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Daniel Brendsel, Ph.D. 2013

Daniel Brendsel

Recipient of the Virginia H. Roberts Fellowship

Director of the Mission Training Academy and Adult Education
Grace Church of DuPage, Warrenville, IL

I wrote “‘Isaiah Saw His Glory’: The Use of Isaiah 52–53 in John 12” under the supervision of Dr. Gregory K. Beale. In this work, I argue that the several explicit and implicit references to Isaiah in John 12, a chapter which forms the crucial hinge upon which the whole gospel turns, are intentionally arranged and narrated according to a structural model found in Isa 52:7–53:1. After two chapters of an introductory nature, the third chapter of this study offers a reading of Isaiah 40–55, illustrating a way in which early Christians may have read this section of Scripture and laying a foundation for my larger consideration of John’s reading of Isaiah 52–53. The bulk of the study (six chapters) examines the pericopes in John 12:1–43, seeking to identify and interpret John’s use of Isaiah 52–53. I conclude that a reading of this well-known Isaianic text rooted within its broader context in Isaiah, together with the mediating influence of other texts—notably Isa 6:9–10 and Zech 9:9–10—has fueled much Johannine theology, Christology, and ecclesiology. Moreover, mirroring the progression of Isa 52:7–53:1 in John 12 is the author’s way of underlining Jesus’ identity as the Servant of God and announcing that the second exodus prophesied by Isaiah is secured by the rejection (and death) of Jesus.
I am deeply thankful to God for my time at Wheaton College. Wheaton’s Ph.D. program provided a wonderful environment for academic inquiry across disciplines (NT, OT, theology, history). Moreover, Wheaton offered a rich source of challenge, encouragement, and inspiration as a Christian and ecclesially aimed scholar and individual through seminars and interaction with outstanding and godly faculty, through invaluable fellowship with my cohort of students, and especially through the excellent supervision, pastoral care and concern, and friendship of my supervisor, Dr. Beale. To receive all of this by way of the financial support provided by Wheaton’s generous donors is no small gift. Indeed, I believe that my time at Wheaton is the gift both of individuals such as these and of God.