Date of Award

2001

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

School

Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary

Program

Religion, Old Testament Studies PhD

First Advisor

Roy E. Gane

Second Advisor

Richard M. Davidson

Third Advisor

Jacques B. Doukhan

Abstract

This study investigates the role of creation thought in Isaiah in order to determine its relationship to Isaiah's concept of God as creator, especially as it pertains to his salvific work for and through Israel. This investigation is carried out in three steps. First, Isaiah's use of creation language, which involves specific explicit creation terms and implicit references (metaphors), is investigated. Second, selected creation texts, namely, 4:2-6; 43:1-7; 44:24-45:25; and 65:17-25, are exegeted. Third, Isaiah's creation thought is studied in relationship to other significant concepts in the book, such as salvation theology and redemption history, and God's salvific intention for and through Israel. The relationship between creation thought and Isaiah's concepts of holiness, judgment, and eschatology is also explored.

Isaiah's creation thought is often understood in one of three ways: as subordinate to salvation theology, as being a foundational concept, or as being inextricably linked to salvation theology. This study shows that Isaiah's creation thought is a foundational theme in Isaiah and occurs throughout the book, with a concentration in chaps. 40-55. It impacts the book structurally and conceptually, undergirding all other themes. Moreover, Isaiah's creation thought is multidimensional and functions on the cosmological (primordial), historical, and eschatological levels. Finally, the creation thought of Isaiah has important theological ramifications insofar as it is Isaiah's consummate conceptualization of God. This creator God transcends his creation and exercises total dominion over his creation. For Isaiah, God is first and foremost the creator and his consummate act is creation .

Subject Area

Creation--Biblical teaching, Bible. Isaiah--Criticism, interpretation, etc

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