In this unit, students will engage with the Book of Isaiah in English translation, through exegesis of selected texts and scholarship on its composition, and historical contexts. Theological themes such as prophecy, exile and return, a Davidic messiah, and monotheism, will be studied with attention to the ways that these themes develop and change throughout the course of the book, and in their later use by New Testament writers.

Unit code: BA9519T

Unit status: Approved (New unit)

Points: 24.0

Unit level: Postgraduate Elective

Unit discipline: Old Testament

Proposing College: Trinity College Theological School

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Learning outcomes


Critically analyse scholarly debates regarding the composition of the Book of Isaiah;


Exegete selected Hebrew texts from the book of Isaiah with advanced knowledge of the Biblical Hebrew language


Reflect theologically on the text of Isaiah in relation to other biblical studies and theological disciplines;


Critically evaluate selected ethical and theological issues in Isaiah and propose implications for church life and teaching.

Unit sequence

Prerequisites: Introduction to the Old Testament; Biblical Hebrew A and Biblical Hebrew B (or equivalent)


Twelve weekly sessions. Lecture component (online or in classroom) and tutorial component on exegesis.

Indicative Bibliography

  • Abernethy, A. T., M. G. Brett, T. Bulkeley, and T. Meadowcroft (eds.) Isaiah and Imperial Context: The book of Isaiah in the times of Empire. Eugene: Pickwick Publications, 2013.
  • Aster, Shawn Zelig. Reflections of Empire in Isaiah 1-39: Responses to Assyrian Ideology. Ancient near East Monographs 19. Atlanta: SBL Press, 2017.
  • Boda, Mark J, Frank Ritchel Ames, John J Ahn, and Mark Leuchter (eds.) The Prophets Speak on Forced Migration. Society of Biblical Literature. Ancient Israel and Its Literature 21. Atlanta: SBL Press, 2015.
  • Davis, Ellen F. Biblical Prophecy: Perspectives for Christian Theology, Discipleship, and Ministry. Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 2014.
  • Firth, David G., and H. G. M. Williamson (eds.) Interpreting Isaiah. Leicester: Apollos, 2009.
  • Hom, Mary Katherine Y. H. The Characterization of the Assyrians in Isaiah : Synchronic and Diachronic Perspectives. LHBOTS 559. New York: T & T Clark, 2012.
  • Kaminsky, J., and A. Stewart, “God of All the World: Universalism and Developing Monotheism in Isaiah 40–66,” The Harvard Theological Review, Vol. 99 (2006): 139–163.
  • Kim, Hyun Chul Paul. Reading Isaiah: A Literary and Theological Commentary. Reading the Old Testament. Macon: Smyth & Helwys, 2016.
  • Maier, Christl M. Daughter Zion, Mother Zion: Gender, Space, and the Sacred in Ancient Israel. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2008.
  • Sharp, Carolyn J, (ed.) The Oxford Handbook of the Prophets. New York: Oxford University Press, 2016.


Type Description Word count Weight (%)
Intertextual Study - Weekly text translation preparation 1500 20.0
Exegesis - Final Hebrew Language exegesis assignment 1500 20.0
Essay 3000 40.0
Exegesis - Midsemester Hebrew language exegesis assignment 1500 20.0

Unit approved for the University of Divinity by Maggie Kappelhoff on 6 Oct, 2020

Unit record last updated: 2020-10-20 12:07:20 +1100