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2 Corinthians 1-7*

Note: 2 Corinthians falls into three main section, chs 1-7, chs 8-9 (the collection for the Jerusalem fund) and chs 10-13. A proposal for a chiastic structure for 2-7 appears below. It is posted for challenge. There is no doubt that  the letter previously sent by Paul about the problem of immortality in the ecclesia described in chapter 2 is returned to again in chapter 7, and Titus is also mentioned in chs 2 and 7. The remainder of the parallels are not clear to me. 

The following is from C Blomberg, Criswell Theological Review 4.1 (1989) 3-20. The Structure of 2 Corinthians 1-7.

A 1:12-22 the Corinthians can rightfully boast in Paul

B 1 :23- 2:11 grief and comfort over the painful letter; hope for forgiving the offender

C 2:12-13 looking for Titus in Macedonia

D 2:14-4:6 a series of contrasts–belief vs. unbelief, centered on Christians as the letters of the living God, in glory being transformed into his image
a 2:14-16a death vs.life
b 2:16b-3:3 false vs true approaches to ministry
c 3:4-18 old covenant vs. new
b’ 4:1-2 false vs. true approaches to ministry
a’ 4:3-6 darkness vs. light

E 4:7-5:10 surviving and triumphing despite every hardship (see esp. vv8-10)

F 5:11-21 the ministry of reconciliation

E’. 6:1-10 surviving and triumphing despite every hardship (see esp. vv.8b-10)

D’. 6:11-7:4 a series of contrasts-belief vs. unbelief, centered on Christians as the temple of the living God, in light being transformed into his holiness
a 6:11-13 widen your hearts
b 6:14-7:1 separate yourselves from uncleanness
a’ 7:2-4 open your hearts

C’. 7:5-7 finding Titus in Macedonia

B’. 7 :8-13a grief and comfort over the painful letter; joy after forgiving the offender

A’ .7:13b-16 Paul can rightfully boast in the Corinthians

2 Corinthians 4:3-6

A. 3 But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: 4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.

B. 5 For we preach not ourselves,

C. but Christ Jesus the Lord;

B’. and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake.

A’. 6 For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

A Cana cycle

A. John 2:1-11 Miracle at Cana – Water into wine – symbolic death

B. 2:12-22 Temple cleansed – new Temple of his body

C. 2:23-3:13 We must be born from above

D. 3:14-21 God so loved the world that He God gave His Son

C’. 3:22-4:3 Christ comes from above

B’. 4:4-46 Temple to be replaced by a new place of worship – in spirit and truth

A’. 4:46-54 Miracle at Cana – healing of nobleman’s son – symbolic resurrection

Mark 1

Is there an inverted structure for Mark 1. The chapter begins in the wilderness with John Baptist and ends in the wilderness with  Christ.  The call of Simon, Andrew , James and John in verse 16-20 matches the visit to the house “of Simon and Andrew, with James and John” in verse 30. The central pericope is the unclean spirit in the synagogue at Capernaum. 

A. 1:2-13 with John Baptist and Jesus “in the wilderness”.

B. 1:16-20 the call of Simon, Andrew, James and John by the shore of Galilee.

C. 1:21-29a. In the synagogue – the cleansing of a man with an unclean spirit. 

B’. 1:29b-34  In the house of Simon and Andrew with James and John

A’. 1:35-45 With Jesus “in desert places”.

Mark 2:1-3:6*

Note: we have so far concentrated on the structure of pericopes in the Gospels. However, higher level structures seem increasingly convincing. here is one adapted from a publication in 1973 (J Dewey, The Literacy Structure of the Controversy Stories in Mark 2:1-3:6, JBL, 1973, 394-401). The sections outlined in italics follow the structures from this website. A and B focus on sins and forgiveness, B’ and A’ focus on the sabbath. The middle section  draws attention to the newness of the teaching of Christ which cannot be contained within the strictures of the traditions of the Pharisees. 

A. 2:1-12 Miracle of healing and forgiveness of sins of the paralytic

B. 2:13-17 (13-20)  Eating with tax collectors and sinners but Pharisees fast

C. 2:18-22 (21-22) Question about the difference between the disciples of Jesus and those of John and the Pharisees on the practice of fasting.

21 No one sews a piece of unshrunk cloth on an old garment. If he does, the patch tears away from it, the new from the old,  and a worse tear is made. 22 And no man putteth new wine into old bottles: else the new wine doth burst the bottles, and the wine is spilled, and the bottles will be marred: but new wine must be put into new bottles.

B’. 2:23-28 “Unlawful” eating grains of corn on the Sabbath

A’. 3: 1-6 Miracle of healing the man with withered hand in the synagogue on the Sabbath.

Genesis 5:1-2

Note: this proposal parallels the creation of Man with their naming . “in the day” links to Gen 2:4, “God created man” comes from to Gen 1:27, “In the likeness of God” is from Gen 1:26 and parallel with “blessed them” from Gen 1:28, “male and female” comes from Gen 1:27. The central point about Man being both male and female is emphasised in the genealogy that follows –  “sons and daughters” occurs for each generation. 

