The Authorship of Isaiah

Questions surrounding the authorship of Isaiah have long been regarded as a challenge for Latter-day Saints who study historical issues around the provenance of the Book of Mormon text.

This project aims to clarify the nature of the multiple-author hypothesis for the book of Isaiah, and offer a basic framework for Latter-day Saints to understand why scholars in the field of biblical studies have adopted this position over the years.

Part 1 of the series provides a basic introduction to scholarly division of the book of Isaiah and how it relates to the Book of Mormon, then explores some basic choices that scholars make in their research.

Part 2 explores questions of worldview, and how a scholar’s worldview can impact their approach to the biblical text.

Part 3 discusses the reality of bias in biblical studies, and the importance of accounting for scholars’ plausibility structures.

Part 4 explores how personal agendas affect research outcomes, and the problem of scholarly consensus in biblical studies.

Part 5 offers a basic background on the book of Isaiah, then explores some basic questions of composition and discusses scholarly views of shifts in setting and perspective in the text.

Part 6 discusses questions of linguistics and anachronisms in the text, and their relevance for dating the text in support of multiple authorship.

Part 7 discusses intertextuality and the Great Isaiah Scroll at Qumran, and how scholars think of these issues in questions of authorship.

In Part 8, I offer some concluding thoughts about appropriate expectations for scholarship.

Post Script: some thoughts on Isaiah 53 and other topics.