RECENTLY A READER SENT ME A STACK OF QUESTIONS, by way of my business Facebook page. She was apparently studying Bible prophecy. Here are three of her questions, along with my short replies. Feel free to add your own insights.
Q. Isaiah was a prophet and only wrote the first half of the book of Isaiah and we don’t know who the second or third writer is right? But the second half is also prophetic, yes? So the writer had to be a prophet too is how I understand this. So what is the most educated guess on the writer?
STEVE: Scholars are divided on who wrote the book of Isaiah. Many said he wrote it all. Some say there were 2 or 3 writers. One reason: chapters 1-39 are set in Isaiah’s time. Chapters 40-66 seem to describe events 200-300 years later. If someone wrote the later chapters, they may have been reporting history instead of talking about the future. That’s what some scholars say. As for who the later writer or writers might have been, God knows. I don’t know of anyone else who does.
Q. Are there prophets we don’t know about?
STEVE: Yep. There were lots of prophets. Queen Jezebel tried killing all she could get her hands on. And when Elijah got whisked up into heaven in a whirlwind accompanied by chariots of fire, a group of unidentified prophets put together a search party to find him. No luck.
Q. Do you think there are prophets today?
STEVE: I don’t think about it. I’m not sure I would know one if I saw one. Even in Bible times it was hard to tell a prophet from a fraud, until the prophecy came true. Instead of wondering about whether or not there are prophets today through whom God communicates with visions and vivid dreams, as he did in Bible times, I wonder about other stuff. Like how I can love my enemies when what I’d really like to do is punch them a good one in the nose.