procrastination, heresy, and navel-gazing.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Herod Chiasm (Luke 23.7-11)

in contrasting Mark with Luke and the Pilate account (Mark 15.1-15, Luke 23.1-25), what is noticeable is the absence in Mark of the Herod account in the middle of the Pilate narrative (Luke 23.7-11).

The 'sandwich' technique is well known in the gospels, placing one story within another, perhaps to emphasise the centre, or even just to enhance memory in retelling the passage.

In Luke it seems both the Pilate and Herod accounts are important, but for different reasons. With Pilate, the flow of the narrative is what stands out: the mounting innocence of Jesus but the guilt of Barabbas. The Herod account however wishes to emphasise Jesus' innocence, but the guilt of the scribes and chief priests - and this is what the following chiasm reveals:

A 23.7 And when he learned that he belonged to Herod’s jurisdiction, he sent him over to Herod...

B     8 When Herod saw Jesus, he was very glad, for he had long desired to see him...

C         9 So he questioned him at some length,

D             but he made no answer.
D’             10 And the chief priests and the scribes stood by,

C’         vehemently accusing him.

B’     11 And Herod with his soldiers treated him with contempt and mocked him.

A’ Then, arraying him in splendid clothing, he sent him back to Pilate.

Thematically, we see:
A: To Herod
A': From Herod

B: Herod's joy at Jesus
B': Herod's contempt at Jesus

C: Questioning Jesus
C': Accusing Jesus

D: No intervention from Jesus
D': No intervention from the scribes

like some chiasm action? get some more here!

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