The Suffering Servant in Deutero-Isaiah: An Historical and Critical Study

The Suffering Servant in Deutero-Isaiah: An Historical and Critical Study

The Suffering Servant in Deutero-Isaiah: An Historical and Critical Study

The Suffering Servant in Deutero-Isaiah: An Historical and Critical Study

Excerpt

The call for a Second Edition of this book does not appear to demand any drastic revision, The most numerous and significant contributions to the subject in recent years have been by Scandinavian scholars, I have therefore contented myself with correcting a few slips, tidying up and supplementing the bibliography, and substituting for the Postscript to the First Edition what is substantially my article on 'Current Scandinavian Discussions' in The Scottish Journal of Theology, 3, 1950; this with the kind permission of the editors of the Journal.

When the book was first published I was quite prepared to be taken to task for proposing what is essentially a return to the traditional interpretation of the identity of the Servant. instead, subsequent discussion has on the whole proceeded along the lines I suggested. On one point I should like to clear myself of misunderstanding. Professor H. H. Rowley has said (The Servant of the Lord and other Essays on the Old Testament, p. 54) that he and I 'differ . . . in our conception of the nature of the fluidity of the prophet's thought. Professor North finds only linear progress and rejects the idea of oscillation, whereas I find development from the thought of Israel as the Servant to the thought of an individual Servant par excellence, without abandoning the thought of israel as still the Servant'. I quite agree with Professor Rowley that Israel does not cease to be Yahweh's servant. When I wrote (infra, p. 216): 'As I see it, the direction (of the Prophet's thought) was rather from collective Israel to an individual who was neither himself nor anyone else who had lived hitherto', I was criticizing Wheeler Robinson, who appeared to say that the direction of the Prophet's thought 'was from Israel to his own prophetic consciousness, and back to Israel'. I should have been better understood if I had disposed the italics differently: 'from Israel to his own prophetic consciousness, and back to Israel'. This I have done in the present edition.

C. R. N.

BANGOR August, 1955 . . .

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