Archive for the ‘1 Corinthians’ Category

Empty Tomb Resurrection


A   [Me: a positive beginning assertion:]    15:1  Now I make known to you, brethren,

a    the gospel  /  which I preached to you,  /  which also you received,

b    in which also you stand,

b’   2  by which also you are saved,

a’   the word  /  which I preached to you,  /  if you hold fast

B    [Me: a negative alternative:]   unless  [!!!]  in vain  [Me: Greek -‘eikay’]  you believed!

C    3  For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures,

D    4  and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures,  5  and that He appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve.  6  After that He appeared to more than five hundred brethren at one time, most of whom remain until now, but some have fallen asleep;  7  then He appeared to James, then to all the apostles;  8  and last of all, as it were to one untimely born, He appeared to me also.


1    9  For I am the least of the apostles, who am not fit to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.   10  But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me did not prove vain  [Me: Greek = ‘kenos’].

2    But I labored even more than all of them, yet not I, but the grace of God with me.  11  Whether then it was I or they, so we preach and so you believed.


a    12  Now if Christ is preached, that He has been raised from the dead,

b    how do some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead?

b’   13  But if there is no resurrection of the dead,

a’   not even Christ has been raised;


14  and if Christ has not been raised,

1′    then vain  [Me: Greek = ‘kenos’]  is    2′    our preaching

1′    and vain  [Me: Greek = ‘kenos’]  is    2′    your faith.


a    15  Moreover we are even found to be false witnesses of God, because we witnessed against God :

b    that He raised Christ,

c    whom He did not raise,

d    if in fact the dead are not raised.

d’   16  For if the dead are not raised,

c’   not even Christ has been raised;

b’   17  and if Christ has not been raised,

a’    your faith is worthless;

C’   [Me: D’ a’ continued:]  you are still in your sins.

B’   [Me: a negative possibility:]  18  Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished.  19  If we have hoped in Christ in this life only, we are of all men most to be pitied.

A’   [Me: a positive ending assertion:]  20  But  [!!!]  now Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who are asleep !!!



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Suffering Christ on the Cross, modern, bright colors


This chiasmus has a bit of complexity to it – which I like.  Clearly some effort and time has been put into it.

Here’s the basic outline:

A/A’:  The ‘wisdom of the world’ will be “destroyed” [Greek: destroyed completely], “set aside”, “nullified” [Greek: abolished].  These are strong words, indicating complete defeat or elimination.  (A/A’ use stronger terms than those found in the next sections, B/B’.)

B1/B’1:  A triple-list is used in each of these sections (a triple-list consists of a grouping of three words or phrases).  The ‘wise’ begins the triple-list in each section.  Similar words are used prior to each word or phrase in each triple-list:  ‘pou’ comes before each word/phrase in the triple-list in B1, while ‘polus’ comes before each word/phrase in the triple-list in B’1. Both words begin with ‘p’, offering a match via alliteration.

B2/B’2:  The same idea is found in each of these sections:  ‘foolishness defeats the wisdom of the world’.  In both these sections, it is God who accomplishes the act (“Has not God …? / God has …, God has …).

C/C’:  C has ‘wisdom’ before ‘foolish‘., while C’ has ‘foolish‘ before ‘wisdom’.  C and C’ are chiastically arranged.

D:  The ideas in these sections are arranged chiastically – a b c b’ a’.  The well known line, “Christ crucified:  to Jews a stumbling block, and to Gentiles foolishness” forms the very center of the chiasmus (c).  In Paul’s mind, “Christ crucified” represents the power and wisdom of God (D, Intro (v. 18)).


In my opinion, the beginning and end of the chiasmus (the complete destruction of the world’s wisdom) should be understood in light of the center (Christ crucified).  It is “Christ crucified” – the cross – that ultimately makes the world’s wisdom (the world’s understanding of life) ‘destroyed, set aside, and nullified’.


Note:  Personally, I think this chiasmus should be read helically.  I.e., from A to A’ to B to B’ to C to C’ to D.  In other words, in the order of its matches.


18  …  the word of the cross is to those who are perishing foolishness, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.

A    19  For it is written, ”    a    I WILL DESTROY    b    THE WISDOM OF THE WISE,    b’   AND THE CLEVERNESS OF THE CLEVER    a’   I WILL SET ASIDE.”


