John 5:19-30*

A  (19)  Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise.

B  (20)  For the Father loveth the Son, and sheweth him all things that himself doeth: and he will shew him greater works than these, that ye may marvel.

C  (21-23)  For as the Father raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth them; even so the Son quickeneth whom he will. For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed(1325) all judgment unto the Son: That all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. He that honoureth not the Son honoureth not the Father which hath sent him.

D  (24a)  Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life,and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.

D’  (25)  Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live.

C’  (26-27)  For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself; And hath given(1325) him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man.

B’  (28-29)  Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, And shall come forth; they that have done  good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.

A’  (30)  I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.

3 thoughts on “John 5:19-30*”

  1. Hi Sam
    Great stuff.
    Carlos told us that this passage is part of a larger, well known, chiasm – looks like you have found it as well. Can you see any way of addressing the similarity of D’and B’. In the version I posted a while ago I used this as the basis for an ABCABC pattern. Should I abandon this?

    1. An alternative for John 5:20-27 is as below, where the central statement, “Verily, verily, I say unto you”, highlights the importance of Christ’s word. This links with what follows when Christ says: “He that heareth my word”. It shows that “Verily, verily, I say unto you” is not simply a routine introductory saying.

      A (20) For the Father loveth the Son, and sheweth him all things that himself DOETH (4160): and he will shew him greater works than these, that ye may marvel.

      B (21) For as the Father raiseth up THE DEAD, and quickeneth them; even so the Son quickeneth whom he will.

      C (22) For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all JUDGMENT (2920) unto the Son:

      D (23) That all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. He that honoureth not the Son honoureth not the Father which HATH SENT him.

      E (24) Verily, verily, I say unto you,

      D’ (24) He that heareth my word, and believeth ON HIM THAT SENT me, hath everlasting life,

      C’ (24) and shall not come into CONDEMNATION (2920); but is passed from death unto life.

      B’ (25) Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when THE DEAD shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live.

      A’ (26, 27) For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself; And hath given him authority TO EXECUTE (4160) judgment also, because he is the Son of man.

  2. The dialogue of John 5:19-47 can be split into two sections. Firstly Jesus deals with his relationship with his Father and the authority that has been given him in verses 19-30. The following section, verses 31-47, has more to do with the evidence of this authority which Christ possesses and the Jew’s failure to see it.

    It would seem that John 5:19-30 is an undisputed chiasm but there has been more than one version suggested. The Chiasm found independently and posted here is identical to the structure in John Breck’s book ‘Scripture in Tradition: the Bible and and its Interpretation in the Orthodox Church’. The version as seen on http://www.howthebiblefitstogether.org/Matthew/John%205.19-30a%20Chiasm.pdf is different to this one.

    The difficulty with this passage is that there are a lot of repeated words and phrases that can be confusing when looking for the overall structure. The advantage of John Breck’s version is that it takes into account the sense of the passage and its structure. The two central ‘Verily verily…’ statements lie within two similarly structured sections – C and C’. They emphasise the similarity between Christ and his Father and the authority that has been passed from God to Jesus – ‘For as the Father…even so/so…the Son’. Both also contain a phrase about the giving of this authority to judge – ‘hath committed(1325) all judgement unto the Son’ and ‘given(1325) him authority to execute judgement’. B and B’ both refer to marvelling. In B the great works that God does is reason for the Jews to marvel. B’ and D’ do share an almost identical sentence but I think that its repetition in B’ has a more significant link with B than D’. The resurrection of the dead in B’ is here mentioned as a work that gives cause for the Jews to marvel, as in B. The implication is that it is not the authority Christ has but it is the resurrection of the dead that will make them marvel. A and A’ begin and conclude the chiasm with a reminder that the Son can do nothing of himself but that he follows the will of his Father.

    I wonder whether the middle can be split further and the passage centres on the ultimate saving work of Christ, that of providing life to those who without him have only death?

    D (24a) Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life,

    E (24b) and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.

    D’ (25) Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live.

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