Publication: Avraham Gileadi, The Book of Isaiah: A New Translation with Interpretive Keys from the Book of Mormon. An unsurpassed beginner’s guide to the Book of Isaiah for LDS readers that blends testimony and scholarship to explain Isaiah’s writings. Hebron Books, 2012: 253 pages. Softcover.
Description: A modern English translation of the Book of Isaiah that is true to the Hebrew and that attempts to convey the meaning of the prophet’s words rather than transcribe a technically correct rendering that is needlessly hard to comprehend. Four interpretive keys to understanding Isaiah drawn from the Book of Mormon make this an excellent introduction to Isaiah’s prophecy.
Testimonial: “A new and distinctive translation which constitutes an advance upon other modern translations. It is sensitive and manages to capture in English the vigor of the Hebrew idiom”—Professor Roland K. Harrison, Editor-in-Chief, The New King James Version.
Testimonial: “Dr. Gileadi is the only LDS scholar I know of who is thoroughly competent to teach the words of Isaiah”—Hugh Nibley.
Testimonial: “Avraham Gileadi takes one by the hand to explain nuances of language, setting, and Jewish modes of thought. Suddenly Isaiah, a book foreign and opaque, becomes a book of light”—Truman G. Madsen.
From the Author: “After finding the 1611 A.D. King James Version of the Book of Isaiah literalistic, archaic, and inconsistent and thus an obstacle to understanding of the words of Isaiah, I spent a year during my Ph.D. program to complete the Isaiah Institute Translation. Wasn’t it a tenet of our religion that ‘We believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly’ (Articles of Faith 1:8)? And didn’t a church leader declare, ‘Take the Bible just as it reads; and if it be translated incorrectly and there is a scholar on the earth who professes to be a Christian, and he can translate it any better than King James’s translators did it, he is under obligation to do so’ (Discourses of Brigham Young, p 124)? To my modern translation I added four interpretive keys for understanding Isaiah’s writings that appear in the Book of Mormon, citing examples drawn mainly from my own research but also, selectively, from others’.”
- introduction: interpretive keys
- The Spirit of Prophecy
- The Letter of Prophecy
- Governing Structures
- Forms of Speech
- Hebrew Language
- Reading between the Lines
- Rhetorical Connections
- Zion and Babylon
- Scriptural Links
- New Events
- Assyria and Egypt
- An Analogy with Today
- Applying the Interpretive Keys
- THE BOOK OF ISAIAH
- SELECTED REFERENCE WORKS
Excerpt: In this same passage, Isaiah depicts the archtyrant’s army as well-disciplined—in contrast to God’s people at that time, whom the text describes indirectly: “Not one of them grows weary, nor does any stumble; they do not drowse or fall asleep. Their waist-belts come not loose, nor their sandal thongs undone” (Isaiah 5:27) Unlike this formidable army, Israel has grown weary in her loyalty to God (compare Isaiah 43:22); Israel stumbles (compare Isaiah 59:10); Israel drowses and falls asleep (compare Isaiah 51:17; 56:10); Israel’s waist-belts come loose and Israel’s sandal thongs undone (compare Isaiah 3:7; 8:15)—God’s people wallow in apostasy.
Excerpt: This selectivity explains why Isaiah employs no explicit chronology in his writings. Isaiah has scrambled both his chronology and the unfolding of the events themselves. We can unravel them only by diligent searching, linking individual events, domino fashion, to others in the Book of Isaiah to form an implicit sequence. We achieve a complete picture of the last days when we identify each piece of the puzzle and link it to those that relate to it. This challenge should not dismay us; it doesn’t lie outside the reach of the reader. Because the Lord has commanded that we search Isaiah’s prophecies, his message must lie within our reach. Despite this, as it isn’t easy to understand Isaiah, we must view as growing pains all that it involves. Once we understand Isaiah’s words, we will have passed a spiritual milestone in our lives.