Title page for ETD etd-10022012-114653

Document Type Doctoral Thesis
Author Im, Yohan
Email eljohn71@yahoo.com
URN etd-10022012-114653
Document Title Thematic structure and unity of Zechariah 1-14 : a synchronic approach
Degree PhD
Department Old Testament Studies
Advisor Name Title
Prof P M Venter Supervisor
  • discourse analysis
  • textlinguistics
  • syntactic structure
  • discourse topic
  • sentence topic
  • thematic structure
  • holistic structure
  • Zechariah
  • synchronic approach
  • topic and focus
  • argument-focus structure
  • primary topic and secondary topic
  • sentence-focus structure
  • predicate-focus structure
  • thematic flow and development
  • information structure
Date 2012-09-06
Availability restricted
The issue of the structure of the book of Zechariah has been studied for a long time. The book of Zechariah has been approached from both a diachronic and a synchronic view point. Most of the diachronic readings of the book of Zechariah are concerned with literary sources, literary forms, redactional process, and with traditions in Zechariah. They approach the book of Zechariah therefore as two separate independent units. Basing their arguments on different styles, different languages, or historical background, scholars generally indicated that Zechariah can be divided into either two parts (Zech 1-8 and 9-14), or even three parts (Zech 1-8, 9-11 and 12-14). Diachronic approaches tend to focus on individual units of Zechariah rather than the whole structure or overall theme of the book of Zechariah.

Recently, some synchronic approaches appeared being interested in the structure of Zechariah. These focus on the literary aspects of the book of Zechariah and the literary unity of Zechariah 1-8 and 9-14. However, while they consider the book of Zechariah as a whole, they are not able to reach any consensus on the literary structure of Zechariah. Some of these scholars deal with the problem of the literary unity between Zechariah 1-8 and 9-14, the structure of Zechariah in some individual units(by paying attention to formal linguistic features), or the rhetorical structure of Zechariah.

This study gives priority to a synchronic analysis, rather than a diachronic approach. Synchronic approaches, however, tend to focus only on the unity between Zechariah 1-8 and 9-14, for example, by investigating similarities between them.

My thesis is that a text-linguistic approach offers a new reading of the book of Zechariah by following its structure expressed as a sequential discourse. This field is broad and very diverse, but has, as central aim, an approach in studying a text as a whole and the purpose to construct the overall meaning of texts, rather than the composite meaning of its parts. This approach relates the parts to the whole and analyzes the sequences of the discourse. Using this approach, this study will focus on the overall structure and the theme of the book of Zechariah by demarcating the individual units (the smaller segments), relating them to, and incorporating them into larger segments, and thereby constructing the overall structure and theme of the book of Zechariah, rather than focusing merely on the unity between Zechariah 1-8 and 9-14.

The final details of scholarship of Zechariah will be dealt with more extensively and comprehensively in chapter 2 presenting a survey of existing scholarly research. The methodology of a text-linguistic approach used in the research will be dealt with in chapter 3. Chapters 4, 5, and 6 will present the results of the investigation applying the methodology indicated in chapter 3. In the analysis of the syntactic structure (chapter 4), this study will identify the main parts of the whole of the book of Zechariah. The boundaries of the larger segments (units) of Zechariah will be demarcated, the foreground and the background of these segments in Zechariah will be investigated, and the parts will be related to each other. In analysing the thematic structure (chapter 5), this study will focus on investigating and indicating the thematic flow or development in the development of the discourse in Zechariah. Both aspects of the smaller segments (units), and the larger segments will be dealt with. This analysis will then be used to outline the holistic structure of Zechariah (chapter 6). As final conclusion chapter 7 will offer my thesis of a new reading of the book of Zechariah.

2012 University of Pretoria. All rights reserved. The copyright in this work vests in the University of Pretoria. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the prior written permission of the University of Pretoria.

Please cite as follows:

Im, Y 2012, Thematic structure and unity of Zechariah 1-14 : a synchronic approach, PhD thesis, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, viewed yymmdd < http://upetd.up.ac.za/thesis/available/etd-10022012-114653/ >


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