I am interested in the topic of creation in the Hebrew Bible and had begun exploring it especially through the aspect of Deutero-Isaiah’s use of the motif. I’ve presented a paper on the topic at a regional SBL and discussed the topic with potential dissertation committee members. Only one advisor cautioned me that there might be little new ground to explore on this motif, or at least, it would be a huge challenge to find because of the massive bibliography on the book of Isaiah and creation separately. I have finally realized how self-guided PhD research really is and how much it is on me alone to track down what’s been done and find my own avenue for original research.
Here is the opening to the chapter by Richard J. Clifford I read last night but should’ve read months ago:
Given the many verbs of creating in Second Isaiah . . . , it is remarkable that explicit scholarly discussion on the topic began only in the 1930s. Recent years have made up for previous neglect; there now exist over a dozen articles, three books, and numerous treatments within commentaries and monographs on creation in Second Isaiah. The first part reviews critically some of the scholarly contributions, for several questionable assumptions have crept into the consensus, viz., that the “problematic” is the relation between originally distinct concepts of redemption and creation; that the concept of creation is subordinated to redemption; and that a distinction between creation of the whole and of the individual is operative in Second Isaian hymns and individual laments.Now it is somewhat gratifying to discover one’s independently reached thoughts on a subject have been anticipated by a scholar of Clifford’s caliber, but that is little consolation when one is attempting to craft a thesis proposal.
So, I’m shifting gears to a different area of research, back to square one with my proposal. Well, not totally square one, I’m shifting to one of my other interests, probably Biblical Hebrew and Translation Studies.
 Richard J. Clifford, “Creation in Isaiah 40-55”, Creation Accounts in the Ancient Near East and in the Bible (CBQ Monograph Series 26), 163-176.