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Review of Biblical Literature Blog

Who Is the Servant of the Lord?: Jewish and Christian Interpretations on Isaiah 53 from Antiquity to the Middle Ages
Laato, Antti

Winona Lake: Eisenbrauns, 2013 pp. xvii + 434. $49.50

Series Information
Studies in Rewritten Bible, 4
Edited by Antti Laato


Isaiah 53 has been regarded as a difficult passage within the Hebrew Bible because it describes a person who had to suffer and die vicariously in order to atone for the sins of others. Such a view is in strong contrast to the covenant theology which predominates in the Hebrew Bible and lays the foundation for the principle of retribution: Everyone must bear the consequences of his sins. It is for this reason that Klaus Koch called Isaiah 53 the "erratic block" in the Hebrew Bible.

This study, the fruit of international co-operation in the network Rewritten Bible (established in 2006), consists of eleven articles on early interpretations of Isaiah 53 which is the central text in Jewish-Christian encounters through centuries. The articles are written so that they can be read independently. Nevertheless they all are interconnected and, therefore, an introduction and conclusions are included in the volume.

Subjects: Bible, Hebrew Bible/Old Testament, Prophetic Literature, Isaiah, Septuagint, New Testament, Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha, Mishnah, Talmudic and Rabbinic Literature, Early Christian Literature, Literature, Methods, Historical Approaches, Literary Approaches

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Review by Alphonso Groenewald
Published 1/22/2015
Citation: Alphonso Groenewald, review of Antti Laato, Who Is the Servant of the Lord? Jewish and Christian Interpretations on Isaiah 53 from Antiquity to the Middle Ages, Review of Biblical Literature [] (2015).

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