Jeremiah's kings : a study of the book's treatment of the monarchy, with special reference to chapters 21-24
Starting from an analysis of approaches to the book of Jeremiah adopted towards the end of the last century, this thesis enquires what I ight is thrown on its redactional history by the way in which the kings purportedly reigning during the prophet's ministry, and also David and Nebuchadnezzar, are treated in the book. One objective is to see where the book should be placed in the spectrum of conclusions arrived at in recent years, supposing that the commentary of W. L.Holladay stands at one end of this spectrum with his belief in the historical reliability of most of the information contained in the book, and that ofR.P.Carroll at the other with his scepticism from this point of view. The starting point for this enquiry is the collection of material about kings in Jeremiah 21-2t, but succeeding chapters of the thesis, dealing in turn with those concerned, namely losiah, lehoahaz, lehoiakim, lehoiachin and Zedekiah, examine also other parts of the book where they are mentioned. David and Nebuchadnezzar are both seen to be important figures in Jeremiah with regard to the question of the monarchy, and both very relevant to the argument. A distinctive stance is taken with regard to the obscure figure of Zerubbabel. The main conclusion is that throughout the book of Jeremiah there is evidence of a lengthy history of redaction, not only in the case of alterations made by scribes for no significant reason, but also in many passages where changes have been made from contrasting religio-political points of view, not least with regard to the understanding of the monarchy itself A final chapter offers reflections on the question how, taking serious account of its complex and turbulent redactional history, the book of Jeremiah may be read today as Christian scripture.