The book of Isaiah is one of the most influential biblical accounts. It is considered the fifth Gospel book; it is one of the old testament scriptures. It is known for most of the prophesies made by Isaiah. These prophecies can be interpreted from two broad perspectives depending on the period of interpretation. When interpreted from the old testament context, the prophesies were meant to warn Christians that they need to repent or else the consequences that Isaiah prophesized will come true. On the other hand, in contemporary society, most of the visions that Isaiah had have come to pass (Motyer, 2015). Therefore, early Christian communities would interpret the book as strict rules to follow while contemporary Christians are more likely to understand the texts from a varying perspective.
Varying interpretations of the book of Isaiah create tension between the early Christian communities and contemporary Christians. Those who existed during the time of Isaiah would interpret the readings to mean God’s wrath will befall them if they sin against him or go against his teachings (Motyer, 2015). In this case, they are more likely to strictly follow these teachings to avoid the calamities prophesized by Isaiah. On the contrary, contemporary Christian might blame the Christian community that came before them for the ills that they are experiencing in the modern world. Following Isaiah’s prophesies, it is clear that the visions that the prophet had would be realized by future Christian generations that came after his tenure. Therefore, the tension that exists between the two groups is manifested in both the interpretation of the reading and the fulfillment of the prophesies made in the book.
The book of Isaiah gives a clear picture of the life of Jesus Christ in the Old Testament. As for a Christian who lived during these times, the book spelled doom on the life of Christians as the reading predicts Christ’s death. Although this might seem like a mere prophecy, its realization is only felt by Christians that lived in the New Testament. The vision that Jesus will face sacrificial death is captured in Isaiah 52:12 (Motyer, 2015). The tension created here is that while the reading will give hope to a Christian in the New Testament, it could be interpreted to mean doom upon Christianity in the Old Testament.
Besides, scribes and writers who interpreted the book had a varying understanding of the reading. While a scribe would understand the text as a predictive prophecy, a writer would interpret it to mean sin attracts punishment. In this case, whereas the scripture might give hope to some Christians, it might spell pessimism to others as it means God’s punishment is inevitable. There is a difference between those who heard about the story and life of Christ captured in the book of Isaiah and those that read it in contemporary society. It is more likely that the two groups of people will differ in their interpretation.
Solving the tension created by the book of Isaiah will mean that writers and scribes have to agree on one common interpretation of the book. Since most Christians live with the hope of the second coming of Jesus and life after death, it is important to solve the tension by interpreting the scripture as a sign of hope of salvation. There is also the need to discourage the distinction between Christians who existed during the Old Testament and the New Testament and encourage the spirit of unity in Christianity.
Motyer, J. A. (2015). The prophecy of Isaiah: An introduction commentary. InterVarsity Press.