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The Message of Isaiah (Bible Speaks Today) Paperback – January 13, 1997


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The Message of Isaiah (Bible Speaks Today) + The Gospel According to Isaiah 53: Encountering the Suffering Servant in Jewish and Christian Theology + Plowshares & Pruning Hooks: Rethinking the Language of Biblical Prophecy and Apocalyptic
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Product Details

  • Series: Bible Speaks Today (Book 24)
  • Paperback: 252 pages
  • Publisher: IVP Academic (January 13, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0830812407
  • ISBN-13: 978-0830812400
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #91,816 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Barry G. Webb (Ph.D., Sheffield) is senior research fellow in Old Testament at Moore Theological College in New South Wales, Australia. He also serves as assistant editor of Reformed Theological Review and has written The Book of Judges (JSOT Press).

Customer Reviews

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47 of 49 people found the following review helpful By rdshaver@worldfront.com on September 19, 1998
Format: Paperback
Mr. Webb, writting within the confines of "The Bible Speaks Today" has done an outstanding job of making a very difficult book of the Bible very understandable. If you don't believe in prophecy and miracles, you will probably disagree with me. But, if your standard is the Bible, or you are looking to understand the Bible (a great way to come to know God), then I highly recommend this book. I am using it as the text for my adult Sunday School class which consists of brand new Christians to people who have been studying the Bible for decades. Mr. Webb is providing the necessary foundations and fresh insights for all of them. I started out with commentaries from H.A. Ironside and J. Vernon McGee, but I have settled on this book as my primary source with Mr. Ironside's and Mr. McGee's commentaries supplementing it.
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42 of 44 people found the following review helpful By Paul M. Dubuc on December 29, 2002
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A while back I started reading through Isaiah again--one chapter a day. I wanted to supplement to my reading with a commentary that would give me historical background and help me better understand this wonderful book in Scripture. I wanted something that would help me apply the inspiration and insights of Isaiah to my own life. I found this book well suited to the purpose of personal devotional study. It is a fine exposition of Isaiah. It provides enough material to clarify its message and put it in context without getting the reader bogged down in technical details. It treats the book of Isaiah as a unified whole rather than a fragmented collection of writings from 2 or 3 sources. It is written from the conviction that God speaks to us through Isaiah today as well as He did to the prophet's primary audience.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By moviemusicbuff on January 4, 2008
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I bought this commentary based in part on the glowing reviews that I've read in [...]. Barry Webb offers an excellent overview of the message of Isaiah -- he does a great job of getting the reader to know the forest. However, the sad part is that he does not help us to know the trees (or certain very important ones at least).

Case in point: In his treatment of Isaiah 9: 6-7, the famous Messianic passage, Webb completely leaves out any explanation or exposition of the meaning behind the names "Wonderful Counselor," "Mighty God," "Everlasting Father," and "Prince of Peace." In fact, Webb does not even discuss those verses at all! By contrast, J. Alec Motyer's recent commentary on Isaiah (in the Tyndale Old Testament Commentary series), offers a very brief explanation of each of those names. However, in the Servant passages such as Isaiah 42: 1-4 and Isaiah 53 chapter, Webb does give a brief exposition of the respective passages. I don't understand why he chooses to totally ignore Isaiah 9: 1-7 and then explain the other Messianic/Servant passages.

Other reviewers have done an excellent job of evaluating the strengths of Webb's commentary. I would give a better evaluation of Webb's commentary if he did a more consistent job of explaining key Messianic passages. Hence 4 stars. I felt that J. Alec Motyer did a more consistent and better explanation of the key Messianic passages.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Avidreader on May 17, 2010
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With this book, Barry Webb, Senior Research Fellow in Old Testament at Moore Theological College in Sydney, Australia, intends to expound the book of Isaiah with accuracy, to relate it to contemporary life, and to be readable (p. 9). These three elements shape the book that Webb hopes will be "of benefit to God's people and help give fresh impetus to the study and exposition of what is arguably the most theologically significant book in the Old Testament (p. 13)." Webb calls Isaiah the `Romans' of the Old Testament and says, "It is here that the threads come together and the big picture of God's purposes for his people and his world are most clearly set forth (p. 38)." The following review consists of five sections, including: summary, evaluation, highlights, usefulness, and audience specificity.

The content of the book progresses through what Webb determines to be seven distinct sections of Isaiah, those being: the Lord is king (1-12), Lord of the nations (13-27), Human schemes and God's plan (28-35), In whom shall we trust? (36-39), Comfort my people (40:1-51:11), Grace triumphant (51:12-55:13), and Waiting for a new world (56-66). There are three perspectives that arise from the book's content that are worth highlighting.

One, the content of the book reflects Webb's notion of complete literary unity in Isaiah. This, in turn, effects what Webb believes to be the various theological messages of Isaiah. Webb says that despite the diversity of material in Isaiah, "The opening verse points the reader in a fundamentally different direction. It tells us that what we are about to read is fundamentally one thing, an integrated whole (p. 27).
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By K Watson on June 5, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
In preparation for a short preaching survey series on Isaiah, I purchased this book and Motyer's heavier-duty The Prophecy of Isaiah to go with Geoffrey Grogan's treatment in The Expositor's Bible Commentary. Webb's book was by far the most helpful. His introduction was clear and to the point and led me pretty close to the four messages that ended up being used. The exegetical treatments were plenty thorough enough for my use. It's not an exhaustive commentary, for those of you who'd rather not be exhausted. Your pleasure in studying will be increased, not decreased. It will open doors for your study of Isaiah, and give most people plenty of help with the perplexities.
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