With the publication of Isaiah: Prophet, Seer, and Poet, Victor L. Ludlow has accomplished what few scholars have done-presented a worthy commentary on one of the most difficult books in world literature. The task that Victor L. Ludlow set for himself would have discouraged lesser scholars, but he has the credentials and the will to pursue the project. The work examines the “historical context, literary style, scriptural context and doctrinal application” of Isaiah and is designed “to help the readers of Isaiah to understand his writings” (p. xi). Here for the first time Latter-day Saints have at their command a commentary on Isaiah that brings together LDS doctrine, reputable scholarship, and an informed discussion of the nature of the Hebrew writings of Isaiah.
Two features of the book deserve special note. First, the entire Book of Isaiah has been included within the text of the commentary, making it unnecessary to keep a copy of the Bible at hand to read the passages being discussed. The text of Isaiah used for inclusion varies from section to section with fourteen different translations being used, including some of Ludlow’s original renderings. This use of different English versions of Isaiah allows the reader to see other possibilities of interpretation and to become familiar with the style and readability of the various translations now available on the market.