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Isaiah's Immanuel [Paperback]

By Edward E. Hindson (Author) & Hindson (Author)
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Item description for Isaiah's Immanuel by Edward E. Hindson & Hindson...

Discusses the controversy surrounding Isaiah's announcement of the coming Messiah. Did Isaiah specify a virgin birth? Answers this and other questions.

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Item Specifications...

Language: English
Studio: Presbyterian & Reformed Pub Co
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.28" Width: 5.49" Height: 0.37"
Weight:   0.34 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Jan 1, 1992
Publisher   P & R Publishing
ISBN  0875523102  
ISBN13  9780875523101  

Availability  0 units.

More About Edward E. Hindson & Hindson

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DR. ED HINDSON is the assistant Chancellor, Professor of Religion, and Dean of the Institute of Biblical Studies at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia. He has authored over twenty books, served as co-editor of several Bible projects, and one was of the translators for the New King James version of the Bible. Dr Hindson has served as a visiting lecturer at Oxford University and the Harvard Divinity School, as well as numerous evangelical seminaries. He has taugh over fifty thousand students in the past twenty five years. His teaching style has been described as "taking the complicated and making it simple.""

Edward E. Hindson currently resides in the state of Georgia.

Edward E. Hindson has published or released items in the following series...

  1. Twenty-First Century Biblical Commentary

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Reviews - What do customers think about Isaiah's Immanuel?

Incredible Resource  Oct 5, 2006

Isaiah's Immanuel has truly opened my eyes. Prior to reading this book I had only been exposed to the dual fulfillment view of Isaiah 7:14. Looking back I am astonished by this fact. I grew up within incredibly fundamental and conservative circles, yet every minister I have ever sat under preached only dual fulfillment. In all honesty I thought it was the only accepted view. With this as my background regarding the interpretation of Isaiah 7:14, it was quite an undertaking to truly review the information in this book without a long standing bias. With that being said my conclusions after reading this book came as quite a surprise to myself, however, now is not the time to discuss them.


As I read the introduction of Isaiah's Immanuel it became clear Dr. Hindson's view regarding the book's (Isaiah) authorship. Dr. Hindson's view of single authorship by the historical Isaiah is well established by the conclusion. As seen on page 2, the chronology for the life of the historical Isaiah is a settled fact in the authors mind. While there is some room for error afforded regarding exact dates, nonetheless time period and chronology are critical in understanding the nature and fulfillment of the prophecies that will be discussed later. The political situation described in the following pages further concretes the context into which Isaiah ministered and recorded his prophetic book. I found it quite interesting that Dr. Hindson included in his introduction a history of not only Isaiah's world, but also of the post reformation authors writings about the book of Isaiah. This list of authors and their positions compelled me to investigate some of the views presented by some of my favorite authors. My findings shocked me in light of the liberal arena that a dual fulfillment interpretation places one into. To see that not only Dr. Charles Ryrie held to dual fulfillment, but also Dr. Norman Geisler, brought me much distress. In fact Dr. Geisler pushes this view as a possible solution to the critical views of Isaiah in his handbook of Bible difficulties, When Critics Ask. Dr. Geisler writes:

The fulfillment of this prophecy may be two-fold. Because of the desperate situation which the people of Israel faced, God promised to give them a sign that would assure them that He would ultimately deliver His people out of bondage...First, it came as a sign of the physical deliverance of Israel from the bondage to which they were going under the invading Assyrians. Second, it came as a sign of the spiritual deliverance of all of God's people from the spiritual bondage to Satan. The first aspect of the sign was fulfilled in the birth of Maher-Shalal-Hash-Baz as recorded in Isaiah 8:3. The second aspect of the sign was fulfilled in the birth of Jesus Christ at Bethlehem as recorded in the Gospels...The wife of Isaiah who bore the son in fulfillment of the first aspect of the prophecy was a virgin until she conceived by Isaiah...The physical conception and birth of the son of Isaiah was a sign to Israel that God would deliver them from physical bondage to the Assyrians. But, the supernatural conception and birth of the Son of God was a sign to all of God's people that He would deliver them from spiritual bondage to sin and death.[1]

This describes the dual fulfillment interpretation to its finest detail. Despite this shocking finding I must let the facts speak for themselves with regard to whether or not two of my theological heroes are mistaken in their interpretations.

