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Literary structure (chiasmus, chiasm) of Gospel of Mark

Chiasmus and Concentric Structure of whole text

The center of concentric structure is "Jesus again foretells his death and resurrection" (no. 41, Mark 9:30-32). This central pericope also becomes the divisional fulcrum of the whole text. Those parts that precede it (pericopes nos. 1 to 41) and follow it (pericopes nos. 41 to 81) constitute concentric structures composed of pericopes. In the three foretelling of death and resurrection of Mark, the first (no. 36, Mark 8:31-33) and the third (no. 46, Makr 10:32-34) correspond, and the second is the center in the longest concentric structure. This longest concentric structure emphasizes the death, resurrection and foretelling of these.


1-1

1 Prophecy of Isaiah (1:1-3)
  2 Proclamation of John the Baptist (1:4-8)
    3 Preparation for ministry (1:9-13)
      4 The beginning of the Galilean ministry (1:14-15)
        5 Jesus calls the first disciples (1:16-20)
          6 The man with an unclean spirit (1:21-28)
            7 Jesus heals many at Simon's house (1:29-39)
              8 Jesus cleanses a leper (1:40-45)
                9 Jesus heals a paralytic (2:1-12)
                  10 Jesus calls Levi (2:13-17)
                    11 The question about fasting (2:18-22)
                      12 Pronoucement about the sabbath (2:23-28)
                        13 The man with a withered hand (3:1-6)
                          14 A multitude at the seaside (3:7-12)
                            15 Jesus appoints the twelve (3:13-19)
                              16 Jesus and Beelzebul (3:20-30)
                                17 The true kindred of Jesus (3:31-35)
                                  18 The parable of the sower (4:1-20)
                                    19 The parables of the kingdom of God (4:21-34)
                                      20 Jesus stills a storm (4:35-41)
                                        21 Jesus heals the Gerasene demoniac (5:1-20)
                                          22 A girl restored to life and a woman healed (5:21-43)
                                            23 The rejection of Jesus at Nazareth (6:1-6)
                                              24 The mission of the twelve (6:7-13)
                                                25 The death of John the Baptist (6:14-29)
                                                  26 Feeding the five thousand (6:30-44)
                                                    27 Jesus walks on the water (6:45-53)
                                                      28 Healing the sick in Gennesaret (6:54-56)
                                                        29 The tradition on the elders (7:1-23)
                                                          30 The Syrophoenician woman's faith (7:24-30)
                                                            31 Jesus cures a deaf man (7:31-37)
                                                              32 Feeding the four thousand (8:1-10)
                                                                33 The yeast of the Pharisees and of Herod (8:11-21)
                                                                  34 Jesus cures a blind man at Bethsaida (8:22-26)
                                                                    35 Peter's declaration about Jesus (8:27-30)
                                                                      36 Jesus foretells his death and resurrection (8:31-33)
                                                                        37 Losing life for Jesus (8:34-38)
                                                                          38 A man who not taste death (9:1)
                                                                            39 The transfiguration (9:2-13)
                                                                              40 The healing of a boy with a spirit (9:14-29)
                                                                                41 Jesus again foretells his death and resurrection (9:30-32)
                                                                              42 Who is the greatest? (9:33-50)
                                                                            43 Teaching about divorce (10:1-12)
                                                                          44 Jesus blesses little children (10:13-16)
                                                                        45 The rich man (10:17-31)
                                                                      46 A third time Jesus foretells his death and resurrection (10:32-34)
                                                                    47 The request of James and John (10:35-45)
                                                                  48 The healing of blind Bartimaeus (10:46-52)
                                                                49 Jesus' triumphal entry into Jerusalem (11:1-11)
                                                              50 Jesus curses the fig tree (11:12-14)
                                                            51 Jesus cleanses the temple (11:15-19)
                                                          52 The lesson from the withered fig tree (11:20-26)
                                                        53 Jesus' authority is questioned (11:27-33)
                                                      54 The parable of the wicked tenants (12:1-12)
