Archive for the ‘Chiasmi: Book Length’ Category

Paul Mosaic


Here’s my chiasmus for Philippians. Paul wrote Philippians while in prison. The give-away that Philippians is a chiasmus is found in the very centre of the epistle, where Paul writes that he is sending Timothy and Epaphroditus to help them. In-between this is found Paul’s desire to visit the Philippians. It’s unusual to have this kind of information at the centre of a writing. More typically, it would be found at the end of a writing. But Paul wanted to emphasize his sending of Timothy and Epaphroditus. He especially wanted to encourage the Philippians with the possibility of a personal visitation.

I would call this a rather soft chiasmus. I imagine Paul sitting and writing in prison. He writes the first half and climaxes with the centre notes concerning Timothy, Epaphroditus, and his own future visitation. In the second half, Paul attempts to hit some of the same first half thoughts, only in reverse order.

A couple of notes can be made:

B and B’ have 2 parts each. These parts parallel each other in theme. In section a, Paul addresses the church, while in section b, Paul focuses on his imprisonment.

In section F, Paul offers Jesus as an example of humble, sacrificial living. In section F’, Paul offers himself as an example of humble, sacrificial living.

 – – – – –

A    1:1 Paul and Timothy, bond-servants of Christ Jesus, to all the saints in Christ Jesus who are in Philippi, including the overseers and deacons: 2 Grace to you 



i    and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

ii    3 I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, 4 always offering prayer with joy in my every prayer for you all, 5 in view of your participation in the gospel from the first day until now. 6 For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus. 7 For it is only right for me to feel this way about you all, because I have you in my heart, since both in my imprisonment and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel, you all are partakers of grace with me. 8 For God is my witness, how I long for you all with the affection of Christ Jesus. 9 And this I pray,

iii    that your love may abound still more and more in real knowledge and all discernment, 10 so that you may approve the things that are excellent, in order to be sincere and blameless until the day of Christ; 11 having been filled with the fruit of righteousness which comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.

b    12 Now I want you to know, brethren, that my circumstances have turned out for the greater progress of the gospel, 13 so that my imprisonment in the cause of Christ has become well known throughout the whole praetorian guard and to everyone else, 14 and that most of the brethren, trusting in the Lord because of my imprisonment, have far more courage to speak the word of God without fear.  //  15  a  Some, to be sure, are preaching Christ even from envy and strife,  b  but some also from good will;  b’  16 the latter do it out of love, knowing that I am appointed for the defense of the gospel;  a’  17 the former proclaim Christ out of selfish ambition rather than from pure motives, thinking to cause me distress in my imprisonment.  // 18 What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is proclaimed; and in this I rejoice. Yes, and I will rejoice, 19 for I know that this will turn out for my deliverance through your prayers and the provision of the Spirit of Jesus Christ, 20 according to my earnest expectation and hope, that I will not be put to shame in anything, but that with all boldness, Christ will even now, as always, be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. 21 For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. 22 But if I am to live on in the flesh, this will mean fruitful labor for me; and I do not know which to choose. 23 But I am hard-pressed from both directions, having the desire to depart and be with Christ, for that is very much better; 24 yet to remain on in the flesh is more necessary for your sake. 25 Convinced of this, I know that I will remain and continue with you all for your progress and joy in the faith, 26 so that your proud confidence in me may abound in Christ Jesus through my coming to you again.

C    27 Only conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or remain absent, I will hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel;

D    28 in no way alarmed by your opponents – which is a sign of destruction for them, but of salvation for you, and that too, from God. 29 For to you it has been granted for Christ’s sake, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake, 30 experiencing the same conflict which you saw in me, and now hear to be in me. 2:1 Therefore if there is any encouragement in Christ, if there is any consolation of love, if there is any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and compassion, 2 make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose. 3 Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; 4 do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.

E    5 Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus –

F     6 who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. 8 Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. 9 For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

12 So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling; 13 for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure. 14 Do all things without grumbling or disputing; 15 so that you will prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world, 16 holding fast the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I will have reason to glory because I did not run in vain nor toil in vain.

G    17 But even if I am being poured out as a drink offering upon the sacrifice and service of your faith, I rejoice and share my joy with you all. 18 You too, I urge you, rejoice in the same way and share your joy with me.

