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Isaiah: Discipleship Lessons from the Fifth Gospel

Book front cover | back cover

Isaiah speaks so often of the Messiah, that the book is often called the "fifth gospel."

The Prophet Isaiah's words inspire us with their beautiful cadences and lofty heights. They confront us with thoughtful rebukes and correction. Isaiah is the source of nearly one quarter of the Old Testament quotations and allusions cited in the New Testament. In sheer size, it is second only to the Book of Psalms in length.

Most important, Isaiah gives us a unique understanding of Jesus the Messiah, who fulfills many of these prophecies given 700 years before his birth. For this reason Isaiah is sometimes called the "Fifth Gospel."

Isaiah is considered one of the literary gems of the ancient world. Here is the apex of Hebrew poetic style, brilliant imagery, and the whole range of human emotion. Some of the passages you may recall include:

  • "Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow" (1:18)
  • "Here I am, send me." (6:1-8)
  • "Unto us a child is born...." (9:2-7)
  • "The wolf will live with the lamb ... and a little child shall lead them." (11:1-9)
  • "And a highway will be there; it will be called the Way of Holiness." (35:1-10)
  • "Comfort, comfort my people...." (40:1-31)
  • "They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength" (40:31)
  • "The Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all." (52:13-53:12)
  • "Come, all you who are thirsty...." (55:1-12)
  • "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me...." (61:1-11)

Isaiah is challenging and enriching, but also long and complex. Therefore, this volume is designed to be a guide to studying Isaiah's prophecies, not a verse-by-verse commentary. We'll move quickly over passages less relevant to our day, but focus in some detail on passages that teach about the Messiah and God's universal truths that speak to us across the ages.

This volume covers Isaiah eleven lessons, and includes 13 maps to clarify the historical setting. Classes and small groups will find this a helpful curriculum guide, with links to free participant handouts, as well as thorough preparation for the leader. Thought-provoking questions will stimulate many profound discussions -- though groups may want to follow a 17-week track to thoroughly discuss these truths. The heavily-footnoted lessons provide most of the research that preachers and teachers will need for their task. At the same time, the lessons inspire and challenge the individual reader to grow as a disciple of Christ.

Here are the main sections of the book:



Notes to Teachers, Small Group Leaders, and Online Students14
Introduction to Isaiah17
1. Early Messages (Isaiah 1-6)31
2. The Book of Immanuel (Isaiah 7-12)51
3. Judgment upon the Nations (Isaiah 13-23)73
4. God's Final Victory: Isaiah's Apocalypse (Is 24-27)88
5. God's Help vs. Man's -- the Assyrian Crisis (Is 28-35)102
6. Hezekiah's Reign (Isaiah 36-39; 2 Kings 18)117
7. Jerusalem's Warfare Is Over (Isaiah 40-48)136
8. Jerusalem's Iniquity Is Pardoned (Is 49-55, except 53)161
9. The Suffering Servant (Isaiah 52:13-53:12)182
10. Finding True Righteousness and Devotion (Is 56-59)194
11. The Glory of God's Reign (Isaiah 60-66)213
Appendix 1. Participant Handout Guides236
Appendix 2. Names, Titles, and Analogies of God in Isaiah237
Appendix 3. Messianic Prophecies in Isaiah239
Appendix 4. Timeline Related to Isaiah's Prophecies241
Appendix 5. New Testament Quotations from Isaiah243

Detailed Table of Contents
Handouts for Group Participants. If you're using this study with a class or small group, here are some free handouts for each lesson.

The book is available in both paperback and e-book formats.

  Isaiah: Discipleship Lessons from the Fifth Gospel, by Dr. Ralph F. WilsonPaperback format, $17.95, must be ordered through   The paperback book has 233 pages and is 7.5" x 9.25". ISBN: 979-8862714203. ASIN:  B0CJXLFDR2.
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Reprint license to make copiesReprint License, $2.50 per copy. This allows you to print additional copies for your own group. Once you've ordered this item, set quantity field for the number of reprints you plan to make and click on "recalculate." One license is required for each additional copy you make beyond the initial book you purchased. This reprint license prohibits sale of the book to individuals outside your local area or congregation. You'll probably want to order a single copy of the e-book also, so you'll have the text from which to reprint. 

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Copyright © 2024, Ralph F. Wilson. <> 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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