Talk:Isaiah

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Older threads[edit]

The Prophets Hosea and Isaiah were (near) contemporaries. Moreover, the High Priest at this time was Hoshaiah. (See Wikipedia's List of the High Priests of Israel entry.) Could Hoshaiah the High Priest, Hosea the Prophet, and Isaiah the Prophet all have been the same person???

Hi All, I have just made some major additions to this page of Isaiah and have preserved some original material as well. Comments are welcome! - Nathan Hill

This page seems to overlap badly with Book of Isaiah. I think the idea of this page was to be mainly about the prophet, not about the book.


Our intentions were to talk about both the book and the prophet. Perhaps this page would be better incorporated into "book or Isaiah" and this page reverted to its previous content? -Nathan Hill

I don't think "Christianity" regards Isaiah as a Saint. Prophet yes, saint no. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 75.152.139.204 (talk) 06:25, 16 June 2009 (UTC)

Generally speaking, Christianity regards anyone who has been redeemed to be a saint, as it comes from Latin "sanctus" meaning holy. Anyone who is redeemed by Christ's gift of salvation, past or present, is a saint. Those who are officially proclaimed saints, as by the Roman Catholic or Greek Orthodox Churches are those who they believed have been "proven" to be true believers. Thus, Isaiah can be said to be a saint. Anyone not falling into this category, but who may be a saint is regarded as an unknown saint, whose feast day would then be celebrated on November 1, "All Saints Day." Danwaggoner (talk) 02:38, 27 December 2009 (UTC)


I have completed the revision and switch-Nathan Hill

Nathan,

Rastafari, the Jamaican sect which believes Blacks are the chosen people, has many roots within this chapter. I would suggest bridging the two pages to facilitate an easier guide.

Hey! Isn't the main reason for Isaiah's importance his prophesies of the Messiah? Why isn't that mentioned??? Brutannica 01:42, 14 April 2006 (UTC)

Yes, I wondered that. Certainly for Christians that's his chief importance, although the Jews might take issue with that. I would like to know where to find Isaiah's prophecies to do with the Messiah are to be found. Can anyone help? ThePeg 15:45, 21 April 2007 (UTC)

Isaiah's prophecy of the Messiah.[edit]

In reference to Isaiah's reference to the Messiah (otherwise known as Jesus Christ), I have only scratched the surface to find Isaiah 9:1 - 7; Isaiah 7:13 - 14; and Isaiah 52:13 - 53 (whole chapter). These are simply a few of the overt prophecies of the Christ; their are many more subtle references. I'm unsure of the qualifications needed to edit/comment, so I'll leave it there. I'm no professor; just a Minister. Hope this at least gets someone on the track. As for Jews being offended by these references, I fail to see how this could be. Surely the Jewish understanding of these references would be quite plausible... hence the debate about whether or not they are reference to Christ Himself or someone else entirely.

144.135.136.210 05:26, 1 May 2007 (UTC)Neil.144.135.136.210 05:26, 1 May 2007 (UTC) —The preceding unsigned comment was added by 144.135.136.210 (talk) 00:06, 1 May 2007 (UTC).

Isaiah[edit]

Moved from Fayenatic_london talk page

I'm sure your intentions for your recent edits of Isaiah were good but...

  • The Hebrew word for Isaiah is already included within the article
  • The link is too general for the article.

WikiJonathanpeter 18:15, 18 July 2007 (UTC)

Hi WJP, in that case I suggest you go further and delete the whole external link to the Tanakh Profiles site. Two or three of us who cannot read Hebrew agreed to let Rambamfan's edits remain, on condition that the transliteration link should be added to help non-Hebrew-readers work out the names. OK? - Fayenatic london (talk) 18:47, 18 July 2007 (UTC)
OK - I see - done. Thanks. WikiJonathanpeter 07:50, 19 July 2007 (UTC)

"Commonly considered"[edit]

The opening paragraph says that the prophet Isaiah is "commonly considered" to be the author of the entire book. In fact, he is not so considered by the overwhelming majority of biblical scholars.

