Isaiah Made Easier by David J Ridges

Book Highlight

872

As always, Travis Patten, proprietor of the Pioneer Book had a suggestion for me. He said that if I wanted an easy way to understand Isaiah, then the choice was Isaiah Made Easier.  Lucky for me, he had a clean used first edition, but I suggest you get the second edition with its updates at Books & Things, the outlet for Cedar Fort Publishing and Media.

Scholar and author, David J. Ridges spent 35 years teaching the scriptures in seminary and institute classroom and at BYU education weeks. It was there he learned to deliver Isaiah’s teachings and literary symbolism in a conversational way. Personally, I like how he combines Isaiah’s actual words with his commentary to make it all understandable.

However, what I like best about Ridges’ treatment of Isaiah is his “in-verse” commentary; nearly all other writers list their analysis before or after the verse, or worse without citing the verse.

I have never seen it all clarified so simply. Just look at this sample from Isaiah:

Isaiah 1

(Chapter 1 is a preface to the whole book of Isaiah, much like The D&C section 1, is to the whole Doctrine and Covenants)
1 The vision of Isaiah the son of Amoz, which he saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah (an introduction to the whole book—a superscription similar to “An account of Lehi…” at the beginning your First Nephi. The Kings mentioned above reigned from about 740 BC to701 BC).

2 Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth: for the Lord hath spoken, I have nourished and brought up children, and they have rebelled against me (the main problem).

The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master’s crib (manger): but Israel doth not know (know God), my people doth not consider (Think seriously, i.e., Israel, you are acting dumber than animals!).

When I started this Isaiah Discovery project, I wasn’t sure where to begin. Then I got a copy of Isaiah Made Easier. Every chapter of Isaiah in both the Bible and the Book of Mormon is analyzed. Because his insights are in parenthesis for each verse, there is no need to flip back and forth between commentary and scriptures. His notes to each scripture give you an understanding of Isaiah’s words, clarified crisply and with answers that make Isaiah more readable. The author also offers cultural, as well as, environmental comprehension of Isaiah life and times.

My copy has only 171 pages, which suggests that I can finally tackle Isaiah with Ridges’ help.

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I am a retiree from Scouting. There I blogged for VoiceOfScouting.org, a site with more than 250,000 readers. During 42 years in the workplace, I've had many years senior level management with the BSA, professional associations, and high tech user groups. My background includes capital fundraising; outdoor adventure program development; property and construction management; event/conference planning; risk management and safety; lobbying federal, state and local government agencies; public relations; strategic planning; member advocacy and staff/volunteer training. Along the way, I have also taught Gospel Doctrine Classes and been both the ward and stake Sunday School President. In these settings, I have seen teachers and class members minimize Isaiah, a book Christ has commanded us to "search diligently." (3 Ne 23:1) With that in mind, I will do my best to explore and post my discoveries about the book of Isaiah. I am not a Bible scholar; like you, I read Isaiah in the Old Testament cycle of study in LDS Gospel Doctrine Classes and again in the Book of Mormon Cycle, so this is a whole new scripture adventure for me.

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