MA815 Isaiah: A Theological Reading

Theological Interpretation of Scripture Through Reading Isaiah

The aim of the course is to provide both a theoretical basis and practical experience in reading Scripture in the context of biblical theology, while building on and incorporating useful insights from historical criticism and other more recent approaches. In the first part we explore the strengths and limitations of the historical-critical approach, which has been the major interpretative paradigm since the Enlightenment. We also consider if it is possible, even desirable, to be the objective outsider in interpretation and whether a Christian faith perspective is an advantage or a liability in this regard. In the second part of the course we apply the insights we gained to the theme of Messiah in the book of Isaiah. The book falls into three distinct units in historical-critical terms, which were traditionally kept strictly separate.

However, allowing the parts to talk to each other around the concept of Messiah and drawing into the discussion the wider context of the canon will demonstrate the value of a theological thematic approach across the whole of Scripture (OT and NT).