procrastination, heresy, and navel-gazing.

Friday, March 13, 2009

John 5:16-20 Chiasm

well, to all you who think i'm chiasm mad, i've found another one!

start from the top if you are a Greek nerd, from the bottom if you've got better things to do than learning a dead language (like talking to real people and that kind of thing)

16 καὶ διὰ τοῦτο ἐδίωκον οἱ Ἰουδαῖοι τὸν Ἰησοῦν, ὅτι ταῦτα ἐποίει ἐν σαββάτῳ.

            17 Ὁ δὲ ἀπεκρίνατο αὐτοῖς· ὁ πατήρ μου ἕως ἄρτι ἐργάζεται κἀγὼ ἐργάζομαι·

18 διὰ τοῦτο οὖν μᾶλλον ἐζήτουν αὐτὸν οἱ Ἰουδαῖοι ἀποκτεῖναι, ὅτι οὐ μόνον ἔλυεν τὸ σάββατον, ἀλλὰ καὶ πατέρα ἴδιον ἔλεγεν τὸν θεὸν ἴσον ἑαυτὸν ποιῶν τῷ θεῷ.

            19 Ἀπεκρίνατο οὖν ὁ Ἰησοῦς καὶ ἔλεγεν αὐτοῖς· ἀμὴν ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν, οὐ δύναται ὁ υἱὸς ποιεῖν ἀφ᾿ ἑαυτοῦ οὐδὲν ἐὰν μή τι βλέπῃ τὸν πατέρα ποιοῦντα· ἃ γὰρ ἂν ἐκεῖνος ποιῇ, ταῦτα καὶ ὁ υἱὸς ὁμοίως ποιεῖ. 20 ὁ γὰρ πατὴρ φιλεῖ τὸν υἱὸν καὶ πάντα δείκνυσιν αὐτῷ ἃ αὐτὸς ποιεῖ, καὶ μείζονα τούτων δείξει αὐτῷ ἔργα, ἵνα ὑμεῖς θαυμάζητε.

there is actually a purpose to this structure - the two A sections (v16, 18) give us the explanation - 'and because of this', 'therefore because of this'.

the B sections both give us Jesus' responses.

there is amplifying parallelism, as the As are upped - v16 they were pursuing him, v18 they are seeking to kill him. likewise v17 Jesus says that he and his father are both still slogging away as they always have been; v19-20 fill this out.

16 And this was why the Jews were persecuting Jesus, because he was doing these things on the Sabbath.

            17 But Jesus answered them, “My Father is working until now, and I am working.”

18 This was why the Jews were seeking all the more to kill him, because not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God.

            19 So Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing. For whatever the Father does, that the Son does likewise. 20 For the Father loves the Son and shows him all that he himself is doing. And greater works than these will he show him, so that you may marvel."

i should add, we were warned in class about not finding chiasms under every rock we look under - if you think i've imagined this one, do let me know (hopefully before Tuesday midnight when i have to hand an exegetical on this passage in!). hmmm... maybe i should just talk about parallelism and not chiastic structures - they're usually more ABBA or ABB'A' than ABAB aren't they?

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Blogger reuben// said...

I think it's called step parrellism?? i'm reading some literary critical stuff on luke - heading out to a japanese themed date night though so i'll check it and get back to you soon. I reckon you're on to something...

6:55 pm  

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