                                                    55 The question about paying taxes (12:13-17)
                                                  56 The question about the resurrection (12:18-27)
                                                57 The first commandment (12:28-34)
                                              58 The question about David's son (12:35-37)
                                            59 Jesus denounces the scribes (12:38-40)
                                          60 The widow's offering (12:41-44)
                                        61 The destruction of the temple foretold (13:1-23)
                                      62 The desolating sacrilege (13:24-27)
                                    63 The lesson of the fig tree (13:28-31)
                                  64 The necedssity of watchfulness (13:32-37)
                                65 The plot to kill Jesus (14:1-2)
                              66 The anointing at Bethany (14:3-9)
                            67 Judas agrees to betray Jesus (14:10-11)
                          68 The preparation for the Passover (14:12-16)
                        69 The Passover with the disciples (14:17-21)
                      70 The instructions of the Lord's supper (14:22-26)
                    71 Peter's denial foretold (14:27-31)
                  72 Jesus prays in Gethsemane (14:32-42)
                73 The betrayal and arrest of Jesus (14:43-52)
              74 Jesus before the council (14:53-65)
            75 Peter denies Jesus (14:66-72)
          76 Jesus before Pilate (15:1-5)
        77 Pilate hands Jesus over to be crucified (15:6-15)
      78 The crucifixion of Jesus (15:16-24)
    79 The death of Jesus (15:25-39)
  80 The burial of Jesus (15:40-47)
81 The resurrection of Jesus (16:1-8)
Former halfRelationLatter half
1 Prophecy of Isaiah (1:1-3)
As it is written in Isaiah the prophet: "Behold, I am sending my messenger ahead of you; he will prepare your way. 1:3 A voice of one crying out in the desert: 'Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight his paths.'" (1:2-3)
Sending messenger ahead81 The resurrection of Jesus (16:1-8)
But go and tell his disciples and Peter, 'He is going before you to Galilee; there you will see him, as he told you.'" ( 16:7 )
2 Proclamation of John the Baptist (1:4-8)
People of the whole Judean countryside and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem were going out to him and were being baptized by him in the Jordan River as they acknowledged their sins. (1:5)
awaiting the kingdom of God80 The burial of Jesus (15:40-47)
Joseph of Arimathea, a distinguished member of the council, who was himself awaiting the kingdom of God, came and courageously went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. ( 15:43 )
3 Preparation for ministry (1:9-13)
You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased. ( 1:11 )
Son of God79 The death of Jesus (15:25-39)
Truly this man was the Son of God! ( 15:39 )
3 Preparation for ministry (1:9-13)
On coming up out of the water he saw the heavens being torn open and the Spirit, like a dove, descending upon him. ( 1:10 )
Split79 The death of Jesus (15:25-39)
The veil of the sanctuary was torn in two from top to bottom. ( 15:38 )
3 Preparation for ministry (1:9-13)
and he remained in the desert for forty days, tempted by Satan. ( 1:13 )
Trial79 The death of Jesus (15:25-39)
My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? ( 15:34 )
4 The beginning of the Galilean ministry (1:14-15)
This is the time of fulfillment. The kingdom of God is at hand. ( 1:15 )
Kingdom78 The crucifixion of Jesus (15:16-24)
Hail, King of the Jews! ( 15:18 )
5 Jesus calls the first disciples (1:16-20)
Jesus said to them, "Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men." ( 1:17 )
Person who moves person77 Pilate hands Jesus over to be crucified (15:6-15)
But the chief priests stirred up the crowd to have him release Barabbas for them instead. ( 15:11 )
6 The man with an unclean spirit (1:21-28)
What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are-- the Holy One of God! ( 1:24 )
Who is Jesus?76 Jesus before Pilate (15:1-5)
Are you the king of the Jews? ( 15:2 )
7 Jesus heals many at Simon's house (1:29-39)
On leaving the synagogue he entered the house of Simon and Andrew with James and John. ( 1:29 )
Simon with Jesus75 Peter denies Jesus (14:66-72)
Seeing Peter warming himself, she looked intently at him and said, "You too were with the Nazarene, Jesus." 14:68 But he denied it saying, "I neither know nor understand what you are talking about." So he went out into the outer court. ( 14:67-68 )
8 Jesus cleanses a leper (1:40-45)
1:44 Then he said to him, "See that you tell no one anything, but go, show yourself to the priest and offer for your cleansing what Moses prescribed; that will be proof for them." (1:44)
Testimony74 Jesus before the council (14:53-65)
14:55 The chief priests and the entire Sanhedrin kept trying to obtain testimony against Jesus in order to put him to death, but they found none. (14:55)
9 Jesus heals a paralytic (2:1-12)
2:6 Now some of the scribes were sitting there asking themselves,2:7 "Why does this man speak that way? He is blaspheming. Who but God alone can forgive sins?"(2:6-7)
Antipathy of the scribes73 The betrayal and arrest of Jesus (14:43-52)
14:43 Then, while he was still speaking, Judas, one of the Twelve, arrived, accompanied by a crowd with swords and clubs who had come from the chief priests, the scribes, and the elders. (14:43)
10 Jesus calls Levi (2:13-17)
