Book Review: Isaiah and Intertextuality

Date Published

July 10, 2024

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Published by Calvin Seminary

Earlier this year, Dr. Wilson de Angelo Cunha and Dr. Andrew Abernethy (Professor of Old Testament, Wheaton College) published Isaiah and Intertextuality: Isaiah Amid Israel’s Scriptures. This volume, featuring essays from several Old Testament scholars, demonstrates the connections between Isaiah and the major canonical sections of the Old Testament: the Torah, Prophets, and Writings.

The publication of Isaiah and Intertextuality was many years in the making. While preparing to teach a class on Isaiah at LeTourneau University, Cunha noticed that Isaiah 59:7 appeared almost verbatim in Proverbs 1:16—“Because their feet rush to do evil, and they hurry to shed blood.” After making this connection, he began to consider the intertextual links between Isaiah and other books of the Old Testament. Eventually, he contacted Abernethy to gauge interest in developing a project, which led to the founding of the Institute for Biblical Research’s Isaiah research group and the collection of essays featured in Isaiah and Intertextuality.

Cunha’s work as an editor and contributor to Isaiah and Intertextuality built on intertextuality studies, which he began as a Master of Theology (ThM) student at Calvin Seminary. As a ThM student, he discovered his love for intertextuality as he wrote a research paper on Zechariah 7–8. Later, as a PhD student, he would explore intertextuality in LXX Isaiah. In Isaiah and Intertextuality, Cunha further built his understanding of the intertextual connections between Isaiah and significant portions of the Old Testament (such as the Torah, Prophets, and Writings), as well as the thematic connections across Old Testament books, which he explores in his essay on Isaiah 1 and Hosea, featured in the volume.

In addition to preaching at local churches and writing projects, Cunha teaches Biblical Hebrew and Old Testament courses for MA, MDiv, ThM, and PhD students at Calvin Seminary. His involvement in Isaiah and Intertextuality directly impacts that work in the classroom, as he seeks to help students understand how the Old Testament comes together from a literary, canonical, and theological perspective. Teaching students about intertextuality helps them identify connections in books or genres of the Old Testament that, at first glance, might lack any connection at all. When students understand the intertextuality of the Old Testament, it prevents them from having a fragmented understanding of and approach to the Old Testament, which affects their preaching and teaching of Scripture.

Through Isaiah and Intertextuality, Cunha aids students and scholars alike in understanding the intertextual connections between Isaiah and the rest of the Old Testament, strengthening their appreciation of the literary features of Scripture and deepening their faith in the God of the Old Testament in that process.


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