In this volume Floyd presents a complete form-critical analysis of the last six books in the Minor Prophets: Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi. By looking carefully at the literary genre and internal structure of each book, Floyd uncovers the literary conventions that help shape the composition of these prophetic books in their final form. His approach yields fresh views of how the parts of each book fit together to make up the whole — particularly with respect to Nahum, Haggai, and Malachi — and provides a basis for reconsidering how each book is historically related to the time of the prophet for whom it is named. This work will be useful to scholars because it advances the discussion regarding the holistic reading of prophetic books, and useful to pastors and students because it shows how analysis of literary form can lead to a more profound understanding of the messages of the Minor Prophets.
“Finally, the occurrence of a mythic motif in a poem hardly requires the poem to be as old as the motif.” (Page 159)
“book of remembrance’ is rather a document that records memorable deeds for human beings on earth.” (Page 624)
“A man who divorces his wife is thus being ‘unfaithful’ to her as” (Page 608)
“The theme of unjust imperial domination is common to all sections of the book; but each treats this theme in a somewhat different way so as to indicate a progression in the way Yahweh is understood to be involved in the world situation.” (Page 82)
Because of its attention to detail and its rhetorical dimension, Floyd’s work is an indispensable tool for studying this portion of Scripture. Its outlines and bibliographies alone are worth the price of the volume. The reviewer highly recommends it to all serious students of the Bible’s prophetic literature.
This is one of the finest volumes. . . for anyone doing serious form-critical work in the books Nahum through Malachi. . . Particularly impressive are the author’s detailed structural analyses, frequently involving numerous layers of indentation for a passage of a few verses, but the issues of genre and setting are also thoroughly discussed.
—Religious Studies Review
Michael Floyd is St. Michael's and All Angels' Professor of Old Testament at Episcopal Theological Seminary of the Southwest in Austin, Texas.