Re: Chiasmus: 1 John 3:9

From: George Blaisdell (
Date: Sat Feb 27 1999 - 17:35:28 EST

>From: "William B. Steidtmann"

  What you are referring to as a helical form is
>called "introversion" in this commentary Bible. There are two main
>structural forms: introversion and alternation. Each of these two
>can be woven or embedded within one another in a hierarchial fashion in
>multiple levels, much like your computer organizes files inside of
>inside of yet other folders, etc. The entire Bible is built this way,
>goes way beyond a mere couple of sentences or two. Entire sets of
>form introversions, as do single words. Sometimes the structures
>across several books.

So it would appear, although I do not know of anyone seeing the 'whole
Bible' as a chiasm. One would have to argue that Christ is the pivot
point and that the books of the OT parallel those of the GNT in mirror
image fashion. That could lead to a massive re-ordering of the books of
the Bible to fit chiastic structuring!!

Beck argues for the development of the habit of 'seeing chiastically' as
one reads the Bible, and especially OT prophetic works, which are almost
invariably chiastic. Single chiasms of 12 strophs are known, each
perfectly balanced and in ascending/descending development. There
appears to be no limit to the number of strophs possible in a single

As well, he argues that the book of John follows as a whole chiastic
form, which easily accounts for the apparent sequence anomilies [noted
recently by Carl and well known to Biblical scholarship] in that when
they are seen in terms of chiastic structuring, they are not in the
least out of sequence. Hence there is no need, on this [literary]
approach, to 'correct' sequencing by moving the text around.

Pretty heady stuff, imho.


George Blaisdell
Roslyn, WA

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