Religion 404

Writings of Isaiah

An Indepth Study of the history and writings of the Prophet Isaiah

First Day Screen


Grading Syllabus
Winter 2016 Grading Syllabus

Required Text Books
  • The Scriptures: The only required text books are the Scriptures (all four standard works)--either hard copy or electronic version (hard copy footnotes can be of greater help)
  • There are a few commentaries by LDS scholars who are educated in Hebrew and the ancient world of Isaiah that can be helpful in understanding Isaiah's writings but they are not required for this course (meaning I will not require readings them).  If you are looking for a good book to help you as you read you may want to consider:
    • Donald W. Parry, etal, Understanding Isaiah (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1998) 
    • Victor Ludlow, Isaiah: Prophet, Seer, and Poet (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1982)

Summaries of Scriptural History from Abraham to Second Coming
You are welcome to read through the following articles I have written the summarizes the scriptural history from Abraham through the second coming, a history necessary to understand to fully appreciate Isaiah's writings:

Daily Reading Assignment Scheldule

January 12, 2016  Assignment
This program is 58 minutes long and found on BYUTV.  It relates the "compelling story of the miraculous events that led to the creation and publication of" the LDS Scriptures (Bible, Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, Pearl of Great Price) with the Bible being published in 1979 and triple combination in 1981.  This new edition of the scriptures are absolutely critical for members of the Chuch for the present and future generations of Church members.  In the October 1982 general conference of the Church, Boyd K. Packer of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles devoted an entire talk about the new edition of the scriptures.  In that talk he declared: "The older generation has been raised without them, but there is another generation growing up.  The revelations will be opened to them as to no other in the history of the world. . . They will develop a gospel scholarship beyond that which their forebears could achieve." ("Scriptures," Ensign, Nov. 1982, p. 53)   
    Write-up Instructions:  As you watch this program, note in writing the number of things you learned about (1) the purpose for producing the new edition of the scriptures, (2) the hand of the Lord throughout the process of its production, (3) list the various people(s) involved in the production of the LDS scriptures, and (4) in what way has this video helped you gain an appreciation for the new edition.  The write-up should be typed, single-space, and kept to one page.  At the top please write the title of the production, your name, course title and time.  Bring hard copy of write-up to be handed in at class time.  

Jan. 14, 2016  Assignment
Read through  Rober L. Millet, "Prophets and Priesthood in the Old Testament," Sperry Symposium Classics: Old Testament [2005], pp. 48-48.  Write-up: Complete a write-up, typed, single spaced, one to two pages (stapled if two pages) in two parts with a bolded heading for each part: PART ONE: Summary of main point and each subpoint (a paragraph for each);  PART TWO: List insights you gained through this reading (you may use bullets or numbers to separate between each insight).   [20 pts]

Jan. 19  Assignmnet  --  The Abrahamic Covenant formation of the House of Israel
This is a study of the Abrhamaic Covenant made with Abram (who's name was changed to Abraham), Isaac, and Jacob (who's name was changed to Israel).  The following reading assignment takes you through the major places where "the promises made to the fathers" (D&C 2) can be found.  You will read these verses and then complete a write-up (the instructions for write-up are found below).

Please read:  Abraham 1:1-19; *2:6-11 (Major vss. for Abr. Cov.);  Genesis 12:1-8 (in particularly 1-3); 14:14-18 (note JST changes); 15:1-18; 17:1-24 (note JST changes); 22:15-18; 26:1-5; 28:10-22; 35:1-15. [ AS YOU READ THROUGH THE GENESIS VERSES READ ALL THE CHAPTER SUMMARIES FROM GEN. 12-35 SO YOU ARE GETTING THE STORY LINE CONTEXT OF THE ABRAHAMIC COVENANT VERSES.]

*Bruce Satterfield,  
"The Abrahamic Covenant"  (Discussion of covenant with chart)

Write-up instructions: Part One: List down all the promises mentioned in two categories; promises to be fulfilled in mortality and promises to be fulfilled in the eternities.  Part Two:  Try to determine how these promises relate to yourself.  Part Three: Questions you have from the reading you would like to discuss in class.   Make sure assignment name, your name, course are on top of write-up.  If more than one page STAPLE IT!!  There is no stapler in the classroom. [15 pts]

The following are passages of scripture were discussed in class:

