II. Date of The Book

II. Date of The Book

The composition of the book itself was completed some time after the ministry of Zephaniah. Who first reduced Zephaniah's preaching to writing is only a guess. Isaiah had his disciples and Jeremiah his secretary, Baruch. Was there a similar companion for Zephaniah, or did the prophet himself record his sermons? Whichever the case, the book shows little evidence of later editing. Older theories that saw multiple additions being made have been generally discredited. This is particularly true with regard to the idea that any prophecy of hope must be postexilic. The book is a well-structured unit that was shaped by its original author soon after the messages were delivered. Probably only the Deuteronomic superscription (1:1) and 3:18-20, which reflects a postexilic setting, represent the work of later hands.