Chiastic Structure in the Book of Matthew

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Bobcat
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Re: Chiastic Structure in Matthew - 22:1-14

#21 Post by Bobcat » 1 year ago

What follows is an examination of the literary structure of Matthew 22:1-14, the parable of the wedding banquet.

The parable has some correspondences with other prophetic parts of Matthew. For example, the parable of the dragnet has the sorting out of unsuitable fish at the end. (Mt 13:47-50) Compare that with the expelling of the improperly dressed guest near the end of the wedding banquet parable. Similarly, the parable of the wheat and weeds also has a separating of real and false disciples of Jesus at its end. (Mt 13:41-42) All with a similar fate for the bad ones.

The wedding banquet parable also features a similar pattern with Mt 24:30-31. There the destruction of "their city" is symbolically described in Mt 24:30. Then a further continued gathering from more distant regions is described in Mt 24:31. (See chart here.)

The Parable of the Wedding Banquet (Matt 22:1-14) (Copied from here.)


A. He dispatched his servants to summon the invited guests to the feast (Mt 22:1-3) (καλέσαι)

. . . B. He sent other servants (Mt 22:4-6) (δούλους)

. . . . . . C. Destroyed those murderers, and burned their city.(Mt 22:7) (ἀπώλεσεν)


A^ Those who were invited were not worthy to come. (Mt 22:8-9) (κεκλημένοι)

. . . B^ The servants went out into the streets (Mt 22:10) (δοῦλοι)

. . . . . . C^ Bind his hands and feet, and cast him into the darkness outside (22:11-14) (ἐκβάλετε)


Legend: A=Invitation of king; B=Servants go to call; C=Exclusion of incorrectly dressed.

Luke has a very similar parable, but also with interesting differences. Luke's version follows a similar format but seems to have had the Jewish character of the parable (with the first invited guests and the burning of their city) removed. The time and place that the parable was given by Jesus is different in Luke compared with Matthew. (See this thread for some interesting differences between Luke and Matthew.)

The Parable of the Great Dinner (Luke 14:7-24) (Copied from here.)


A. Invited guests (Lu 14:7-11) (κεκλημένους)

. . . B. Rather, when you hold a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind; (Lu 14:12-14) (πτωχούς)

. . . . . . C. Blessed is the one who will dine in the kingdom of God. (Lu 14:15) (φάγεται)


A^ Invited guests (Lu 14:16-20) (ἐκάλεσεν)

. . . B^ Bring in here the poor and the crippled, the blind and the lame. (Lu 14:21) (πτωχοὺς)

. . . . . . C^ None of those men who were invited will taste my dinner. (Lu 14:22-24) (γεύσεταί)


Legend: A=Invited guests. B=Poor people. C=Dinning in the kingdom of God.

Luke's parable also gives an example of the use of both polysyndeton and asyndeton. See this post for an explanation of these terms. The way a Bible is translated may obscure this literary style in English.


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Bobcat
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Re: Chiastic Structure in Matthew: Inclusio of Mt 1:23 & Mt 28:20

#22 Post by Bobcat » 1 year ago

The NET Bible, in a footnote at Mt 28:20 (# 30 here) shows that there is an inclusio that brackets the entire book of Matthew. The footnote I reproduce below:
sn I am with you. Matthew’s Gospel begins with the prophecy that the Savior’s name would be “Emmanuel, that is, ‘God with us,’” (Mt 1:23, in which the author has linked Isa 7:14 and Isa 8:8, 10 together) and it ends with Jesus’ promise to be with his disciples forever. The Gospel of Matthew thus forms an inclusio about Jesus in his relationship to his people that suggests his deity.

See this post for the chiastic structure that makes up the entire book of Matthew.


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Bobcat
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Re: Chiastic Structure in Matthew - The Entire Book

#23 Post by Bobcat » 11 months ago

Here is a 22 page discourse (in PDF format) that has an alternate chiasmus of the entire book of Matthew (alternate from this one, that is).

The main difference between the two chiastic structures is that the one in the link in the parenthases (which is post # 10 in this thread) sees Matthew chapter 13 with all the 'kingdom is like' parables as the center or pivot point within the whole of the book of Matthew.

