Tuesday, September 14, 2010

possible chiasms that encompass all of Matthew's gospel

While many smaller chiasms are obvious and indisputable,
several wider chiasms may well be truly present as well.
It is not unlikely that a whole book of the Bible (or check this out: the whole Bible)
is chiastically arranged.
Here are some possible ways to chart out Matthew's gospel.  As you weigh the evidence, remmber that chiasms call attention to the center as the most important...central (literally) point/theme.

A. Genealogy (past), 1:1-17
B. First Mary and Jesus’ birth, 1:18-25
C. Gifts of wealth at birth, 2:1-12
D. Descent into Egypt; murder of children, 2:13-21
E. Judea avoided, 2:22-23
F. Baptism of Jesus, 3:1–8:23
G. Crossing the sea, 8:24–11:1
H. John’s ministry, 11:2-19
I. Rejection of Jesus, 11:20-24
J. Gifts for the new children, 11:25-30
K. Attack of Pharisees, 12:1-13
L. Pharisees determine to kill the innocent Servant, 12:14-21
K’ Condemnation of Pharisees, 12:22-45
J’ Gifts for the new children, 13:1-52
I’ Rejection of Jesus, 13:53-58
H’ John’s death, 14:1-12
G’ Crossing the sea, 14:13–16:12
F’ Transfiguration of Jesus, 16:13–18:35
E’ Judean ministry, 19:1–20:34
D’ Ascent into Jerusalem; judgment on Jews, 21:1–27:56
C’ Gift of wealth at death, 27:57-66
B’ Last Marys and Jesus’ resurrection, 28:1-15

A' Commission (future), 28:16-20 

2)see page 9 here,  or below. a chiasm making chapter 13 the center of book:

A. Demonstration of Jesus' Qualifications as King (chaps. 1—4)
 B. Sermon on the Mount: Who Can Enter His Kingdom (chaps. 5—7)
    C. Miracles and Instruction (chaps 8—9)
        D. Instruction to the Twelve: Authority and Message for Israel (chap. 10)
           E. Opposition: The Nation's Rejection of the King (chaps. 11—12)
                           F.  Kingdom Parables: Kingdom Postponed (chap. 13)
           E.' Opposition: The Nation's Rejection of the King (chaps. 14—17)
        D.' Instruction to  Twelve: Authority and Message for the Church (chap.18)
   C.' Miracles and Instruction (chaps. 19—23)
 B.' Olivet Discourse: When the Kingdom Will Come (chaps. 24—25)
A.' Demonstration of Jesus' Qualifications as King (chaps. 26—28)"32

3)Evaluation of possible chiasms of whole book (centering chapter 11 or 13),,scroll to pp. 36-45  here  (David Bauer's excellent book)
If Matthew 13 is indeed the chiastic center, note that Matt. 13 itself is chiastic:

: According to The Expositor’s Bible Commentary vol.8 p.10, David Wenham was the first modern scholar to recognize that Matthew 13:3-52 is a chiasm. However, it is not a perfect chiasm though.
13:1-2 Jesus came
-  13:3-9 Parable of the sower, addressed to the crowds
--   13:10-12 The disciples ask and Jesus answers
---      13:10-17 The purpose of parables (for outsiders)
----           13:18-23 Interpretation of the parable of the sower
-----                    13:24-33 Three more parables addressed to the crowd-digressions

---           13:34-35 The purpose of parables (for disciples)
----        13:36-43 Interpretation of the parable of the wheat and the tares
end of digression
-                ----13:44-48 Three more parables addressed to the disciples "The kingdom of Heaven is like…" (treasure, pearl, net)
-      --- 13:49-50 Explanation
-       - 13:51 Jesus’ asks and the disciples answer
-    13:52 Parable of new treasure and old
13:53 Jesus left
Within this structure, Matthew 13:13-17 is also a chiasm.

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