The Gospel According to Isaiah 53

It almost goes without saying that Isaiah 53 is an exceedingly important Bible passage. It has great import for biblical theology, historical Jesus studies, evangelism, Messianic Judaism, and a host of other topics. Two of my colleagues, Darrell Bock and Bob Chisholm, have contributed to a new book focused upon this text that offers tremendous help to those wrestling with this passage.

In this book of essays, titled The Gospel According to Isaiah 53: Encountering the Suffering Servant in Jewish and Christian Theology, several different scholars contribute to the question of the meaning of Isaiah 53 in Christian and Jewish interpretation, the meaning and use of this text from the perspective of biblical theology, and then its practical use in Christian worship and Jewish evangelism. There is a tremendous amount of detail in each of the chapters, with lots of references for further investigation. For readers who are beginning their study of this passage, perhaps one of the most helpful chapters is the conclusion by Dr. Bock, where he summarizes each chapter and ties together the themes of the book. For those who are further along, the book is organized well and each chapter appropriately named, so it is easy to find material with a narrower focus.

The central conviction of the book is that Isaiah 53 does indeed point to Jesus as the Suffering Servant, the Messiah who would atone for the sins of Israel and in fact those of the entire world. Each chapter makes an important contribution to that argument, and the book does an admirable job of explaining exegesis and theology without losing sight of practical matters. I recommend it highly to those who are studying this passage, and also to those who are involved in the work of Jewish evangelism.