Re: this week's exegesis passage

From: Paul Zellmer (
Date: Thu Feb 18 1999 - 08:47:53 EST

Jonathan Ryder wrote:

> Paul,
> 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).

The reason why I noted that Jane was quoting you was so that you *would* get the credit!

Sorry, I confess I'm working purely on memory from classroom instruction, and the one who gave me that
instruction has now been dead for twenty years. But you might look at Robertson's brief discussion of
Hebrew parallelism and chiasm (reverted parallelism) on pp 1199-1200 in his massive "yellow tome." He
includes a short opinion of Blass' techniques.

I definitely agree that the ABBA pattern exists in both Greek and Hebrew literature. I never got well
enough acquainted with Latin to be able to differentiate the different eras for the language, but,
recalling the Romans' tendency to use Greek tutors, I would not be surprised to discover that their
use of chiasm was actually the borrowing of the Greek rhetorical device. I merely propose that the
Hebrew pattern does not have the same significance as the Greek pattern, and that the NT includes

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

Technically, the first, but you won't find it in any common listing. I've just been working on the
Hebrew list too long, and some of us use this as an abbreviation for a phrase which was very common
there in past years, "Hope this helps." Sorry, I forgot I was posting to the Greek list!


Remember: The ark was built by amateurs; the Titanic, by professionals.

--- Paul and Dee Zellmer, Jimmy Guingab, Geoffrey Beltran Ibanag Translation Project Cabagan, Philippines

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