Shouldn't this be changed? Jhobson1 13:35, 27 August 2007 (UTC)

Find a good source, change the page, cite the source. Easy-peasy. --130.243.208.12 08:28, 15 September 2007 (UTC)
Well, I suppose that regular Christians who are not Biblical scholars are pretty "common"... I'll change it to "traditionally". Hopefully there's no controversy about that. --Robert Stevens (talk) 15:50, 31 March 2008 (UTC)

Deletion of "Critical Scholarship"[edit]

I see that virtually the entire "Critical Scholarship" section was removed on September 19th in an unexplained deletion by an anonymous user with a track record of vandalism (see here for another example of this user's "contribution"). I see no reason to suppose that this edit was made in good faith, and what's left has since been tagged as "confusing", so I'm restoring the section. --Robert Stevens 13:52, 16 October 2007 (UTC)


The 12 May, 2008 version was fine. It could use some touch ups, but I don't see why the whole thing was deleted and turned into a stub without any explanation.. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 71.108.0.190 (talk) 21:11, 13 May 2008 (UTC)

This whole section should be removed and put into the article Book of Isaiah. That is the place to discuss "critical scholarship" - this article should be about the person, not the book.--FimusTauri (talk) 14:38, 27 March 2009 (UTC)
Deleted it - the article Book of Isaiah more than covers this topic.--FimusTauri (talk) 14:41, 27 March 2009 (UTC)

Haircut[edit]

This article needs a serious haircut. The request for citations is almost a year old. I think it's time to start trimming out the unreferenced speculations. All in favor? Opposed?--Nowa (talk) 00:20, 24 April 2009 (UTC)

Section: "Isaiah in the Book of Mormon"[edit]

This section adds nothing whatsoever to the article. Most of it appears to be an attempt by Mormons to engage in self-promotion. For this reason I propose deletion. Darkman101 (talk) 18:15, 19 March 2011 (UTC)

I agree; the content of that section isn't really focused on Isaiah at all. There should be maybe one sentence in this article noting that Isaiah is mentioned in the Book of Mormon, but related details should either go in Book of Mormon or in related subarticles. ...comments? ~BFizz 01:29, 20 March 2011 (UTC)

I will delete it as it doesn't belong on this page. It could be removed to the article on the book of Isaiah if it's author so desired. carl bunderson (talk) (contributions) 23:40, 22 March 2011 (UTC)

diff for posterity, in case anyone wants to put this content somewhere more appropriate. ...comments? ~BFizz 23:52, 22 March 2011 (UTC)

Prophetess Theories[edit]

It currently says "The second interpretation, that it was simply an honorary title, "Mrs. Prophet" as it were, is likely." and cites Coogan's textbook. I'm reading Coogan right now, and I found the exact sentence, except that Coogan actually says "less likely." I'm not by any means an expert, however, so I'm hesitant to rework a section on the likelihood of different theories. Sir Akroy (talk) 18:22, 7 April 2011 (UTC)

The Works of Josephus[edit]

More research should be cited from The Works of Josephus. Isaiah, the Prophet is mentioned in Josephus in Antiq. 9.13.3; 10.1.3; 10.2.1, 2; his eulogium, 10.2.2; his prophecy concerning the Assyrians 10.14.1ff; concerning Cyprus 210 years before his reign 11.1.2; the same read by Cyrus, ibid.; his prophcy concerning the temple of Onias, War. 7.10.3 The Works of Josephus Complete and Unabridged, New Updated Edition, Translated by William Whiston, A.M., Hendricson Publishers, 1987. easeltineEaseltine (talk) 15:24, 6 November 2011 (UTC)

Did Isaiah exist?[edit]

The tone of this article is problematic with regards to the biographical aspect as it suggests that Isaiah can be accurately pinpointed to one date in history. In fact, he can't. There is no evidence that he existed as a person, was born, married or died. The only source for Isaiah is the Bible - and that is not in itself a reliable historical source. Can we amend the article please to make clear that there is no evidence that Isaiah was a real historical person? His only purpose is religious. Contaldo80 (talk) 12:44, 12 March 2012 (UTC)

