This upcoming semester I have the opportunity to do a semester long study on either the Book of Isaiah or the Book of Micah. Both are popular Hebrew prophets. I’d say Isaiah more so for early Christianity, but I can’t go wrong with either.
Due to the length of these two books Micah would be much more in-depth by default, but I have not yet had a chance to give sufficient attention to Isaiah which seems to me to be a bit unacceptable for someone who enjoys biblical studies.
So, who would you choose to study and why?
Micah, because it’s much shorter, thus allowing (presumably) more time for more detailed treatment. With a book as long as Isaiah, the study would be very limited. I took a course in Isaiah in my M.Div. work, and while it was very good, we simply could not go over many of the passages.
Isaiah. It is a difficult though majestic book that needs extended attention in order to begin to grasp it, in my opinion. I elected to do a semester-long independent study on Isaiah, and I’m glad I did. It gave me a good foundation for further study. As a far shorter book, Micah is much more manageable, especially after studying Isaiah. I am not sure studying Micah first would give you as much benefit in future study of Isaiah.
Micah. Micah and Isaiah were contemporaries, so some backgrounds and similar information you may get from studying either book. As said by yourself and others, Micah is a more manageable book and I know that my peers who took Isaiah in grad school were often overwhelmed. Also, with Isaiah you will have to deal with more higher criticism, especially when it comes to authorship and partition theories. Although Micah was most likely edited and the Hebrew text has many difficulties, the grounding of it verbally or written is usually traced back to Micah himself. Also, I think the minor prophets often get ignored unless one is talking about social justice and there is so much more to be found in them.
Isaiah is undoubtedly my favorite biblical prophet so I’d go with that.
that sure is a tough choice – and both are good books! Micah because then you can get Waltke’s recent new commentary on it! and or McCominsky’s The Minor Prophets, which is good too.
Micah. Because it’s my middle name. Seriously. Isaiah will always be there waiting for you later…
Since Micah is the “Cliff’s Notes” on Isaiah, why not just go for the whole enchilada and go for it with Isaiah 🙂 .
I have nearly finished this semester studying the Minor Prophets as a whole. I also researched Micah 6:1-8 for my exegetical assignment. I would truly enjoy doing a whole semester on Micah myself. Though to be truthful; you will miss out on a lot if you don’t study the 12 Minor Prophets as a whole.
Isaiah is on my list of subjects to do. If it was doable, why not do both?
You could do Micah and I can email you my 70-page teaching notes on Isaiah. 😉
Scott, could I get a copy too? 🙂 We are getting into Advent soon, might be nice to have good notes? If not I’ll understand. Blessings.
Have you considered the professors of each class? Instructors can make or break a course.
Thanks for all the suggestions. I think I am leaning toward Isaiah, but I haven’t settled as of yet.
I say Isaiah, the most quoted and esteemed Old Testament prophet:-).
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