Notes to Teachers, Small Group Leaders, and Online Students


With 66 chapters, Isaiah is the longest prophetic book in the Bible. In fact, Isaiah's prophecy by itself comprises 7.4% of the entire Old Testament. If you need a verse-by-verse commentary of Isaiah, this isn't it. Rather, consider it a guide to your study to the core of Isaiah's message and the high points of his prophecy.

Our goal is to help you understand Isaiah's message well, and to introduce you to the key passages. We'll move quickly over some chapters, giving them only a paragraph or two to explain what's going on. For other chapters, however, we'll go into great detail. For example, we'll spend a full lesson on Isaiah 53, since it is so important to understanding Jesus' own understanding of his mission and work of salvation.

Discussion Questions

You'll typically find 6 to 8 questions for each lesson, depending on the topics in each lesson. Each question may include several sub-questions. These are designed to get group members engaged in discussing the key points. If you're running short of time, feel free to skip questions or portions of questions.

Suggestions for Classes and Groups

Individuals who are studying online can probably complete one full lesson per week, since they typically have more than a one-hour class to ponder the issues. But many of the chapters just have too much material for a one hour class or group to discuss adequately. Below you can see one way a class or group might divide the material into about 17 sessions. (Sorry it couldn't be shorter, but this is a long and rich book!)

Class No.Lesson
Number
 

 

1Early Messages (Isaiah 1-6)
1    Part 1A (Isaiah 1-5)
2    Part 1B (Isaiah 6) -- Isaiah's Call

 

2The Book of Immanuel (7-12)
3    Part 2A (Isaiah 7-10)
4    Part 2B (Isaiah 11-12)
53Judgment upon the Nations (Isaiah 13-23)
64God's Final Victory: Isaiah's Apocalypse (Isaiah 24-27)
75God's Help vs. Man's -- the Assyrian Crisis (Isaiah 28-35)
86Hezekiah's Reign (Isaiah 36-39; 2 Kings 18)

 

7Jerusalem's Warfare Is Over (Isaiah 40-48)
9    Part 7A (Isaiah 40-42)
10    Part 7B (Isaiah 43-48)

 

8Jerusalem's Iniquity Is Pardoned (Isaiah 49-55, except Isaiah 53)
11    Part 8A (Isaiah 49-52)
12    Part 8B (Isaiah 54-55)
139The Suffering Servant (Isaiah 52:13-53:12)

 

10Finding True Righteousness and Devotion (Isaiah 56-59)
14    Part 10A (Isaiah 56-57)
15    Part 10B (Isaiah 58-59)

 

11The Glory of God's Reign (Isaiah 60-66)
16     Part 11A (Isaiah 60-64)
17    Part 11B (Isaiah 65-66)
Isaiah: Discipleship Lessons from the Fifth Gospel, by Dr. Ralph F. Wilson
Available in paperback, Kindle, and PDF formats

If you're teaching this to a class or leading a small group, you'll need to prepare thoroughly for the lesson. To teach this in 17 one-hour, weekly sessions, you'll need to move fast and hit only the highlights. As divided into 17 lessons as above, you'll find 3 to 6 discussion questions per session.

I've prepared a Participant Guide that you can reproduce for your class or group that includes some of the maps and charts. If you are able to display graphics in your class, I've prepared most maps large enough to be reproduced for projection. If you are planning to teach Isaiah from this material, consider purchasing this material in book form for handy reference that you can mark it up for your own purposes.

Studying the Lessons Online

If you're studying Isaiah online or by e-mail, we'll be moving through the lessons in 11 weeks. Try to allot more time for study each week than some of my studies have required. At least read all the chapters in Isaiah that we're covering in a lesson, but concentrate on the portions that contain discussion questions. To fully complete the "assignment," you only need to respond to four questions per lesson of your choice. If you have time, feel free to complete all the discussion questions. You'll be richer for it.


Copyright © 1985-2017, Ralph F. Wilson. <pastor@joyfulheart.com> All rights reserved. A single copy of this article is free. Do not put this on a website. See legal, copyright, and reprint information.

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