...I have to take Isaiah apart. I'll be looking at the historical context of 53, its place in the OT canon and whether the Church's seeing its fulfilment in Christ is valid. No mean undertaking!
I have this pile of all these commentaries and all these people are arguing with each other. Some believe that God can do it, you know, he can gift us to see into the future...so Isaiah was some 8th century inspired chap, walking closely, if sometimes reluctantly with God, and predicting exile was on the cards. For others, he's definitely a sixth century dude, speaking into his own situation. The conservatives think one thing, the historical critics another, the rhetorical critics are interested in the persuasive dialogues: Isaiah's techniques, not caring quite so much which Isaiah they are talking about and the canonical critics, friendly with the higher critics and the redaction critics, are trying to hold a lot of things in tension and consider the big-picture Isaiah within the big picture of the entire Bible so that we don't accidentally lose the biblical message...and quite frankly, it's all driving me a bit crazy!! And that's just what I need to do for an introductory paragraph.
I also need to look at my servant song and then only a few lines of that and keep setting each smaller unit within its larger context.
So last night's reading was Isaiah 52:13- 53 - the end and today and tomorrow the children are in day-care so mummy can get a handle on all this and isn't amasing how inspired one suddenly feels to hoover up and food-shop instead ;-)
I am praying that I will start smiling at someone's commentary, that I'll get that warm and joyous feeling, that overwhelming desire to scribble notes in the margins and add exclamation marks (which is always dangerous when you're reading library books). This is what happens when I read Gordon Fee, why couldn't he have written on Isaiah?!*
It's not happening yet. I'm hopeful, I'm looking at Brueggeman. Goldingay, I get. But some of the other stuff is so turgid....and I've just noticed some very enticing piles of ironing...