As we open the second chapter Dr. Hindson very clearly presents the three basic positions that have been historically taken by those commenting on the Isaiah 7:14 passage. Describing these three positions Dr. Hindson writes "(1) That the reference is only to an immediate event of the prophet's own day. (2) That it is only to the Messiah. (3) That it refers to both."[2] I find it quite interesting that the early reformers, including John Calvin, held to a single fulfillment. While this doesn't necessarily make this interpretation correct (to assume so would be the fallacy of antiquity), but it does however lend credence to the long standing roots this view has. As the years passed commentators moved away from the conservative single fulfillment view, and into a more liberal dual fulfillment view. When this interpretation gained popularity we find that instead of having a consensus among the theologians in our church, there is utter confusion. While we cannot write off the dual fulfillment view simply because of its lack of consensus or it's absurd complexity, we should however, consider it's violation of Ockham's Razor[3] as a damaging blow to it's credibility. As Barton Payne points out if one were to only read the New Testament, the thought of the complex dual fulfillment theory would never come into play, because the New Testament only quotes the prophecy as pertaining to Christ. This reminds me of the often stated phrase that the Old Testament was Christ concealed and the New Testament is Christ revealed. I believe that thought to be very telling. Because of this Matthews single fulfillment interpretation should settle the matter but it does not.

Dr. Hindson takes his argument for the single fulfillment interpretation even further in chapter three, by delving into the original languages. The background for the prophecy laid out by Dr. Hindson on pages 25-30 sets up a critical transition from the first 13 verses to the prophetic verse itself. Prior to reading this book I had never noticed the significance of the "therefore" transition. As Dr. Hindson excellently pointed out on page 30 this term creates a situation in which we see the first offered sign rejected, and a new sign given. The sign left King Ahaz and has now found its place as a sign to the House of David. This thought is taken further on page 32 when it is pointed out that the sign would be directed to "you" (plural), the House of David, instead of the "you" (singular), which would be King Ahaz. This makes perfect sense, especially given the context of the passage. Skipping down a paragraph on page 32, Dr. Hindson points out that it was vital for the line of David to receive this promise, as there were enemies who were at that time seeking to wipe out the Davidic line. Following this excellent section that sets up the scenario for the prophecy and its significance to the listeners, a point comes up that I wish could have been expanded on. Following his exegetical approach Dr. Hindson explains the significance of the term "behold". He points out the significance of this term in light of its grammatical usage. The fact that its usage denoted what the prophet was about say was incredibly important. While the point here is very well done, this section suffers from one of my few issues with this book. I would have loved to see the Hebrew characters presented here to be transliterated or placed into a format that a reader who is Hebrew illiterate could better comprehend.

When I began the vital section regarding the Hebrew term for virgin, I found Dr. Hindson's argumentation to really shine. The presentation here by Dr. Hindson of the nature of "bears a son", is quite telling. It is pointed out that this term in the Hebrew is not a verb nor a participle, but rather a feminine adjective. This being in the present tense would then be a description of someone who is presently pregnant. Because of this how could anyone assume this is speaking of anyone besides Mary mother of Jesus? If a woman is pregnant she is surely not a virgin, that is unless this is referencing the one time in recorded history when a virgin was pregnant, again that being Mary. Further Dr. Hindson points out that the article here is the definite article. This means that the prophet had one specific woman in mind when giving this prophecy. This fits wonderfully with the single fulfillment interpretation presented by Dr. Hindson. After reading this material and then tackling the difference between the words almah as opposed to bethulah, I am staggered at the overwhelming exegetical evidence for the single fulfillment interpretation. The discussion of these two terms was extremely well covered in a short amount of space. Dr. Hindson managed to keep his explanation in depth without being verbose, and overly technical. Because of this I would definitely recommended reading this section for anyone, both laymen and scholar alike, questioning this passages usage of "the virgin".

After establishing the term almah being the correct term for virgin, Dr. Hindson makes a case to exclude all contemporary women of Isaiah's day being the virgin specified. This argument as presented in pages 42-44 could not have been more efficiently stated. The chronological and textual issues with interpreting the virgin to be a contemporary of Isaiah are not only compelling reasons for denying dual fulfillment, but are downright damning to the view. Even further we find the identity of Immanuel is presented to be decisively found in Jesus Christ alone. As pointed out by Dr. Hindson on page 47, there is no reason contextually or historically to draw any parallels between Isaiah's Immanuel and any other historical figure besides that of the person of Jesus Christ. I agree with the contention that the title Immanuel was a description of who this Son would be, in messianic terms, and his specific name was not given in order to avoid imposters. This makes sense when we understand that the birth of this son is directly associated with the promise of the coming King of Glory. After reading chapter 3 of Isaiah's Immanuel I am flabbergasted that anyone could honestly and intellectually deny the implications presented by Dr. Hindson. This is especially true given the fact that the divinely inspired New Testament declares this son to be none other than Jesus Christ himself. I greatly appreciate Dr. Hindson's handling of this prophecy in Matthew 1:23. Declaring the fact that if we deny what Matthew wrote under the inspiration of God, we call into question most if not all Scripture. Therefore, either the New Testament is in error, or those holding to dual fulfillment are categorically wrong.

