Tachick, Christopher S. “King of Israel” and “Do Not Fear, Daughter of Zion”: The Use of Zephaniah 3 in John 12. Reformed Academic Dissertations. Phillipsburg, NJ: P&R Publishing, 2018.
As a professor, I so delight when I see my former students reach milestones. Christopher S. Tachick received his MA at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and his ThM at Bethlehem College & Seminary, and he is a member of Wycliffe Bible Translators, where he serves as a translation consultant with Seed Company. Recently, Chris published his exceptional ThM thesis, and I am thrilled to endorse it as model of a study in the New Testament’s use of the Old Testament.
Interpreters commonly recognize the citations of Psalm 118:25–26 and Zechariah 9:9 in John 12:13–15, where we read:
“So they took branches of palm trees and went out to meet him, crying out, ‘Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, even the King of Israel!’ And Jesus found a young donkey and sat on it, just as it is written, ‘Fear not, daughter of Zion, behold, your king is coming, sitting on a donkey’s colt.”
However, as Tachick rightly observes, the psalmist did not include the phrase “King of Israel,” and Zechariah’s opening charge is actually “rejoice” rather than “fear not.” What, therefore, is John doing in these citations? Tachick suggests that he is intentionally alluding to Zephaniah 3:13–15, which is the only place in the Old Testament where we find the grouping “King of Israel,” “Fear not,” and “daughter of Zion”:
“Sing aloud, O daughter of Zion; shout, O Israel! Rejoice and exult with all your heart, O daughter of Jerusalem! The LORD has taken away the judgments against you; he has cleared away your enemies. The King of Israel, the LORD, is in your midst; you shall never again fear evil.”
I advised Chris on this thesis, and Andreas Köstenberger served as his external reader. In Chris’s study, he employs the rigorous methodology set forth in works like G. K. Beale and D. A. Carson, eds., Commentary on the New Testament use of the Old Testament (Baker, 2007) and G. K. Beale, Handbook on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament: Exegesis and Interpretation (Baker, 2012). You can read my foreword to his book here.
From the Back Cover:
This thoroughly researched, groundbreaking examination of John 12:13–15 demonstrates the seminal role that Zephaniah 3:14–15 plays in John’s portrayal of Jesus as the King of Israel, the Lord whose return Zephaniah prophesied and the righteous King who brings salvation to Jew and Gentile and whose presence teaches us not to fear.
Table of Contents:
- John 12 and the Zephaniah Proposal
- Literary and Thematic Context of Zephaniah 3:14–15
- The Use of Zephaniah 3:14–15 in Early Jewish Literature
- Hermeneutical and Theological Use of Zephaniah 3 in John 12
From My Foreword:
“Tachick’s formal training as a linguist, exegete, and theologian, his grasp of the biblical languages, along with English, French, and German, and his years of service with Wycliffe Bible translators have supplied him with key skills for this task. But even more, he knows the God of Scripture, and he is convinced of the Bible’s overarching unity and of the way the whole progresses, integrates, and climaxes in Christ. I celebrate the publication of this work, which faithfully engages in the discipline of biblical theology for the glory of Christ and the good of his church.” ––Jason S. DeRouchie, Bethlehem College & Seminary
What Other Scholars Are Saying:
“I heartily commend Tachick’s careful, skillful, and convincing exegetical work.” –– Ardel B. Caneday, University of Northwestern––St. Paul
“Tachick’s methodology is sound, his research is thorough, and his argumentation is careful. He makes a compelling case for his ‘Zephaniah proposal’ and at the same time provides important insights into the study of both Zephaniah and John’s Gospel.” –– E. Ray Clendenon, B&H Publishing
“Tackick’s exploration exemplifies best practices in intracanonical, intertextual studies.” –– Dennis E. Johnson, Westminster Seminary
“Tachick clearly articulates and capably defends his thesis, excelling in both in-depth analysis and theological synthesis.” –– Andreas J. Köstenberger, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary
“This is an exemplary study of the use of the Old Testament in the New that sheds fresh light on Jesus’s triumphal entry in John.” –– Brian Tabb, Bethlehem College & Seminary
“The author’s expertise in discourse linguistics together with his keen theological eye makes this study an excellent example of solidly grounded whole-Bible interpretation.” –– Daniel C. Timmer, Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary
“The author uses a wide range of data and skills, resulting in an exemplary piece of biblical scholarship. Among all the details, the reality of the King’s coming to take his rightful place shines through.” –– Andy Warren-Rothlin, United Bible Societies
/PDF/ DeRouchie “Foreword”
Chris also spoke on Zephaniah 3:8–20 at my Sunday school class at Bethlehem Baptist Church: