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September 06, 1968 - Image 22

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1968-09-06

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Father McKenzie's 'second Isaiah' Enriches Doubleday Anchor Bibles

An eminent Christian theologian fers to the "venerable belief in the
adds valuable material to the vast Christian church that the Servant
studies of the Book of Isaiah with poems (xlii, xlix, 1, lii), in par-
his "Second Isaiah” which has ticular the fourth, are predictions
been issued as an Anchor Bible of Jesus Christ." His initial com-
ment on it is:
text by Doubleday.
Father John L. McKenzie (S.J.),
"In this form the opinion is
professor of theology at the Uni- defended by no one today ex-
versity of Notre Dame, who pro- cept in a few fundamentalist
vides an interesting translation of circles. This_ type of predictive
Isaiah xxxiv through lxvi chap- prophecy does not appear in the
trs, has prepared this text with Old Testament. It is another
voluminous notes and an introduc- question whether the person and
tion that merits study and discus- mission of Jesus Christ are in-
sion by adherents of all faiths who terpreted in the New Testament
have accepted the Hebrew proph- in terms of the Servant poems:
etic texts as part of their biblical that is, whether Jesus or his dis-
teachings. Jewish and Christian ciples or both identified him with
students will find much value and the Servant of Yahweh. This
enlightenment in this new trans- problem lies outside the scope
lation and its commentaries.
of this volume; but it is my per-
At the outset it is important
sonal opinion that Jesus was
to note the division of Isaiah into
identified with the Servant in
the First and Second authorship
the primitive church, and that
and Father McKenzie's indica- - this identification goes back to
tion of a Third Isaiah. He indi-
Jesus himself. But this does not
cates in his introductory com-
imply that the poems are a pre-
ments that the unity of the
diction of Jesus Christ in the
authorship of the Book of Isaiah
literal sense of the term."
was questioned in the 12th Cen-
Because of the significant role
tury by Rabbi Ibn Ezra, that:
of Cyrus as a Savior figure linked
- "In modern scholarship the with the Second Isaiah, Father
theory that Isaiah xl-lxvi was McKenzie, in his extensive com-
written later than the prophe- ments on Cyrus, points to an
cies of Isaiah of Jeruslaem "antithesis between the Servant
(Isaiah i-xxxix) was proposed by and Cyrus," portraying Cyrus as
two German scholars, Eichhorn "a disappointment in the terms of
in' 1783 and Doederlein in 1789.
Second Isaiah" because "he was
The anonymous author was a confirmed worshiper of false
called Deutero-Isaiah (often in
English Second Isaiah). Bern- gods."
The message of Second Isaiah is
hard Duhm suggested in 1892
that Isaiah Ivi-lxvi is still later thoroughly reviewed and the pro-
than Second Isaiah; and this sec- phetic teachings evaluated by
ond anoymous author was called Father McKenzie who defines Sec-
Trito-Isaiah (often in English ond Isaiah as "an author rich in
imagination and language," as a
the Third Isaiah)." -
Views of many scholars are ex- prophet who had faith in Israel's
plored, and Father McKenzie's ultimate triumph and in the im-
study in the Anchor Bible. Second minent salvation of the people of
Isaiah is divided into Second and Israel. And the emphasis on the
Third Isaiah sections, after his basis of the Second Isaiah study
elaborate introduction in which is that "it is through Israel that
many of the issues revolving the nations must learn the law
around the discussion about the and the cult of Yahweh."
On the score of the Third
entire two latter portions are re-
viewed and dealt with at great Isaiah, continues the tradition of
the pre-exilic prophets. But the
Thus, the Catholic theologian re- pre-exilic prophets saw the rul-

Biased 'Neutrality' Stands in Way
of Yugoslays' Aim as M. E. Peacemaker


(Copyright 1968, JTA Inc.)

