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Archive for August, 2014


1024px-Anastasis_at_Chora

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This particular chiasmus comes from here.  The attribution at the bottom of the page is to:  Craig S. Keener, the IVP Bible Background Commentary, New Testament, Intervarsity Press, Downes Grove, I, Illinois, 1993.

The book can be found here at Google books, and here at Amazon.

I like the theme of salvation at the center.  It makes the center strong.

I think D/D’ is interesting.  It seems one of the purposes of Jesus’ ‘making proclamation to the spirits in prison’ (D) may have been to have ‘angels, authorities, and powers’ subjected to Himself (D’).  I also like the implied match between Hades below and Heaven above.

There’s a lot of concepts packed in here: judgment, our suffering/witness, Jesus’ suffering, Hades/Heaven, ordering of power, salvation … .  Plenty to contemplate.  Nice.

Here’s the summary from the book:

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 1 Peter 3.16 4.5

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(A?)    13  Who is there to harm you if you prove zealous for what is good?  14  But even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness, you are blessed. And do not fear their intimidation, and do not be troubled,  15  but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence;   

A    16  and keep a good conscience so that in the thing in which you are slandered,  /  those who revile your good behavior in Christ will be put to shame. 

B    17  For it is better, if God should will it so, that you suffer  /  for doing what is right rather than for doing what is wrong. 

C    18  For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God, having been put to death  /  in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit; 

D    [Me: Jesus goes to Hades]  19  in which also He went and made proclamation to the spirits now in prison

E    20  who once were disobedient, when the patience of God kept waiting in the days of Noah, during the construction of the ark, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through the water. 

E’   21  Corresponding to that, baptism now saves you—not the removal of dirt from the flesh, but an appeal to God for a good conscience—through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, 

D’   22  who is at the right hand of God, having gone into heaven, after angels and authorities and powers had been subjected to Him

C’   4:1 Therefore, since Christ has suffered  in the flesh,

B’   arm yourselves also with the same purpose – because he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin,  2  so as to live the rest of the time in the flesh no longer for the lusts of men, but for the will of God

A’   3  or the time already past is sufficient for you to have carried out the desire of the Gentiles, having pursued a course of sensuality, lusts, drunkenness, carousing, drinking parties and abominable idolatries.  4  In all this, they are surprised that you do not run with them into the same excesses of dissipation, and they malign you;  /  but they will give account to Him who is ready to judge the living and the dead. 

For the gospel has for this purpose been preached even to those who are dead, that though they are judged in the flesh as men, they may live in the spirit according to the will of God. 

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deuteronomy

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From the book, “Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy”, by Stephen K. Sherwood.  The book and chiasmus can be found here at Google books – p. 268.  The book can also be found here at Amazon.

Here’s a couple quotes:

Wenham and McConville (1980) call attention to structural elements that tie these verses together:  …  …  3. the six punishments are arranged in chiastic order; and 4. the six cases are arranged in two groups of three each – a triadic division that is used in both Leviticus and Deuteronomy.

Chiastic ordering of punishments:

19    A    damages of one hundred shekels to father, no divorce

21    B    woman executed

22    C    man and woman executed

24    C’   man and woman executed

25    B’   man executed

29    A’   damages of fifty shekels to father, no divorce

“The combination of parallel paneling and chiasmus give this section a notable coherence and compactness suggestive of careful drafting”

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A    13  “If any man takes a wife and goes in to her and then turns against her,  14  and charges her with shameful deeds and publicly defames her, and says, ‘I took this woman, but when I came near her, I did not find her a virgin,’  15  then the girl’s father and her mother shall take and bring out the evidence of the girl’s virginity to the elders of the city at the gate.  16  “And the girl’s father shall say to the elders, ‘I gave my daughter to this man for a wife, but he turned against her;  17  and behold, he has charged her with shameful deeds, saying, “I did not find your daughter a virgin.” But this is the evidence of my daughter’s virginity. ‘And they shall spread the garment before the elders of the city.  18  “So the elders of that city shall take the man and chastise him,  19  and they shall fine him a hundred shekels of silver and give it to the girl’s father, because he publicly defamed a virgin of Israel. And she shall remain his wife; he cannot divorce her all his days.

   20  “But if this charge is true, that the girl was not found a virgin,  21  then they shall bring out the girl to the doorway of her father’s house, and the men of her city shall stone her to death because she has committed an act of folly in Israel, by playing the harlot in her father’s house; thus you shall purge the evil from among you.

C    22  “If a man is found lying with a married woman, then both of them shall die, the man who lay with the woman, and the woman; thus you shall purge the evil from Israel.

C’   23  “If there is a girl who is a virgin engaged to a man, and another man finds her in the city and lies with her,  24  then you shall bring them both out to the gate of that city and you shall stone them to death; the girl, because she did not cry out in the city, and the man, because he has violated his neighbor’s wife. Thus you shall purge the evil from among you.

B’   25  “But if in the field the man finds the girl who is engaged, and the man forces her and lies with her, then only the man who lies with her shall die.  26  “But you shall do nothing to the girl; there is no sin in the girl worthy of death, for just as a man rises against his neighbor and murders him, so is this case.  27  “When he found her in the field, the engaged girl cried out, but there was no one to save her.

