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Literary structure (chiasm, chiasmus) of Second Epistle to the Corinthians

Chiastic Structure and Concentric Structure and Parallel of each pericope

[1]Salutation  (2 Cor 1:1-11)
  A(1:1-3)  1:2 grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. (1:2)   (ξάρις)
    B(1:4-5)    1:4 who encourages us in our every affliction (1:4)   (παρακαλῶν)
    B'(1:6-7)    1:6 If we are afflicted, it is for your encouragement and salvation (1:6)"   (παρακλήσεως)
  A'(1:8-11)  1:11 thanks may be given by many on our behalf for the gift granted us through the prayers of many (1:11)   (ξάρισμα)
   A: Grace. B: Encouragement.

[2]The plan of Paul's visit  (2 Cor 1:12-20)
  A(1:12-14)  1:12 not by human wisdom but by the grace of God (1:12)   (σαρκικῇ)
    B(1:15-16)    1:16 namely, to go by way of you to Macedonia, and then to come to you again on my return from Macedonia, and have you send me on my way to Judea. (1:16)
  A'(1:17-20)  1:17 do I make my plans according to human considerations (1:17)   (σάρκα)
   A: Human wisdom. B: The plan of the travel.

[3]The odor of the knowledge  (2 Cor 1:21-2:17)
  A(1:21-24)  1:21 the one who gives us security with you in Christ (1:21)   (εἰς Ξριστὸν)
    B(2:1-4)    2:4 the abundant love I have for you (2:4)   (ἀγάπην)
      C(2:5-7)      2:6 This punishment by the majority is enough (2:6)
    B'(2:8-11)    2:8 I urge you to reaffirm your love for him (2:8)   (ἀγάπην)
  A'(2:12-17)  2:17 we speak in Christ (2:17)   (ἐν Ξριστῷ)
   A: In Christ. B: Love. C: Enough punishment.

[4]Ministers of the new covenant  (2 Cor 3:1-18)
  A(3:1-4)  3:3 written not in ink but by the Spirit of the living God (3:3)   (πνεύματι θεοῦ)
    B(3:5-6)    3:6 who has indeed qualified us as ministers of a new covenant (3:6)   (καινς διαθήκης)
      C(3:7-8)      3:7 the Israelites could not look intently at the face of Moses (3:7)   (Μωυσέως)
        D(3:9-11)        3:10 because of the glory that surpasses it. (3:10)
      C'(3:12-13)      3:13 not like Moses, who put a veil over his face (3:13)"   (Μωυσῆς)
    B'(3:14-16)    3:14 when they read the old covenant (3:14)   (παλαοᾶς διαθήκης)
  A'(3:17-18)  3:17 where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.(3:17)"   (πνεῦμα κυρίου)
   A: The Spirit of God. B: The new covenant and the old covenant. C: Face of Moses. D: The great glory.

[5]Treasure in clay jars  (2 Cor 4:1-18)
  A(4:1-6)  4:1 we are not discouraged (4:1)   (οὐκ ἐγκακοῦμεν)
    B(4:7)    4:7 the surpassing power may be of God and not from us.(4:7)
      C(4:8-11)      4:11 For we who live are constantly being given up to death for the sake of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may be manifested in our mortal flesh. (4:11)"   (ζωὴ, θάνατον)
      C'(4:12-14)      4:12 death is at work in us, but life in you (4:12)"   (ζωὴ, θάνατος)
    B'(4:15)    4:15 the grace bestowed in abundance on more and more people may cause the thanksgiving to overflow for the glory of God. (4:15)
  A'(4:16-18)  4:16 we are not discouraged (4:16)   (οὐκ ἐγκακοῦμεν)
   A: Being not discouraged. B: Glorifying God. C: Death and life.

