a discussion of contemporary readings). There are usually thorough introductions bringing a lay reader up to date on current scholarship regarding text, authorship, history of the period in question, etc.

More recently there seems to have been some editorial slippage. The useful format described above, which made arcane scholarship available to serious readers without Greek or Hebrew, has been relaxed to the point that it is hard to tell who these commentaries are aimed at. In this particular volume (Isaiah 1-39) Blankenship clearly knows his material and he can write forcefully. However the historical exposition is so condensed it ended up confusing more than clarifying. To some extent this reflects controversies in our understanding of 8th-5th century Israel, but if the goal of this introduction is to take a reader from the "old" consensus about who Isaiah was and what he wrote to the current (unsettled) views, it does a marginal job at best.

More importantly perhaps: the translation notes have been cut to a minimum and piled up without indentation in a misguided attempt to save space. The format alone makes them almost unreadable. This was the feature that most clearly distinguished the Anchor Bible from other equally scholarly commentaries.
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2 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars fine text October 25, 2012
By Eric O
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a thorough book and it was helpful to read as one part of a study on Isaiah. It presents a more traditional reading of the text
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