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The Book of Isaiah

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The Book of Isaiah:  From Yesterday to Today “Holy, holy, holy, the LORD of Hosts!”  The prophet Isaiah ben Amoz lived in the 8th Century, B.C.E.  With those famous words, uttered while he stood in the Temple in Jerusalem, he acknowledged the Presence of God as God was revealed from On High.  And over the course of his life, Isaiah spoke to the people of Israel, both rebuking them for their failings and comforting them for their suffering, alternating messages of Divine love and Divine displeasure. However, there were "other Isaiahs," both real and read:  the prophecies of an anonymous Isaiah in the Persian Era spoke comforting words to Israel in Exile, his prophetic compositions being added to the original collection in the 6th Century, B.C.E.  But in a sense there have been “many Isaiahs” since then, as subsequent generations of Jews and Christians have continued to read and be moved by the Book’s majestic messages, from antiquity to the present day, and, in effect, re-imagined the prophet in their own images. Our ongoing course will traverse the chapters of this most influential thinker and the biblical book that bears his name.  We will attempt both to place ourselves in the original contexts in which the prophet(s) first spoke, as well as to engage Isaiah’s prophetic words as they were read by later rabbis and churchmen.  Ancient interpretations, medieval commentaries and modern studies will all help us to engage in what has proved to be enduring and compelling messag

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