[6]Living by faith  (2 Cor 5:1-10)
  A(5:1)  5:1 if our earthly dwelling, a tent, should be destroyed (5:1)
    B(5:2-4)    5:2 For in this tent we groan, longing to be further clothed with our heavenly habitation(5:2)
      C(5:5)      5:5 Now the one who has prepared us for this very thing is God (5:5)
    B'(5:6-8)    5:8 we would rather leave the body and go home to the Lord. (5:8)
  A'(5:9-10)  5:10 according to what he did in the body (5:10)
   A: Destruction of the body. B: Going to heaven. C: God prepared.

[7]The ministry of reconciliation  (2 Cor 5:11-6:10)
  A(5:11-12)  5:11 we are clearly apparent to God, and I hope we are also apparent to your consciousness.(5:11)
    B(5:13-15)    Ministry
      C(5:16-17)      Now
        D(5:18-21)        Reconciliation
      C'(6:1-2)      Now
    B'(6:3-8a)    Ministry
  A'(6:8b-10)  Depiction of the Apostle
   A: Depiction of the Apostle. B: Ministry. C: Now. D: Reconciliation.

[8]The temple of the living God  (2 Cor 6:11-7:4)
  A(6:11-13)  Be open yourselves
    B(6:14-16a)    To avoid sins
    B'(6:16b-18)    To avoid sins
  A'(7:1-4)  Be open yourselves
   A: Be open yourselves. B: To avoid sins.

[9]Paul's joy at the church's repentance  (2 Cor 7:5-16)
  A(7:5-7)  7:6 But God, who encourages the downcast, encouraged us by the arrival of Titus, (7:6)"   (παρακαλῶν)
    B(7:8)    7:8 For even if I saddened you by my letter (7:8)   (ἐπιστολῇ)
      C(7:9)      7:9 for you were saddened in a godly way (7:9)   (ἐλυπήθητε)
        D(7:10)        7:10 For godly sorrow produces a salutary repentance without regret, but worldly sorrow produces death. (7:10)
      C(7:11)      7:11 this godly sorrow has produced for you (7:11)   (λυπηθῆναι)
    B'(7:12)    7:12 So then even though I wrote to you (7:12)   (ἔγραψα)
  A'(7:13-16)  7:13 For this reason we are encouraged. And besides our encouragement, we rejoice even more because of the joy of Titus (7:13)"   (παρακεκλήμεθα)
   A: Encouragement. B: The letter. C: Sorrow of people in Corinth. D: Sorrow and repentance.

[10]Commendation of Titus  (2 Cor 8:1-24)
  A(8:1-6)  8:6 so that we urged Titus that, as he had already begun, he should also complete for you this gracious act also.(8:6)"   (Τίτον)
    B(8:7-9)    8:9 for your sake he became poor although he was rich (8:9)   (ἐπτώχευσεν)
      C(8:10)      8:10 it is appropriate for you (8:10)
    B'(8:11-15)    8:14 your surplus at the present time should supply their needs (8:14)   (ὑστέρημα)
  A'(8:16-24)  8:16 But thanks be to God who put the same concern for you into the heart of Titus,(8:16)"   (Τίτου)
   A: Works of Titus. B: To become poor for others' sake. C: Profitable.

[11]The collection for Christians at Jerusalem  (2 Cor 9:1-15)
  A(9:1-5)  9:1 the service to the holy ones (9:1)   (διακονίας)
    B(9:6)    9:6 whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. (9:6)"   (σπείρων)
      C(9:7)      9:7 without sadness or compulsion (9:7)
        D(9:8)        9:8 God is able to make every grace abundant for you (9:8)
      C'(9:9)      9:9 He scatters abroad, he gives to the poor (9:9)
    B'(9:10)    9:10 The one who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed and increase the harvest of your righteousness. (9:10)   (σπείροντι)
  A'(9:11-15)  9:12 the administration of this public service is not only supplying the needs of the holy ones (9:12)   (διακονία)
   A: Service to the holy ones. B: Parable of a sower. C: Giving without sadness or compulsion. D: Abundant grace.

