1. But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.

    Isaiah 40:31

    Probably my favorite verse in the entire Old Testament.

    I prefer the KJV because it matches with Handel’s Messiah.

  2. I have not read Isaiah in one sitting. Two or three, maybe.

    It is difficult to choose one favorite verse or passage: among those that immediately come to mind:

    “A virgin shall conceive….and you shall call his name Immanuel…”

    Immanuel, of course, means “God-with-us.” One may have to accept the ontological gulf between creation and Creator in order to fully appreciate that. 😉

    “Unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given…”

    See above.

    “Comfort ye, comfort my people…”

    The calling/healing of Isaiah.

    The Servant Songs, especially that of the Suffering Servant. (One doesn’t have to hold to PSA in order to appreciate it, and, in fact, doing so may hinder one’s appreciation of him who is “bruised for our iniquities.”)

  3. Greg, would you appreciate this translation for part of the fourth Servant Song?

    Surely our sicknesses – he bore them,
    and our pains – he suffered them.
    Yet we considered him as one stricken,
    as one struck down by God and afflicted.
    But he was pierced for our transgressions,
    and crushed for our iniquities.
    The punishment for our salvation lay upon him,
    and by his wounds, healing came to us.
    We all have strayed like sheep
    each of us has turned to his own way.
    But Yahweh has caused to fall on him
    the iniquity of us all.

    Seth, I thoroughly enjoy Handel’s Messiah.

  4. Well, Todd, you’ve got me doing some research here…

    I will respond to your question on my blog because I have discovered some interesting things related to a couple of key words in the Suffering Servant song.

    Is the translation above original with you?

  5. No, Greg. 😉

    I selected this translation because it is original to a man who believed the text straightforwardly read penal substitutionary atonement, but he nonetheless would not accept what the verses were telling him.

    Have you heard of Otfried Hofius?

  6. I had not heard of him. He is, apparently, a theology professor at Tubingen. So the above, then, is a translation of a translation?

    Here is what I discovered: the Hebrew word usually translated “chastisement” (“punishment” above), is “musar”, which carries with it the meaning of “instruction”. In the LXX, it is regularly translated as “paideia”, meaning “discipline” (literally, “rearing of the young”). Thus, here, we find ourselves in the context of Hebrews 5:8-9 and C.S. Lewis’ understanding of the work of Christ in terms of perfect repentance.

    It is clear that Christ, “like us in all things except sin,” suffers the consequences of human sinfulness, as we all do, and, in his case, because he is God, and because he is innocent, to the greatest degree, and, also because of the above, his suffering is redemptive: it reconciles us with the Father (not vice-versa): “God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself.” “If I be lifted up, I will draw all to myself.” So there is, in fact, a moral influence factor, but there is also objective expiation: healing, restoration, rebirth, sanctification, justification in the sense of being made righteous: partaking of the divine nature. But there is no question that because of his death, we escape death or the other temporal consequences of sin; no, rather, our death, united with his in baptism, becomes for us rebirth, regeneration, and the rest such that our physical death becomes a matter of “change, not ending” whereby we pass from life to life in union with Him. “I have been crucified with Christ.” We are saved because we are “in Christ” and we are “in Christ” because we have died with him. Everything else must be understood in light of this.

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