Great are the Words of Isaiah

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No wonder Nephi went to pains to include Isaiah as one of his three witnesses of the Messiah. In marvelous poetic fashion, Isaiah described many of the same things Nephi had witnessed in vision. How could Isaiah not resonate with Nephi? Once again, Book of Mormon Central helpfully outlines this lens of study:. Nephi himself provides some Latter-day applications.

Great Are the Words of Isaiah by Monte S. Nyman

How can the rest of the chapter be applied to the latter-day Restoration? Book of Mormon Central proposes that 2 Nephi 27 should not be read as Nephi quoting Isaiah 29, something Nephi never claims to be doing throughout 2 Nephi 25— Nephi had seen the Restoration and coming forth the Book of Mormon in vision 1 Nephi — While this is not only one way to approach the relationship between Isaiah 29 and 2 Nephi 26—27, it opens up interesting ways to study how Nephi is personally interacting with Isaiah.

Have you tried reading the two prophecies side by side to see what Nephi is doing? Today there is a rich array of tools for Latter-day Saints to use in better understanding Isaiah, and what his writings are doing in the Book of Mormon.

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"Great Are the Words of Isaiah"

Donate to us by shopping at Amazon at no extra cost to you. Likening Isaiah One approach Nephi uses is likening. Conclusion: Delighting in the Great Words of Isaiah Today there is a rich array of tools for Latter-day Saints to use in better understanding Isaiah, and what his writings are doing in the Book of Mormon. Footer FairMormon is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing well-documented answers to criticisms of LDS doctrine, belief, and practice.

In the Aleppo Codex the first verse begins with the letter aleph, the second with the beyt, the third with the gimel, and so on. The King James Version was written prior to the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls, but the Revised Standard Version, and other modern versions, were written afterward and often incorporate what has been found in the Dead Sea Scrolls.

Great Are the Words of Isaiah

Of the words in Isaiah 53, there are only 17 letters in question. Ten of these letters are simply a matter of spelling, which does not affect the sense. Four more letters are minor stylistic changes, such as conjunctions. The three remaining letters comprise the word LIGHT, which is added in verse 11 and which does not affect the meaning greatly. Furthermore, this word is supported by the Septuagint LXX.

Thus, in one chapter of words, there is only one word three letters in question after a thousand years of transmission - and this word does not significantly change the meaning of the passage. I have read the above quote recently and have also heard very similar statements in chat rooms, forums, bulletin boards, web sites and other publications in the past.

While I have reviewed several passages of the book of Isaiah to compare the text of the Great Isaiah scroll found in the Dead Sea Caves with the Masoretic text, I decided to put the above quotation to the test.


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I began with verse 1 of chapter 53 and found that it did not take long to find 17 letters that varied from the Isaiah scroll and the Masoretic text. In just the first 3 verses of chapter 53, a total of 23 words in the Masoretic text and 24 words in the Great Isaiah scroll, I found 19 letters that were different between the two texts. Below is a picture of verses 1 through 3 in the Great Isaiah scroll. Each red dot above a letter represents an additional letter or changed letter in the Isaiah scroll that is not present or is different in the Masoretic text.

The number next to each dot represent a corresponding number below the image describing the differences. Below is the same passage from the Great Isaiah Scroll. While these differences are not severe, at least in these few passages, it clearly demonstrates that more than 17 differences exist in Isaiah 53 between the Dead Sea Scrolls and the King James Version.

Nephi and Isaiah: Some Suggestions for Study

The top line is the Hebrew text from the scroll and below it is the Hebrew Masoretic text. This passage from the Dead Sea Scrolls has a few differences from the Masoretic text as used today in all Hebrew Bibles and which most translations are based on. Because these two words are grouped together as one we know that it is a name. This verse also has a few differences from the Masoretic text. Together these words mean "God is a warrior".


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Because these two words are written as one in the Dead Sea Scroll it appears that these two words are a name - "elgibor". While this is usually translated as "forever and ever" it literally means "to eternity and again". These two words would best be translated as "father of Ad a name " as "father of again" or "father of until" makes no sense. In the Masoretic text these two words are written as one indicating a name - Aviyad.


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The phrase in the Masoretic text would be translated as "ruler of peace" while in the Dead Sea Scroll it would be "ruler of the peace" or "ruler of the peaceful one". Realizing that this verse is identifying the name of child, it is likely that the final words of this passage would be translated as "Elgibor the father of Ad, ruler of Hashalom". Without even knowing Hebrew one can see that the Dead Sea Scroll includes some information that is not in the Masoretic text. The Masoretic text translates to "from the labor of his soul, he will see, he will be satisfied".

The Dead Sea Scroll text translates to "from the labor of his soul, he will see light and he will be satisfied". Plowing through History from the Aleph to the Tav. A Torah Scroll The life of a scroll depends on its handling and storage, but can be in use by a community for several hundred years. A Jewish Scribe, c.