Matthew 22:35-40--The first two great commandments that all other commandments fall under
D&C 76:50-70--Discussion of the Celestial Kingdom
  • vss 51-53 (Through the first principles and ordinances of the gospel those in the celestial kingdom are spiritually born again having put God first in their lives by covenant) 
  • vss 54-70 (Those is the celestial kingdom have formed a community commonly called Zion-- note the several terms used to describe this community: vs 54-"the church of the Firstborn" ; vs 56 "priests and kings"; vs 57 "after the order of Melchizedek [city of Salem], which was after the order of Enoch ["City of Holiness, even Zion"]; vs 66 "Mount Zion"; vs 66 "the city of the living God" [cf Revelation 3:12; 21:1-3; Ether 13:3-11); "vs 67 the "unnumerable company of angels"; vs 67 "the general assembly and church of Enoch, and of the Firstborn")
Moses 7:18-19--the city of Enoch, what Zion is
JST Genesis 14:25-40; Alma 13:17-19--Melchizedek and the city of Salem
Hebrews 11:8-16--Abraham wanted to achieve a city like Enoch and Melchizedek
Abraham 2:6-11--Abrahamic Covenant (from Abraham a nation would come to bless all the world)--this nation is the seed of Jacob or Israel
Exodus 1:5 - the House of Israel that came to live in Egypt is only 70 persons big
Genesis 46:1-4--Jacob is worried about leaving the land of promise and living in Egypt but the Lord promises him that in Egypt He will make of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob "a great nation"; i.e, a people of size, large size

Jan. 21 Assignment -- The Lord is going to establish the Nation to bless all the world
This assignment is about the Lord's first attempt at creating a "nation" to bless all the world.  Please read:  Exodus 19: 1-6; 24:3-18; 32:1-35; 34:1-17 (also the chapter summaries fromExodus 19-34); Leviticus 25:1-20; Deuteronomy 27:1-13;  28:1-14 (blessings), 15-25,63-68 (curses).  MAKE SURE YOU USE YOUR FOOTNOTES LOOKING FOR JST CHANGES.

Write-up instructions: Part One: Summarize what is told and promised to Israel in each of the above passages of scripture.  Part Two: make a list of promises (both good and bad). Part Three:  things from this reading you don't understand or would like to discuss further in class.

Jan 26  Assignment--The Government of Ancient Israel: the Judges, the Monarchy
God's Earthly Government During Old Testament Times  (Power Point)

No Written assignment--Time to be working on Jan 28th assignment

Jan 28  Assignment--The Scattering and Gathering of Israel

Please read through and study the following article:  Bruce Satterfield, "Church History and the Scattering and Gathering of Israel"
Write-up:  Produce a write-up (typed or handwritten) that details the scattering of Israel (include discussion of some of the scriptures citing the scattering) and the gathering of Israel in the last days.  Review the three phase process of the gathering including approximate dates for the various phases.

Feb 2  The "Big Picture" Background of Isaiah's Writings Essay (see above for details) due at beginning of class!

Feb 4  Isaiah 1: Main points and subpoints (by paragraphy) 16 pts

Feb 9  Isaiah 1: 10 Ten Hebrew words from Isa. 1

Feb 11  No Writen assginment (spend time working on your Isaiah notebook--see grading syllabus)  

Feb 16


Feb 23

Feb 25

Mar  1

Mar  3

Mar  8  ASSIGNMENT DUE:   Read Bruce R. McConkie, Come: Let Israel Build Zion, Ensign, May 1977.  Write-up in Two-Parts:  [1] Comprehensive Summary of the introduction and the talk. Review the three phases of the gathering of Israel.   Discuss Zion and Enoch's pattern.  Discuss the two things accomplished by the gathering to Zion.  Finally, what are we to do RIGHT NOW in gathering Israel?  [2] List insights you gained from this article.  Bullet each insight.  (30 Pts)

Mar 10   Finish Isaiah 6

Mar 15  Isaiah 49  (For each of the following Isaiah cahpters through 54: Bring to class a write-up that summarizes each paragraph of the chapter and the main point of the chapter.  Write-ups due at beginning of class--hand in at end of the class.)

Mar 17  Isaiah 50  (bring write-up and hand in at end of class)

Mar 22  Isaiah 51  (bring write-up and hand in at end of class)

Mar 24  Isaiah 52  (bring write-up and hand in at end of class)

Mar 29  Isaiah 53  (bring write-up and hand in at end of class)

Mar 31  Isaiah 54  (bring write-up and hand in at end of class)

[Monday Apr 4  Notebook due to my office -- Taylor 216, box by door-- by noon.  On the FIRST PAGE indicate by number [1] how many chapters of the 66 chapters of Isaiah you read, and [2] how many chapters you completed the write-up for; i.e., the main point and each subpoint.)

Apr  5   Essay DUE!  NOTEBOOK Handed back.

