Archive for the ‘Man, Ronald E.’ Category



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.”


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Chiasm was used as a literary device in the ancient world, in Babylonia, Israel, Greece, and Rome. It fell out of use, however, and in modern times the existence of chiasms in ancient literature was only recognized by a few scholars in the 18th and 19th centuries. This changed in the middle of the twentieth century, when Nils Wilhelm Lund wrote Chiasmus in the New Testament. “Since these seminal studies the study of New Testament chiasm has blossomed, until today recognition of chiastic structure is common in full-scale commentaries and other scholarly works. The study of Old Testament chiasms has likewise begun to come of age.”

From here.

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Just thought I would mention the 1984 Ronald E. Man article, “The Value of Chiasm for New Testament Interpretation” – available online.  The paper contains a number of nice chiasmi. 

Eventually I would like to place some of the chiasmi on this blog.

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