The Resurrected Servant in Isaiah
Many have stood in awe of the prophecy about the servant in Isaiah 52:13-53:12 either because of its lack of theological precedence in ancient literature, or because of the parallels between the servant and the portrayal of Jesus of Nazareth in the Gospels.
However, since the arguments of two scholars were presented over thirty years ago, there has been little examination of the servant’s possible resurrection in Isaiah 53:10–12. Even though their interpretations have been cited multiple times as disproving resurrection in this passage, discourse analysis suggests otherwise.
The servant is made a guilt offering, which means he dies. He is killed by Zion/Jerusalem, and then goes on to see his offspring and “prolong days.” This can only mean one thing—he is resurrected. The servant’s resurrection is how he lifts the iniquities of many, makes many to be accounted righteous, and carries their sin.
Bruce Waltke, Professor Emeritus of Old Testament Studies at Regent College says: “John Barry’s exegesis of Isaiah 52:13-53:12, a crucial text for Christian apologetics, is brilliant: well researched and cogently argued. Step by step he convincingly demonstrates that the prophet proclaims to the Babylonian exiles an individual servant who offers his life as a sin offering and is raised from the dead. His book will be my first port of call when studying this great text.”
The analysis in this book reveals that Isaiah 53:10–12 is the culmination of the events of Isaiah 40–55, rather than a telling of a fallen prophet of God. The servant, by means of his resurrection, restores and reconciles God’s people.
Order it for Logos Bible Software (2010).
Craig C. Broyles, co-editor of Writing and Reading the Scroll of Isaiah says, “Few passages in the Bible can rival the suffering Servant Song of Isaiah 53 for inspiring both wonder and controversy. Yet John Barry’s monograph is one of the few books in the last thirty years to re-examine its range of interpretations and to challenge the views held by leading scholars. This is a must-read for all interested in a vigorous argument that, even within the horizons of the Old Testament itself, the most coherent reading of verses 10-12 is that this servant is an individual who, by virtue of his bearing the sin of ‘the many’ as a sacrificial offering, shall see ‘light’ in his resurrection from death.”
Old Testament scholar, Warren Gage says, “John Barry’s forthcoming book on the ‘servant’ in Isaiah offers a fresh look at the question of the identity of the so-called servant and his suffering. In a scholarly debate dominated for several decades by Orlinsky and Whybray, Barry works within the data of the text itself to suggest an alternative interpretation. He claims that the prophetic oracle foretells a resurrection of the suffering servant centuries before the New Testament would make the identical claim. Restricting his research to the four corners of the Isaiah document itself, Barry offers a cogent, well written, and very well researched argument that invites a new look at the role of Isaianic prophecy in the history of the tradition of suffering servant interpretation.”
(Note: Since I am the author of this title, I will receive a royalty on any purchase you make. I may also receive a small amount for you making a purchase through one of my affiliate links.)