1    20  Where is  [Me: “Where ” = Greek: “pou”]  the wise man? Where is  [pou]  the scribe? Where is  [pou]  the debater of this age?

2    Has not God made foolish / the wisdom of the world?


a    [Me:  emphasis on wisdom:]  21  For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom / did not come to know God,

b    [Me: emphasis on foolishness:]  God was well-pleased through the foolishness of the message preached / to save those who believe.


a    22  For indeed  1  Jews ask for  2  signs  [Me: “signs” = a demonstration of the power of God], and  1′  Greeks search for  2′  wisdom;

b    23  but we preach

c    Christ crucified: to Jews a stumbling block, and to Gentiles foolishness,

b’   24  but to those who are the called,

a’   both  1  Jews and  1′  Greeks, Christ the  2  power of God and the  2′  wisdom of God.


(1)   25  Because the    b’    foolishness of God    a’    is wiser than men,

(2)    and the    b’    weakness of God    a’    is stronger than men.


1    26  For consider your calling, brethren, that there were not many  [Me: “not many” = Greek: “polus”]  wise (according to the flesh),  /  not many  [= polus]  mighty,  /  not many  [= polus]  noble;


(1′)    a    27  but God has chosen    b    the foolish things of the world  /  to shame  [Me: Greek: “kataischunw”]  the wise,

(2′)   a    and God has chosen    b    the weak things of the world  /  to shame  [Me: Greek: “kataischunw”]  the things which are strong,


I    b’    28  and the base things of the world and the despised,    ii    a’   God has chosen –  

i’   the things that are not,   ii’   that He might nullify the things that are   [Me: “nullify” = “katargew” = to render inoperative / to abolish].



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Here’s a list of the various chiasmi I see in this passage:

1)  A B A :  This is the over-arching chiasmus.  A and A’ mention prayer and prophesying; disgrace and glory; and hair (whether present, shaved, or cut off).  B doesn’t mention any of these things.   B focuses on broader statements regarding men and women – and at it’s very center, refers to ‘angels’.

2)  A is a five-part chiasmus:  A B C B’ A’ :  A/A’ = an ‘ordering’ of relationships  …  B/B’ = a focus on men  …  C = a focus on women.

3)  B is also a five-part chiasmus:  A B C B’ A’ :  A/A’ = origination of men and women  …  B/B’ = submission / independence regarding men and women  …  C = women; symbol of authority; and angels.

4)  A’   *may possibly be*  an A B B’ A’ chiasmus.

5-8)  B has 4 smaller chiasmi:  one each in A, B, B’, and A’.  Each involve the terms man and woman:  i.e., man, woman, woman, man – or – woman, man, man, woman.

At some point I’ll add additional comments.




32  Give no offense either to Jews or to Greeks or to the church of God;  33  just as I also please all men in all things, not seeking my own profit, but the profit of the many, that they may be saved.  11:1  Be imitators of me, just as I also am of Christ.  2  Now I praise you because you remember me in everything, and hold firmly to the traditions, just as I delivered them to you.

A    [Me:  praying, prophesying, disgraces, disgraceful, hair … ]

A    [Me: An Order in Relationships:]    3  But I want you to understand that Christ is the head of every man, and the man is the head of a woman, and God is the head of Christ

B    [Me: Men:]    4  Every man  /  who has something on his head while praying or prophesying, disgraces his head

   [Me: Women:]    5  But every woman who has her head uncovered – while praying or prophesying, disgraces her head; for she is one and the same with her whose head is shaved.  6  For if a woman does not cover her head, let her also have her hair cut off;  but if it is disgraceful – for a woman to have her hair cut off or her head shaved, let her cover her head

 B’   [Me: Men:]    7  For a man  /  ought not to have his head covered,

A’   [Me: An Order in Relationships:]    since he is the image and glory of God; but the woman is the glory of man.


B    [Me:  No mention of praying, prophesying, digrace, dishonor, glory, hair … ]


8  For    a    man does not originate from    b    woman,

but    b’    woman from    a’    man;


9  for indeed    a    man was not created for the    b    woman‘s sake,

but    b’    woman for the    a’    man‘s sake.

 C    10  Therefore the woman ought to have a symbol of authority on her head  –  because of the angels.