H    19 But I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you shortly, so that I also may be encouraged when I learn of your condition. 20 For I have no one else of kindred spirit who will genuinely be concerned for your welfare. 21 For they all seek after their own interests, not those of Christ Jesus. 22 But you know of his proven worth, that he served with me in the furtherance of the gospel like a child serving his father. 23 Therefore I hope to send him immediately, as soon as I see how things go with me;

I    24 and I trust in the Lord that I myself also will be coming shortly.

H’    25 But I thought it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus, my brother and fellow worker and fellow soldier, who is also your messenger and minister to my need; 26 because he was longing for you all and was distressed because you had heard that he was sick. 27 For indeed he was sick to the point of death, but God had mercy on him, and not on him only but also on me, so that I would not have sorrow upon sorrow. 28 Therefore I have sent him all the more eagerly so that when you see him again you may rejoice and I may be less concerned about you. 29 Receive him then in the Lord with all joy, and hold men like him in high regard; 30 because he came close to death for the work of Christ, risking his life to complete what was deficient in your service to me.

G’    3:1 Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord. To write the same things again is no trouble to me, and it is a safeguard for you. 2 Beware of the dogs, beware of the evil workers, beware of the false circumcision; 3 for we are the true circumcision, who worship in the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh.

F’    4 Although I myself might have confidence even in the flesh. If anyone else has a mind to put confidence in the flesh, I far more: 5 circumcised the eighth day, of the nation of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; as to the Law, a Pharisee; 6 as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to the righteousness which is in the Law, found blameless. 7 But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ. 8 More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ, 9 and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith, 10 that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death; 11 in order that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.

12 Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus. 13 Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

E’    15 Let us therefore, as many as are perfect, have this attitude; and if in anything you have a different attitude, God will reveal that also to you; 16 however, let us keep living by that same standard to which we have attained. 17 Brethren, join in following my example, and observe those who walk according to the pattern you have in us.

D’    18 For many walk, of whom I often told you, and now tell you even weeping, that they are enemies of the cross of Christ, 19 whose end is destruction, whose god is their appetite, and whose glory is in their shame, who set their minds on earthly things.

C’    20 For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ; 21 who will transform the body of our humble state into conformity with the body of His glory, by the exertion of the power that He has even to subject all things to Himself. 4:1 Therefore, my beloved brethren whom I long to see, my joy and crown, in this way stand firm in the Lord, my beloved.



iii’  2 I urge Euodia and I urge Syntyche to live in harmony in the Lord. 3 Indeed, true companion, I ask you also to help these women who have shared my struggle in the cause of the gospel, together with Clement also and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the book of life.  4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice! 5 Let your gentle spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near.

ii    6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

i’    7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. 8 Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. 9 The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.

b    10 But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at last you have revived your concern for me; indeed, you were concerned before, but you lacked opportunity. 11 Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. 12 I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. 13 I can do all things through Him who strengthens me. 14 Nevertheless, you have done well to share with me in my affliction. 15 You yourselves also know, Philippians, that at the first preaching of the gospel, after I left Macedonia, no church shared with me in the matter of giving and receiving but you alone; 16 for even in Thessalonica you sent a gift more than once for my needs. 17 Not that I seek the gift itself, but I seek for the profit which increases to your account. 18 But I have received everything in full and have an abundance; I am amply supplied, having received from Epaphroditus what you have sent, a fragrant aroma, an acceptable sacrifice, well-pleasing to God. 19 And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus. 20 Now to our God and Father be the glory forever and ever. Amen.

A’    21 Greet every saint in Christ Jesus. The brethren who are with me greet you. 22 All the saints greet you, especially those of Caesar’s household. 23 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.

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A while back, Lindsay Kennedy, who authors the blog My Digital Seminary did a series of interviews with Joel Wingo, who teaches at Calvary Chapel Bible College, on the book of Job.  Lindsay and Joel think that the book of Job may have been written as a chiasmus.  Following is Linday’s series of posts and the outline of Joel’s chiasmus.  I haven’t had a chance to check it out yet (the longer a chiasmus, the more time and effort it takes to check out), but I thought the series intriquing enough to post anyway.  I’ve mentioned Lindsay and his blog before, in regard to a chiasmus for Job 1 :


–  Is Job a chiasm?