The writer of the PDF sees Peter's and God's declarations about Jesus being the Christ and God's Son in Matthew 16 & 17 as the center or pivotal point in the whole of the book of Matthew.

It also demonstrates that there is a certain amount of subjectivity when it comes to trying to understand the literary structure involved. (This one sees Mt 12:14-21 as the central point of the book of Matthew. But I find this much less compelling.)

Just for cross reference purposes, here is a thread on Jesus' statement about Peter and "on this rock" in Matthew chapter 16.

Incidentally, if you Google "chiastic structure Matthew" this forum makes the first page in the Google listing. (We must be 'getting up in this world.' :whistle: )


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Re: Chiastic Structure in Matthew ─ Mt 8:28-34

#24 Post by Bobcat » 10 months ago

Below is the proposed literary structure for the demoniac/legion account in Matthew 8:28-34 which can be found at the Biblical Literary Structure website (here):
Jesus heals the Gadarene demoniacs (Matt 8:28-34)

A. Two demoniacs meet Jesus (Mt 8:28)

. . . B. What have you to do with us, Son of God? (Mt 8:29)

. . . . . . C. Herd of many swine was feeding. (Mt 8:30) (βοσκομένη)

. . . . . . . . . D. Send us into the herd of swine (Mt 8:31) (ἀγέλην τῶν χοίρων)

. . . . . . . . . . . . E. Go then (Mt 8:32)

. . . . . . . . . D^ They came out and entered the swine (Mt 8:32) (ἀπῆλθον εἰς τοὺς χοίρους)

. . . . . . C^ Whole herd rushed down the steep bank into the sea (Mt 8:32) (ἀπεθανον)

. . . B^ The herdsmen run away, tell towns people (Mt 8:33)

A^ Whole town came out to meet Jesus (Mt 8:34)

Legend: A: To meet Jesus B: Fear against Jesus C: Behavior of the swine D: Demons enter swine E: Words of Jesus

The first and the second parts (A & B) indicate that people come to Jesus but they fear him. The Third and the fourth parts (C & D) are about the miracle of demons and swine. The central part (E ) is simple one word utterance of Jesus which caused the miracle. Therefore, this structure emphasizes the greatness of Jesus and people's fear. This structure explains demons confession about the identity of Jesus.

For an interesting comparison, here is how the same website outlines the Markan account of this event (Mk 5:1-20):
Jesus heals the Gerasene demoniac (Mark 5:1-20)

A. Demoniac was always crying out (Mk 5:1-5) (κράζων)

. . B. What have you to do with me? (Mk 5:6-8) (τίἐμοὶ καὶ σοί)

. . . . C. Demons plead not to drive them away from territory. (Mk 5:9-10) (ἀποστείλῃ ἔξω τῆς χώρας)

. . . . . . D. Large herd of swine (Mk 5:11) (ἀγέλη)

. . . . . . . . E. Let us enter them (Mk 5:12) (εἰσέλθωμεν)

. . . . . . . . . . F. Jesus let them (Mk 5:13a)

. . . . . . . . E^ Demons entered the swine (Mk 5:13b) (εἰσῆλθον)

. . . . . . D^ The herd of about two thousand stampede, drown (Mk 5:13c) (ἀγέλη)

. . . . C^ Towns people plead for Jesus to leave district (Mk 5:14-17) (ἀπελθεῖν ἀπὸ τῶν ὁρίων αὐτῶν)

. . B^ Healed man who had been possessed pleads to remain with him. (Mk 5:18) (μετ αὐτοῦ)

A^ Instructed to proclaim in Decapolis what Jesus had done for him (Mk 5:19-20) (κηρύσσειν)

Legend: A: Saying B: Refusing Jesus / Being with Jesus C: Leaving district D: Large herd of swine E: Entering swine F: Jesus permits

In both the Matthew and Mark account the structure centers around Jesus' command to the demons to go. Although, in Matthew the command is active ("go"), whereas, in Mark it is expressed passively ("he let them"). Comparatively, the demons request to enter the swine in Matthew is with an active verb ("Send us ..."). But in Mark it is with a passive verb ("Let us ..."). So, Matthew pairs an active request with an active reply. Mark pairs a passive request with a passive reply.