1 This is the book of the generations of Adam.

A. In the day that God created (Gen 2:4)

B. man (Adam),

C. in the likeness of God made he him (Gen 1:26);

D. 2 Male and female created he them (Gen 1:27);

C’. and blessed them (Gen 1:28),

B’. and called their name Adam,

A’. in the day when they were created (Gen 2:4).

Genesis 1:26-28

A. 26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness:

B. and let them have dominion

i. over the fish of the sea,

ii. and over the fowl of the air,

iii. and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

A’. 27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

B’. 28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion

i. over the fish of the sea,

ii. and over the fowl of the air,

iii. and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.

1 Samuel 12:1-3

A. 1 And Samuel said unto all Israel, Behold, I have hearkened unto your voice in all that ye said unto me, and have made a king over you. 2 And now, behold, the king walketh before you:

B. and I am old and grayheaded;

B’. and, behold, my sons are with you:

A’. and I have walked before you from my childhood unto this day.

A. 3 Behold, here I am: witness against me before the LORD, and before his anointed:

B.i. whose ox have I taken? or whose ass have I taken?  or whom have I defrauded?

ii. whom have I oppressed?

iii. or of whose hand have I received any bribe to blind mine eyes therewith?  and I will restore it you.

B’. 4 And they said,

i. Thou hast not defrauded us,

ii. nor oppressed us,

iii. neither hast thou taken ought of any man’s hand.

A’. 5 And he said unto them, The LORD is witness against you, and his anointed is witness this day,  that ye have not found ought in my hand. And they answered, He is witness.

Jeremiah 45

A. 1 The word that Jeremiah the prophet spake unto Baruch the son of Neriah, when he had written these words in a book at the mouth of Jeremiah, in the fourth year of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah king of Judah, saying,

B. 2 Thus saith the LORD, the God of Israel, unto thee, O Baruch;
3 Thou didst say,
Woe is me now!
for the LORD hath added grief to my sorrow;
I fainted in my sighing, and I find no rest.

A’. 4 Thus shalt thou say unto him,

B’. The LORD saith thus;
Behold, that which I have built will I break down,
and that which I have planted I will pluck up, even this whole land.
5 And seekest thou great things for thyself? seek them not:
for, behold, I will bring evil upon all flesh, saith the LORD:
but thy life will I give unto thee for a prey in all places whither thou goest.

1 Samuel 30:1-19

 Brian Alexander
Email: balexander641@gmail.com

A. 1 And it came to pass, when David and his men were come to Ziklag on the third day, that the Amalekites had invaded the south, and Ziklag, and smitten Ziklag, and burned it with fire; 2 And had taken the women captives, that were therein: they slew not any, either great or small, but carried them away, and went on their way.

B. 3 So David and his men came to the city, and, behold, it was burned with fire; and their wives, and their sons, and their daughters, were taken captives. 4 Then David and the people that were with him lifted up their voice and wept, until they had no more power to weep. 5 And David’s two wives were taken captives, Ahinoam the Jezreelitess, and Abigail the wife of Nabal the Carmelite.

C. 6 And David was greatly distressed; for the people spake of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and for his daughters: but David encouraged himself in the LORD his God. 7 And David said to Abiathar the priest, Ahimelech’s son, I pray thee, bring me hither the ephod. And Abiathar brought thither the ephod to David. 8 And David enquired at the LORD, saying, Shall I pursue after this troop? shall I overtake them? And he answered him, Pursue: for thou shalt surely overtake them, and without fail recover all. 9 So David went, he and the six hundred men that were with him, and came to the brook Besor, where those that were left behind stayed. 10 But David pursued, he and four hundred men: for two hundred abode behind, which were so faint that they could not go over the brook Besor.

D. 11 And they found an Egyptian in the field, and brought him to David, and gave him bread, and he did eat; and they made him drink water; 12 And they gave him a piece of a cake of figs, and two clusters of raisins: and when he had eaten, his spirit came again to him: for he had eaten no bread, nor drunk any water, three days and three nights.

E.13 And David said unto him, To whom belongest thou? and whence art thou?

D’. And he said, I am a young man of Egypt, servant to an Amalekite; and my master left me, because three days agone I fell sick. 14 We made an invasion upon the south of the Cherethites, and upon the coast which belongeth to Judah, and upon the south of Caleb; and we burned Ziklag with fire.

C’. 15 And David said to him, Canst thou bring me down to this company? And he said, Swear unto me by God, that thou wilt neither kill me, nor deliver me into the hands of my master, and I will bring thee down to this company.

B’. 16 And when he had brought him down, behold, they were spread abroad upon all the earth, eating and drinking, and dancing, because of all the great spoil that they had taken out of the land of the Philistines, and out of the land of Judah. 17 And David smote them from the twilight even unto the evening of the next day: and there escaped not a man of them, save four hundred young men, which rode upon camels, and fled. 18 And David recovered all that the Amalekites had carried away: and David rescued his two wives.

A’. 19 And there was nothing lacking to them, neither small nor great, neither sons nor daughters, neither spoil, nor any thing that they had taken to them: David recovered all. 20 And David took all the flocks and the herds, which they drave before those other cattle, and said, This is David’s spoil.