This unit is a study of the book and message of Isaiah. It will consider various traditions of interpretation of this prophetic book, including contemporary approaches. Views on historical and socio-cultural background to the text, as well as literary analysis of Isaiah will be examined. The exploration into the formation of the book will consider the major theories regarding location, dating and authorship. The call, role and work of the prophet Isaiah will be examined in relation to the prophetic vocation and phenomenon. Exegetical study of selected passages of Isaiah will form a key focus of the unit, including consideration of the relevance of Isaiah’s message for today.

Unit code: BA9003S

Unit status: Approved (Minor revision)

Points: 24.0

Unit level: Postgraduate Elective

Unit discipline: Old Testament

Proposing College: Stirling College

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Learning outcomes


Demonstrate competency in the use of exegetical tools for analysing selected passages from Isaiah


Critically assess varied hermeneutical approaches to Isaiah.


Discuss and assess various perspectives on the background to Isaiah, including its composition, authorship, literary structure, and historical context.


Demonstrate an integrated approach to the application of theological themes in Isaiah to contemporary contexts.


Critically evaluate and apply current research on Isaiah.

Unit sequence

Foundation level Introducing the Hebrew Bible or equivalent


Lecture material, group discussion, and exegetical exercises.

Indicative Bibliography

  • Abernethy, Andrew T., Mark G. Brett, Tim Bulkeley, and Tim Meadowcroft, Isaiah and Imperial Context: The Book of Isaiah in the Times of Empire. Eugene, OR: Pickwick Publications, 2013. (Recommended for purchase)
  • Blenkinsopp, Joseph. Isaiah 40-55: A New Translation with Introduction and Commentary. Anchor Bible. New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 2007.
  • Brueggemann, Walter. Isaiah 1-39. Westminster Bible Companion. Louisville, Ky: Westminster/John Knox Pr, 1998.
  • Brueggemann, Walter. Isaiah 40-66. Westminster Bible Companion. Louisville, Ky: Westminster/John Knox Pr, 1998.
  • Childs, Brevard S. Isaiah. Old Testament Library. Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox, 2001.
  • Conrad, Edgar W. Reading Isaiah. Overtures to Biblical Theology. Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 1991.
  • Darr, Katheryn Pfisterer. Isaiah’s Vision and the Family of God. Literary Currents in Biblical Interpretation. Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 1994.
  • Goldingay, John. The Theology of the Book of Isaiah. Downers Grove, Ill: IVP, 2014. (Recommended for purchase)
  • Matthews, Victor H. The Hebrew Prophets and Their Social World: An Introduction. 2nd ed. Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2012.
  • O’Brien, Julia M. Challenging Prophetic Metaphor: Theology and Ideology in the Prophets. Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 2008.
  • Oswalt, John N. The Book of Isaiah: Chapters 1-39 . NICOT: Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1986.
  • Oswalt. John N. The Book of Isaiah: Chapters 40-66. NICOT. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1998.
  • Watts, John D. W. Isaiah 1-33. WBC 24. Waco, TX: Word Books, 1985.
  • ———. Isaiah 34-66. WBC 25. Waco, TX: Word Books, 1987.


Type Description Word count Weight (%)
Literature Survey

Literature Review (1500 words)

1500 20.0

Thematic Essay (2500 words)

2500 30.0

. Exegetical Essay (3000 words)

3000 50.0

Unit approved for the University of Divinity by Maggie Kappelhoff on 20 Sep, 2021

Unit record last updated: 2021-09-20 16:22:50 +1000