2:17 Jesus heard this and said to them (that), "Those who are well do not need a physician, but the sick do. I did not come to call the righteous but sinners."(2:17)
Sinner72 Jesus prays in Gethsemane (14:32-42)
14:41 He returned a third time and said to them, "Are you still sleeping and taking your rest? It is enough. The hour has come. Behold, the Son of Man is to be handed over to sinners. (14:41)
11 The question about fasting (2:18-22)
2:20 But the days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast on that day. (2:20)
Disciples will be dispersed71 Peter's denial foretold (14:27-31)
14:27 Then Jesus said to them, "All of you will have your faith shaken, for it is written: 'I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be dispersed.'(14:27)
12 Pronoucement about the sabbath (2:23-28)
2:26 How he went into the house of God when Abiathar was high priest and ate the bread of offering that only the priests could lawfully eat, and shared it with his companions?" (2:26)
Giving a bread70 The instructions of the Lord's supper (14:22-26)
14:22 While they were eating, he took bread, said the blessing, broke it, and gave it to them, and said, "Take it; this is my body."(14:22)
13 The man with a withered hand (3:1-6)
3:6 The Pharisees went out and immediately took counsel with the Herodians against him to put him to death.(3:6)
People wish to kill Jesus69 The Passover with the disciples (14:17-21)
14:18 And as they reclined at table and were eating, Jesus said, "Amen, I say to you, one of you will betray me, one who is eating with me."(14:18)
14 A multitude at the seaside (3:7-12)
3:9 He told his disciples to have a boat ready for him because of the crowd, so that they would not crush him. (3:9)
Jesus assigns tasks to disciples68 The preparation for the Passover (14:12-16)
14:13 He sent two of his disciples and said to them, "Go into the city and a man will meet you, carrying a jar of water. Follow him.(14:13)
15 Jesus appoints the twelve (3:13-19)
3:19 and Judas Iscariot who betrayed him. (3:19)
Betrayal of Judas67 Judas agrees to betray Jesus (14:10-11)
14:10 Then Judas Iscariot, one of the Twelve, went off to the chief priests to hand him over to them. (14:10)
16 Jesus and Beelzebul (3:20-30)
3:25 And if a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand. (3:25)
Infighting66 The anointing at Bethany (14:3-9)
14:4 There were some who were indignant. "Why has there been this waste of perfumed oil? (14:4)
17 The true kindred of Jesus (3:31-35)
3:31 His mother and his brothers arrived. Standing outside they sent word to him and called him. (3:31)
People want to catch Jesus65 The plot to kill Jesus (14:1-2)
14:1 The Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread were to take place in two days' time. So the chief priests and the scribes were seeking a way to arrest him by treachery and put him to death.(14:1)
18 The parable of the sower (4:1-20)
4:9 He added, "Whoever has ears to hear ought to hear." (4:9)
Listen / be watchful64 The necedssity of watchfulness (13:32-37)
13:33 Be watchful! Be alert! You do not know when the time will come. (13:33)
19 The parables of the kingdom of God (4:21-34)
4:33 With many such parables he spoke the word to them as they were able to understand it. (4:33)
Words of Jesus63 The lesson of the fig tree (13:28-31)
13:31 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away. (13:31)
20 Jesus stills a storm (4:35-41)
4:41 They were filled with great awe and said to one another, "Who then is this whom even wind and sea obey?"(4:41)
People see the power of son of man62 The desolating sacrilege (13:24-27)
13:26 And then they will see 'the Son of Man coming in the clouds' with great power and glory,(13:26)
21 Jesus heals the Gerasene demoniac (5:1-20)
5:17 Then they began to beg him to leave their district.
Being hated61 The destruction of the temple foretold (13:1-23)
13:13 You will be hated by all because of my name. But the one who perseveres to the end will be saved.
21 Jesus heals the Gerasene demoniac (5:1-20)
5:9He asked him, "What is your name?" He replied, "Legion is my name. There are many of us."
Many evils61 The destruction of the temple foretold (13:1-23)
13:6 Many will come in my name saying, 'I am he,' and they will deceive many.
22 A girl restored to life and a woman healed (5:21-43)
5:26 She had suffered greatly at the hands of many doctors and had spent all that she had. Yet she was not helped but only grew worse.
Women contribute whole possessions60 The widow's offering (12:41-44)
12:44 For they have all contributed from their surplus wealth, but she, from her poverty, has contributed all she had, her whole livelihood."
23 The rejection of Jesus at Nazareth (6:1-6)
6:4"A prophet is not without honor except in his native place and among his own kin and in his own house."
Prophets without honor / hypocrites with honor59 Jesus denounces the scribes (12:38-40)
12:38"Beware of the scribes, who like to go around in long robes and accept greetings in the marketplaces, 12:39 seats of honor in synagogues, and places of honor at banquets. 12:40 They devour the houses of widows and, as a pretext, recite lengthy prayers. They will receive a very severe condemnation."
24 The mission of the twelve (6:7-13)
6:7 He summoned the Twelve and began to send them out two by two and gave them authority over unclean spirits.
Spirit (pneuma)58 The question about David's son (12:35-37)
12:36 David himself, inspired by the holy Spirit,
25 The death of John the Baptist (6:14-29)
6:18 John had said to Herod, "It is not lawful for you to have your brother's wife."
