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Literary structure (chiasm, chiasmus) of First Epistle to the Thessalonians

Chiastic Structure and Concentric Structure and Parallel of each pericope

[1]The Thessalonians' faith and example  (1 Thess 1:1-10)
  A(1:1-3)  1:3 your work of faith and labor of love and endurance (1:3)   (πίστεως)
    B(1:4-5)    1:5 For our gospel did not come to you in word alone, but also in power and in the holy Spirit and (with) much conviction (1:5)"   (λόγῳ, πνεύματι)
    B'(1:6-7)    1:6 receiving the word in great affliction, with joy from the holy Spirit (1:6)"   (λόγον, πνεύματος)
  A'(1:8-10)  1:8 in every place your faith in God has gone forth (1:8)   (πίστις)
   A: Faith. B: Words and the Holy Spirit.

[2]Paul's ministry in Thessalonica  (1 Thess 2:1-16)
  A(2:1-2)  2:2 Rather, after we had suffered and been insolently treated, as you know, in Philippi, we drew courage through our God to speak to you the gospel of God with much struggle. (2:2)
    B(2:3-6)    2:4 not as trying to please human beings, but rather God (2:4)
      C(2:7-8)      2:7 as a nursing mother cares for her children (2:7)   (τέκνα)
        D(2:9-10)        2:9 we proclaimed to you the gospel of God (2:9)
      C'(2:11-12)      2:11as a father treats his children (2:11)   (τέκνα)
    B'(2:13)    2:13 for this reason we too give thanks to God unceasingly (2:13)
  A'(2:14-16)  2:15 who killed both the Lord Jesus and the prophets and persecuted us (2:15)
   A: Persecution. B: For the God. C: Parents and children. D: Evangelization.

[3]Paul's desire to visit the Thessalonians again  (1 Thess 2:17-3:13)
  A(2:17-18)  2:18 We decided to go to you (2:18)
    B(2:19-20)    2:20 For you are our glory and joy (2:20)   (ξαρά)
      C(3:1-4)      3:3 so that no one be disturbed in these afflictions (3:3)   (θλίψεσιν)
        D(3:5-6)        3:6 bringing us the good news of your faith and love (3:6)
      C'(3:7-8)      3:7 Because of this, we have been reassured about you, brothers, in our every distress and affliction, through your faith. (3:7)"   (θλίψει)
    B'(3:9-10)    3:9 for all the joy we feel on your account before our God? (3:9)   (ξαρᾷ)
  A'(3:11-13)  3:11 direct our way to you, (3:11)
   A: Wish to visit. B: Joy. C: Afflictions. D: Faith and love.

[4]A life pleasing to God  (1 Thess 4:1-12)
  A(4:1-2)  4:1 we earnestly ask and exhort you (4:1)   (παρακαλοῦμεν)
    B(4:3-6)    4:3 This is the will of God, your holiness (4:3)"   (ἁγιασμὸς)
    B'(4:7-8)    4:7 For God did not call us to impurity but to holiness. (4:7)   (ἁγιασμ)
  A'(4:9-12)  4:10 Nevertheless we urge you, brothers, to progress even more (4:10)"   (παρακαλοῦμεν)
   A: Exhortation. B: Holiness.

[5]Resurrection of dead  (1 Thess 4:13-18)
P(4:13)4:13 so that you may not grieve like the rest, who have no hope. (4:13)
  A(4:14)  4:14 so too will God, through Jesus, bring with him those who have fallen asleep. (4:14)
    B(4:15)    4:15 we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord (4:15)"   (περιλειπόμενοι)
  A'(4:16)  4:16 the dead in Christ will rise first. (4:16)
    B'(4:17)    4:17 Then we who are alive, who are left (4:17)"   (περιλειπόμενοι)
P'(4:18)4:18 Therefore, console one another with these words.(4:18)
   A: Resurrection. B: We who are alive, who are left.

[6]The coming of the Lord  (1 Thess 5:1-11)
  A(5:1-3)  5:2 the day of the Lord will come like a thief at night. (5:2)   (νυκτὶ)
    B(5:4-5)    5:4 you, brothers, are not in darkness, for that day to overtake you like a thief (5:4)
      C(5:6)      5:6 Therefore, let us not sleep as the rest do, but let us stay alert and sober. (5:6)"   (γρηγορῶμεν)
  A'(5:7-8)  5:7 Those who sleep go to sleep at night, and those who are drunk get drunk at night. (5:7)"   (νυκτὸς)
    B'(5:9)    5:9 For God did not destine us for wrath (5:9)
      C'(5:10-11)      5:10 so that whether we are awake or asleep we may live together with him. (5:10)   (γρηγορῶμεν)
   A: Night. B: Not destined for wrath. C: Awake, asleep.

[7]Final exhortations  (1 Thess 5:12-28)
  A(5:12-13)  5:13 Be at peace among yourselves. (5:13)   (εἰρηνεύτε)
    B(5:14-15)    5:15 See that no one returns evil for evil (5:15)   (κακὸν)
      C(5:16-18)      Rejoice, Pray, Give thanks
    B'(5:19-22)    5:22 Refrain from every kind of evil. (5:22)   (πονηροῦ)
  A'(5:23-24)  5:23 May the God of peace himself make you perfectly holy and may you entirely (5:23)   (εἰρήνης)
P(5:25-28)5:28 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.(5:28)
   A: Peace. B: Avoiding evils. C: Rejoice, Pray, Give thanks.

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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