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James 1-5

Note: I have noticed that the topics of chapter 1 are also picked up in reverse order in the rest of the epistle, making ch 1 a summary of the whole. I checked Google and found a few have already proposed something very similar (is there ana academic reference for this?).

A. patience 1v3
B. rich man 1v11
C. Lust 1v14
D. Gift of God 1v17
E. doers of the Word 1v22
F. widows 1v27 (the subject of discrimination in Acts 6)
F’. Prejudice against the poor 2:1-13
E’. Faith without works, 2:14-26
D’. The gift of wisdom from above , 3:1-18
C’. lust 4:1-12
B’. the rich and riches, 4:13-5:6
A’. Patience and prayer 5:7-20

1 John 4:7-11

From Richard Mast

A – 7 Beloved, let us love one another,

B – 7b for love is of God;

C – 8 God is love.

D – 9 In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him.

C’ – 10 In this is love,

B’ – 11 if God so loved us,

A’ – 11b we also ought to love one another.

Matthew 8:23-27

From Richard Mast
A – 23a – Now when He got into a boat, (Jesus at the first)
B – 23b – His disciples followed Him. (The disciples follow)
C – 24a – great tempest
D – 24b – arose
From the same lemma as “there was” in the other D)
E – 24c – sea, so that the boat was covered with the waves. (The storm rages)
F – 25a – awoke Him
Same lemma as “arose” in the other F)
G – 25b – “Lord, save us! We are perishing!” (They said to Him)
H – 26a – But He said to them, “Why are you fearful,
( Why Fear?!)
G’ – 26b – O you of little faith?” (He said to them)
F’ – 26c – He arose
Same lemma as “awoke” in other F)
E’ – 26d – rebuked the winds and the sea, (The storm is rebuked)
D’ – 26e – there was
From the same lemma as “arose” in other D)
C’ – 26f – great calm.
B’ – 27a – So the men marveled, saying, “Who can this be, that (The disciples marvel)
A’ – 27b – even the winds and the sea obey Him?”(Jesus at the last)
A – This chiasm begins with a focus on Jesus. A’ – and ends with a focus on Jesus
B – Next is a focus on the disciples following. B’ – The disciples marvel
C – Then the great storm. C’ – and great calm
D – “There arose” describing the storm D’ – and the calm
E – The sea and storm are raging. E’ – and then rebuked
F – Jesus awoke. F’ – and arose
G – The disciples speak their lack of faith to Jesus. G’ – and Jesus speaks this fault to them
H – Nested in the center is “Why are you fearful!?”

Matthew 7:12-23

From Richard Mast

A – 12 Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.

B – 13 “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it.

C – 14 Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.

D – 15 “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. 16 You will know them by their fruits.

E – 16 Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles?

F – 17 Even so, every good tree bears good fruit,
but a bad tree bears bad fruit.
18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit,
nor can a bad tree bear good fruit.

E’ – 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.

D’ – 20 Therefore by their fruits you will know them.

C’ – 21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.

B’ – 22 Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’

A’ – 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’

A – The law of Christ embodies the law and the prophets.  A’ – Those who have fallen short of the law of Christ are called lawless.
B – Many go in the wide gate.  B’ – Many think they are in the narrow way.
C – The narrow way that leads to life.  C’ – Is found by he who does the will of the Father.
D – Beware of false prophets… check their fruit.  D’ – You will know them by their fruits.
E – Look for good fruit.  E’ – Without it the tree is destroyed.
F – Very clearly Good tree – good fruit.  Bad tree – bad fruit.

James 5:7-11

From Richard Mast

A. 7 Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord.

B. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth,

C. waiting patiently for it until it receives the early and latter rain.

D. 8 You also be patient.

E. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand.

F. 9 Do not grumble against one another, brethren, lest you be condemned.

E’. Behold, the Judge is standing at the door!

D’. 10 My brethren, take the prophets, who spoke in the name of the Lord, as an example of suffering and patience.

C’. 11 Indeed we count them blessed who endure.

B’. You have heard of the perseverance of Job

A’. and seen the end intended by the Lord— that the Lord is very compassionate and merciful.

1 Peter 1:5-9

From Richard Mast

A – …you,  5 who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed

B – in the last time.

C –  6 In this you greatly rejoice,

D – though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials,

E – 7 that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire,

F – may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ, 

E’ – 8 whom having not seen you love.

D’ – Though now you do not see Him, yet believing,

C’ – you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory,

 B’ – 9  receiving the end of your faith

A’ – the salvation of your souls.


A – You are kept for Salvation – A’ – Your soul’s salvation

B – The end of time – B’ – The end of faith your faith (also the end of time)

C – Greatly rejoice – C’ – Rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory

D – “Though now” grieved – D’ – “Though now” do not see

E – Genuine tried faith – E’ – “do not see” Faith is the “evidence of things not seen”

F – This all contributes to the Glory of Jesus at His Revelation.

Acts 27 Paul’s shipwreck.

Note: we have previously posted proposals for a six-fold division  of Acts 27,  with each section  being chiastic.  Further reflection suggests that these sections form an ABCC’B’A’. pattern. 

A. vv 1-6      Centurion shows kindness to Paul.

B. vv 7-12 Loss of  life and cargo anticipated by Paul but rejected by Centurion

C. vv 13-20   Driven by the wind

C’. vv 21-26 The angel of God in control

B’. vv 27-40 Promise that all would be saved if they stayed in the ship

A’. vv 41-44 Centurion saves the lives of all the prisoners because of Paul

In the first half the focus is on the dangers of the journey and the force of the storm. In the second half there is a contrast because Paul is told by the  angel of the Lord that all will be saved in the ship. 

Acts 27