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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars thorough and helpful
A readable yet academically rigorous commentary by a scholar who heeds the text and message that he's commentating on, and wants to accurately and helpfully expose its meaning, rather than to make a name for himself by twisting the text to fit personal prejudices. Commentaries don't get much better than this.
Published on 9 Jun 2009 by G. Heath

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars What could have been ...
Three and a half stars, if that were possible.

This is a disappointing commentary, considering what it might have been. It's under IVP's Academic imprint, but this is not really an academic book. It could have been, considering Motyer's life-long engagement with Isaiah, and the breadth of his scholarship, but IVP appear to have opted for something less...
Published on 22 May 2012 by Baruch


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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars thorough and helpful, 9 Jun 2009
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G. Heath (Leicester, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Prophecy of Isaiah (Paperback)
A readable yet academically rigorous commentary by a scholar who heeds the text and message that he's commentating on, and wants to accurately and helpfully expose its meaning, rather than to make a name for himself by twisting the text to fit personal prejudices. Commentaries don't get much better than this.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars What could have been ..., 22 May 2012
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This review is from: Prophecy of Isaiah (Paperback)
Three and a half stars, if that were possible.

This is a disappointing commentary, considering what it might have been. It's under IVP's Academic imprint, but this is not really an academic book. It could have been, considering Motyer's life-long engagement with Isaiah, and the breadth of his scholarship, but IVP appear to have opted for something less.

The strengths are above all in Motyer's grasp of the structure of the book as a whole. This is not merely his endorsement of the traditional evangelical opinion on unity of authorship / pre-exilic dating for the later sections, although many conservatives will find his arguments there helpful. It is in particular in his sense of the book's poetry, his ability to identify poetic structures as they give cohesion to individual oracles. For readers who understand Isaiah as Christocentric, there are many suggestive and insightful remarks. In details of translation Motyer is often sharp and concise.

The weaknesses are several. First, there is simply not enough detailed analysis of the text. Many words go without any discussion. There is virtually no consideration of textual variants - almost no reference in the book to either the LXX or to the Qumran Isaiah. The corollary of this is that Motyer moves far too readily to a moral or devotional application. Not that what he says in this vein isn't sometimes helpful - though it does tend to disregard concrete political or economic issues - it's just that there is a need for more substantial work on the text of Isaiah. Often this commentary reads like either a TOTC or a Bible Speaks Today.

The crying shame is that Motyer didn't provide his own translation. Presumably following IVP policy, the book refers primarily to the NIV. Unfortunately a high proportion of Motyer's references to the NIV are to point out its failings. Having Motyer's own translation would also have made the book much more useable. As it is, the layout is not good, and the content moves unpredictably between exegesis and application. Although Motyer is often a model of clarity, his writing in this seems awkward. Reading it, I found myself wishing for the clarity of organisation and layout found in the Anchor series (though I could do without Anchor's bad setting and printing).

What might have been, if there had been a strong editor. It's well worth having. The go-to book on Isaiah? Sadly not.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Commentary on Isaiah, 20 April 2012
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I was looking for a basic commentary on Isaiah but this book is more for the academic or student committed to indepth study. For such persons I would recommend
this book.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, 23 Sep 2010
This review is from: Prophecy of Isaiah (Paperback)
Have mostly been looking into Isaiah 58 and have this commentary really helpful. Not an easy read but lots of insight.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 2 Aug 2014
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Excellent
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Prophecy of Isaiah by Alec Motyer (Paperback - 16 July 1993)
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