A few Christians hardly give attention to the authors of the various books in the Bible. As long as they feel they could get inspiration from the word of God during their devotion, concerns of who authors what they read are not relevant.
On the other hand, even deriving meaning from sacred scripture to some extend significantly depends on who the author of a specific text is, especially in the scholarly circles.
Biblical scholars often subject-specific books to a number of parameters such as dates of composition, literary styles, historical backgrounds, among others, to conclude on the author.
So, who is the author of the Book of Isaiah?
Isaiah is one of the books in the Bible, which have gained huge debate among scholars when it comes to authorship. Over many centuries, many Bible readers have assumed that Prophet Isaiah wrote the whole book bearing his name. Nonetheless, other biblical scholars have recommended other writers.
Nearly all scholars decide that Isaiah wrote chapters 1 to 39. However, there are others arguing it was a prophet who resided toward the end of the Babylonian exile and has been referred to as the Second or Deutero-Isaiah to determine him from the first.
Furthermore, a more intense study demonstrates that chapters 56 to 66 were written about him by another prophet called the Third or Trito-Isaiah.
Bill T. Arnold and Bryan E. Beyer show that people who say more than one individual wrote the book of Isaiah often base their argument on the book’s time span, the various subject matter of chapters 1 to 39 and 40 to 66, and the mention of King Cyrus by name as well.
The Book of Isaiah’s time span
Other people who hold a multi-author view recommend that the book’s time span rules out a single author. They perceive no way Isaiah could have known about the situations in chapters 44 to 66.
What’s more, the fact it does not chronicle anywhere that prophet Isaiah lived for two hundred years means he ruled out from being the author of a few parts of the book. Meanwhile, the one-author proponents also argue that God knows the future and often shows it to His servants, the prophets. Thus, it may be possible that God informed Isaiah concerning the future, narrating events without seeing them himself.
Thus, the Bible establishes for itself predictive prophesy, given that the One-author view accounts for the book’s time span based on the Bible’s guideline.
Other subjects to keep in mind
Multiple-author proponents showcase the various subject matter of Isaiah 1 to 39 and Isaiah 44 to 66. Take note that Chapters 1 to 39 mainly concentrate on Assyria, while Chapters 44 to 66 concentrate on Babylon. Chapters 1 to 39 also deal with the generation of Isaiah, whereas chapters 40 to 66 look to the future.
The judgment of God creates the main theme of chapters 1 to 39, but His salvation and redemption lead the way in chapters 40 to 66. Such sharp differences recommend the involvement of more than a single author.
In defense of the One-Author perspective, the advocates ground their argument on the human ability to change writing styles based on and depending on various factors such as the topic being written about as well as the purpose.
Other parts of the book, such as chapters 44:28 and 45:1, mention the first king of the Persian Empire, Cyrus, by name. It’s upon that background that those Multiple-author advocates cite the verses as examples of exact details only someone living at that time could understand.
The ministry of Isaiah mentioned long before the period of Cyrus, but they argue that somebody else should have the references to Cyrus and the surrounding material as well. On the other hand, One-author proponents have responded in one of the two concerns on that matter. First, a few recommendedthat we must think God provided the name to Isaiah.
One other Biblical example of those prophecies seems to take place. Further, others recommend that Isaiah prophesied without even mentioning Cyrus and ascribed later filled in the name after the realization became clear.
The evidence from the Bible
Proof from the New Testament also recommends the book came from the prophet Isaiah. The NT authors seem to attribute both scenarios of Isaiah to the prophet.
To sum up, it is essential to keep in mind that the collective proof recommends that the One-author view has much to praise it. The book’s time span and concerns of subject matter, style, and vocabulary don’t present challenges if we let God show the future to His prophets and if we grant that One-author could write in more than a single style.
Textual proof and the witness of the New Testament writers show to support the One-author view as well. With that in mind, the One-author theory of the book’s authorship holds more water.