–  Joel Wingo interview on Job: part 1

–  Joel Wingo interview on Job: part 2

–  Joel Wingo interview on Job: part 3

–  Joel Wingo on the book of Job: summary


A. Prologue: Job blessed and righteous

B. Prologue: Job accused by Satan and destroyed

C. Dialogue: Job Laments (de-creation, order to chaos)

D. Dialogue: Preventative chastening (Eliphaz’s first speech)

E. Dialogue: Sin & retribution (three friends)

F. CENTRE: Wisdom is with God, not men (Job ch. 28)

E’. Dialogue: Sin & retribution (Job)

D’. Dialogue: Preventative chastening (Elihu)

C’. Dialogue: The LORD speaks (creation, chaos to order)

B’. Epilogue: Job vindicated by the LORD and restored

A’. Epilogue: Job blessed and righteous


A couple additional diagrams of the chiasmus can be found in part 2 of Lindsay’s interview with Joel

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Here’s a proposed chiasmus for the book of James by Cristina Conti.  I found it on Peter J. Leithart’s web site

Conti’s article is translated here by Google.

(To be honest, I haven’t thoroughly checked it out – but it looks like it has potential!)


A. Joy in trial, 1:2-8

B. Rich fade, 1:9-11

C. Lustfulness, 1:12-15

D. Perfect Gift, 1:16-25

E. Restraining the tongue, 1:26

F. Religion in deed, 1:27

G. Distinctions of rich and poor, 2:1-13

F’. Faith in works, 2:14-26

E’. Restraining the tongue, 3:1-12

D’. Wisdom as perfect gift, 3:13-18

C’. Lustfulness and sin, 4:1-12

B’. Ways of the rich, 4:13-5:6

A’. Patience in suffering, 5:7-20

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From here, with some changes.


A    1 The elder to the chosen lady

B    and her children,

C    whom I love in truth; and not only I, but also all who know the truth, 2 for the sake of the truth which abides in us / and will be with us forever: 3 Grace, mercy and peace will be with us, from God the Father and from Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father, in truth and love.

D    4 I was very glad to find some of your children walking in truth,

E    just as we have received commandment to do from the Father. 5 And now I ask you, lady, not as writing to you a new commandment, but the one which we have had from the beginning,

F    that we love one another.

F’   6 And this is love,

E’   that we walk according to His commandments. This is the commandment, just as you have heard from the beginning,

D’   that you should walk in it.

C’   7 For many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is the deceiver and the antichrist. 8 Watch yourselves, that you might not lose what we have accomplished, but that you may receive a full reward. 9 Anyone who goes too far and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God; the one who abides in the teaching, / he has both the Father and the Son. 10 If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house, and do not give him a greeting; 11 for the one who gives him a greeting participates in his evil deeds.

B’   (12 Having many things to write to you, I do not want to do so with paper and ink; but I hope to come to you and speak face to face, that your joy may be made full.) 

13 The children

A’ of your chosen sister greet you.

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I came across a chiasmus for Philemon at the blog “studywithme” the other day.  It was posted by Joey Wulf.  It inspired me to take a look at Philemon myself.  Joey’s chiasmus has 10 parts and a double center.  My attempt has 17 parts and a single center.

John Paul Heil has also produced a chiasmus for Philemon, which can be found here and here.  John’s chiasmus has 9 parts and a single center. 

It seems to me that, at the very least, Philemon is chiastic. 

Like it. 

Interesting center.


A    1   Paul, a prisoner of Christ Jesus, and Timothy our brother, to Philemon our beloved brother and fellow worker,  2  and to Apphia our sister, and to Archippus our fellow soldier, and to the church in your house:  3  Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

B    4  I thank my God always, making mention of you in my prayers,  5  because I hear of your love, and of the faith which you have toward the Lord Jesus, and toward all the saints;  6  and I pray that the fellowship of your faith may become effective through the knowledge of every good thing which is in you for Christ’s sake. 

C    7  For I have come to have much joy and comfort in your love, because the hearts of the saints have been refreshed through you, brother.

D    8  Therefore, though I have enough confidence in Christ to order you to do that which is proper, 

E    9  yet for love’s sake I rather appeal to you— since I am such a person as Paul, the aged, and now also a prisoner of Christ Jesus–

F    10  I appeal to you for my child, whom I have begotten in my imprisonment, Onesimus,  11  who formerly was useless to you,  /  but now is useful  /  both to you and to me

G    12  And I have sent him back to you in person, that is, sending my very heart,

H    13  whom I wished to keep with me, that in your behalf he might minister to me in my imprisonment for the gospel,

I    14  but without your consent I did not want to do anything, that your goodness should not be as it were by compulsion, but of your own free will.

