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Archive for the ‘Allan MacRae’ Category

Last week we reviewed this book, which can be read HERE.

Apparently, this book is for free online!

The publishers have put this online as individual PDF pages, with the table of content HERE.

The Table of Content is provided here as well:

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 003

INTRODUCTION  007

INTRODUCTION BY FRANCIS A. SCHAEFFER  008

PREFACE 009  010  011  012

IMPORTANT PRELIMINARY CONSIDERATIONS

1. Isaiah Sees the Saviour  013  014  015  016  017

2. Isaiah and His Contemporaries 018  019  020  021  022

3. The King of Persia as Deliverer  023  024  025   026  027  028  029  030

4. The Symphonic Structure   031  032  033

5. The Real Cause of Exile  034  035  036  037  038

THE GREAT OVERTURE

6. The Importance and Uniqueness of Chapter 40 039

7. Isaiah 40  040  041  042  043  044  045  046  047  048  049  050   051  052

PART 1: BABYLON OVERTHROWN
AND THE LORD’S SERVANT INTRODUCED

8. The Great Confrontation in Isaiah 41  053  054  055  056  057  058

9. The Servant of the LORD Introduced   059  060  061  062

10. The Worldwide Work of the LORD’S Servant: Isaiah 42:1-7  063  064  065  066  067  068  069   070

11. A Picture of Frustration: Isaiah 42:8-25  071  072  073  074  075  076

12. Isaiah 43  077  078  079  080  081  082  083  084

13. Isaiah 44-47  085  086  087  088  089  090  091  092  093  094

PART 2: ISRAEL RELEASED
AND THE LORD’S SERVANT INDIVIDUALIZED

14. Isaiah 48  095  096  097  098  099   099  100  101  102

15. The Individualization of the Servant of the LORD: Isaiah 49:1-12  103  104  105  106  107  108  109  110  111  112

16. God Answers Israel’s Cry of Despair: Isaiah 49:14-50:3  113  114  115  116  117

17. The Servant’s Soliloquy: Isaiah 50:4-11  118  119  120  121

18. A Long Passage of Reassurance: Isaiah 51:1-52:12  122  123  124  125  126  127  128

PART 3: THE ACCOMPLISHMENT OF THE
WORK OF THE LORD’S SERVANT
19. The Servant’s Atoning Work: Isaiah 52:13-53:12 129  130  131  132  133  134  135  136  137  138  139  140  141  142  143  144  145  146  147  148  149  150

20. Isaiah 54   151  152  153  154  155   156  157  158  159  160

21. The Gracious Invitation: Isaiah 55:1-56:2  161  162  163  164  165  166  167  168

22. The Universal Outreach: Isaiah 56:3-8  169  170  171

Appendix   172  173  174  175  176  177  178

Notes to Particular Points  179  180  181  182  183

Resources for Study  184   185  186  187  188

Scripture Index  189  190  191

Index of Hebrew Words  192

 

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This work is by Allan A. MacRae. Though this is an older work (1977), I believe it is still a worthwhile read. The fact that this author has studied under some renown scholars (Princeton’s Robert Dick Wilson, R.A. Torrey of BIOLA and William Albright) and has spent years studying Isaiah would certainly lead the readers to discover something new about Isaiah from MacRae’s “The Gospel of Isaiah.” The book does not cover all of Isaiah, but on the section of Isaiah 40-56:8. The writer had no desire to write a detail commentary here, due to the author’s wish to engage the lay reading audience. For some this might leave things technical questions one might have unanswered. This impacts even the format of the book, as readers will notice that even the identification of Hebrew word or whatever grammatical-syntactical insight of the Hebrew are put in the endnotes. The value of this book is his discussion about the “Servant of God,” where the author takes into account contextually of how that at times refer to Israel, but other times it refers to individuals–specifically that of King Cyrus and the Messiah. MacRae successfully argues for the Messiah being predicated as the Suffering Servant. There are several Christian works on the Messianic prophecy found in Isaiah 53 which MacRae also discusses here too (with a thirty page chapter if I recall correctly), but what I appreciate of this book is the discussion of the “Servant” by looking at it’s use fully in the surrounding context. This way, readers will have a easier time seeing Isaiah 53 referring to the Messianic Suffering Servant, having seen that He is referred to earlier in the context. In the end of the book, MacRae also have some appendix notes that I found helpful for a general reading audience–issues on translations, Ancient translations and comment on the unity of Isaiah. Furthermore, he ends the work with a section “Resources for study,” that I found insightful in more ways than one: 1.) It gave readers a window into how MacRae approaches his study, without reliance on the commentary as much as grammatical historical work himself; 2.) It also made me appreciate the amount of development of scholarship, resources and tools since MacRae written this book, such as his discussion about the difficulty of accessing Brown, Driver and Briggs lexicon which since the date of the publication has been less difficult with Bruce Einspahr’s Index to BDB. This work is best read alongside of the passage that the author’s exposition–whether in the Hebrew and/or English translation. There were many times in reading Isaiah I was stunned how it provided later future antecedent theology for New Testament words, themes and imagery. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed it reading it for devotional, even though for such a small book I thought I was going to finish it much more sooner!

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Presuppositional Apologetics stresses the importance of the Bible shaping the presuppositions of how we even engage in Apologetics.

I’ve been fascinated with the incorporation of Messianic Prophecies and Presuppositionalism in one’s apologetics.  Even the evaluation of prophecy must be driven by a biblical philosophy of Prophecy/history.

Prior to the Messianic prophecy of the Suffering Servant Messiah in Isaiah 53, it’s interesting to see how often in Isaiah 40 onward, Isaiah attack false gods and idols.   The attacks against other gods and what they cannot do has great implication towards apologetics methodology.  For instance, in Isaiah 41:21-24 God throws down the challenge against false gods:

21[a]Present your case,” the LORD says.
“Bring forward your strong arguments,”
The King of Jacob says.
22 Let them bring forth and declare to us what is going to take place;
As for the former events, declare what they were,
That we may consider them and know their outcome.
Or announce to us what is coming;
23 Declare the things that are going to come afterward,
That we may know that you are gods;
Indeed, do good or evil, that we may anxiously look about us and fear together.
24 Behold, you are of [b]no account,
And your work amounts to nothing;
He who chooses you is an abomination.

It’s almost as if God was mocking other gods and require them to live up (ironically) to the standard He places to test whether any god is a living God like Him.  And this criteria of God is set as the foundation for the “battle of the gods” before the ISAIAH 53 prophecies about the Messiah are given.  I like the words of Dr. Allan A. MacRae in commenting on this passage:

The gods of the nations are challenged to predict the future or even to explain the meaning of the past.  This challenge ends with an ironic assertion of the impotence of the heaven gods.  The LORD declares that they do not even exist; they can do nothing, and all who follow them are utterly worthless.

This emphasis on the inability of heathen gods to predict the future points to one of the great themes of this section, the argument from fullfilled prophecy, which, like the emphasis on God’s creative power, is stressed more often in this section of Isaiah than almost anywhere else in the Bible.” [Allan MacRae, The Gospel According to Isaiah, (Hatfeld, PA: Interdisciplinary Biblical Research Institute, 1977), 57].

In discussion of Messianic Prophecies, the Presuppositional Apologist should stress that the Bible has already offer an interpretive framework in understanding what these prophecies mean and it’s implication in the worldview/other gods /religions debate.  Moreover, the Presuppositionalist must also be always alert for the philosophical undercurrent and presuppositions that lead an unbeliever to reject these Messianic prophecies, and then go after these presuppositions, since they control the unbeliever’s rejection of the Messianic Prophecies.

 

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