From the Michael H. Floyd Review, “This revision of a Duke doctoral thesis argues (1) that chaps. 9-14 of Zechariah constitute a separate section of the book (2 Zechariah), which was written as an addition to chaps. 1-8 (1 Zechariah); (2) that 2 Zechariah is thus to be dated sometime after the building of the Second Temple, but still within the Persian period; (3) that 2 Zechariah is a single unified literary composition; and (4) that 2 Zechariah should be characterized as a Deuteronomic redaction of 1 Zechariah. Person cites what other scholars have said on the first three points and concerns himself mainly with the fourth.”

Person does a good job of recapitulating arguments for breaking Zechariah into two parts, mentioning nothing new here. The logical shape of Person’s argument was a bit hard to follow. It seemed that he was attempting to show where others had agreed with assertions that he was trying to make (which makes one wonder why he needed to make the assertion). For his evidence, he used a pretty strange method. He simply presented a pile of arguments which demonstrated probabilities. There seemed to be little over arching unity in the argument, leaving the reader wondering how one point of evidence related to the other.

Person spent the first two chapters arguing for a lowering of the Dtr school’s lower end of activity, hoping to place it during the late 5th century BC. He does this so as to give himself room to assert similarities in language (phrases) and theological themes between pieces of what is commonly called the Dtr Corpus, and 2nd Zechariah. Here his methodology could use some work. While he points out a number of possibilities, he gives no criteria for which possibilities are more likely than others, or how certain one can be that the two supposedly connected texts are related.

He seems broadly interested in form criticism, noting some serious form critical studies in 2 Zechariah (Mason’s dissertation, and Hanson Dawn of the Apocalyptic). Yet, much of the evidence he cites in favor of his suggested connections between 2 Zechariah and DtrH are phrase level connections. He doesn’t call these connections intertextuality, but he does occasionally mention inner-biblical exegesis.

His work is useful for my topic in a few ways. First, he lists several possible textual connections in Zech 10:1-2 which will give me ‘data’ to test in my model of textual dependency. Second, he presents good bibliographic material that supposedly mentions the relationship of Jeremiah and Zechariah 10:1-2. Third, the present work represents something that I can argue against, or update. It leaves plenty of room for further research.

One of the strengths of the work is that he looks for evidence of an intentional shaping of Zechariah 9-14, though he looks for it in terms of a member of the DtrH school. He faces several obstacles in proving this thesis, which several have claimed he has not successfully navigated. Evidence of intentional shaping of the material whether by a first edition author, or by a revisor/editor/author would leave room for an evangelical to argue for the Holy Spirit’s influence on the text, and evidence of marks left in the text. These markers of shaping (whether one gives credence to the inspiration of scripture or not) would give clues as to the intention of the author.

One comment on “Person’s Second Zechariah and the Deuteronomic School

  • Pingback: » Blog Archive » Person’s Second Zechariah and the Deuteronomic School

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *