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Literary structure (chiasmus, chiasm) of Gospel of John

Chiasmus and Concentric Structure of divided by 2

This central pericope (no. 41, John 11:38-44) 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 those two concentric structures, two centers are "The words of eternal life" (pericope no. 21, John 6:60-71) and "Sorrow will turn into joy" (no. 61, John 16:16-33). These central pericopes are related to the Ascension of Jesus and withdrawal of the disciples.


2-1

1 The word became flesh (1:1-18)
  2 The testimony of John the Baptist (1:19-28)
    3 The lamb of God (1:29-34)
      4 The first disciple of Jesus (1:35-42)
        5 Jesus calls Philip and Nathanael (1:43-51)
          6 The wedding at Cana (2:1-12)
            7 Jesus cleanses the temple (2:13-25)
              8 Nicodemus visits Jesus (3:1-21)
                9 John the Baptist's Final Witness (3:22-36)
                  10 Jesus and the Woman of Samaria (4:1-26)
                    11 One sows and another reaps (4:27-38)
                      12 Faith of Samaria (4:39-42)
                        13 Jesus returns to Galilee (4:43-45)
                          14 Healing the Official's Son (4:46-54)
                            15 Jesus heals on the Sabbath (5:1-18)
                              16 The authority of the son (5:19-30)
                                17 Witnesses to Jesus (5:31-47)
                                  18 Feeding the five thousand (6:1-15)
                                    19 Jesus walks on the water (6:16-21)
                                      20 The bread from heaven (6:22-59)
                                        21 The words of eternal life (6:60-71)
                                      22 The unbelief of Jesus' brothers (7:1-9)
                                    23 Jesus at the festival of booths (7:10-24)
                                  24 Is this the Christ (7:25-36)
                                25 River of living water (7:37-44)
                              26 The unbelief of those in authority (7:45-53)
                            27 The woman caught in adultery (8:1-11)
                          28 Jesus the light of the world (8:12-20)
                        29 Jesus foretells his death (8:21-30)
                      30 Before Abraham was born, I am (8:31-59)
                    31 A man born blind receives sight (9:1-12)
                  32 The Pharisees investigate the healing (9:13-34)
                33 Spiritual blindness (9:35-41)
              34 The sheep, the Shepherd, and sheep robbers (10:1-6)
            35 Jesus' application of the parables (10:7-21)
          36 Jesus is rejected by the Jews (10:22-39)
        37 Across the Jordan (10:40-42)
      38 The death of Lazarus (11:1-16)
    39 Dialogs with Martha (11:17-27)
  40 Dialogs with Mary (11:28-37)
41 Jesus raises Lazarus to life (11:38-44)
Former halfRelationLatter half
1 The word became flesh (1:1-18)
1:7 He came for testimony, to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him.
So that people may believe41 Jesus raises Lazarus to life (11:38-44)
11:42 I know that you always hear me; but because of the crowd here I have said this, that they may believe that you sent me."
2 The testimony of John the Baptist (1:19-28)
1:25 They asked him, "Why then do you baptize if you are not the Messiah or Elijah or the Prophet?" (1:25)
People's lack of understandings40 Dialogs with Mary (11:28-37)
11:37 But some of them said, "Could not the one who opened the eyes of the blind man have done something so that this man would not have died?" (11:37)
3 The lamb of God (1:29-34)
1:34 Now I have seen and testified that he is the Son of God.(1:34)
The Son of God39 Dialogs with Martha (11:17-27)
11:27 I have come to believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, the one who is coming into the world.(11:27)
4 The first disciple of Jesus (1:35-42)
1:37 The two disciples heard what he said and followed Jesus.(1:37)
Disciples follow38 The death of Lazarus (11:1-16)
11:16 So Thomas, called Didymus, said to his fellow disciples, "Let us also go to die with him."(11:16)
5 Jesus calls Philip and Nathanael (1:43-51)
1:50 Do you believe because I told you that I saw you under the fig tree? (1:50)
