Matthew 5:22-48

this ambitious proposal is from JLB – thoughts?

A1: (22) Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment:

B1: (23) But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.

C1: Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee; (24) Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.

C1′: (25) Agree with thine adversary quickly, whiles thou art in the way with him; lest at any time the adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and thou be cast into prison.

B1′: (26) Verily I say unto thee, Thou shalt by no means come out thence, till thou hast paid the uttermost farthing.

A2: (27) Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery:

B2: (28) But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.

C2: (29) And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.

C2′: (30) And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.

A3: (31) It hath been said, Whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement:

B3. (32) But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery.

A4: (33) Again, ye have heard that it hath been said by them of old time, Thou shalt not forswear thyself, but shalt perform unto the Lord thine oaths:

B4: (34) But I say unto you,

C4. Swear not at all;

D4:

i. neither by heaven; for it is God’s throne:

ii.(35) Nor by the earth; for it is his footstool:

 iii. neither by Jerusalem; for it is the city of the great King.

 iv. (36) Neither shalt thou swear by thy head, because thou    canst not make one hair white or black.

C4′.: But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil.

A5: (38) Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth:

B5: (39) But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.

C5: (40) And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloke also.

C5′: (41) And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain.

B5′: (42) Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away.

A6: (43) Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.

B6: (44) But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;

C6. (45) That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven:  for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.

A6′: (46) For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?  (47) And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so?

C6′: Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

3 thoughts on “Matthew 5:22-48”

  1. I had been thinking of it as a consistent “A, B, C, C, A.”, but you have a point with some of your variations, and I like the way you have made the central section (33-37) into a slightly larger chiasm, I was having trouble with that one and my idea was rather tenuous.

    However, I still prefer my idea on the last section (43-48).

    c: (43) Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.
    b: (44) But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;
    (45) That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.
    a: (46) For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?
    a: (47) And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so?
    b: Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

  2. JLB, Thanks for your good work, and thanks to whomever for this centralizing website. In the Bible, the A1 – 6 points ‘appear’ clear and the inner chiasms are good. This section of scripture is part of a larger Matthean structure that is not chiastic, and I am not feeling at liberty to reveal it at this time.

    The only suggestion is that A3 is part of A2. There are five “Ye have heard” intros, and A3 is not as such. A3 is of closely similar content as A2, adultery – divorce. It seems to be an extension of A2. And although I am sorry to not comment on a larger non-chiastic structure, five A’s fit its pattern and content, not 6.

    As a large Matthean chiasm which supports Matthew’s non-chiastic structure, Barr has the chiasm below, without the two ‘temple’ portions which I added to it. The D portion of Barr is wrong according to the non-chiasm structure which is more definite in requirements, consistent throughout Matthew [except perhaps last three Passion chapters], and thus self-proving throughout Matthew. It shows D to be Matthew 15:1-9 Debates over Tradition – Commandments of men vs. Commandments of God

    A Two Blind Men (9:27-31)
    Temple – greater than 12.1-14 [I added]
    B Sign of Jonah (12:38-42)
    C Feeding of the 5,000 (14:13-21)
    D The Canaanite Woman (15:22-28)
    C’ Feeding of the 4,000 (15:32-38)
    B’ Sign of Jonah (16:1-4)
    Temple tax – sons of the king 17.22-27 [I added]
    A’ Two Blind Men (20: 29-34)

    Chiasms are an important and common part of orality, but there is a more basic orality in Matthew’s structure. Chiasms are appurtenant to it. Same for ‘narriative-discourse’, a part, not the main.
    Steve Huffey

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