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Literary structure (chiasm, chiasmus) of Epistle to the Colossians

Chiastic Structure and Concentric Structure and Parallel of each pericope

[1]  Col 1:1-12
  A(1:1-2)  1:2 to the holy ones and faithful brothers in Christ in Colossae (1:2)   (ἁγίοις)
    B(1:3-4)    1:3 when we pray for you (1:3)   (προσευξόμενοι)
      C(1:5)      1:5 Of this you have already heard through the word of truth, the gospel (1:5)
        D(1:6)        1:6 it is bearing fruit and growing (1:6)
      C'(1:7-8)      1:7 as you learned it from Epaphras (1:7)
    B'(1:9-10)    1:9 we do not cease praying for you (1:9)   (προσευξόμενοι)
  A'(1:11-12)  1:12 the holy ones in light (1:12)   (ἁγίων)

    A: The holy ones. B: Prayer. C: Hearing Gospel. D: Bearing fruits.

[2]  Col 1:13-22
  A(1:13-14)  1:13 transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son (1:13)
    B(1:15-16)    Everything in heaven and earth
      C(1:17-18)      1:18 He is the head of the body, the church (1:18)
    B'(1:19-20)    Everything in heaven and earth   (ἀποκαταλλάχαι)
  A'(1:21-22)  1:22 he has now reconciled in his fleshly body through his death (1:22)   (ἀποκατήλλαχεν)

    A: Forgiveness. B: Everything in heaven and earth. C: The head of the church.

[3]  Col1:23-29
  A(1:23-26)  Mission of the apostles
    B(1:26-27)    The mystery
  A'(1:27-29)  Mission of the apostles

    A:Mission of the apostles. B: The mystery.

[4]  Col 2:1-8
  A(2:1)  2:1 For I want you to know how great a struggle I am having for you and for those in Laodicea and all who have not seen me face to face,(2:1)
    B(2:2-4)    2:4 I say this so that no one may deceive you by specious arguments (2:4)
  A'(2:5)  2:5 For even if I am absent in the flesh, yet I am with you in spirit, rejoicing as I observe your good order and the firmness of your faith in Christ. (2:5)
    B'(2:6-8)    2:8 See to it that no one captivate you with an empty, seductive philosophy according to human tradition (2:8)

    A: Paul. B: Warning against evils.

[5]  Col 2:9-15
  A(2:9-10)  2:10 who is the head of every principality and power. (2:10)
    B(2:11-14)    2:12 you were also raised with him through faith in the power of God, who raised him from the dead (2:12)
  A'(2:15)  2:15 despoiling the principalities and the powers (2:15)

    A: Principality and power. B: Resurrection.

[6]  Col 2:16-23
  A(2:16-17)  2:16 Let no one, then, pass judgment on you in matters of food and drink or with regard to a festival or new moon or sabbath. (2:16)
    B(2:18-19)    2:18 self-abasement and worship of angels (2:18)
  A'(2:20-22)  2:22 they accord with human precepts and teachings (2:22)
    B'(2:23)    2:23 in rigor of devotion and self-abasement (2:23)

    A: Human precepts. B: Self-abasement and false worship.

[7]  Col 3:1-17
  A(3:1-4)  3:1 If then you were raised with Christ, seek what is above (3:1)
    B(3:5-10)    Evil
      C(3:11)      3:11 Christ is all and in all (3:11)
    B'(3:12-14)    Beneficence
  A'(3:15-17)  3:16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly (3:16)

    A; To seek Christ.. B:Evil / Beneficence. C: Christ is all and in all.

[8]  Col 3:18-4:6
  A1(3:18)  Wives
  A2(3:19)  Husbands
  A3(3:20)  Children
  A4(3:21)  Parents
  A5(3:22-25)  Slaves
  A6(4:1-6)  Masters

    A; Individual exhortation.

[9]  Col 4:7-18
  A(4:7-9)  4:7 Tychicus will tell you all the news of me.(4:7)
    B(4:10-14)    4:10 Aristarchus, my fellow prisoner, sends you greetings, ,(4:10)"   (Ἀσπάζεται)
    B'(4:15-17)    4:15 Give greetings to the brothers in Laodicea and to Nympha and to the church in her house. (4:15)   (Ἀσπάσασθε)
  A'(4:18)  4:18 Remember my chains (4:18)

    A: Situation of Paul. B: Greetings.


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