First Major Assignment

The Scriptural "Big Picture" Background of Isaiah's Writings

DUE FEBRUARY 2 at the beginning of class
You will be required to produce a 2-3 page single spaced typed essay (fully documented using scripture and teachings of the brethren) that reviews the "big picture" that is in the background of Isaiah's writings including:
  • the concept of Zion (including D&C 76:50-70; Enoch's Zion--Moses 7:18-19),
  • the Abrahamic Covenant,
  • the Lord's attempt at creating a nation to be a light to the world (Moses, the period of the Judges, Monarchy--Saul, David, Solomon)
  • the scattering and gathering of Israel
 To complete this assignment, you will be required to complete several reading assignments starting on Jan 14th through the 28th.  These assignments will give you the information you will need to complete this write-up.

Criteria for essay
  • Top of essay: title, your name, class time
  • Single space and typed using 10-12 font size (roman or ariel)
  • Introduction with a thesis or purposes statement
  • Body of Paper: the four major topics found above
  • Heading: use bolded headings for each topic
  • Stapled--before coming to class

Library and Interent Sources that will aid in your study of Isaiah
  • Hebrew Text, Transliteration, and Translation of Isaiah - This site includes the Hebrew Text of Isaiah with a literal transliteration into English of the Hebrew Text, and Translation with access to Hebrew lexicon (like a dictionary) for every Hebrew word of the book of Isaiah.  This is designed for those who do NOT know Biblical Hebrew but would like to know what a  Hebrew word is and what it means any English word found the King James Translation of the book of  Isaiah.
To do the same for any other book of the Old Testament or the New Testament (which was written in Greek) click on the following:
    • All books of the Old Testament  
    • All books of the New Testament  (This site is set up differently than the Old Testament but just as helpful: it has the Greek text, underwhich is a literal translation paralled with an inter-linear translation of the Greek text. There is no transliteration of the Greek text.)

Background Material Necessary to Understanding the Writings of Isaiah

Click here for the main Topics from the Background Material Necessary to Understanding the Writings of Isaiah

Overview and Outline of the book of Isaiah  (This will help you understand what you are reading)

Isaiah 1-39  This consists of an excellent overview of the book of Isaiah, chapter by chapter (pages 54-60).  It is followed by an OUTLINE of Isaiah 1-39 (very bottom of page 60 through 64).

Isaiah 40-66  (This consists of a discussion, chapter by chapter, of the content of Isaiah 40-66.  It is followed by an OUTLINE of Isaiah 40-66

Isaiah Poetic-Parallel Versions
Isaiah 1  (NIV Translation)
Isaiah 1  (The Book of Isaiah: A New Translation by H.L.Ginsberg)

The New King James Version of Isaiah
Isaiah 1-10  
Isaiah 11-20 
Isaiah 21-30 
Isaiah 31-40 
Isaiah 41-50  
Isaiah 51-60 
Isaiah 61-66  

The OIxford Study Bible Version of Isaiah  -- Including study notes
Isaiah 1-10
Isaiah 11-20
Isaiah 21-30
Isaiah 31-40
Isaiah 41-50
Isaiah 51-60
Isaiah 61-66

Isaiah 5  (Resources)

"Grapevine" and "Beverages," in Philip J. King and Lawrence E. Stager, Life in Biblical Israel (2001), pp. 98-103

"Parable of the Vineyard: Isaiah 5," in Victor L. Ludlow, Isaiah: Prophet, Seer, and Poet (1982), pp. 111-125

"Isaiah 5," in Donald W. Parry, Jay A. Parry, and Tina M. Peterson, Understanding Isaiah (1998), pp. 50-61.

Isaiah 7  (Resources)

"Incense,"  The Anchor Bible Dictionary
"Incense,"  The New Interpreter's Dictionary of the Bible

Moses's Tabernacle
Old Testament Jerusalem

Hebrew Texts

Student Examples

Scholar Examples

Quotes Used in Class

Establishing the Cause of Zion: A Theme Upon Which Prophets Have Dwelt -- Joseph Smith
Bruce R. McConkie, "Come, Let Israel Build Zion"

Power Points Presentations

Instructional Pictures and Maps from Old Testament Time Period

Ancient Places and Texts

Life in Ancient Israel

 Dress and Adornment

 Other Topics

Suggested Old Testament Books in a Personal Library 

      click here

First Day Material  (Sep 16)

Teachings Concerning How to Study the Scriptures

Second Day Assignment  (Sep 18)
Write-up of "Teachings Conerning How to Study the Scriptures" using the following criteria:
  • Single-spaced and typed
  • Write-up must be completed in three parts: (1)Comprehensive Summary of material under each heading; (2)Insights you gained from this study--each insight should be bulletted; (3)  Questions or or items from the handout you wish to discuss in class.
  • Place the bolded heading above at the beginning of each of the three sections of your write-up.
  • KEEP THIS TO ONE PAGE.  Small font is acceptable.
  • He is kind of an example (it is summarize an article ratherr than a series of quotes);