This commentary initially outlines a synchronous view of the final canonical text of Malachi, particularly in relation to the arguments set out in the disputations. The history of the text=s origins is then reconstructed. Removing the many additions reveals an originally independent collection of disputation texts. The additions introduce clarifying details that are felt to be necessary, add motifs from other writings in the Book of the Twelve Minor Prophets, or adapt the text to changed historical conditions. Finally, attention turns beyond the text of Malachi: as the last text in the Book of the Twelve Minor Prophets, Malachi makes reference to the preceding prophetic writings. The New Testament in turn takes up Malachi=s statements and develops them further. Finally, Schart examines the theological relevance of the book and also discusses questions of objective criticism and history of interpretation, as well as current issues.
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