Zechariah and the 'former prophets' : an intertextual examination of the re-use of the prophetic tradition in Zechariah 1-8

Stead, Michael R (2007) Zechariah and the 'former prophets' : an intertextual examination of the re-use of the prophetic tradition in Zechariah 1-8. PhD thesis, University of Gloucestershire.

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This thesis examines the re-use of the prophetic tradition in Zechariah 1-8. That Zechariah 1-8 is aware of, and alludes to, earlier prophetic works is widely accepted, but the extent and significance of Zechariah's 'intertextuality' is still an open question. My thesis is that Zechariah 1-8 is a deeply intertextual work, which takes up formerly disparate streams of tradition - especially various streams of the prophetic tradition - and creatively combines these traditions, in applying them to a post-exilic context. I will demonstrate that Zechariah's intertextuality is greater than has hitherto been recognised, to the extent that Zechariah 1-8 cannot be fully comprehended unless it is read against the background of what it calls 'the former prophets'. By understanding Zechariah 1-8 in the light of its intertexts, a number of otherwise perplexing passages are made clearer, and the message of the work as a whole is better understood. My opening paragraph is deliberately provocative, in that I combine the language of 'intertextuality', 'allusion' and 'tradition history', which some would regard as competing and incompatible approaches to the examination of textual re-use. However, the fact that Zechariah 1-8 is situated in a dual context - the literary context of 'the former prophets', and the historical context of the early post-exilic period - suggests that a composite methodology, combining elements of all three approaches, is required. Against a recent trend (which seeks to limit the phenomenon of allusion to instances of 'verbal repetition'), I demonstrate that 'thematic' allusions are a significant component of the intertextuality of Zechariah 1-8. Because existing computer Bible software is poorly suited to detecting these kinds of connection between texts, I have developed a new computer-based search engine which allows 'thematic' searching, to enable my research. This tool aids in the detection of thematic allusion, by facilitating searches for words within the same 'semantic domain' in Biblical Hebrew. The manner in which Zechariah 1-8 invokes/re-activates/re-applies the words of the 'former prophets' raises important issues related to prophecy and fulfilment, history and eschatology, and the development of 'apocalyptic', which are addressed in the course of this enquiry.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Zechariah; 'thematic' allusions; prophets; Bible
Related URLs:
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BL Religion
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BS The Bible
Divisions: Schools and Research Institutes > School of Creatives
Depositing User: Anne Pengelly
Date Deposited: 26 May 2022 11:18
Last Modified: 31 Aug 2023 08:56
URI: https://eprints.glos.ac.uk/id/eprint/11147

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