William D. Russell (COC) discusses 2nd Isaiah in the Book of Mormon; appeals to the Cyrus prophecy as evidence for Isaiah 40-55 being composed after the time of Lehi.

William D. Russell

William D. Russell, “The Role of Reason in the Transformation of the RLDS Church into ‘Community of Christ’: A JWHA Founder’s Perspective,” The John Whitmer Historical Association Journal 43, no. 1 (Spring/Summer 2023): 97

The John Whitmer Historical Association Journal
William D. Russell
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A special concern for those of us in the Latter Day Saint tradition was that biblical critics concluded that much of Isaiah was written about 150 years after its author’s death in around 700 BCE and that portions of Isaiah were written at the time that Cyrus of Persia allowed the Israelites to return to Jerusalem. Though Cyrus is mentioned by name twice in the Book of Isaiah, he actually lived more than a century after Isaiah had died.

Some major portions of Isaiah can be found in the Book of Mormon, and much of it is from the later chapters. This raises a problem for belief in the historicity of the Book of Mormon because these passages often referred to by modern scholars as “Second Isaiah” refer to a time later than the alleged departure of Lehi and his family from Jerusalem around 600 BCE. The chapters mistakenly assumed to be from Isaiah’s time, approximately 740 to 700 BCE, differ in theology, literary style, and historical background form the first 39 chapters. If Isaiah wrote about Cyrus 150 years before Cyrus existed, he was quite a “prophet” in his own ability to predict the future.

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