Torah57 The first commandment (12:28-34)
12:28 One of the scribes, when he came forward and heard them disputing and saw how well he had answered them, asked him, "Which is the first of all the commandments?"
26 Feeding the five thousand (6:30-44)
6:43 And they picked up twelve wicker baskets full of fragments and what was left of the fish.
The God of Israel56 The question about the resurrection (12:18-27)
12:26I am the God of Abraham, (the) God of Isaac, and (the) God of Jacob?
27 Jesus walks on the water (6:45-53)
6:51They were (completely) astounded.
People are amazed55 The question about paying taxes (12:13-17)
12:17They were utterly amazed at him.
28 Healing the sick in Gennesaret (6:54-56)
6:56 Whatever villages or towns or countryside he entered, they laid the sick in the marketplaces and begged him that they might touch only the tassel on his cloak; and as many as touched it were healed.
Miracle of the God54 The parable of the wicked tenants (12:1-12)
12:10 The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; 12:11 by the Lord has this been done, and it is wonderful in our eyes'
29 The tradition on the elders (7:1-23)
7:15 Nothing that enters one from outside can defile that person; but the things that come out from within are what defile.
Question about from where53 Jesus' authority is questioned (11:27-33)
11:30 Was Johns baptism of heavenly or of human origin? Answer me.
30 The Syrophoenician woman's faith (7:24-30)
7:28"Lord, even the dogs under the table eat the children's scraps."
Asking for in prayer and receiving52 The lesson from the withered fig tree (11:20-26)
11:24 Therefore I tell you, all that you ask for in prayer, believe that you will receive it and it shall be yours.
31 Jesus cures a deaf man (7:31-37)
7:34 then he looked up to heaven and groaned, and said to him, "Ephphatha!" (that is, "Be opened!")
Putting out51 Jesus cleanses the temple (11:15-19)
11:15and on entering the temple area he began to drive out those selling and buying there.
32 Feeding the four thousand (8:1-10)
feeding the four thousand
Hunger and food50 Jesus curses the fig tree (11:12-14)
11:12 The next day as they were leaving Bethany he was hungry. 11:13 Seeing from a distance a fig tree in leaf, he went over to see if he could find anything on it. When he reached it he found nothing but leaves; it was not the time for figs.
33 The yeast of the Pharisees and of Herod (8:11-21)
8:19 when I broke the five loaves for the five thousand, how many wicker baskets full of fragments you picked up?" They answered him, "Twelve." 8:20 "When I broke the seven loaves for the four thousand, how many full baskets of fragments did you pick up?" They answered (him), "Seven."
Israel, glory of the God49 Jesus' triumphal entry into Jerusalem (11:1-11)
11:10 Blessed is the kingdom of our father David that is to come! Hosanna in the highest!"
34 Jesus cures a blind man at Bethsaida (8:22-26)
8:25 Then he laid hands on his eyes a second time and he saw clearly; his sight was restored and he could see everything distinctly.
Curing blind48 The healing of blind Bartimaeus (10:46-52)
10:52 Jesus told him, "Go your way; your faith has saved you." Immediately he received his sight and followed him on the way.
35 Peter's declaration about Jesus (8:27-30)
8:29 And he asked them, "But who do you say that I am?" Peter said to him in reply, "You are the Messiah."
Jesus is Messiah47 The request of James and John (10:35-45)
10:37 They answered him, "Grant that in your glory we may sit one at your right and the other at your left."
36 Jesus foretells his death and resurrection (8:31-33)
first foretelling death and resurrection
Prophecy of passion46 A third time Jesus foretells his death and resurrection (10:32-34)
third foretelling death and resurrection
37 Losing life for Jesus (8:34-38)
8:35but whoever loses his life for my sake and that of the gospel will save it.
Life and persecution against Gospel45 The rich man (10:17-31)
10:29there is no one who has given up house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands for my sake and for the sake of the gospel 10:30 who will not receive a hundred times more now in this present age: houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions, and eternal life in the age to come.
38 A man who not taste death (9:1)
9:1who will not taste death until they see that the kingdom of God has come in power."
Entering kingdom of the God44 Jesus blesses little children (10:13-16)
10:14for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.
39 The transfiguration (9:2-13)
9:4 Then Elijah appeared to them along with Moses,
Moses43 Teaching about divorce (10:1-12)
10:3"What did Moses command you?"
40 The healing of a boy with a spirit (9:14-29)
9:25the unclean spirit
Unclean spirits42 Who is the greatest? (9:33-50)
9:38demons
40 The healing of a boy with a spirit (9:14-29)
9:17my son possessed by a mute spirit.
Child42 Who is the greatest? (9:33-50)
9:37 "Whoever receives one child such as this in my name, receives me;

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

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