JACKSON, Tenn. – Dec. 21, 2007 – A new commentary on Isaiah by Union University Christian studies professor Gary Smith is now available.
Published by B&H Academic, Smith’s commentary on the first 39 chapters of the book of Isaiah is part of “The New American Commentary” series.
“Writing a commentary on the prophecies of Isaiah can almost be compared to climbing Mt. Everest,” Smith writes in the preface. “The challenge is more than formidable, daily patience and great endurance are required for each step of the way, and the dangers of failure are evident at every turn.”
Smith said he worked on the 700-page book for about six years. The commentary emphasizes the theme of arrogance, which Smith said “just keeps rolling through the first half of (Isaiah).”
“There are two themes: God hates pride and he judges the proud,” Smith said. “The solution is to humble oneself and trust God. That’s the solution that comes again and again throughout the book. Humble yourself and rely on God, trust him and God will bring you through.”
Ray Clendenen, general editor for “The New American Commentary” series, said Smith offers well-argued answers to the issues that he raises in the book. Clendenen also commended Smith for his exegesis of the Hebrew text, but noted that the book is presented in a readable style that doesn’t hide his point in scholarly jargon.
Clendenen added that Smith’s commentary pays attention not only to the meaning of individual verses, but also to how the author structured the material to change the thoughts and actions of his audience.
“This allows him to easily suggest applications to the prophet’s modern audience who must also respond to his messages,” Clendenen said.
Paul House, associate dean and professor of divinity at Beeson Divinity School in Birmingham, Ala., said Smith’s commentary is the first extensive evangelical treatment of Isaiah to appear in more than a decade.
“It employs sound theology, operates from a conservative position on authorship and date, and offers effective analysis of the text,” House said. “I hope it will be part of a growing body of evangelical works on Isaiah. It is a solid contribution to the evangelical intellectual/spiritual tradition.”
Smith has previously written commentaries on the minor prophets of Amos, Hosea and Micah, as well as “An Introduction to the Hebrew Prophets: The Prophets and Preachers.” He has also worked as a translator on four Bible translation teams.