H’   15  For perhaps he was for this reason parted from you for a while,

G’   that you should have him back forever, 

F’   16  no longer as a slave,  /  but more than a slave, a beloved brother,  /  especially to me, but how much more to you, both in the flesh and in the Lord.

E’   [Me: The appeal:]  17  If then you regard me a partner, accept him as you would me.  /  18  But if he has wronged you in any way, or owes you anything, charge that to my account;  19  I, Paul, am writing this with my own hand, I will repay it

D’    (lest I should mention to you that you owe to me even your own self as well).

C’   20  Yes, brother, let me benefit from you in the Lord; refresh my heart in Christ. 

B’   21  Having confidence in your obedience, I write to you, since I know that you will do even more than what I say.  22  And at the same time also prepare me a lodging; for I hope that through your prayers I shall be given to you.

A’   23  Epaphras, my fellow prisoner in Christ Jesus, greets you,  24  as do Mark, Aristarchus, Demas, Luke, my fellow workers.  25  The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.

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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



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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A    1:1  Paul, a bond-servant of God, and an apostle of Jesus Christ, for the faith of those chosen of God and the knowledge of the truth which is according to godliness,   2  in the hope of eternal life, which God, who cannot lie, promised long ages ago,   3  but at the proper time manifested, even His word, in the proclamation with which I was entrusted according to the commandment of God our Savior;   4  to Titus, my true child in a common faith: Grace and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Savior.  

B    5  For this reason I left you in Crete, that you might set in order what remains, and appoint elders in every city as I directed you,  6  namely, if any man be above reproach, the husband of one wife, having children who believe, not accused of dissipation or rebellion.   7  For the overseer must be above reproach as God’s steward, not self-willed, not quick-tempered, not addicted to wine, not pugnacious, not fond of sordid gain,   8  but hospitable, loving what is good, sensible, just, devout, self-controlled,   9  holding fast the faithful word which is in accordance with the teaching, that he may be able both to exhort in sound doctrine and to refute those who contradict.  

C    10  For there are many rebellious men, empty talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision,   11  who must be silenced because they are upsetting whole families, teaching things they should not teach, for the sake of sordid gain.   12  One of themselves, a prophet of their own, said, “Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons.”   13  This testimony is true. For this cause reprove them severely that they may be sound in the faith,   14  not paying attention to Jewish myths and commandments of men who turn away from the truth.   15  To the pure, all things are pure; but to those who are defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure, but both their mind and their conscience are defiled.   16  They profess to know God, but by their deeds they deny Him, being detestable and disobedient, and worthless for any good deed.

D      a    2:1  But as for you, speak the things which are fitting for sound doctrine.   

b    Older men are to be temperate, dignified, sensible, sound in faith, in love, in perseverance.   

c    Older women likewise are to be reverent in their behaviour, not malicious gossips, nor enslaved to much wine, teaching what is good,  4  that they may encourage   

c’    the young women to love their husbands, to love their children,  5  to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be dishonoured.   

b’    Likewise urge the young men to be sensible. 

a’    7  In all things show yourself to be an example of good deeds, with purity in doctrine, dignified,  8  sound in speechwhich is beyond reproach, in order that the opponent may be put to shame, having nothing bad to say about us. 

E    9  Urge bondslaves to be subject to their own masters in everything, to be well-pleasing, not argumentative,   10  not pilfering, but showing all good faith that they may adorn the doctrine of God our Savior in every respect.   11  For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men,   12  instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age,   13  looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus;   14  who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds

F    15   These things speak and exhort and reprove with all authority.  LET NO ONE DISREGARD YOU!!!

E’    3:1  Remind them to be subject to rulers, to authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good deed,   2  to malign no one, to be uncontentious, gentle, showing every consideration for all men.   3  For we also once were foolish ourselves, disobedient, deceived, enslaved to various lusts and pleasures, spending our life in malice and envy, hateful, hating one another.   4  But when the kindness of God our Savior and His love for mankind appeared,   5  He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit,   6  whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior,   7  that being justified by His grace we might be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

D’    8  This is a trustworthy statement; and concerning these things I want you to speak confidently, so that those who have believed God may be careful to engage in good deeds. These things are good and profitable for men.  

