The Companion Bible – How Useful?

One response I have heard more than once to my enthusiasm for chiasmus is that Bullinger in the The Companion Bible has already sorted it. I fear this response is based on a lack of familiarity with the detail of the Companion Bible.

To test out the hypothesis we have carried out a simple experiment – six of us have suggested 41 chiasms we feel are very convincing and then I have checked with the Companion Bible. (By the way the online version does not give the chiastic structures that appear in the print version I have).

the results are

No equivalent chiasm — 16 cases
a different structure – 16 cases
Similar structure – 4 cases
the same structure – 5 cases [Genesis 3, Psa 67, Matt 2, Luke 1, 1 Cor 11].

In summary: 22% of the chiasms we suggested – blind to Bullinger – were the same or similar as in the Companion Bible. In 40% of cases there was no equivalent.

My conclusion:

1. Bullinger made a remarkable effort and the Companion Bible is worth looking at but only if you have spare time.
2. Those who are saying that Bullinger has done it all are wrong and should be challenged because it potentially blocks personal research.

Test Bullinger


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