To accomplish this assignment, the student will read the New International Commentary on the Old Testament this week. Your goal is to learn what the scholar says about Isaiah 7:14 and then to present a very accurate summary of what the scholar believes AND his reasons for coming to that conclusion. Do not inject any of your thinking into this scholar’s position. The student will also need to answer the following questions: Is the scholar a traditional scholar or a critical scholar? Where does this scholar stand with regard to the doctrine of inspiration? What does each scholar say about Isaiah 7: 14? To determine if the scholar is a traditional scholar or a critical scholar, you will need to read the preface of the commentary and some of the introductory matter at the front of the commentary. He will give you his position if you read enough. Knowing the doctrinal position of the scholar will help you to understand what he says in the commentary and why he says it. You will need to provide direct quotations that prove whether the scholar is a traditional scholar or a critical scholar and whether he holds to the doctrine of inspiration or not. These quotations should not be lengthy. A short (about three sentences) quote after your summary of a point should do very nicely. In other words, the quote demonstrates what you just summarized. During your reading of the commentary, the student will discover two hermeneutical issues which will determine how a biblical scholar will understand Isa 7:14. Those two issues are 1) Is Isa 7:14 a sign for Ahaz? The student needs to addresse this issue in his discussion board response. Each of the commentators you will read all have a specific position on this question. To understand the commentator’s points accurately, the student will need to know the answer to this question. The other question is 2) Is Isa 7:14 a future event or did Isa 7:14 occur in the days of Isaiah? The student will need to read the commentators very carefully to discover what their position is on this issue. There are distinct differences between each commentator that the student will need to understand. The only way to learn these distinct differences between the commentators is to read beyond the commentary on Isa 7:14. One goal for this assignment is to teach you how to read a commentary. Reading a commentary is not like reading on the internet where you only read the tiny little paragraph presented from your search on an issue. Scholarly material such as commentaries build their position through the introductory material and the chapters which surround the actual verse in question. The student cannot do this assignment properly if the student only looks at what the commentator says in the Isa 7:14 comments.
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