Dr. Couch, I believe you have written about Isaiah 53:4 before but can you repeat what you said about healing in the passage?
Sure. The Charismatics and the Pentecostals get it all wrong because
they want to believe what they want to believe it, when they want to
believe it, instead of letting the biblical text speak for itself. They
"wants what they want when they want it!"
They take the verse
meaning that there is healing in the atonement. And this is silly,
mainly because the way the verse is quoted in the NT has to do with
Christ's healing ministry, and has nothing to do with some healing in
the atonement! It is not saying that healing today is automatic! Matthew
points out that Christ's healing ministry was mentioned in the Isaiah
passage. As the Lord healed (Matt. 8:16) Matthew comments: "In order
that what was spoken through Isaiah the prophet might be fulfilled,
saying 'He Himself took our infirmities and carried away our diseases'"
(Matt. 8:17). End of discussion! Matthew is simply noting that one of
the great signs of the Messiah is the fact that in His ministry, He
But then the second part of Isaiah 53:4 says "Yet
we ourselves esteemed Him stricken, smitten of God and afflicted." This
has to do, not with physical, but with spiritual healing. How do we
know? Because that is the way Peter quotes the passage in 1 Peter
2:24-25. Peter writes: "And He Himself bore our sins in His body on the
cross, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for
by His wounds you were healed. For you were continually straying like
sheep, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Guardian of your
souls" (Isa. 53:4b).
In Harry Bultema's great commentary on
Isaiah, he points out how the founder of the Christian Missionary
Alliance (Pentecostal), A. B. Simpson, gets it wrong and applies 53:4 to
By the way, Bultema (1884-1952) is an
interesting scholar who came to America from the Netherlands, being from
a Dutch Calvinistic tradition. He was one of many, many Covenant guys
in the last century who got it right. He studied at Calvin College,
Calvin Seminary, and later took pastorates in Reformed churches. But
then he realized that dispensationalism was correct and the Covenant
theology, that worked hard to get rid of Israel, was all wrong. His
stance caused him to leave the Christian Reformed churches, as many
other great scholars did also, embracing dispensationalism. They went
back to normal, literal interpretation, and realized that they had been
fooled for many years by the anti-Semitism of Covenant theology.
Thanks for asking.
Dr. Mal Couch