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Time and Space in Haggai-Zechariah 1-8

A Bakhtinian Analysis of a Prophetic Chronicle

Series:

Seth Sykes

In recent years, biblical scholars have begun to apply the literary theories of Mikhail Bakhtin to their study of biblical texts. This study offers a Bakhtinian analysis of Haggai-Zechariah 1-8. Using Bakhtin’s distinctive understanding of genre as a textual embodiment of a worldview, this study analyzes how Haggai-Zechariah 1-8 transforms the generic worldview of the chronicles. A Bakhtinian literary analysis also provides insights on the socio-historical context and socio-political function of the text. As a prophetic transformation of the chronistic genre, Haggai-Zechariah 1-8 critiques the ideology of the chronicles. Instead of offering an ideological defense of Persian imperial policy in post-exilic Judah, Haggai-Zechariah 1-8 subverts the historical reality of Persian imperial rule by depicting a utopian vision of Yahweh’s universal rule.