People who believe37 Across the Jordan (10:40-42)
10:42 And many there began to believe in him.(10:42)
6 The wedding at Cana (2:1-12)
2:11 Jesus did this as the beginning of his signs in Cana in Galilee and so revealed his glory, and his disciples began to believe in him.(2:11)
Testimony by the signs36 Jesus is rejected by the Jews (10:22-39)
10:25 I told you and you do not believe. The works I do in my Father's name testify to me.(10:25)
7 Jesus cleanses the temple (2:13-25)
2:22 Therefore, when he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this, and they came to believe the scripture and the word Jesus had spoken. (2:22)
Death and resurrection35 Jesus' application of the parables (10:7-21)
10:17 I lay down my life in order to take it up again. (10:17)
8 Nicodemus visits Jesus (3:1-21)
3:10 Jesus answered and said to him, "You are the teacher of Israel and you do not understand this? (3:10)
Pharisees' lack of understanding34 The sheep, the Shepherd, and sheep robbers (10:1-6)
10:6 Although Jesus used this figure of speech, they did not realize what he was trying to tell them.(10:6)
9 John the Baptist's Final Witness (3:22-36)
3:36 Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever disobeys the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God remains upon him.(3:36)
Judgement33 Spiritual blindness (9:35-41)
9:39 I came into this world for judgment (9:39)
10 Jesus and the Woman of Samaria (4:1-26)
4:12 Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us this cistern and drank from it himself with his children and his flocks? (4:12)
Authority of Jacob / Moses32 The Pharisees investigate the healing (9:13-34)
9:28 You are that man's disciple; we are disciples of Moses! (9:28)
11 One sows and another reaps (4:27-38)
4:34 My food is to do the will of the one who sent me and to finish his work. (4:34)
Doing the works of the father31 A man born blind receives sight (9:1-12)
9:4 We have to do the works of the one who sent me while it is day. (9:4)
12 Faith of Samaria (4:39-42)
4:41 Many more began to believe in him because of his word (4:41)
To listening words and to believe30 Before Abraham was born, I am (8:31-59)
8:31 Jesus then said to those Jews who believed in him, "If you remain in my word, you will truly be my disciples" (8:31)
13 Jesus returns to Galilee (4:43-45)
4:45 When he came into Galilee, the Galileans welcomed him (4:45)
Receiving Jesus29 Jesus foretells his death (8:21-30)
8:30 Because he spoke this way, many came to believe in him. (8:30)
14 Healing the Official's Son (4:46-54)
4:50 You may go; your son will live. (4:50)
To give a life28 Jesus the light of the world (8:12-20)
8:12 Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life. (8:12)
15 Jesus heals on the Sabbath (5:1-18)
5:10 It is the sabbath, and it is not lawful for you to carry your mat. (5:10)
The law of Moses27 The woman caught in adultery (8:1-11)
8:5 Now in the law, Moses commanded us to stone such women. (8:5)
16 The authority of the son (5:19-30)
5:23 Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent him. (5:23)
People don't respect Jesus26 The unbelief of those in authority (7:45-53)
7:52 You are not from Galilee also, are you? Look and see that no prophet arises from Galilee. (7:52)
17 Witnesses to Jesus (5:31-47)
5:39 You search the scriptures, because you think you have eternal life through them; even they testify on my behalf.(5:39)
The Bible25 River of living water (7:37-44)
7:38 Whoever believes in me, as scripture says: Rivers of living water will flow from within him."(7:38)
18 Feeding the five thousand (6:1-15)
6:14 This is truly the Prophet, the one who is to come into the world.(6:14)
The coming man24 Is this the Christ (7:25-36)
7:31 When the Messiah comes, will he perform more signs than this man has done? (7:31)
19 Jesus walks on the water (6:16-21)
6:19 they began to be afraid.(6:19)
People who are afraid23 Jesus at the festival of booths (7:10-24)
7:13 they were afraid of the Jews. (7:13)
20 The bread from heaven (6:22-59)
6:36 But I told you that although you have seen (me), you do not believe. (6:36)
People who don't believe22 The unbelief of Jesus' brothers (7:1-9)
7:5 For his brothers did not believe in him. (7:5)

