Only One Isaiah
“The vision of Isaiah the son of Amoz, which he saw” (Isaiah 1:1).
Critics wrongly claim that Isaiah only wrote the first half his book.
They don’t want to admit that the predictive passages in his book were actually prophetic. Rather, they claim that later editors, writing after the exile was over, looked back at historic events and then pretended that they were written before by Isaiah. They have no evidence for this claim, just a biased presupposition that the Bible is not inspired and supernatural.
The following are ten reasons why Isaiah was the author of the entire book.
1. Manuscript evidence always shows a complete book, not two separate works. This is especially striking with the discovery of the Great Isaiah Scroll from the Dead Sea collection.
2. The New Testament authors considered Isaiah as a complete unit, quoting from all sections of the book and attributing it to the prophet Isaiah. John 12:38–40 is especially relevant because he quotes from both the early part of Isaiah as well as the latter part of the book (chapters 6 and 53).
3. Jesus quoted Isaiah from the early, mid, and late chapters of the book and attributed them all to the prophet.
4. The style, expression, phraseology, and word choice are similar throughout the book attesting to its unity. Computer studies have concluded that the book of Isaiah was written by one author, not several.
5. The critics contend that the second half of the book was written in a post-exilic period, but the sins that Isaiah condemned among God’s people throughout the book were idolatry and worship of false gods. The Jewish people did not stop worshipping idols until after the exile, and yet Isaiah saw idolatry as their great sin (thus indicating that he wrote it before the captivity had taken place).
6. The critics pretend that the second half of the book was written later in order to escape the clear predictive prophecies concerning Cyrus (44 and 45). However, chapter 53 is equally predictive in describing the suffering Messiah which wasn’t fulfilled until Jesus lived and died hundreds of years after the supposed editors of the book.
7. The critical claim that Isaiah’s name is not mentioned in the Babylonian prophecies in the second half of the book is irrelevant since his name was already attached to the Babylonian prophecies in chapter 13:1.
8. Isaiah wrote the second half of his book (40–66) to comfort God’s people and give them hope, despite the looming disaster of the upcoming captivity. However, if this section of the book was written after these events had taken place, then there was no purpose for the Jewish audiences who read these visions.
9. The purpose of naming Cyrus 150 years before he lived was to convince the Jews to abandon their idolatry (chapter 48). Unfortunately, they did not repent and were taken away into captivity to Babylon. If written at a later period, this purpose disappears.
10. The trustworthiness of a so-called “second Isaiah” is suspect since it was describing past events but pretending that they were future prophecies.
More could be said, of course, but let’s let God have the last word: “When I look, there is no one, and there is no advisor among them who, if I ask, can give an answer. Behold, all of them are false” (Isaiah 41:28–29).