Friday 29 April 2016

Isaiah by the Day

This book gives me a headache - on what shelf should I put it? It calls itself a 'devotional commentary', but it would be difficult to comfortably put it in either (or fit it in as a matter of fact because of its size.  At 22 x 17cm it is a big 'un). For the moment I have settled for devotional.  It is certainly not a verse by verse commentary, and would not be useful to consult in this way.  But at the end of each of the 71 sections Motyer has divided the book up into (for convenience sake), there is a paragraph of reflection.  This is usually excellent.  Well composed and concise but full of matter for mediation, application and prayer.  It has not been a drag to use this book for daily readings. They are fairly long, but fascinating, although not perhaps for everyone.  It depends on whether you are willing to accept the author's own translation of the prophecy of Isaiah.  Do you want to read it in an unfamiliar rendering, or would you prefer to simply follow what you know? The advantage of proceeding with the former is that Motyer, with his skill as an Old Testament scholar, adds many snippets of translational notes and historical references.  He has also translated and set out the text in a form so as to reflect its literary style, and give a feel for the original language.  Motyer's passion is to enrich people's experience of Isaiah, and in this he succeeds well. This is a nicely produced hardback edition and would make a suitable gift for anyone who would like to be considered as a student of the Bible.
Isaiah by the Day, by Alec Motyer, published by Christian Focus Publications, £14.99

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