Matt 11:28-30 chiasm or parallelism?

From: Kevin L. Barney (
Date: Mon May 17 1999 - 22:13:17 EDT

Hi, Steve--

The bibliographic index in _Chiasmus in Antiquity_ reports that Nils Lund
addresses these verses in his _Chiasmus in the New Testament_ (Chapel Hill:
University of North Carolina Press, 1942), at pages 298-301. Lund is also
cited by Angelico Di Marco in an unpublished manuscript, _Il Chiasmo nella
Bibbia_ (Messina 1975), which is available in German translation in
Linguistica Biblica 39:40. The Di Marco manuscript is pretty obscure, but
I'm sure a number of b-greekers would have a copy of Lund on their shelf (I
do not), and perhaps someone would be willing to look this up for you.

The chiasm I see would be something like

A. heavy laden
   B. yoke upon you
      C. heart
      C'. souls
   B'. yoke is easy
A'. burden is light

where heart//souls is a Semitic parallel word pair. If this is a
legitimate chiasm, unless I am missing something it is rather loosely woven
across the three verses. (I would however be curious to see what Lund has
to say if anyone has the volume handy.)

Kevin L. Barney
Hoffman Estates, Illinois

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