A’   28  “If a man finds a girl who is a virgin, who is not engaged, and seizes her and lies with her and they are discovered,  29  then the man who lay with her shall give to the girl’s father fifty shekels of silver, and she shall become his wife because he has violated her; he cannot divorce her all his days.

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The above pic came from here.

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Judges Gavel

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The following chiasmus is from Douglas Moo’s commentary, “Romans: The NIV Application Commentary: From Biblical Text to Contemporary Life”.  The commentary can be found here at Google Books, and here at Amazon.  Douglas’ website is here.

Here’s a quote:

God Judges Every Human Being Impartially on the Same Basis (2:6-11)

This important paragraph supports a point that is implicit, but vital, to Paul’s indictment of self-righteous Jews in 2:1-5:  God assesses Jews and Gentiles on the same basis.  In effect, Paul argues, there is a level playing field when it comes to God’s ultimate verdict.  The Jew, therefore, simply by virtue of being a Jew cannot claim immunity from judgment.  The argument of these verses is clear and logical, following a pattern we label chiasm.  This word comes from the name for the Greek letter that looks much like our “X”.  It describes a structure in which the basic sequence follows an A-B-B’-A’ pattern.  Note how verses 6-11 fall into such a pattern:

A   God will judge everyone according to his works (v. 6)

B   People who do good will attain eternal life (v .7)

C   People who do evil will suffer wrath (v. 8)

C’  Wrath for those who do evil (v. 9)

B’  Glory for those who do good (v. 10)

A’  God judges impartially (v. 11)

Sometimes in a chiasm, the main point comes at the center.  In this case, however, the main point appears at the outer edges.

Moo’s last point is worth considering.  The main point is not always at the center.  In the end, it’s up to the discretion of the writer.  The chiastic writer has options.

I’ve refined Moo’s chiasmus a little bit by adding the following lower-case connections:  a bb’ a’, a bb’ a’, a bb’ a’.

I would also like to point out the phrase, “of the Jew first and also the Greek”, which occurs twice in the chiasmus.  Interestingly, the phrase appears at the end of the two matches: B/B’ (regarding good) and C/C’ (regarding evil).  Even though the two occurrences of the phrase do not appear chiastically balanced overall, they are still reasonably / logically placed within the chiasmus.

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2:1  Therefore you have no excuse, everyone of you who passes judgment, for in that which you judge another, you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things.  2  And we know that the judgment of God rightly falls upon those who practice such things.  3  But do you suppose this, O man, when you pass judgment on those who practice such things and do the same yourself, that you will escape the judgment of God?  4  Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and tolerance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance?  5  But because of your stubbornness and unrepentant heart you are storing up wrath for yourself in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment

A

a    5  of God,

b    6  who WILL RENDER TO EACH PERSON ACCORDING TO HIS DEEDS:

B

a    7  to those who by perseverance in doing good

b    seek for glory and honor and immortality, eternal life;

C

a    8  but to those who are selfishly ambitious and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness,

b    wrath and indignation.

C’

b’   9  There will be tribulation and distress

a’   for every soul of man who does evil – of the Jew first and also the Greek,

B ‘

b’   10  but glory and honor and peace

a’   to everyone who does good – to the Jew first and also the Greek. 

A’

b’   11  for there is no partiality

a’   with God.

 

 

 

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A painting on wood, by Julia Stankova

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This is a nice little chiasmus.  The center, v. 18-19, is likely based on Isaiah 61:1-2, a messianic passage:

1  The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me,
Because the Lord has anointed me
To bring good news to the afflicted;
He has sent me to bind up the broken-hearted,
To proclaim liberty to captives
And freedom to prisoners;
2  To proclaim the favorable year of the Lord

Interestingly, there’s no mention of ‘healing blindness’ in the above passage, even though it’s at the center of Luke’s chiasmus.  Nevertheless, healing blindness is used elsewhere in Isaiah, including the following messianic passage:

“I am the LORD, I have called You in righteousness, I will also hold You as a covenant to the people, as a light to the nations, to open blind eyes, to bring out prisoners from the dungeon and those who dwell in darkness from the prison.”  Is 42:6-7.

I think it’s fitting to have healing of blindness at the center of this chiasmus.  Not only did Jesus heal people of their physical blindness, He also healed people of their spiritual blindness.  The center serves double duty.  The spiritual aspect of Jesus’ job was ultimately at the core of his ministry: opening peoples’ eyes to who He was and what He came to do.

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14  And Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news about Him spread through all the surrounding district.  15  And He began teaching in their synagogues and was praised by all.  16  And He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up; and as was His custom,

A    He entered the synagogue on the Sabbath,

B    and stood up to read.

C    17  And the book of the prophet Isaiah was handed to Him.

D    And He opened the book and found the place where it was written, 

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18  The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me,

E    Because He anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor.

F    He has sent Me to proclaim release  /  to the captives,

G    And recovery of sight to the blind,

F’   To set free  /  those who are oppressed

E’   19  To proclaim the favorable year of the Lord.” 

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D’   20  And He closed the book,

C’   gave it back to the attendant

B’   and sat down;

A’   and the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on Him. 

21  And He began to say to them, Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.”

 

 

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