Isaiah 40-55 - Concordia Commentary

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Dr. Lessing interprets Isaiah as a landmark framework for Christology, Ecclesiology, and Missiology in the early church and today in his Concordia Commentary on Isaiah 40-55.
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In this Volume

Isaiah, it has been said, is the Old Testament evangelist par-excellence. While every book in the Old Testament points to Christ as the fulfilment in the New Testament, few do so as overtly or as insistently at the book of Isaiah. The text became a framework for Christology, ecclesiology, and missiology in the early church, and along with the Psalms it remains most quoted scripture in the New Testament.

In this volume on chapters 40-55, Dr. Lessing’s scholarly expertise and decades of service as a seminary professor and pastor are evident as he meticulously expounds the text, historical setting, theology, Christology, and pastoral applications of the 40-55th chapters of “the fifth Gospel.” Using a faithful, Christo-centric hermeneutic, he focuses on the Isaiah’s visions of “shalom” and Israel’s peaceful homecoming from the Babylonian exile and explains why the prophet’s saving message, soaring language, and unforgettable imagery are so tightly woven into the fabric of Christian hymnody, liturgy, and prayer. He also features the four “servant songs,” espousing the traditional interpretation that they sing of Christ and addressing alternatives that have emerged in recent academia.


  • The Literary, Historical, and Canonical Context of Isaiah
  • A History of Studies on Isaiah
  • The Servant Songs in Isaiah

About the Author

Dr. R. Reed Lessing serves as Senior Pastor at Saint Michael Lutheran Church, Fort Wayne, Indiana. Previously, he was a professor of exegetical theology and director of the graduate school at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, Missouri. He studied at St. John’s College, Winfield, Kansas (B.A.), and Concordia Seminary (M. Div., S.T.M., Ph.D.).


“Those who have appreciated other volumes in this outstanding series will not be disappointed with this one. Here is a commentary on the most beautiful section of the Old Testament that is scholarly, but not supercilious; practical, but not superficial. Without apology, it is addressed to the New Testament church, for whom it sounds a clear note of unconditional Gospel. It is hard to imagine how Isaiah’s message in these chapters could be summed up any way more aptly than it is by Lessing: We are going home.”

—Kenneth A. Cherney Jr. in Wisconsin Lutheran Quarterly, Vol 110 no.1 (Winter 2013)

“This is a commentary that draws the reader more deliberately into the Scriptures it seeks to exposit. It makes the original text more accessible and understandable. It never attempts to undermine or obfuscate the message of the Holy Spirit has given. Lessing never loses sight of the metanarrative of redemption an emphatically keeps the glory of God at the center of the study.”

—David Pitman in The Journal of Evangelical Theology

“Overall, this is an outstanding and unique commentary with valuable lexical and syntactic notes to help those who need a little assistance with their Hebrew and with NT application. At the same time, the commentary does not break new ground in understanding Isaiah 40-55, but it offers many solid Hebrew explanations that are not available in most of other series; therefore it deserves a place in every pastor’s library.”

—Gary V. Smith in The Bulletin for Biblical Research, 23.4

About the series

The Concordia Commentary Series: A Theological Exposition of Sacred Scripture is written to enable pastors and teachers of the Word to proclaim the Gospel with greater insight, clarity, and faithfulness to the divine intent of the Biblical text.

The series will cover all the canonical books of the Old and New Testament, with an original translation and meticulous grammatical analysis of the Hebrew, Aramaic, or Greek of each text. The foremost interpretive lens centers on the unified proclamation of the person and work of Christ across every Scriptural book.

The Commentary fully affirms the divine inspiration, inerrancy, and authority of Scripture; Each passage bears witness to the confession that God has reconciled the world to Himself through the incarnation, ministry, death, resurrection, and ascension of Christ His Son.

Authors expose the rich treasury of language, imagery, and thematic content of the Scripture, while supplementing their work with additional research in archaeology, history, and extrabiblical literature. Throughout, God’s Word emanates from authors careful attention and inculcates the ongoing life of the Church in Word, Sacrament, and daily confession.

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More Information
Books of BibleIsaiah
Section of BibleOld Testament, Prophetic Books
Biblical PeopleIsaiah
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