Saturday, October 27, 2007

New Testament Exegesis Step 6: Rhetorical Devices, part B

We've just looked at step 6a) Repeated and synonymous words, now we're going to look at part b:

6b) Chiasmus:

This is a parallel pattern in the words such as the following:
1 John 1:1-3 ESV
That which was from the beginning,
A) which we have heard,
__B) which we have seen with our eyes,
which we looked upon and have touched with our hands, concerning the word of life
____c) -- 2 the life was made manifest,
__B) and we have seen it,
and testify to it and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father
____c) and was made manifest to us--
__B) 3 that which we have seen
A) and heard

The words "heard" "seen" "made manifest" are all repeated in pattern.
That pattern can be written as:

This chiasmus draws attention to the C which is the word for "made manifest".

=> From seeing this pattern in the text, we can tell that John is wanting to emphasis that Christ was made manifest.

A further point that can be noted here is by looking at the two different C's.
The first says, "was made manifest"
the second says, "was made manifest to us"
=> This shows us that John was making the point that not only was Jesus, and his whole life and ministry made manifest, but it was made manifest in particular to John and the disciples, who are therefore witnesses of Jesus. This plays an important part in John fighting the heresies that were attacking the church.

Another example of a chiasmus is found in Matthew 13:13-17.
I will post a video of this next, so that you can see how I used this in a sermon.