The Prophet Isaiah

Course InstructorDr. Paul Niskanen is an Associate Professor of Theology at the University of St. Thomas who specializes in the Old Testament.  He is the author of books, articles, and videos focusing on the books of Daniel, Isaiah, and Genesis, as well as Old Testament theology.

Course Information:  Tuesdays, February 4-March 11, 2014, 12:30-2:00 p.m., Lumen Christi Catholic Community, 2055 Bohland Avenue, St. Paul

Course Description:  This program will look at the book of the Prophet Isaiah, attempting to explain its meaning rooted in its original historical contexts.  We will also look at the meaning this text has for people today, with particular attention to its place in Christian theology.

Registration fee for the series:  $80.00 per person

To register on-line with a credit card, click on this link:

To register by check or cash through the mail or in-person, click on this link for the registration form to download, print and mail in with your payment: Spring 2014 Registration Form

Link to directions:  Lumen Christi Catholic Community Directions

Detailed Course Syllabus (subject to change):

February 4

Eighth-Century Prophets

Isaiah appears as one of four prophets who exercised their ministry in the latter half of the eighth century B.C.  We will explore how his message is situated in this context.

February 11

The Book of Isaiah

The 66 chapters of Isaiah do not all come directly from the eighth century prophet, but from a variety of authors and editors over the span of at least two centuries.  We will see how these pieces fit together and why they constitute one book.

February 18

Isaiah of Jerusalem

Here we will focus on the key themes and message of Isaiah as he prophesied in Jerusalem from about 740-700 B.C.  His message of salvation includes stern warnings to those who will not heed God's voice.

February 25

Second Isaiah

Isaiah 40-55 transports us to a new time and place at the time of the Babylonian exile.  Sometimes called "The Book of Consolation," these chapters of Isaiah are some of the most beautiful texts in all of scripture.

March 4

Third Isaiah

The conclusion of the book of Isaiah finds us once more in Jerusalem as the Jewish community struggles to rebuild after the exile.  The twofold message of light and darkness, hope and warning, provides a fitting conclusion to the entire book.

March 11

Isaiah in the Bible and the Church

The book of Isaiah is perhaps the most famous and widely read of all the prophets.  Here we will look at its place in the biblical corpus as well as its prominence in the theology of the Christian Church.