Isaiah Controversy #1: One Isaiah or Three?
One of the main controversies in the book of Isaiah is whether Isaiah was one man who actually prophesied of the future, or a composite of three or more men who merely wrote beautiful complex poetry about historical events of their day.
Let’s look at both sides.
Most academics believe Isaiah couldn’t possibly prophesy of the future. To explain the fact that Isaiah used the name of Cyrus 150 years before the man Cyrus actually existed, these same scholars believe in a theory called ‘Deutero or Tritero Isaiah’ meaning there were 2 or 3 or even more people under the pen name Isaiah, over the span of 3 centuries. This is how they explain Cyrus. Almost NO mainstream scholars say Isaiah is a single man who used historical people and events to prophesy of future end times.
A few Christian and LDS scholars still try to defend their belief that Isaiah was written by one Isaiah who had the spirit of prophecy and actually foretold the coming of Christ, King Cyrus, the return of the Jews, a suffering servant, another exodus of Israel, and the destruction of nations in a coming apocalypse under a Hitler-like anti-christ figure.
Nephi, in the Book of Mormon, uses Isaiah to chasten the people of his day and warn the people of our day. Most church members have never heard of the controversy of 1 Isaiah or 3 and believe the events in Isaiah are repeated in our time, and lead to the End Times of the world, when Christ’s second coming will decimate the wicked and exalt the righteous.
As you read Isaiah and the writings of Nephi, Jacob, Abinadi, and Christ for yourself, alongside scholarly and academic commentaries, do you believe there was one prophet name Isaiah, or a group of 3 or more historian poets?