Kelsey Wilding: When you started studying or wanting to learn more, did you have any scholars that you went to, or was it just prayer and reading and studying it that helped the most?
Ann Madsen: I read everything I could about it and I took classes and I was a member of the society of Biblical literature then. In graduate school I joined the Society of Biblical literature and so I’d go to the conventions and I’d listened to all of the…anything that was on Isaiah, I would go listen to, and especially after I graduated in what I was teaching, then I would listen to everybody’s lecture and it’s funny though, scholars who are…just interestingly enough, not always spiritually tied to the Bible, are using it as an instrument of their scholarship. They go through all kinds of series of a start and they go in one way. And then, for instance, they say there was only one author of Isaiah, and then a few years later somebody will say, oh no, there were five or six authors. It’s all different people. It’s not one author. And then it goes back to, no there was only one Isaiah. And it’s done that about four times in my lifetime.
Kelsey Wilding: What determines that?
Ann Madsen: Well, if you don’t have any kind of spiritual assurance about it, it’s a piece of literature and so linguistics, some people went through and decided how many times ‘the’ and ‘uh’, were used in Isaiah. And then they analyzed the whole thing with the computer and they say, well, chapters five through eight, don’t fit this, so some other author must have done that. I think that’s very thin scholarship. I don’t think that works to know how many, ‘uh’s’, and ‘the’s’ there are in a piece. But when you’re a scholar, you’re looking for something new, something interesting to tell everybody that you’ve learned. So there are people that believe there are two Isaiah’s at least, a lot of people believe in there are Deutero Isaiah, and Isaiah, and the Deutero Isaiah, the second Isaiah is a post exilic prophet that no one has ever heard of before or since, that came after the exile when they came back, when the people of Israel came back, because it’s talking about Cyrus and other people in the Persia that meet, who they think they don’t believe in predictive prophecy. They believe that if you’re talking about it, it has to have happened or you have to know about it. You can’t predict especially the name of someone. You couldn’t do that, but as latter-day saints, that’s easy for us, because the Book of Mormon has a lot of predictive prophecy. Joseph Smith made a lot of predictive prophecies and so for us, that’s not a pitfall at all, but for other people, they see the names Cyrus in the early chapters of the forties and they say, oh, so with Chapter 40, it’s another writer, it’s someone living at that time that would know about Cyrus. We don’t think that, you know, we think that Isaiah can be shown Cyrus and can tell us about what he sees.
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