Moving into the closing chapter of Isaiah's Immanuel we find the presentation of Micah 5:2 as further Scriptural support for a single fulfillment view of Isaiah 7:14. While Dr. Hindson admits that this prophecy (declaring the birthplace of Messiah) does not concretely establish the single fulfillment view of Isaiah 7:14, it nonetheless bolsters an already overwhelming argument for this position. I would agree with this assessment. The Micah passage is one more nail in the coffin of the dual fulfillment interpretation. I have found this passage coupled with the Matthew 1:23 explanation of Isaiah's prophecy, to place any true seeker of the truth in an inescapable position. A position that demands any logical person who genuinely believes in the doctrine of inspiration to conclude that Isaiah was indeed only speaking of Jesus Christ in his prophecy.

Finally, Dr. Hindson closes out the book with a rebuttal of the common objection by critics to the Isaiah 7:14 passage. Many critics claim that a proper understanding of this passage should be filtered through the interpretations of Jewish scholars. They do this because Jewish scholars deny the Messianic implications of this passage. In a last ditch effort to deny Christ as fulfillment of this passage liberals rely on the unabashedly biased interpretations of anti-Christian Jews. Of course Jewish scholars would deny everything thing from the term virgin to its future implications of Christ's coming. If they did not deny the true nature of this passage they would then indeed become Christians themselves. In order to maintain their status as non-Messianic Jews they absolutely must deny the son spoken of by Isaiah. Instead liberals and Jews alike declare that the Messianic interpretation of Isaiah 7:14 is purely a projection on the passage by Christian scholars. However, as pointed out by Dr. Hindson, the pre-Christian Septuagint (LXX) translated almah as virgin. This represented the common Jewish interpretation of this passage up until the time when Christ declared to be the fulfillment of this prophecy. The simple fact is that both Alexandrian and Palestinian Jews understood both the Micah passage and Isaiah passage to be speaking of the promised Messiah prior to the Christian declaration that Christ fulfilled these prophecies. I believe with this handling of the final leg liberals had to stand on, that being the Jewish objections to Isaiah 7:14, Dr. Hindson has effectively sent those holding to a dual fulfillment interpretation falling flat on their faces.

I have been impacted by the reading of this book in a way that I did not foresee. Dr. Hindson's handling of the history surrounding the interpretation of Isaiah 7:14 is simply top notch. The presentation is both compelling and interesting to read. As good as his historical handling is the exegetical sections of the book are without compare. While reading Isaiah's Immanuel I compared it with various other exegetical sources. All of these sources held to a dual fulfillment view. The exegetical case presented by Dr. Hindson simply crushed even the best arguments I could find from the opposing view. There in fact was little to no exegetical support presented from those opposing Dr. Hindson's interpretation, and what was presented was weakly supported and very vague.

My only quibble with Dr. Hindson's book is in the area of structure and function of the book rather than the content. Even as someone who has spent some class time studying Hebrew I found the quoting of the Hebrew in various sections a little difficult to follow and in need of further explanation. Perhaps transliteration and full definition in parenthesis beside the term in discussion would resolve this issue. Along those same lines I believe a map locating all the geographical places discussed in the text would have been very helpful in keeping myself and any other reader better oriented to the people and places being discussed.
Despite these few issues I found this book to be an incredible read. I came to this book trying with all I could to be unbiased. After reading through Isaiah's Immanuel I found not only my biases melting away, but my interpretation of Isaiah 7:14 radically changing. For this I am very grateful to Dr. Hindson and his inspiration Dr. Young. After reviewing all the facts I must say that I was left with no choice but to follow that evidence out of my dual fulfillment interpretation into the conservative and biblically grounded single fulfillment view. Isaiah's Immanuel makes an undeniable case for the Immanuel of Isaiah 7:14 being one person and one person only, that being the God man, Jesus Christ.


[1] Norman Geisler & Thomas Howe, When Critics Ask: A Popular Handbook of Bible Difficulties (Wheaton, IL.: Victor Books, 1992), 267.

[2] Edward Hindson, Isaiah's Immanuel (Phillipsburg, NJ.: Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing CO, 1979), 15.

[3] The principle of simplicity; one should not multiply explanations or causes when unnecessary.


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