Reviews Of Books -- By: Anonymous

Journal: Westminster Theological Journal
Volume: WTJ 79:2 (Fall 2017)
Article: Reviews Of Books
Author: Anonymous

Reviews Of Books

Mark J. Boda, The Book of Zechariah. NICOT. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2016. Pp. xxiii + 911. $58.00, cloth.

There are few commentary series that are consistently excellent; the NICOT series seems to have bucked the trend, however, maintaining a slow but steady stream of works of the highest quality. This new volume by Mark Boda is no exception. Boda has invested years of study in the post-exilic period, and especially in the book of Zechariah, so he is the obvious choice to write this commentary. He has given us a thorough and detailed analysis of the book that will be a benchmark of scholarship for years to come.

One aspect of the NICOT series that has made its contribution notable is its engagement with critical scholarship. It is one of the few evangelical commentary series to be read by a broad academic market. Boda certainly has the intellectual competence and expertise to go toe to toe with the best minds in the academic world and make a compelling case for thoughtfully conservative conclusions. He builds a strong argument for the essential unity of the book and dates many of the core components to early in the restoration period, during which the prophets Haggai and Zechariah were active in support of the temple rebuilding program (515–510 BC; see pp. 33–37). At the same time, he is sensitive to the role of compilers in assembling prophetic materials (compare the role of Baruch in Jeremiah’s work, or the significance of passages such as Ezek 1:2–3) and sees the prophetic materials reaching their present form somewhat later, in the mid to late fifth century BC. This compilation may perhaps have been connected with the wider restoration work of Nehemiah. Further, Boda connects Zeph 3:14–20 with Zech 2:14–17 (10–13) and 9:9 as evidence of a redactional connection that incorporated Haggai–Malachi into a coherent “Book of the Twelve,” suggesting that the final form of the latter composition also stems from roughly this time period (p. 31).

Boda sees the message of Zechariah as revolving around four central topics: God, leadership, sin, and restoration (pp. 41–43). God is not distant and aloof but eager for covenant relationship with his people. The past discipline of his people that led to the destruction of Jerusalem by the Babylonians was necessary, but now Yahweh is moved to compassion by his people’s plight. He is once more reaching out to them, desiring to purify them and renew their relationship. The material in the first part of the book focuses on the renewal of the pr...

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