Who Said, No Mission In The Old Testament: A Theological Framework Of Mission In The Isaianic Literature

Elisha Kwabena Marfo

Issue: Vol.6  No.4 July 2020 Article 2 pp. 223-235
DOI : https://doi.org/10.38159/erats.2020072    |   Published online 24th July 2020.
© 2020 The Author(s). This is an open access article under the CCBY license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).

115 Downloads

This paper delineates the theological framework of the Isaianic theology of mission and how mission contributes to the overall theology of Isaianic literature. In the theological synthesis, the investigation established that there is a connection between YHWH, His attributes, mission, Israel, and the nations. The article revealed how YHWH relates to His mission and creation as well as to His redemptive purpose for all humanity. The abundant evidence in Isaianic literature concerning the theology of mission is related to the realization that YHWH’s redemptive or salvific plans and work are inescapable when His mission to all humanity is a concern. When these are misjudged, a disconnect between YHWH’s attributes and His redemptive purpose for the peoples of the whole universe occurs. YHWH has established an inseparable union between His mission and salvation to all humanity. Through the mission theology, Isaiah’s language of redemption is sharpened, and the tenor of his salvific purpose espoused.

Keywords: YHWH, Mission, Isaianic literature, theology, Isreal, Nations

Abernethy, Andrew T. The Book of Isaiah and God’s Kingdom: A Thematic-Theological Approach. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 2016.


Bailey, Wilma. “Isaiah 2:2-5 and Micah 4:1-4: Learning the Ways of the God of Jacob.” In Beautiful Upon the Mountains, edited by M. H. Schertz and I. Friesen, 51-61. Scottdale, PA: Herald, 2003.


Baloyi, M. E. “‘The Holy One of Israel’ in the Book of Isaiah: An Exegetical Study.” PhD diss., North-West University, 2017.


Bauckham, Richard. Bible and Mission: Christian Witness in a Postmodern World. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2003.


Bediako, Daniel K. “Isaiah’s ‘New Heavens and New Earth’ (Isa 65:17; 66:22).” Journal of Asia Adventist Seminary 11, no. 1 (2008): 1-20.


_______. “Sabbath in the Book of Isaiah.” Asia-Africa Journal of Mission and Ministry 6 (2012): 161-175.


Blenkinsopp, Joseph. “The Formation of the Hebrew Bible Canon: Isaiah as a Test Case.” In The Canon Debate, edited by Lee M. McDonald and James A. Sanders, 53-67. Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 2002.


Bosch, David J. Transforming Mission: Paradigm Shifts in Theology of Mission. American Society of Missiology Series 16. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis, 1991. https://doi.org/10.1163/157254391×00085


Byron E. Shafer, “A Theological Study of the Root ‘bhr’ in the Old Testament and Post-Biblical Jewish Literature, B.C.” PhD diss., Harvard University, 1968.


Chen, Tony Tung-Kan. “The Relationality of the Holy One of Israel in the Book of Isaiah.” PhD diss., Asbury Theo logical Seminary, 2013.


Childs, Brevard S. Biblical Theology in Crisis. Philadelphia, PA: Westminster, 1970.


________. Isaiah. Old Testament Library. Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox, 2000.


Dobbie, Robert. “The Biblical Foundation of the Mission of the Church: The Old Testament.” International Review of Mission 51 (1962): 196-205.  https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1758-6631.1962.tb03530.x


Dumitrescu, Cristian. “Mission Theology in the Old Testament: A New Paradigm.” Journal of Adventist Mission Studies 4, no. 1 (2008): 43-62.


________. “Mission Theology in the Old Testament: A New Paradigm.” Journal of Adventist Mission Studies 4, no. 1 (2008): 43-62.


Even-Shoshan, Abraham. A New Concordance of the Old Testament. Jerusalem, Israel: Kiryat-Sepher, 1983.


Freedman, William. “The Literary Motif: A Definition and Evaluation.” Novel 4, no. 2 (1971): 123-131.


Fretheim, Terence E. The Suffering of God: An Old Testament Perspective. Philadelphia, PA: Fortress, 1984.


Goldingay, John. The Theology of the Book of Isaiah. Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic, 2014.


Gottwald, N. K. “Immanuel as the Prophet’s Son.” Vetus Testamentum 8 (1958): 36-47. https://doi.org/10.2307/1515657


Grisanti, Michael A. “Israel’s Mission to the Nations in Isaiah 40-55: An Update.” The Master’s Seminary Journal 9, no. 1 (1998): 39-61.


Groenewald, Alphonso. “‘For Great in Your Midst is the Holy One of Israel’ (Is 12:6b): Trauma and Resilience in the Isaianic Psalm.” Hervormde Teologiese Studies 73, no. 4 (2017): 1-4. https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v73i4.4820


Hahn, Ferdinand. Mission in the New Testament. London, UK: SCM, 1967.


Hicks, Bryant. “Old Testament Foundations for Mission.” In Missiology: An Introduction to the Foundations, History, and Strategies of World Missions, edited by John Mark Terry, Ebbie Smith, and Justice Anderson, 51-62. Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman, 1998.


Irons, Charles Lee. The Righteousness of God: A Lexical Examination of the Covenant-Faithfulness Interpretation. Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament 2.386. Tubingen, Germany: Mohr Siebeck, 2015.


Jacob, Edmond. Theology of the Old Testament. Translated by Arthur W. Heathcote and Philip J. Allcock. New York, NY: Harper & Row, 1958.


Kaiser, Walter C. “Israel’s Missionary Call.” In Perspectives on the World Christian Movement: A Reader, edited by Ralph D. Winter and Steven C. Hawthorne, 25-34. Pasadena, CA: William Carey Library, 1981.


________. Mission in the Old Testament: Israel as a Light to the Nations. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 2000.


Kane, J. Herbert. Understanding Christian Missions. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 1974.


Kraeling, Emil G. “The Immanuel Prophecy.” Journal of Biblical Prophecy 50 (1931): 277-297. https://doi.org/10.2307/3259795


Laato, Antti. Who Is the Servant of the Lord?: Jewish and Christian Interpretations on Isaiah 53 From Antiquity to the Middle Ages. Studies in Rewritten Bible 4. Turku, Finland: Âbo Akademi University Press, 2012. https://doi.org/10.1111/rsr.12312


Lim, H. Bo. “The ‘Way of the Lord’ in the Book of Isaiah.” PhD diss., Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, 2006.


Marfo, Elisha K. “Isaiah’s Authorship and Methodology: A Historical Review.” Asia-Africa Journal of Mission & Ministry 18 (2018): 109-137. https://doi.org/10.21806/aamm.2018.18.07


Matacio, Doug. “Centripetal and ‘Centrifugal’ Mission: Solomon and Jesus.” Journal of Adventist Mission Studies 4, no. 4 (2008): 31-42.


Moskala, Jiří “The Message of God’s People in the Old Testament.” Perspective Digest 15, no. 2 (2010): 4-18.


________. “The Laws of Clean and Unclean Animals of Leviticus 11: their Nature, Theology, and Rationale (an Inter textual Study).” PhD diss., Andrews University, 1998.


________. “The Message of God’s People in the Old Testament.” Journal of the Adventist Theological Society 19, nos. 1-2 (2008): 18-39.


________. “The Mission of God’s People in the Old Testament.” Journal of the Adventist Theological Society 19, nos. 1-2 (2008): 40-60.


Muskita, Hudyard Y. “Justice, Cult, and Salvation in Isaiah 56-59: A Literary-Theological Study.” PhD diss., Andrews University, 2018. https://doi.org/10.32597/dissertations/1645


Orlinsky, Harry M., and Norman H. Snaith. Studies on the Second Part of the Book of Isaiah: The So-Called ‘Servant of the Lord’ and ‘Suffering Servant’ in Second Isaiah; Isaiah 40-66; A Study of the Teaching of the Second Isaiah and Its Consequences. Vetus Testamentum Supplement Series 14. Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill, 2014.


Oswalt, John N. “Isaiah 60-62: The Glory of the Lord.” Calvin Theological Journal 40, no. 1 (2005): 95-103.


________. “The Mission of Israel to the Nations.” In Through No Fault of Their Own? The Fate of Those Who Have Never Heard, edited by W. V. Crockett and J. G. Sigountos, 85-95. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 1991.