And finally, here is the literary outline for the Luke account of the demoniac (Lu 8:26-39). Luke has it arranged in a parallel step pattern that doesn't feature a central point, but rather, a repeating pattern:
Jesus heals the Gerasene demoniac (Luke 8:26-39)

A. Demoniac had not worn clothes (Lu 8:26-30) (ἱμάτιον)

. . . B. Legion pleads with Jesus not to order them into the abyss (Lu 8:31-32) (παρεκάλουν)

. . . . . . C. Herdsmen run away and report incident in town and countryside (Lu 8:33-34) (ἀπήγγειλαν)

A^ Demoniac was clothed and in his right mind (Lu 8:35-36) (ἱματισμένον)

. . . B^ The Gerasenes ask Jesus to leave them (Lu 8:37) (ἠρώτησεν)

. . . . . . C^ Former demoniac goes off and proclaims Jesus throughout whole town (Lu 8:38-39) (κηρύσσων)

Legend: A: Condition of demoniacs B: Pleading with Jesus C: Spreading the story

See how the literary structure of Mt 8:28-34 fits within a larger portion of Matthew (Mt 8:1-9:34): Here. And within the entire book of Matthew: Here.

There are also some threads on the healing of the demoniacs: Here and here.



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Re: Chiastic Structure in Matthew ─ Mt 24:32-25:46

#25 Post by Bobcat » 10 months ago

The symmetrical structures that follow are from Matthew chapters 24 & 25, and, with the exception of the parable of the fig tree, are related to Jesus' parousia. The parables starting in Mt 25 demonstrate a parallel stepping type of structure. The pattern also makes for a memorable parable, especially for an audience that would usually not have their own personal copy as we do today. The sheep and goats parable starts and ends with a chiastic pattern, but has a stepping parallel in its middle portion.

The Lesson of the Fig Tree (Mt 24:32-35) (Compare Mk 13:28-31; Lu 21:29-33)

A. Learn a lesson from the fig trees (Mt 24:32) (μάθετε τὴν παραβολήν)

. . . B. When you see all these things (Mt 24:33) (πάντα ταῦτα)

. . . B^ Until all these things have taken place (Mt 24:34) (πάντα ταῦτα)

A^ My words will not pass away (Mt 24:35) (λόγοι μου)

Legend: A=Teachings of Jesus B=All these things

For some discussion of various aspects of this parable, see the links in point # 1 in this post.

The Necessity for Watchfulness (Mt 24:36-44) (Compare Mk 13:32-37; Lu 12:35-40)

A. At the coming of the Son of Man (Mt 24:36-37) (τοῦ υἱοῦ τοῦ ἀνθρώπου)

. . . B. They did not know (Mt 24:38-39) (οὐκ ἔγνωσαν)

. . . . . . C. Two men will be out in the field; one taken, one left (Mt 24:40) (δύο, εἶς)

. . . . . . C^ Two women will be grinding at the mill; one taken, one left (Mt 24:41) (δύο, μία)

. . . B^ You do not know (Mt 24:42-43) (οὐκ ὅιδατε)

A^ The Son of Man will come (Mt 24:44) (ὁ υἱὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου)

Legend: A=Arrival of the Son of Man B=What the people don't know C=One out of two

The Faithful or Unfaithful Slave (Mt 24:45-51) (Compare Mk 13:37; Lu 12:41-48)

A. Who is faithful and prudent servant ... (Mt 24:45) (ὁ πιστὸς δοῦλος)

. . . B. Whose master on arrival ... (Mt 24:46) (ἐλθὼν ὁ κύριος)

. . . . . . C. Master will put him in charge of all his property (Mt 24:47) (καταστήσει)


A^ But if ever that wicked servant ... (Mt 24:48) (ὁ κακὸς δοῦλος)

. . . B^ That servant's master will come on an unexpected day (Mt 24:50) (ἤξει ὁ κύριος)

. . . . . . C^ And will punish him severely (Mt 24:51) (διχοτομήσει)

Legend: A=Contrast of faithful and wicked servant B=Return of master C=Rewards

Links to discussion of various aspects of this parable can be found here.