2-2

41 Jesus raises Lazarus to life (11:38-44)
  42 The plot to kill Jesus (11:45-57)
    43 Mary anoints Jesus (12:1-8)
      44 The plot to kill Lazarus (12:9-11)
        45 Jesus' triumphal entry into Jerusalem (12:12-19)
          46 Some Greeks wish to see Jesus (12:20-26)
            47 Jesus speaks about his death (12:27-36a)
              48 The unbelief of the people (12:36b-41)
                49 The judgement by word of Jesus (12:42-50)
                  50 Jesus washes the disciples' feet (13:1-20)
                    51 Jesus foretells his betrayal (13:21-30)
                      52 The new commandment (13:31-35)
                        53 Jesus foretells Peter's denial (13:36-38)
                          54 Jesus the way to the father (14:1-14)
                            55 The promise of the holy spirit (14:15-24)
                              56 Do not let your hearts be troubled (14:25-31)
                                57 Jesus the true vine (15:1-10)
                                  58 love one another (15:11-17)
                                    59 The world's hatred (15:18-16:4a)
                                      60 The work of the Spirit (16:4b-15)
                                        61 Sorrow will turn into joy (16:16-33)
                                      62 Jesus prays for his disciples (17:1-26)
                                    63 The betrayal and arrest of Jesus (18:1-14)
                                  64 Denial of Peter (18:15-18)
                                65 The Jewish Trial and Peter's Denial (18:19-24)
                              66 Denial of Peter again (18:25-27)
                            67 Jesus before Pilate (18:28-38b)
                          68 Jesus sentenced to death (18:38c-19:16a)
                        69 The crucifixion of Jesus (19:16b-22)
                      70 People with crucified Jesus (19:23-27)
                    71 The death of Jesus (19:28-30)
                  72 Jesus' side is pierced (19:31-37)
                73 The burial of Jesus (19:38-42)
              74 The resurrection of Jesus (20:1-10)
            75 Jesus appears to Mary Magdalene (20:11-18)
          76 Jesus appears to the disciple (20:19-23)
        77 Jesus and Thomas (20:24-29)
      78 The purpose of this book (20:30-31)
    79 Jesus appears to seven disciples (21:1-14)
  80 Jesus and Peter (21:15-19)
81 Jesus and the beloved disciple (21:20-25)
Former halfRelationLatter half
41 Jesus raises Lazarus to life (11:38-44)
11:44 The dead man came out, tied hand and foot with burial bands,
Immortal81 Jesus and the beloved disciple (21:20-25)
21:23 So the word spread among the brothers that that disciple would not die.
42 The plot to kill Jesus (11:45-57)
11:51 He did not say this on his own, but since he was high priest for that year, he prophesied that Jesus was going to die for the nation, 11:52 and not only for the nation, but also to gather into one the dispersed children of God.
Prophecy of martyrdom80 Jesus and Peter (21:15-19)
21:18 Amen, amen, I say to you, when you were younger, you used to dress yourself and go where you wanted; but when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go."
43 Mary anoints Jesus (12:1-8)
12:2 They gave a dinner for him there, and Martha served, while Lazarus was one of those reclining at table with him.
Eating together with the Lord79 Jesus appears to seven disciples (21:1-14)
21:12 Jesus said to them, "Come, have breakfast." And none of the disciples dared to ask him, "Who are you?" because they realized it was the Lord. 21:13 Jesus came over and took the bread and gave it to them, and in like manner the fish.
44 The plot to kill Lazarus (12:9-11)
12:11 because many of the Jews were turning away and believing in Jesus because of him.
Becoming believing78 The purpose of this book (20:30-31)
20:31 But these are written that you may (come to) believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that through this belief you may have life in his name.
45 Jesus' triumphal entry into Jerusalem (12:12-19)
12:18 This was (also) why the crowd went to meet him, because they heard that he had done this sign.
Seeing and believing77 Jesus and Thomas (20:24-29)
20:27"Put your finger here and see my hands, and bring your hand and put it into my side, and do not be unbelieving, but believe."
46 Some Greeks wish to see Jesus (12:20-26)
12:26 Whoever serves me must follow me, and where I am, there also will my servant be. The Father will honor whoever serves me.
Serving to God through Jesus76 Jesus appears to the disciple (20:19-23)
20:21"Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you."
47 Jesus speaks about his death (12:27-36a)
12:32 And when I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw everyone to myself."