[12]Paul defends his ministry  (2 Cor 10:1-18)
  A(10:1-2)  10:1 I who am humble when face to face with you, but brave toward you when absent,(10:1)
    B(10:3-8)    10:8 even if I should boast a little too much of our authority (10:8)   (καυχήσωμαι)
  A'(10:9-11)  10:10 For someone will say, "His letters are severe and forceful, but his bodily presence is weak, and his speech contemptible." (10:10)
    B'(10:12-18)    10:13 we will not boast beyond measure (10:13)   (καυχησόμεθα)
   A: Reputation of Paul. B: Boasting.

[13]Paul and the false apostles  (2 Cor 11:1-15)
  A(11:1-4)  11:3 But I am afraid that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your thoughts may be corrupted from a sincere (and pure) commitment to Christ.(11:3)
    B(11:5-6)    11:5 For I think that I am not in any way inferior to these "superapostles."(11:5)
      C(11:7-9)      11:7 I preached the gospel of God to you without charge (11:7)
    B'(11:10-11)    11:10 this boast of mine shall not be silenced in the regions of Achaia. (11:10)
  A'(11:12-15)  11:13 For such people are false apostles, deceitful workers, who masquerade as apostles of Christ.(11:13)
   A: Evils. B: Boast of Paul. C: Evangelization without charge.

[14]Paul's sufferings as an apostle  (2 Cor 11:16-33)
  A(11:16-21)  11:17 I am not saying according to the Lord but as in foolishness, in this boastful state. (11:17)"   (καυξώμενος)
    B(11:22-28)    11:23 with far greater labors, far more imprisonments, far worse beatings, and numerous brushes with death.(11:23)
  A'(11:29-30)  11:30 If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness.(11:30)"   (καυξᾶσθαι)
    B'(11:31-33)    11:33 but I was lowered in a basket through a window in the wall and escaped his hands.(11:33)
   A: Boasts. B: Sufferings of Paul.

[15]Paul's visions and revelations  (2 Cor 12:1-10)
  A(12:1)  12:1 I must boast (12:1)   (καυχᾶσθαι)
    B(12:2-4)    12:4 was caught up into Paradise and heard ineffable things, which no one may utter. (12:4)
      C(12:5)      12:5 about myself I will not boast, except about my weaknesses.(12:5)"   (ἀαθενείαις)
  A'(12:6)  12:6 Although if I should wish to boast, I would not be foolish, for I would be telling the truth (12:6)"   (καυξήσασθαι)
    B'(12:7-9a)    12:7 because of the abundance of the revelations (12:7)
      C'(12:9b-10)      12:9 I will rather boast most gladly of my weaknesses (12:9)   (ἀσθενεία)
   A: Boast. B: The revelations. C: Boast of weakness.

[16]Paul's concern for the Corinthian church  (2 Cor 12:11-19)
  A(12:11-12)  12:12 The signs of an apostle were performed among you with all endurance (12:12)
    B(12:13-14)    12:13 except that on my part I did not burden you? (12:13)   (κατενάρκησα)
      C(12:15)      12:15 If I love you more, am I to be loved less? (12:15)
    B'(12:16-18)    12:16 But granted that I myself did not burden you, yet I was crafty and got the better of you by deceit. (12:16)"   (κατεβάρησα)
  A'(12:19)  12:19 Have you been thinking all along that we are defending ourselves before you? (12:19)
   A: Proof of Paul. B: Not burdening. C: Love.

[17]Final greetings and benediction  (2 Cor 12:20-13:13)
  A(12:20-21)  12:20 I may find you not such as I wish (12:20)
    B(13:1-4)    13:2 I warned those who sinned earlier and all the others, and I warn them now while absent, as I did when present on my second visit, that if I come again I will not be lenient,(13:2)
  A'(13:5-9)  13:6 I hope you will discover that we have not failed. (13:6)
    B'(13:10-13)    13:10 so that when I come I may not have to be severe in virtue of the authority that the Lord has given me to build up and not to tear down.(13:10)
   A: Failed. B: Severe.

Citations of the Bible are from New American Bible, New Revised Standard Version and New Jerusalem Bible.

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Literary Structure of the Bible by Hajime Murai is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
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