Response Paper #2: Klaus Baltzer, “Deutero-Isaiah as Liturgical Drama” Assignment
Unit two deals with the challenges a community faces when it collapses. What are the options available to a community or individual when they face an invasion from outside, a deportation of the elite, destruction of core holy sites and central administration centers as it did in 587 BCE at the hands of the Babylonians? Judah was gone and the period of exile was at hand with no guarantee they would survive as a people. How does one find meaning in the depth of such desolation?
Most scholars agree that DI, Deutero-Isaiah, or Second Isaiah—chapters 40-55— came to be within the social and political context in that period. There is an ongoing debate, however, if what we have in these chapters are a random “compilation” or are they organized in accordance with some kind of “underlying plan” or “form.” Stomberg seems to lean toward the compilation hypothesis.
Since PI or First Isaiah, and TI or Third Isaiah, are most obviously composite works, DI or Second Isaiah, is more frequently proposed by scholars as having been composed or shaped with a “plan” in mind—that gives us an opportunity for this second Response Paper to take a closer look at one such proposal: namely, that of Klaus Baltzer. As you know, Baltzer proposes that what we have in 40-55 is a Liturgical Drama that has been shaped by the forms of Attic Greek drama. And since we are still in that period, historically, when oral and written forms were in transition, it is plausible in the world of preserving sacred texts.
So what I propose for each essay is the following: all essays will in one way or another engage Baltzer’s proposal of a Liturgical Drama by critiquing two of the three central themes he develops: 1) Jacob/Israel as Servant of Yahweh; 2) Zion/Jerusalem as Wife of Yahweh; 3) Moses as Servant of Yahweh Called forth from the Underworld as Prophet and Teacher in the Servant Texts.
Response Paper #2: Klaus Baltzer, “Deutero-Isaiah as Liturgical Drama” Questions
1. “Discuss how a person or group deals with a ‘wasteland’ experience.” Begin by formulating a personal thesis [one idea expressed in the affirmation: no conjunctions, no dependent clauses, no prepositional phrases, no internal punctuation] that identifies where you personally stand on the topic, apart from Second Isaiah or Baltzer, or our class discussion; something you plan to teach your kids. You don’t have to prove your thesis, since you are the authority on what you personally believe.
Once where you personally stand is clarified, then critique Baltzer’s proposal of a Liturgical Drama by evaluating two of the three central themes he develops: 1) Jacob/Israel as Servant of Yahweh; 2) Zion/Jerusalem as Wife of Yahweh; 3) Moses as Servant of Yahweh Called forth from the Underworld as Prophet and Teacher in the Servant Texts. Does Baltzer’s formulation allow us to engage Second Isaiah’s “wasteland world” and Isaiah’s efforts to come to terms with it in a meaningful way?
Last Updated on July 17, 2020 by Essay Pro