Ascension of Jesus75 Jesus appears to Mary Magdalene (20:11-18)
20:17'I am going to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.'"
48 The unbelief of the people (12:36b-41)
12:38 in order that the word which Isaiah the prophet spoke might be fulfilled:
Fulfillment of the word of the Bible74 The resurrection of Jesus (20:1-10)
20:9 For they did not yet understand the scripture that he had to rise from the dead.
49 The judgement by word of Jesus (12:42-50)
12:42 Nevertheless, many, even among the authorities, believed in him,
Secret disciples73 The burial of Jesus (19:38-42)
19:38 After this, Joseph of Arimathea, secretly a disciple of Jesus for fear of the Jews, asked Pilate if he could remove the body of Jesus.
50 Jesus washes the disciples' feet (13:1-20)
13:5 Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples' feet and dry them with the towel around his waist.
Water, foot72 Jesus' side is pierced (19:31-37)
19:33 But when they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead, they did not break his legs, 19:34 but one soldier thrust his lance into his side, and immediately blood and water flowed out.
50 Jesus washes the disciples' feet (13:1-20)
13:18But so that the scripture might be fulfilled, The one who ate my food has raised his heel against me.
Fulfillment of the word of the Bible72 Jesus' side is pierced (19:31-37)
19:36 For this happened so that the scripture passage might be fulfilled: "Not a bone of it will be broken."
51 Jesus foretells his betrayal (13:21-30)
13:27So Jesus said to him, "What you are going to do, do quickly."
What to do71 The death of Jesus (19:28-30)
19:28 After this, aware that everything was now finished, in order that the scripture might be fulfilled, Jesus said, "I thirst."
52 The new commandment (13:31-35)
13:34 I give you a new commandment: love one another. As I have loved you, so you also should love one another. 13:35 This is how all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another."
Love, disciples70 People with crucified Jesus (19:23-27)
19:26 When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple there whom he loved, he said to his mother, "Woman, behold, your son."
53 Jesus foretells Peter's denial (13:36-38)
13:36 Jesus answered (him), "Where I am going, you cannot follow me now, though you will follow later."
Where Jesus is going69 The crucifixion of Jesus (19:16b-22)
19:17 and carrying the cross himself he went out to what is called the Place of the Skull, in Hebrew, Golgotha.
54 Jesus the way to the father (14:1-14)
14:3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back again and take you to myself, so that where I am you also may be. 14:4 Where (I) am going you know the way."
Place of Jesus68 Jesus sentenced to death (18:38c-19:16a)
19:8 Now when Pilate heard this statement, he became even more afraid, 19:9 and went back into the praetorium and said to Jesus, "Where are you from?" Jesus did not answer him.
55 The promise of the holy spirit (14:15-24)
14:19 In a little while the world will no longer see me, but you will see me, because I live and you will live.
Jesus doesn't belong to this world67 Jesus before Pilate (18:28-38b)
18:36"My kingdom does not belong to this world. If my kingdom did belong to this world, my attendants (would) be fighting to keep me from being handed over to the Jews. But as it is, my kingdom is not here."
56 Do not let your hearts be troubled (14:25-31)
14:27 Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid. (14:27)
Fear of disciples66 Denial of Peter again (18:25-27)
Denial of Peter
57 Jesus the true vine (15:1-10)
15:3 You are already pruned because of the word that I spoke to you. (15:3)
The words of Jesus65 The Jewish Trial and Peter's Denial (18:19-24)
18:21 Why ask me? Ask those who heard me what I said to them. They know what I said. (18:21)
58 love one another (15:11-17)
15:14 You are my friends if you do what I command you. (15:14)
Following to Jesus64 Denial of Peter (18:15-18)
18:15 Simon Peter and another disciple followed Jesus. (18:15)
59 The world's hatred (15:18-16:4a)
16:2 in fact, the hour is coming when everyone who kills you will think he is offering worship to God.(16:2)
People who want to kill63 The betrayal and arrest of Jesus (18:1-14)
18:2 Judas his betrayer also knew the place, because Jesus had often met there with his disciples. (18:2)
60 The work of the Spirit (16:4b-15)
16:14 He will glorify me, because he will take from what is mine and declare it to you. (16:14)
Being glorified62 Jesus prays for his disciples (17:1-26)
17:10 I have been glorified in them. (17:10)

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-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
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