ROME—Yugoslavia, the peren-
nial maverick of the Communist
world, is trying to chart a course
of neutrality and leadership for it-
self in t h e narrow, currently
stormy waters of the Mediterra-
nean. Its ultimate goal, a sensible,
even •noble one, envisions the na-
tions of the Mediterranean basin
living peacefully together, free
from the influences of outside big
powers that have plagued the sea
almost since the fall of Rome.
- But one of those nations is Is-
rael. And on that small but hard
rock, Belgrade's self appointed
role of neutralist leader• has foun-
Yugoslavia's difficulties were il-
lustrated at the conference of so-
called progressive forces of the
Mediterranean region which con-
vened in Rome recently. It was
sponsored by the Moscow-directed
Communist parties of France and
Italy, and its stated purpose was to
find a formula for Mediterranean
peace and prosperity. Only the
most politically naive in the non-
Communist spectrum of the left
could swallow that at face value.
What the conference sought and
found was not formulae but just
another forum to castigate the
"imperialists," meaning the United
States and its putative "agent,"
That draft was an example of
the ambiguities of Yugoslav
policy. It opened with a loud de-
mand for the "full and just li-
quidation of the consequences of
Israel's 'aggression' against the
Arabs," the language used by
Arab diplomats meaning, help
us get the Israelis out.
It went on, however, to talk
about security, collaboration and
peace for all Mediterranean coun-
tries. The presence of U. S. forces

in the Mediterranean was duly de-
nounced. But by now 'everybody
knows that when the Yugoslays
call for the removal of the Ameri-
can Sixth Fleet they mean the So-
viet fleet as well. That was made
even more clear when their draft
resolution proposed disarrnament,
the creation of a non-nuclear zone
in the Mediterranean and "eman-
cipation from unwanted military
and political influence and inter-
ference" from outside sources.
Such language cuts both ways.
The snub given the Yugoslav
draft was later used as grounds
for Yugoslavia's abstention when
the majority resolution of the con-
ference came to a vote. That docu-
ment was a clear attempt to mo-
bilize a "progressive" or popular
front against the United States in
the area. For this purpose, the
Arabs were touted as the victims
of American imperialism, working
not only through Israel but through
Cyprus, Greece, Spain and Portu-
gal to deprive the Arab states of
their "political and economic in-
dependence" and their "natural
resources." Israel was, of course,
the main villain, a "mercenary"
of the U. S.A.
The Yugoslavians thought the
resolution's implied denial of Is-
rael's right to exist was unrealistic,
which is the concensus even among
some of the Arab states, but their
own draft contained no outspoken
confirmation of that right.
Yugoslavia would like to have a
hand in bringing about peace. But
it cannot do so as long as its neu-
trality is - suspect. Its rather lonely
role at the Rome conference in-
dicated vaguely good intentions,
but no more. A country that as-
pires to be a peacemaker but re-
fuses even to hear the views of
one of the parties to peace is not
likely be trusted. This the Yugo-
slays have yet to learn.

ing classes as dragging the
entire nation down to ruin. Third
Isaiah had learned the lesson of
the indestructibility of Israel,
but he had also learned the les-
son of judgment. Israel could not
survive as it was; the Israel of
destiny had to be purified of
those elements which kept sal-
vation out of its reach . . ."
The evaluation portions of the
McKenzie volume dealing with the
historical background of Second
Isaiah, its literary form and struc-
ture, the interpretations of the
Servant and Zion poems, elevate
this work to a high rank in schol-
The Nahamu chapter, "Comfort,
comfort my people," describing
the mesage of hope, is among the
interesting commentaries by a

Christian on the faith of Israel.
Rebuke of superstition, punish-
ment and forgiveness, true fasting,
guilt and judgment, as well as a
paean to the glory of the New Jer-
usalem are in Third Isaiah. The
latter, the Zion poems, Chaper
LXII 'The Salvation of Zion' are
part of an entity related to the
theme of the songs of redemption
and faith in rebirth and salvation.
Father McKenzie has drawn
upon the scholarly works of lead-
ing theologians. He has produced
an objective commentary. His
thesis has an appeal to 'laymen
as well as scholars of all faiths.
He is helpful to the layman, as in
supplying an index of Hebrew
words. His "Second Isaiah" has
enriched the Doubleday Anchor
Bible series.

22—Friday, September 6, 1968

Warning on Sunglasses
The National Society for the
Prevention of Blindness warns
that wearing sunglasses can cause
loss of visibility and increase the
difficulty of distinguishing be-
tween contrasting colors. Sunglass-
es should be removed before driv-
ing home at dusk to allow driver
to clearly observe important road
signs necessary for safe driving.


NEW YORK, N. Y. — One of the
nation's leading book publishers Is
seeking manuscripts of all types —
fiction, non-fiction, poetry. Special
attention to new writers. If your
work is ready for publication, send
_ for booklet JL — it's free. Vantage
Press, 120 W. 31st St., New York,
N. Y., 10001.



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