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Isaiah: A Covenant to be Kept for the Sake of the Church (Focus on the Bible) Paperback – September 20, 2011
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"Allan Harman's exegetical judgement is very reliable and he faces difficulties in the text frankly, discussing them helpfully." (Geoffrey Grogan ~ (1925-2011), Principal of Glasgow Bible College and well-respected author)
"Outstanding. What I mean by that is that he has been able to do the work of a first class exegete, yet make it understandable to a wide audience. As I train my theological students in the prophets of the Bible I will send them to this book immediately." (John Currid ~ Carl McMurray Professor of Old Testament, Reformed Theological Seminary, Charlotte, North Carolina)
'With Allan Harman's 'Isaiah' before me, I know what the saying means that 'even a cat can look at the queen'! His work has made me wish wholeheartedly that I could start all over again. The detailed interpretative work is superb, and Harman's defence of the unity of Isaiah is robust (to say the least), and, in my view, unanswerable. I thrill to a commentator whose prime aim is to understand and explain the Hebrew Text, not just to distil the opinions of others. Thank God for this book - and its author.' (Alec Motyer ~ (1924-2016) Well known Bible expositor and commentary writer)
'This is quite a remarkable commentary in the Focus on the Bible series. Within the space of 416 pages we have a very clear introduction to and exposition of the large Book of Isaiah. The exposition reads simply and has a freshness about it that is very pleasing. Highly recommended.' (RSW, The Presbyterian Banner)
A key Old Testament book
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Harman is noticeably different ... he has basically written an exegetical commentary. There is nothing wrong with exegetical commentaries (I have many of them) but it's not what I thought I was getting. If you're looking for an exegetical commentary, get Motyer, Young, and Oswalt. Harman is not bad at all, he is just much less thorough as an exegete than those giants.
That said, as an exegetical commentator, Harman is very clear. He interacts with the Hebrew regularly, but it's not an impediment to somebody who doesn't know Hebrew. His explanations are very much in clear English, and that is helpful indeed. His discussion of the very controverial Immenuel passage in chapter 7, for example, is certainly aware of all of the issues in interpretation, but he deals with the text primarily in English and as necessary offers alternative English translations which make his position more clear.
As I said, my primary complaint here is that this commentary just doesn't fit in this series.