The Parable of the Ten Bridesmaids (Mt 25:1-13)

A. Ten went out to meet the bridegroom.(Mt 25:1) (υμφίου)

. . . B. Five brought no oil with them (Mt 25:2-4) (ἔλαιον)

. . . . . . C. They all became drowsy and fell asleep. (Mt 25:5) (ἐκάθευδον)


A^ Here is the bridegroom! Come out to meet him! (Mt 25:6) (υμφίος)

. . . B^ Give us some of your oil (Mt 25:7-9) (ἐλαίου)

. . . . . . C^ Stay awake (Mt 25:10-13)(γρηφορεῖτε)

Legend: A=To meet the bridegroom B=The oil C=Contrast of preparation

The Parable of the Talents (Matt 25:14-30) (Compare Lu 19:11-27)

A. Master called servants and entrusted possessions to them (Mt 25:14-15) (τοὺς ἰδίους δούλους)

. . . B. One received five talents (Mt 25:16) (πέντε τάλαντα)

. . . . . . C. One received two talents (Mt 25:17) (δύο)

. . . . . . . . . D. One received one talent (Mt 25:18) (ἓν)


A^ Master came back and settled accounts (Mt 25:19) (ὁ κύριος τῶν δούλων)

. . . B^ One with five talents gives account (Mt 25:20-21) (πέντε τάλαντα)

. . . . . . C^ One with two talents gives account (Mt 25:22-23) (δύο τάλαντα)

. . . . . . . . . D^ One with one talent gives account (Mt 25:24-30) (ἓν τάλαντον)

Legend: A=Master calls the servants B=Five talents C=Two talents. D=One talent.

The Parable of the Sheep and Goats (Mt 25:31-46)

P. King gathers sheep on right and goats on left (Mt 25:33)

. . . A. King's blessing on sheep (Mt 25:34-36) (εὐλογημένοι)

. . . . . . B. Righteous reply to king, When? (Mt 25:37-39) (ἀποκριθήσονται)

. . . . . . . . . C. Whatever you did for least brothers of mine, you did for me (Mt 25:40) (ἐλαχίστων)


. . . A^ King's curse on goats (Mt 25:41-43) (κατηραμένοι)

. . . . . . B^ They reply to king (Mt 25:44) (ἀποκριθήσονται)

. . . . . . . . . C^ What you did not do for these least ones, you did not do for me (Mt 25:45) (ἐλαχίστων)

P^ Goats sent off to eternal punishment, but righteous sent to eternal life (Mt 25:46)

Legend: P=King gathers/sends off A=Curse and Blessing of king B=Responses of people C=Reply of king.

Notice in the "P" portion of the parable how the order of the sheep and goats is reversed: First, sheep and goats are gathered (Mt 25:33), but then, the goats and sheep are sent off in reverse order (Mt 25:46).


The Greek at the end of many of the lines shows the repetition that is involved in the original language. A person listening to the parable would be hearing this repetition.

For additional discussion of the four parables above, see this index page for posts and links about them in that thread.


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Stranger
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Re: Chiastic Structure in the Book of Matthew

#26 Post by Stranger » 3 weeks ago

Bobcat wrote:
10 months ago
And finally, here is the literary outline for the Luke account of the demoniac (Lu 8:26-39). Luke has it arranged in a parallel step pattern that doesn't feature a central point, but rather, a repeating pattern:
Hi Bobcat,

That's a good point you've come across, unlike the others you mentioned, Luke doesn't have any perpendicular peculiarities.
Bobcat wrote:
10 months ago
. . . . . . C^ Former demoniac goes off and proclaims Jesus throughout whole town (Lu 8:38-39) (κηρύσσων)
Former, means no longer, like in, "the former things have passed away."

So in this case, it would seem the new creature got a new pair of shoes to stroll around town in. and possibly retained an escort with overwhelming ability.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yJLDiaWAy0E



Stranger, (Ps 79:11)

Bobcat
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Re: Chiastic Structure in the Book of Matthew

#27 Post by Bobcat » 3 weeks ago

Hi Stranger,

Glad you are enjoying the chiasmus (along with the pollen). :whistle:
So in this case, it would seem the new creature got a new pair of shoes to stroll around town in. and possibly retained an escort with overwhelming ability.

He also got a new set of duds along with the shoes! (Lu 8:27, 38)

For anyone wanting to know what we are talking about, here is the post that Stranger is referencing.


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