The book of Isaiah contains both prophecies and historical narrative. The bible is an important historical source, used by secular historians, although opinions differ about how reliable different parts are. Nearly all scholars agree that Isaiah 1-39 is (mainly) the work of a 8th century BCE prophet called Isaiah. As to the period in which Isaiah lived, three of the four kings of Judah (Jotham, Ahaz and Hezekiah) named in Isaiah are known from contemporary extra-biblical sources (and also Assyrian kings like Sennacherib and Sargon II). In the books of Kings and Chronicles, Isaiah is also mentioned in the same historical context and period. So in short, your suggestion is contrary to the consensus of scholars. Both religious and secular historians agree that there was an 8th century BCE prophet called Isaiah and they conclude this based on the biblical documents. -- Lindert (talk) 15:39, 12 March 2012 (UTC)
The secular academic consensus is not as you suggest. Isaiah is only found in the Bible - that is an accepted fact. The Bible is an ok source for historians but it is clear that large parts of it have been proven to be untrue - so its reliability is questionable. As to whether one person wrote the book of Iasiah - scholarly consensus is that the book of Isaiah is a collection of the work of a number of prophets and other writers. Incidentally you've added a reference to the Anglican Dean of Winchester - did you intend this as an independent academic scholarly source? Contaldo80 (talk) 11:35, 15 March 2012 (UTC)
Yes, Isaiah is found only in the Bible. However, it is a mistake to think of the Bible as one source or book. It is a collection of ancient documents that were put together only centuries after they were written. Thus, there are actually several sources for the life of Isaiah by different authors.
Yes, most scholars agree that the book of Isaiah was written by multiple authors in different periods. However, one of those authors, called Proto-Isaiah, is usually identified with an 8th century prophet called Isaiah, son of Amos, or Isaiah of Jerusalem. The reason is of course that the prophesies are closely connected with the period in which he lived.
"you've added a reference to the Anglican Dean of Winchester - did you intend this as an independent academic scholarly source?"
What do you mean by independent? Independent of what? Do you think that the fact that James Atwell is an anglican somehow disqualifies him? He has a MA, and studied at Harvard and Oxford universities. More importantly, the book I cited was published by Continuum International, a respected academic publisher with no religious affiliation. Nevertheless, there are many other authors I could have quoted, because this is the common view. For example, Matthijs J. De Jong in a BRILL publication (link) states: "For a great scholarly majority, Isaiah is the author of an early version of Isa 6-8". In fact, I will replace the reference I added with this one, in order to prevent a suspicion of bias, even though the source I added certainly qualifies as a reliable source. -- Lindert (talk) 14:12, 15 March 2012 (UTC)
Probably better you do. Atwell isn't a professional historian; he's a professional clergyman. I take the point about the Bible being a collection of books but could you clarify the different "sources" dealing with Isaiah? There is the Book of Isaiah and then he's also only mentioned in Kings and Chronicles if I think rightly (which are simply derivative of the main Isaiah text rather than independent and new sources). I think the conclusion we can reach is that there may have been someone living (who was or was maybe not called Isaiah, and possibly a "prophet"), and who wrote only a portion of the Book of Isaiah. This is very different to the way Isaiah is presented in the article. Why not bring the nuances out?Contaldo80 (talk) 15:32, 16 March 2012 (UTC)
With different 'sources' I mean different authors. It is not possible to determine whether there are actually independent sources. That is mostly guesswork. The conclusion you 'can reach' is far too weak. It is not: "there may have been", but "the overwhelming majority of scholars agree that there was" an 8th century prophet called Isaiah whose writings form the oldest part of the Book of Isaiah. -- Lindert (talk) 15:42, 16 March 2012 (UTC)
Ok - but the article doesn't say this. Contaldo80 (talk) 16:58, 16 March 2012 (UTC)

