Exegetical Paper Isaiah 42:1-9

Exegetical Project. Isaiah 42:1-9. (25% of course grade).
5 pages
This project will be a guided “exegesis” project focusing on Isa 42:1-9. For this project you will locate the text in its historical context, outline the chapter, summarize the themes, and discuss how this passage is relevant to Christians today.

The essay should be no longer than 5 pages (typed, double spaced, 12 pt font)


PART 1: Identify the text
1. Identify the beginning and ending or your text. What textual clues and indicators mark this text as a unit?
2. Read several different translations of the passage (NIV, NRSV, ESV….etc). Pay attention to the margins and footnotes that may highlight textual problems/manuscript issues.

PART 2: Locate the text
1. Literary context: What immediately precedes and what follows the passage? How does the text fit into the chapter, book, canon? How does it seem to function in its literary context (introduction, conclusion, highlight, illustration etc.)?

2. Historical context: Using sources like commentaries and histories of Israel locate the text against historical backgrounds. What were key events, persons, etc. against which the passage was written. How does the message of the passage fit into this historical setting? What might have been its role, and how did it function?

PART 3: The text
1. Make an outline (see sample outline) of the structure and movement of the text.
2. What type of literature is the passage? Poem, narrative, law, vision?

PART 4: Analyze the text
1. Does the text exhibit any of the following: artistry, rhetorical devices, literary symmetry (chiasms). Look specifically for the following:
a. Repetition
b. Hyperbole (exaggeration), Irony
c. Simile (one thing likened to another)
d. Metaphor (implied comparison)
e. Anaphora (repeated use of the initial word)
f. Rhetorical questions
g. Dialogue between characters
2. Note key words, names, places. Use Bible dictionaries and concordances to determine their significance.
3. Identify the “crisis” or “key issue” of the passage: What is the text saying about God? Humanity? Salvation? How things are/how they ought to be?

PART 5: Commentaries
1. Read what others have said about the passage: commentaries, articles in peer reviewed journals, dictionaries.

PART 6: Application
1. How does the text speak to a contemporary need?
2. How does the text talk about human brokenness/need; God’s action on behalf of humanity; God’s work of restoration?

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