Archive for October, 2013




This chiasmus was found here.   I’ve changed it a bit. 

The ancient chiastic writer had quite a few options available to her.  One of those options was to create his chiasmus so that it could be read ‘helically’ – a modern term – perhaps attributable to Fr. John Breck, in his book “The Shape of Biblical Language”.  A helical read of a chiasmus ‘reads’ the various matches of a chiasmus in the order of their appearance.  That is, a helical read would move from section A to section A’ (the first match), to B to B’ (the second match), to C to C’ (the third match), etc.  A helical read ends at the center of the chiasmus, where something of significance is typically found. 

Imo, a nice example of a helical read can be found in Psalm 150

Here is Psalm 37:1-7 presented helically: 

Do not fret because of evildoers; do not be envious toward wrongdoers (A).  Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way; because of the man who carries out wicked schemes (A’).  …  For they will wither quickly like the grass, and fade like the green herb (B).  [The Lord] will bring forth your righteousness as the light, and your judgment as the noonday.  Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him (B’).  … Trust in the Lord, and do good (C).  Trust [ ] in Him, and He will do it (C’).  … Dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness (D).  Commit your way to the Lord (D’).  … Delight yourself in the Lord – and He will give you the desires of your Heart (E) !

To my way of thinking, a helical read of Psalm 37:1-7 produces a ‘smoother’ flow.  The chiasm’s ideas moves from a focus on the ‘evildoer’ to a focus on the ‘righteous’.  The concluding instructions for the righteous include … resting, waiting, trusting, cultivating faithfulness, committing, and delighting.  Overall, the chiasmus, in a helical read, moves from “do not fret” (the opening) to “delight yourself in the Lord – and He will give you the desires of your heart!” (the ending).  The emotional movement is from abandoning ‘worry’ (distress, concern) to ’embracing’ the faithfulness and goodness of God.  …  Rather than fret, we should delight ourselves in the Lord!

In a helical read, it’s perhaps possible to see that it’s not simply ‘delighting yourself in the Lord’ that results in the believer receiving ‘the desires of his or her own heart’ (the center, E).  The entire list of positive instructions may be necessary.  That is, when we rest (B’), wait (B’), trust (C/C’), are faithful (D), commit our way (D’), and delight ourselves in the Lord (E)  …  then, He will give us the desires of our heart.  It’s an entire way of faithful and committed living that comes before the ‘gift’ is given.   … …  The helical read helps bring this out.



1  (A Psalm of David.)

A    Do not fret because of evildoers, Be not be envious toward wrongdoers.

B    [Me: a ‘negative’ result for wrongdoers:]    2  For they will wither quickly like the grass, And fade like the green herb.

C    3  Trust in the LORD, and do good; 

D    Dwell in the land  /  and cultivate faithfulness.

E   4  Delight yourself in the LORD  –  And He will give you the desires of your heart!

D’   Commit your way to the LORD, 

C’   Trust also in Him, and He will do it.

B’   [Me: a ‘positive’ result for the righteous:]    6  And He will bring forth your righteousness as the light, And your judgment as the noonday.  7  Rest in the LORD and wait patiently for Him; 

A’    Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way, Because of the man who carries out wicked schemes.


Read Full Post »




Read Full Post »



From Ronald E. Man’s paper, “The Value of Chiasm for New Testament Interpretation” , here … (but ultimately attributable to Nils Wilhelm Lund in “The Significance of Chiasmus for Interpretation“, p. 106).

This chiasmus only covers the beginning of Jesus’ ‘High Priestly Prayer’, but I’ve included the entire prayer (John 17) in the post.  The prayer was prayed by Jesus shortly before his arrest – and crucifixion.

I like how the prayer begins with a chiasmus.  It’s something I’ve been noticing of late.  It seems as though there’s a number of Biblical books and passages that begin with a chiasmus (e.g., 1 Thessalonians 1-2).  Perhaps beginning a passage with a chiasmus was considered something beautiful – and significant? 

I like the way the chiasmus flows from the Father … to the Son … to mankind … and to eternal life.  Eternal life appears to be the central focus, and the ‘end game’ – the goal of the Father, achieved ultimately through the sacrificial death of the Son. 

This chiasmus also seems to summarize the basics of Christianity, and perhaps it was written as a chiasmus to make it easier to remember, or memorize. 

A Beautiful chiasmus.  A significant summary.  Memorable. 




1  These things Jesus spoke; and lifting up His eyes to heaven, He said,

A    “Father,  /  the hour has come;  /  glorify Thy Son,

B    that the Son may glorify Thee,

C    2  even as Thou gavest Him authority over all mankind, that to all whom Thou hast given Him,

D    He may give eternal life.

D’   3  “And this is eternal life,

C’   that they may know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom Thou hast sent.

B’   4  “I glorified Thee on the earth, having accomplished the work which Thou hast given Me to do.

A’   5  “And now,  /  glorify Thou Me together with Thyself, Father, with the glory which I had with Thee before the world was.


6  “I manifested Thy name to the men whom Thou gavest Me out of the world; Thine they were, and Thou gavest them to Me, and they have kept Thy word.  7  “Now they have come to know that everything Thou hast given Me is from Thee;  8  for the words which Thou gavest Me I have given to them; and they received them, and truly understood that I came forth from Thee, and they believed that Thou didst send Me.  9  “I ask on their behalf; I do not ask on behalf of the world, but of those whom Thou hast given Me; for they are Thine;  10  and all things that are Mine are Thine, and Thine are Mine; and I have been glorified in them.  11  “And I am no more in the world; and yet they themselves are in the world, and I come to Thee. Holy Father, keep them in Thy name, the name which Thou hast given Me, that they may be one, even as We are.  12  “While I was with them, I was keeping them in Thy name which Thou hast given Me; and I guarded them, and not one of them perished but the son of perdition, that the Scripture might be fulfilled.  13  “But now I come to Thee; and these things I speak in the world, that they may have My joy made full in themselves.  14  “I have given them Thy word; and the world has hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.  15  “I do not ask Thee to take them out of the world, but to keep them from the evil one.  16  “They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.  17  “Sanctify them in the truth; Thy word is truth.  18  “As Thou didst send Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world.  19  “And for their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they themselves also may be sanctified in truth.  20  “I do not ask in behalf of these alone, but for those also who believe in Me through their word;  21  that they may all be one; even as Thou, Father, art in Me, and I in Thee, that they also may be in Us; that the world may believe that Thou didst send Me.  22  “And the glory which Thou hast given Me I have given to them; that they may be one, just as We are one;  23  I in them, and Thou in Me, that they may be perfected in unity, that the world may know that Thou didst send Me, and didst love them, even as Thou didst love Me.  24  “Father, I desire that they also, whom Thou hast given Me, be with Me where I am, in order that they may behold My glory, which Thou hast given Me; for Thou didst love Me before the foundation of the world.  25  “O righteous Father, although the world has not known Thee, yet I have known Thee; and these have known that Thou didst send Me;  26  and I have made Thy name known to them, and will make it known; that the love wherewith Thou didst love Me may be in them, and I in them.”

Read Full Post »



From here.


A    1  And I saw a new heaven and a new earth;

B    for the first heaven and the first earth passed away,

C    and there is no longer any sea.

D    2  And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God,  /  made ready as a bride adorned for her husband.

D’   3  And I heard  /  a loud voice from the throne, saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He shall dwell among them, and they shall b His people, and God Himself shall be among them,

C’   4  and He shall wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there shall no longer be any death; there shall no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain;

B’   the first things have passed away.”

A’   5  And He who sits on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: