The past decade has seen several attacks from the emerging church, liberals and others on the doctrine of substitutionary atonement. During this time there has also been a great increase of interest in biblical theology that is what the Bible teaches about itself and the central place of Christ in the Scriptures. In The Gospel According to Isaiah 53 Encountering The Suffering Servant in Jewish and Christian Theology Edited by Darrel L. Bock and Mitch Glaser seek to set forth the theology of the suffering servant in Isaiah 53 by answering a number of important questions such as, “What is a Christian interpretation of Isaiah 53?, “What is a Jewish interpretation of Isaiah 53?”, “How did the New Testament writers understand Isaiah 53?”, How should forgiveness and salvation be understood in Isaiah 53?”, “How can Isaiah 53 be used in Jewish evangelism?” and finally “How do we preach Isaiah 53?”
This book is written by some of the top evangelical scholars and has a evangelistic and apologetic focus to help Jews and Gentiles to understand Isaiah 53. Isaiah 53 is arguably the most powerful biblical tool for Jewish evangelism as it answers many of the issues Jewish people might have regarding Jesus being the promised Messiah. By using Isaiah 53 the Church can demonstrate that the message is Jewish in character because a Jewish prophet wrote the chapter(Isaiah 53) and it is included in the canon of the Hebrew Scriptures.
One of the most significant contributions of this book is the chapter on Jewish evangelism. Isaiah 53 is the clearest, if not the only, Old Testament prophetic passage that describes both the death and resurrection of the Messiah and links it with atonement for sin. Isaiah 53 is one of the great building blocks of our faith in the person and work of the Messiah. Isaiah 53 should be cherished by every individual, whether Jew or Gentile, who has received forgiveness of sin and the gift of eternal life by receiving Jesus as Messiah and Lord.
Dr. Glaser argues that “Isaiah 53 can be powerful and persuasively used in Jewish evangelism. At this time, many Christians are not familiar with the passage and could not easily explain the passage and its prophetic important to their Jewish friends. This is true in part because most believers do not study the chapter for themselves and do not know what Jewish people think about the passage. However, this book is written to help believers who desperately desire to reach their Jewish friends and family for Jesus in this holy endeavor” (250).
This book will help every Christian to understand the issues surrounding Isaiah 53, how to engage Jews in evangelism and how to apply the precious truth of Isaiah 53 to our lives today. I recommend you read this book to learn how to engage Jews better with the Gospel.
Authors: Edited by Darrell L. bock and Mitch Glaser
Publisher: Kregel (2012)
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the Kregel book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”