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Here’s a rather nice chiasmus from Acts 2 in which Peter preaches Jesus’s resurrection at Pentecost.  It’s from Kenneth E. Bailey‘s book, “Poet and Peasant“.  I have made one change.  I’ve changed his I/I’ into an I, J / J’, I’. 

This chiasmus immediately follows another chiasmus, outlining Pentecost, which can be found here.

Update:  Bailey’s chiasmus can be found on-line here.  Note that he thinks the chiasmus can be divided into 2 smaller chiasmi!

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14  But Peter, taking his stand with the eleven, raised his voice and declared to them:

A    22  “Men of Israel, listen to these words: Jesus the Nazarene, a man attested to you by God with miracles and wonders and signs which God performed through Him in your midst, just as you yourselves know–

B    23  this Man, delivered up by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, you nailed to a cross by the hands of godless men and put Him to death.

C    [Me:  Jesus glorified and vindicated:]  24  “And God raised Him up again, putting an end to the agony of death, since it was impossible for Him to be held in its power.

D    [Me:  OT quote from David:]   25  “For David says of Him, ‘I WAS ALWAYS BEHOLDING THE LORD IN MY PRESENCE; FOR HE IS AT MY RIGHT HAND, THAT I MAY NOT BE SHAKEN.  26  ‘THEREFORE MY HEART WAS GLAD AND MY TONGUE EXULTED; MOREOVER MY FLESH ALSO WILL ABIDE IN HOPE;  27  BECAUSE THOU WILT NOT ABANDON MY SOUL TO HADES, NOR ALLOW THY HOLY ONE TO UNDERGO DECAY.  28  ‘THOU HAST MADE KNOWN TO ME THE WAYS OF LIFE; THOU WILT MAKE ME FULL OF GLADNESS WITH THY PRESENCE.’  29  “Brethren, I may confidently say to you

E    regarding the patriarch David that he both died and was buried, and his tomb is with us to this day.

F    30  “And so, because he was a prophet,

G    and knew that GOD HAD SWORN TO HIM WITH AN OATH

H    TO SEAT one OF HIS DESCENDANTS UPON HIS THRONE,

I    31  he looked ahead and spoke

J    of the resurrection

K    of the Christ,

L    that HE WAS NEITHER ABANDONED TO HADES,

L’   NOR DID His flesh SUFFER DECAY.

K’   32  “This Jesus

J’   God raised up again,

I’   to which we are all witnesses.

H’   33  “Therefore having been exalted to the right hand of God,

G’   and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit,

F’   He has poured forth this which you both see and hear.

E’   34  “For it was not  /  David  /  who ascended into heaven,

D’   [Me:  OT quote from David:]   but he himself says: ‘THE LORD SAID TO MY LORD, “SIT AT MY RIGHT HAND,  35  UNTIL I MAKE THINE ENEMIES A FOOTSTOOL FOR THY FEET.”‘  36  “Therefore let all the house of Israel know for certain

C’   that God has made Him both Lord and Christ

B’   this Jesus whom you crucified.”

A’   37  Now when they heard this, they were pierced to the heart,

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The following chiasmus is from p. 101 of John Breck‘s 2001 book, “Scripture in Tradition: the Bible and its Interpretation in the Orthodox Church“:

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A    19 Jesus therefore answered and was saying to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something He sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, these things the Son also does in like manner.

B    20 “For the Father loves the Son, and shows Him all things that He Himself is doing; and greater works than these will He show Him, that you may marvel.

C    21 “For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son also gives life to whom He wishes. 22 “For not even the Father judges anyone, but He has given all judgment to the Son, 23 in order that all may honor the Son, even as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him.

D    24 “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.

D’   25 “Truly, truly, I say to you, an hour is coming and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God; and those who hear shall live.

C’   26 “For just as the Father has life in Himself, even so He gave to the Son also to have life in Himself; 27 and He gave Him authority to execute judgment, because He is the Son of Man.

B’   28 “Do not marvel at this; for an hour is coming, in which all who are in the tombs shall hear His voice, 29 and shall come forth; those who did the good deeds to a resurrection of life, those who committed the evil deeds to a resurrection of judgment.

A’   30 “I can do nothing on My own initiative. / As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is just, because I do not seek My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.

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I think I agree with the following from Donald E. Curtis at Bible.orgI’ve often thought the Song of Songs was chiastic – in much the same way:

…  the Song of Songs has a chiastic structure, but one that is freer and looser. By this I mean that it is hard to draw an unambiguous line separating the parts. You can step back and see it, but when you get close, it almost disappears. What you see from a distance is this:

A. Home in the king’s court

B. Developing love

C. Dream Sequence

D. Consummation

C’. Dream Sequence

B’. Developing love

A’. Home in the country

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David A. Dorsey in his book “The Literary Structure of the Old Testament” breaks down the Song of Songs like this:

A    Opening words of mutual love and desire (1:2-2:7)

B    Young man’s invitation to the young woman to join him in the contryside (2:8-17)

C    Young woman’s nighttime search for the young man (3:1-5)

D    CENTER:  The wedding day (3:6-5:1)

C’   Young woman’s nighttime search for the young man, and their speeches of admiration and longing (5:2-7:11  [5:2-7:10])

B’   Young woman’s invitation to the you man to join her in the countryside (7:12-8:4  [7:11-8:4])

A’   Closing words of mutual love and desire (8:5-14)

David Dorsey’s 15 page chapter 21 is dedicated to explaining his Song of Spongs chiasmus in greater detail.  Each of the sections given above, except for B’, is broken down into a smaller chiasmus.  If you’re interested in further exploring the Song of Songs as chiasmus I would highly recommend David’s treatment.

Here’s a review of Dorsey’s book.

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Chiasmus was not used exclusively by Biblical writers.  It was used by others as well. 

John W. Welch‘s book ”Chiasmus in Antiquity” is an excellent book for viewing possible chiastic structures from cultures outside of Israel.  It’s a good starting point for understanding chiasmus outside of the Bible.

Here are the chapter titles:

I particularly enjoy Welch’s cover which features the following chiastically arranged artwork.  Nice … :

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Recommended readings:

A good overview of Chiasmus:

 Chiasmus: An Important Structural Device, by Brad McCoy

Recommended sites:

Lists of possible Biblical Chiasmi:

          – ‘In the Beginning’ website’s lists:

–  Smaller selection  –  though still substantial.

–  Larger bibliography

–  Here’s a book by John Welch, written in 1998, which lists many possible chiasmi:  Chiasmus Bibliography (link goes to Amazon.com)

–  International Society for the Study of Biblical and Semetic Rhetoric:

–  By Author

–  By Biblical Book

–  Rhetorical Criticism of the Bible: a Comprehensive Bibliography with Notes

–  Dr. Mardy.com  –  on the lighter side.

 

 

 

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