Re: this week's exegesis passage

From: Jonathan Ryder (
Date: Thu Feb 18 1999 - 03:48:45 EST

Paul Zellmer wrote:

> wrote:
> [quoting Jonathan Ryder]
> > >nb also the chiasmus
> > >
> > >b' ALL' WS EF' ENOS
> >
> > Aha! That helps with the translations of KAI as well, since there's a pair of 'em.
> >
> If this *is* a case of chiasmus, then I need to either review the modern interpretations of the
> form or change what I see as being brought out in this part of the verse. I was taught that, if
> a chiasmus has an even number of lines, the most significant of them would be the outer pair.
> On the other hand, if it has an odd number, the middle line is the most significant. In this
> case, however, the most significant seems to be the adverbial phrases, which are the center two
> lines of a supposed chiasmus with an even number of lines. I think the use of ALLA also
> supports that contention.
> I see this as a possible influence of a very common pattern in Hebrew parallelism. And I'm not
> sold on the interchanging of the order of elements in that particular pattern to be of the same
> significance as the rhetorical Greek device called "chiasm." Methinks we are overusing a
> technical term, which leads to failing to recognize the device when it actually appears.
> Besides, Jane, the occurrences of KAI here are simply parts of the potential and actual OT
> quotations.


Let me take responsibility for chiasmus, not Jane, and please excuse my ignorance, as I was just
using the term loosely to note ABBA pattern. I was not aware of distinction between even/odd no of
lines. In fact, I think when I was first taught the term in school Latin classes it was just the
abba form rather than any stress on inner/outer pairs that we were noticing. I accept that the
pattern may be more Hebraic than Greek, but would say that Hebrew or Greek IMHO the pattern is
definitely there.

Could you point me to any textbook treatment of chiasmus (both generally and in NT).

> HTH,

HTH = ?? (e-mail abbreviation or translit greek?)

> Paul

Jonathan Ryder

B-Greek home page:
You are currently subscribed to b-greek as: []
To unsubscribe, forward this message to
To subscribe, send a message to

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.4 : Sat Apr 20 2002 - 15:40:17 EDT