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Isaiah Explained by Avraham Gileadi

I’ve recently begun a study of the Avraham Gileadi translation of Isaiah. I’ve found his site, Isaiah Explained a surprisingly rich and interesting resource. Not only do you have a parallel translation of Isaiah with the KJV translation to the left, but audio commentary of each verse in every chapter.

The audio commentary is amazingly exhaustive; for example, chapter 1 has over 95 minutes of commentary on a verse by verse basis! The visual design of the site itself is pretty poor; (I’m a web/graphic designer for a living so I’m probably a little overly critical in this area) but is nevertheless quite usable and easy to navigate.

Bro. Gileadi is a fascinating individual; here’s some information about him via Wikipedia:

Early Life and Education

Gileadi was born in 1940 in the Netherlands during World War II. In the course of the war, his father served in the Dutch resistance whose local chapter helped a New Zealand pilot escape to England. After the war, many emigrated from war-torn Europe to new lands of opportunity. Although his father prospered, idealism led him to emigrate to New Zealand.

In New Zealand, Avraham Gileadi went through a period of introspection, reevaluating his priorities and internalizing spiritual principles. After becoming religiously active and involved, he yet “sensed a lack of spiritual fulfillment.” Israel’s history in the Old Testament became the focus of his attention. He recognized what he believed to be “a partial fulfillment of prophecy in the modern State of Israel,” which led to his desire to participate in it.

In 1968, Gileadi left New Zealand to settle in Israel, where he lived five years. Life in Israel soon involved him deeply in the Old Testament and its religious ties to Judaism. He states that “Judaism attracted me because of the unique manner in which the Jews view the Law and the Prophets. Among the Jews, I felt a depth of understanding that, as a Gentile, I had not hitherto known.” In Israel, he settled in Jezreel. His studies in Israel also took him to an orthodox religious kibbutz, at which time he was formally received into the Jewish faith and became an Israeli citizen. The climax of his life as an orthodox Jew came when he studied at Yeshivat Hatfutzot, a rabbinic school in Jerusalem. While visiting a library in Israel, the librarian handed him a copy of the Book of Mormon and suggested he read it. Gileadi took the book to be polite and studied it out of curiosity, which led to his conversion to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He was baptized a member of the LDS Church in the Pool of Siloam, where Jesus healed a blind man by having him wash his eyes in the pool (John 9:5-7). In 1973 Gileadi moved to the United States, where he married and raised a family of nine children.

Gileadi received academic degrees from Brigham Young University: a B.A. in University Studies (1975), a M.A. in Ancient Scripture (1977), and a Ph.D. in Ancient Studies (1981) withHugh Nibley as chair. During his academic years, Gileadi taught Hebrew, Religion courses, and an Honors Philosophy class in the literary analysis of the Book of Isaiah. He also sought out and studied with Professor R. K. Harrison, a renowned Old Testament scholar of Wycliffe College, University of Toronto, Canada, who was noted for his conservative theological position. Being fluent in Hebrew, he worked with the Hebrew Masoretic Text, the Dead Sea Scroll of Isaiah, and the Septuagint Version to provide a translation of the Book of Isaiah intelligible in English that remains true to the Hebrew. He used lexical tools constantly in order to catch every nuance of meaning in the original language, finishing his translation of Isaiah during his Ph.D. program.

Academic Career and Church Discipline

Gileadi was hired by BYU to produce footnotes clarifying translation problems in the Hebrew prophets for the Latter-day Saint edition of the Bible, and he revised the Hebrew translation of the Book of Mormon for the Church’s Translation Division. After publishing several books, he became well known as an author in the LDS community. On completing ten years of post-doctoral work further developing his Ph.D. thesis (“A Bifid Division of the Book of Isaiah,” Brigham Young University, 1981), he published his first major work, The Literary Message of Isaiah (1994, 2012), which examines a complex literary structure in the Book of Isaiah that radically impacts the book’s interpretation.

In September 1993, Gileadi was disciplined by the LDS Church and excommunicated along with five others, a group known as the September Six. In Gileadi’s case only, however, the church afterwards reversed its disciplinary action and expunged it from the church’s records, as if it never happened. [5] Today, Gileadi continues to research the writings of Isaiah and related scriptural texts. Gileadi is the author of ten books, a majority of them on the Book of Isaiah.

  • Avraham Gileadi

    Steven, I just saw your blog and that you are a web/graphic designer. Would you care to talk about doing an Isaiah website for me geared to youth?

    • oneclimbs

      Hello, Brother Gileadi, if you send me an email via the contact page of this site: http://oneclimbs.com/contact/ along with your contact information, we can find a time that is good to talk. Your project sounds interesting, your work with Isaiah is wonderful and helping the youth understand this important prophet more is a great idea.

  • You did a great job with the redesign, Steve. :-)

    • oneclimbs

      Wouldn’t have happened without you and your programming skills!