My Favorite Books

The Walking Drum
Ender's Game
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
The Curse of Chalion
The Name of the Wind
Chronicles of the Black Company
The Faded Sun Trilogy
The Tar-Aiym Krang

Sunday, May 21, 2023

Review: Isaiah

Isaiah Isaiah by J Gordon McConville
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Part of the Baker Commentary on the Old Testament (BCOT), this book presents a commentary on the book of Isaiah as found in the Christian Old Testament (OT) that targets students of the Bible for the purposes of teaching or preaching. In other words, there is an obvious christological lens by which the author conducts his exegesis. The Introduction provides the original context of the text, including scope, related history, general structure, authorship, language & translation challenges, and related theology. Within each part are chapters that almost correspond 1 to 1 with chapters in Isaiah. Each chapter (64+) has an Overview before a discussion about translation and interpretation that walks through each pericope before it finishes with a theological reflection. 

In total you get nearly 800 pages of insight into one of the most influential books of the Old Testament with regards to Christianity. It is also detailed and large enough to make it difficult to read straight through; however, you still get a lot if you just read the overviews and reflections before coming back to the translation and interpretations sections for a deeper understanding. However, this is Not an academic book focused on engaging scholars and theologians; so you will find the analysis written in language more accessible to students providing just enough depth to support the viewpoint presented (so there really isn’t much exploration of contemporary debate or controversy). Over all, this is a great book to have to unlock a better understanding of the Christian New Testament.

Part One: Yahweh’s Vision for a Renewed Jerusalem (1:1 - 12:6)
Part Two: Oracles about the Nations (13:1 - 27:13)
Part Three: True and False Trust (28:1 - 35:10)
Part Four: A Miraculous Deliverance of Jerusalem (36:1 - 39:8)
Part Five: Cyrus, the Servant, and the Redemption of Zion/Jerusalem (40:1 - 55:13)
Part Six: The True Character of Glorified Zion/Jerusalem (56:1 - 66:24)

I was given this free advance reader copy (ARC) ebook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

#Isaiah #NetGalley

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My Ratings Explained ...

  • [ ***** ] Amazing Read - Perfect story, exciting, engrossing, well developed complex characters, solid plot with few to no holes, descriptive environments and place settings, great mystery elements, realistic dialogue, believable reactions and behaviors; a favorite that I can re-read many times.
  • [ **** ] Great Read - Highly entertaining and enjoyable, exciting storyline, well developed characters and settings, a few discrepancies but nothing that can’t be overlooked. Some aspect of the story was new/refreshing to me and/or intriguing. Recommended for everyone.
  • [ *** ] Good Read - Solid story with a 'good' ending, or has some other redeeming feature. Limited character development and/or over reliance on tropes. Noticeable discrepancies in world building and/or dialog/behavior that were distracting. I connected enough with the characters/world to read the entire series. Most of the books I read for fun are here. Recommended for fans of the genre.
  • [ ** ] Okay Read - Suitable for a brief, afternoon escape … flat or shallow characters with little to no development. Over the top character dialog and/or behavior. Poor world building with significant issues and/or mistakes indicating poor research. Excessive use of trivial detail, info dumps and/or pontification. Any issues with the story/characters are offset by some other aspect that I enjoyed. Not very memorable. May only appeal to a niche group of readers. Recommended for some (YMMV).
  • [ * ] Bad Read - Awkward and/or confusing writing style. Poor world building and/or unbelievable (or unlikeable) characters. Victimization, gaslighting, blatant abuse, unnecessary violence, child endangerment, or any other highly objectionable behaviors by Main characters. I didn't connect with the story at all; significant aspects of this story irritated me enough that I struggled to finished it. Series was abandoned. Not recommended.