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Friday, April 06, 2007

Isaiah 53: suffering servant collage

  1. Who hath believed our report?
    and to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed?
  2. For he grew up before him like a young plant,
    and like a root out of dry ground;
    he had no form or majesty that we should look at him,
    and no beauty that we should desire him.
  3. He was despised and rejected by people.
    He was a man of sorrows, familiar with suffering.
    He was despised like one from whom people turn their faces,
    and we didn't consider him to be worth anything.
  4. Surely he has borne our infirmities
    and carried our diseases;
    yet we accounted him stricken,
    struck down by God, and afflicted.
  5. But he was pierced for our rebellion,
    crushed for our sins.
    He was beaten so we could be whole.
    He was whipped so we could be healed.
  6. We all went astray like sheep,
    Each going his own way;
    And the LORD visited upon him
    The guilt of all of us.
  7. Ill-treated and afflicted,
    he never opened his mouth,
    like a lamb led to the slaughter-house,
    like a sheep dumb before its shearers
    he never opened his mouth.
  8. He was led away after an unjust trial –
    but who even cared?
    Indeed, he was cut off from the land of the living;
    because of the rebellion of his own people he was wounded.
  9. They made His grave with the wicked,
    and with a rich man at His death,
    although He had done no violence
    and had not spoken deceitfully.
  10. Yet it was the LORD’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer,
    and though the LORD makes his life an offering for sin,
    he will see his offspring and prolong his days,
    and the will of the LORD will prosper in his hand.
  11. He shall see the labor of His soul, and be satisfied.
    By His knowledge My righteous Servant shall justify many,
    For He shall bear their iniquities.
  12. And so I will give him a place of honor,
    a place among the great and powerful.
    He willingly gave his life
    and shared the fate of evil men.
    He took the place of many sinners
    and prayed that they might be forgiven.
(KJV:1; ESV:2; GW:3; NRSV:4; NLT:5; NJPS:6; NJB:7; NET:8; HCSB:9; TNIV: 10; NKJV:11; TEV/GNB:12)

I find this chapter deeply moving. I hope that you do also. Feel free to share any thoughts that come to you from reading these verses. You are welcome to comment on the different version wordings, if you wish, but my greatest desire is that we might reflect upon what the suffering servant did for us.

And why did I display the verses as a collage from 12 different versions? Because the idea just popped into my head. And I think there is value in reading the Bible in different versions. Perhaps you can think of other reasons why there is value or beauty in having a Bible collage.


At Fri Apr 06, 10:16:00 AM, Blogger David said...


A great and moving chapter for this Good Friday... I hope you all have a blessed Easter weekend.

At Fri Apr 06, 10:58:00 AM, Blogger Gary Zimmerli said...

I'm not quite sure what you're getting at, Wayne, but here are a few of my thoughts:

I particularly like the way the NET gives the first verse:
53:1 Who would have believed what we just heard?

When was the Lord’s power revealed through him?

I think that makes a lot of sense as a translation.

3b from the NLTse:
We turned our backs on him and looked the other way.
He was despised, and we did not care.

That last phrase, "and we did not care" cuts right to my heart.

I think the NET also did an especially good job bringing out the meaning in verse 9:
53:9 They intended to bury him with criminals,

but he ended up in a rich man’s tomb,

because he had committed no violent deeds,

nor had he spoken deceitfully.

Of course, the NASB also translated verse 9 in a similar manner.

I'm finding it difficult to be very objective in examining this chapter today on Good Friday. It's very moving, especially when my mind is so much on this subject today.

At Fri Apr 06, 12:17:00 PM, Blogger Wayne Leman said...

I'm not quite sure what you're getting at, Wayne, but here are a few of my thoughts:

That's what I was getting at, Gary. I just wanted to post a beautiful chapter of the Bible, one which focuses the minds of Christians, anyway, on the suffering of our savior.

Any reactions, reflections, spiritual insights, translation observations, anything triggered by this collage is welcome in the comments.

Just knowing that some people will be drawn closer to our savior through reading these verses is enough for me. Anything else is that much more special.

At Mon Apr 09, 10:39:00 AM, Blogger anonymous said...

Which is better, Bible college or Bible collage?

At Mon Apr 09, 12:14:00 PM, Blogger Wayne Leman said...

Which is better, Bible college or Bible collage?

Incisive question!

I think the answer depends.



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