11  However, in the Lord, neither is    a    woman independent of    b    man,

nor is    b’    man independent of    a’    woman.


12  For as the    a    woman  /  originates from the    b    man,

so also the    b’    man has his birth through the    a’    woman;  —-  and all things originate from God.


A’    [Me:  praying, dishonor, glory, hair … ]

A ?    13  Judge for yourselves:   is it proper for a woman to pray to God with head uncovered

B ?    14  Does not even nature itself teach you that   if a man has long hair, it is a dishonor to him, 

B’ ?   15  but if a woman has long hair, it is a glory to her?

A’ ?   For her hair is given to her for a covering.

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A    20  Let each man remain in that condition in which he was called.

B    [Me:  Freedom is better]  21  Were you called while a slave? Do not worry about it; but if you are able also to become free, rather do that.

C    a    22  For he who was called in the Lord while a slave,    b    is the Lord’s freedman;    b’    likewise he who was called while free,    a’    is Christ’s slave.

B’   [Me:  Freedom is better]  23  You were bought with a price; do not become slaves of men.

A’   24  Brethren, let each man remain with God in that condition in which he was called.

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From here, but with an addition.

–  I’ve added A/A’ to this particular chiasmus.  Both A and A’ begin by referring to the resurrection of the dead and the kind of body a resurrected body will have.  Both A and A’ use an agricultural metaphor – ‘sowing’.  This metaphor is used a number of times in each section.

– There’s a kind of building of ideas in this chiasmus.  A/A’ refers to the plant world.  B/C refers to the world of ‘flesh’ (man/animal).  C’/C’ refers to the ‘heavenly’ realm of sun, moon, and stars.  …  In a sense, the ideas start and build on the earth and reach up to the heavens.

– In contrast to the above statement, C  and C’ wind down.  E.g., sun, to moon, to stars (think here in terms of size – as seen from the earth).

– There’s a nice cross-over here in B/C/D/D’/C’/B’.  It goes from B/C (earthly examples) to D/D’ (heavenly to earthly (2 times)) to B’ (heavenly examples).  In a sense the connecting lines produce a true ‘chi” – i.e., an “X”:  earthly to earthly (crossing over the ‘heavenly’ in D/D’), and heavenly to heavenly (crossing over the ‘earthly’ in D/D’). 

– With the addition of A/A’, the end of the chiasmus now has a match for the center.  The end takes the argument a bit further:  from the natural examples in the center (earthly and heavenly bodies) to Spiritual Bodies.  …  If there are all these various natural bodies (plant, animal, man, sun, moon, stars), then why not a spiritual body?

I would recommend going to the site from which the chiasmus came  for additional commentary.  🙂


A    35  But someone will say, “How are the dead raised? And with what kind of body do they come?”  36  You fool! That which you sow does not come to life unless it dies;  37  and that which you sow, you do not sow the body which is to be, but a bare grain, perhaps of wheat or of something else.  38  But God gives it a body just as He wished, and to each of the seeds a body of its own.

B    39  All flesh is not the same flesh,

C    but there is one flesh of men, and another flesh of beasts, and another flesh of birds, and another of fish.

D    40  There are also  (1)  heavenly bodies and  (2)  earthly bodies,

D’   but the glory of the  (1′)  heavenly is one, and the glory of the  (2′)  earthly is another.

C’   41  There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars;

B’   for star differs from star in glory.

A’   42  So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown a perishable body, it is raised an imperishable body;  43  it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power;  44  it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a  (2”)  natural body, there is also a  (1”)  spiritual body.

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A    8  Love never fails;

B    1    but if there are gifts of prophecy,    2    they will be done away;

      1′   if there are tongues,    2′     they will cease;

      1”   if there is knowledge,    2”    it will be done away.

C    a    9  For we know in part,     b    and we prophesy in part;    b’   10  but when the perfect comes,    a’    the partial will be done away.

D    11  When I was a child, I used to speak as a child, think as a child, reason as a child;

E    when I became a man,   [Me:  I.e., grown up, or matured.]

D’   I did away with childish things  

C’   1    12  For now we see in a mirror dimly,     2    but then face to face;

      1′    now I know in part,     2′    but then I shall know fully  –  (just as I also have been fully known).

B’   13  But now abide




       these three;

A’   but the greatest of these is love.

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