C’    9  But shun foolish controversies and genealogies and strife and disputes about the Law; for they are unprofitable and worthless.  10  Reject a factious man after a first and second warning,   11  knowing that such a man is perverted and is sinning, being self-condemned.

B’    12  When I send Artemas or Tychicus to you, make every effort to come to me at Nicopolis, for I have decided to spend the winter there.   13  Diligently help Zenas the lawyer and Apollos on their way so that nothing is lacking for them.   14  And let our people also learn to engage in good deeds to meet pressing needs, that they may not be unfruitful.  

A’   15  All who are with me greet you. Greet those who love us in the faith.  Grace be with you all.




A/A’:  These sections are concerned with Greetings (A:  Paul greets Titus;  A’:  Paul’s ‘group’ greets Titus’s ‘group’).  Both sections mention ‘grace’ as part of their greeting.

B/B’:  These sections refer Paul’s directions regarding geography/travel (B:  Crete, Titus presumably travelling to “every city” in Crete;  B’:  city of “Nicopolis”, sending Artemas/Tychicus to Titus, Titus to come to Paul, helping Zenas and Apollos on their way) and leaders/leadership issues (B:  “appoint elders” throughout Crete, “overseer” qualifications;  B’:  Established leadership in Paul’s ministry:  Artemas, Tychicus, Zenas the lawyer, Apollos). 

C/C’:  These sections refer to those people who are causing problems in the church.  Each section makes broad reference to some of the underlying issues (C:  “Jewish myths and commandments of men”; C’:  “foolish controversies and genealogies and strife and disputes about the Law”).  C’ contains a final comment regarding how to deal with “a factious man”:  Reject him after a first and second warning. 

D/D’:   These sections contain instructions for the Christian church.  Note the ABCCBA chiasmus in D (Titus, men, women, women, men, Titus).  D’ seems to contain a final generalized comment regarding church conduct:  “those who have believed in God” (the church) should “be careful to engage in good deeds.  These things are good and profitable for men”.  Both sections refer to Titus’ ‘speech’ (D:  at the beginning and end of the ABCCBA chiasmus;  D’:  at the beginning of the section). 

E/E’:  These sections begin by referring to the need for obedience to the various authorities (E:  slaves to masters;  E’: everyone to rulers and authorities).  These sections relate the theme of salvation (in the context of Christian history: Jesus’ appearance, salvation, return/hope for future salvation) with the theme of good and bad deeds.

F:  This is the center of the chiasmus.  It contains a specific instrution to Titus:  “These things speak and exhort and reprove with all authority.  Let no one disregard you!!!”  …  It’s a nice center.  It focuses on Titus.  It empowers and encourages him.  I especially like the last line.  “LET NO ONE DISREGARD YOU!”  It’s strong.  It makes a good, solid, focused center.

Sidenote:  It’s important to note how ‘good deeds’ relate to a number of these sections – weaving in and out.  It’s a very important – perhaps primary – theme.


Here I thought I would describe how this chiasmus could have been written.  In essence, it talks about the order of the writing.:

1) Writes a greeting to Titus (A).  A obvious place to begin.  The greeting is fairly typical of Paul.  

2) Writes about Titus’s overall task (an obvious and reasonable place to go after the greeting – Paul gets down to business):  to appoint leadership in every city in Crete.  Qualifications for those leaders are also then given.

3) Next Paul turns to the issue of those people who are disturbing the peace in the various Cretian churches.  He describes them in unflattering terms (e.g., “detestable and disobedient, and worthless for any good deed”).  It may be that the problems caused by these “rebellious men” is the reason that Paul sent Titus to appoint elders/overseers in the various churches.  The appointment of leadership may have been considered an important step in quelling the problems being experienced with certain people within the church.

4) Having dealt with the pressing issue of problematic people in the church, Paul now turns to the church at large.  In particular he wants to emphasize the importance of the church acting properly.  He arranges this section as a chiasmus (Titus, men, women, women, men, Titus).  Titus is included in this chiasmus, and so, is included in this ‘pocket’ of church instrution.

To be continued:

*** Importance of ‘good deeds’ throughout, beginning in B.

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