Ott, Craig, Timothy C. Tennent, and Stephen J. Strauss. Encountering Theology of Mission: Biblical Foundations, Historical Developments, and Contemporary Issues. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2010. https://doi.org/10.1163/157338312×644995


Peckham, John C. The God of Love: A Canonical Model. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 2015.


Peskett, Howard, and Vinoth Ramachandra. The Message of Mission. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 2003.


Peters, George W. “Missions in Biblical Perspective.” In Vital Mission Issues: Examining Challenges and Changes in World Evangelism, edited by Roy B. Zuck, 13-14. Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel, 1998.


Polan, Gregory J. In the Ways of Justice Toward Salvation: A Rhetorical Analysis of Isaiah 56-59. New York, NY: Peter Lang, 1986.


Raabe, Paul R. “Look to the Holy One of Israel, All You Nations: The Oracles About the Nations Still Speak Today.” Concordia Journal 30, no. 4 (2004): 336-349.


________. “Why Prophetic Oracles Against the Nations?” in Fortunate the Eyes That See: Essays in Honor of David Noel Freedman in Celebration of His Seventieth Birthday, ed. Astrid B. Beck et al. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerd mans, 1995.


Rzepkowski, Horst. “The Theology of Mission.” Verbum SVD 15 (1974): 79-91.


Schnabel, Eckhard J. Early Christian Mission. 2 vols. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 2004.


Schultz, Richard. “The King in the Book of Isaiah.” In The Lord’s Anointed: Interpretation of Old Testament Messian ic Texts, edited by Philip E. Satterthwaite, Richard S. Hess, and Gordon J. Wenham, 141-165. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 1995.


Sohn, Seock-Tae. The Divine Election of Israel (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1991).


Sohn, Yoon Tahk. “Biblical Missiology and a Wholistic Mission Perspective.” Mission and Theology 7, no. 5 (2001): 235-244.


Stuhlmueller, Carroll. Creative Redemption in Deutero-Isaiah. Rome, Italy: Biblical Institute Press, 1970.


Sunquist, Scott W. Understanding Christian Mission: Participation in Suffering and Glory. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academics, 2013.


Tate, Marvin E. “King and Messiah in Isaiah of Jerusalem.” Review and Expositor 65 (1968): 409-421. https://doi.org/10.1177/003463736806500403


Taylor, Larry M. “The Holy One of Israel Is Savior: Theological Themes in Isaiah.” Southwestern Journal of Theology 34, no. 1 (1991): 13-19.


Verkuyl, Johannes. Contemporary Missiology: An Introduction. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1978.


von Rad, Gerhard. Old Testament Theology. 2 vols. Translated by D. M. G. Stalker. New York, NY: Harper & Row, 1962-1965.


Wardlaw, Terrance R. “The Significance of Creation in the Book of Isaiah.” Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society 59, no. 3 (2016): 449-471.


Westermann, Claus. Isaiah 40-66: A Commentary. Translated by David M. G. Stalker. Philadelphia, PA: Westminster, 1969. https://doi.org/10.1177/004057367002700123


White, J. Benton. Taking the Bible Seriously. Louisville, KY: Westminster, 1993.


Wolf, Herbert M. “Solution to the Immanuel Prophecy in Isaiah 7:14-8:22.” Journal of Biblical Literature 91 (1972): 449-456. https://doi.org/10.2307/3263678


Wright, Christopher J. H. The Mission of God: Unlocking the Bible’s Grand Narrative. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 2006.


Wright, G. Ernest. “The Old Testament Basis for the Christian Mission.” In The Theology of the Christian Mission, edited by Gerald H. Anderson, 17-30. London, UK: SCM, 1961.

Elisha Kwabena Marfo, PhD is a Lecturer of Old Testament Languages, Exegesis, and Theology at Valley View University, Oyibi-Accra, Ghana. Email: elisha.marfo@vvu.edu.gh

Marfo, Elisha K. “Who Said, No Mission in the Old Testament: A Theological Framework of Mission in the Isaianic Literature.” E-Journal of Religious and Theological Studies 6, no. 4 (2020): 223-235. https://doi.org/10.38159/erats.2020072

© 2020 The Author(s). Published and Maintained by Noyam Publishers. This is an open access article under the CCBY license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).