The sentence "Isaiah is not mentioned except in the Bible" is confusing inasmuch as a few lines later mentioned is made of The Martyrdom of Isaiah and Lives of the Prophets. Should the sentence be re-worked to indicate either (1) not mentioned in contemporary extra-Biblical sources; or 2) Only mentioned in material that is related or dependent on 2 Kings / 2 Chronicles / Isaiah? — Preceding unsigned comment added by 68.157.228.233 (talk) 19:21, 16 May 2012 (UTC)

Probably it should be deleted. I think that what it's trying to say is that no 8th century record of Isaiah exists outside the book of Isaiah itself. This is true but rather pointless - most of the book of Isiah itself was not written in the 8th century and is not a contemporary record. Nevertheless, the traditions of Isaiah are pretty extensive and interesting in their own right - the articloe should, for example, mention the Talmudic tradition that makes Hezekiah the first editor of the book, and describes his rather gruesome death. PiCo (talk) 00:27, 17 May 2012 (UTC)

What's this about?[edit]

Anyone know who Isiah means by "the virgin" in this passage (quoted in our article)? "The virgin the daughter of Zion hath despised thee, and laughed thee to scorn; the daughter of Jerusalem hath shaken her head at thee." (God is telling Senacherib off - but who is this virgin?)PiCo (talk) 03:31, 3 May 2012 (UTC)

Daughter (Bath) in Biblical Hebrew is often used as a personification of a city or land as you can find in any lexicon (e.g. in Jeremiah 48:18, Moab is personified as "daughter of Dibon", which was the capital of Moab). The accompanying feminine terminology is an expansion of this metaphor. So in this context, the bethulah spoken of refers to the inhabitants of Jerusalem (or in a wider sense of Judah). The same terminology is used in Isaiah 47:1,5 which talks about the downfall of Babylon:
"Come down, and sit in the dust, O virgin daughter of Babylon, sit on the ground without a throne, O daughter of the Chaldeans; (...) Sit thou silent, and get thee into darkness, O daughter of the Chaldeans; for thou shalt no more be called the mistress of kingdoms."
I don't think the word bethulah is used to specifically denote virginity in this context, because in Isaiah 47:9 this 'virgin daughter of Babylon' is told: "But these two things shall come to thee in a moment in one day, the loss of children, and widowhood". - Lindert (talk) 10:12, 3 May 2012 (UTC)
Thanks Lindert, that's very informative :) PiCo (talk) 23:17, 3 May 2012 (UTC)
The correct translation (see source) is "the virgin daughter of Zion", in other words, the Jewish people. Debresser (talk) 12:49, 6 January 2013 (UTC)

The Biography section is flagged: "This section improperly uses one or more religious texts as primary sources"[edit]

I agree with this assessment, the section is a mess, but I don't have time to fix it. I can however provide several references to start with for someone who wants to take this on. There's the Jewish Encyclopedia's entry for Isaiah here: http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/8235-isaiah; the Catholic Encyclopedia entry here: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/08179b.htm (with the Latin spelling "Isaias"; Britannica Online here: http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/295133/Isaiah; the Jewish Virtual Library (JVL) here: http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/biography/Isaiah.html.

YoMenashe (talk) 13:06, 16 March 2013 (UTC)

Prophetess for sure, perhaps his epiteth was a honorary title????[edit]

"The second interpretation, that it was simply an honorary title is likely"

And WHY is that, pray tell? — Preceding unsigned comment added by 85.166.113.41 (talk) 15:15, 14 June 2013 (UTC)

I guess because there is nowhere any mention of her prophesying, and it would be quite a coincidence if Isaiah happened to marry a prophetess, considering that they are quite rare in the Bible. Anyway, what matters is that the statement is properly sourced. This is not the opinion of Wikipedia editors, but of biblical scholars. Do you have any suggestions on how to improve the paragraph in question? - Lindert (talk) 19:24, 14 June 2013 (UTC)