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

Chiastic Structure and Concentric Structure and Parallel of each pericope

[1]Salutation  (Rom 1:1-7)
 
  A(1:1)  1:1 Paul, a slave of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle (1:1)"   (ἀπόστολος)
    B(1:2-4)    1:4 established as Son of God in power according to the spirit of holiness through resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord. (1:4)"   (Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ τοῦ κυρίου)
  A'(1:5-6)  1:5 we have received the grace of apostleship (1:5)   (ἀποστολὴν)
    B'(1:7)    1:7 God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ (1:7)   (κυρίου Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ)
 
   A: Apostle. B: Son of God, Lord Jesus Christ.

[2]Prayer of thanksgiving  (Rom 1:8-15)
 
  A(1:8-9)  1:9 proclaiming the gospel (1:9)   (εὐαγγελίῳ)
    B(1:10)    1:10 I may at last find my way clear to come to you.(1:10)   (θελήματι)
      C(1:11-12)      1:12 you and I may be mutually encouraged by one another's faith (1:12)
    B'(1:13)    1:13 I often planned to come to you (1:13)   (θέλω)
  A'(1:14-15)  1:15 to preach the gospel (1:15)   (εὐαγγελίσασθαι)
 
   A: Evangelization throughout the world. B: The plan to visit Rome. C: Mutually being encouraged by one another's faith.

[3]The power of the Gospel  (Rom 1:16-17)
 
  A(1:16)  1:16 It is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes (1:16)   (πιστεύοντι)
    B(1:17a)    1:17 the righteousness of God (1:17)
  A'(1:17b)  1:17 The one who is righteous by faith will live (1:17)   (πίστεως)
 
   A: Life by faith. B: The righteousness of God.

[4]The guilt of humankind  (Rom 1:18-32)
 
  A(1:18-21)  1:21 although they knew God they did not accord him glory as God (1:21)   (γνόντες)
    B(1:22-23)    1:22 they became fools (1:22)   (ἐμωράνθησαν)
      C(1:24)      1:24 God handed them over to impurity (1:24)   (παρέδωκεν)
        D(1:25)        1:25 the creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. (1:25)
      C'(1:26-28)      1:26 God handed them over to degrading passions (1:26)   (παρέδωκεν)
    B'(1:29-31)    1:31 They are senseless (1:31)   (ἀσυνέτους)
  A'(1:32)  1:32 Although they know the just decree of God that all who practice such things deserve death (1:32)   (ἐπιγνόντες)
 
   A: Doing evil though knowing God. B: Foolishness. C: Handing over. D: The creator.

[5]The righteous judgment of God  (Rom 2:1-16)
 
  A(2:1-5)  2:5 the day of wrath and revelation of the just judgment of God, (2:5)"   (ἡμέρᾳ)
    B(2:6)    2:6 who will repay everyone according to his works: (2:6)
      C(2:7)      Who by patiently doing good seek for glory and honor and immortality   (ἀγαθοῦ)
        D(2:8)        Who obey not the truth but wickedness   (ἀδικίᾳ)
        D'(2:9)        Everyone who does evil   (κακόν)
      C'(2:10)      Everyone who does good   (ἀγαθόν)
    B'(2:11)    2:11 There is no partiality with God.(2:11)
  A'(2:12-16)  2:16 on the day when, according to my gospel, God will judge people's hidden works through Christ Jesus. (2:16)"   (ἡμέρᾳ)
 
   A: The day of the judgment. B: Equality. C: Good person. D: Evil person.

[6]The Jews and the law  (Rom 2:17-29)
 
  A(2:17-20)  2:17 you call yourself a Jew (2:17)   (Ἰουδαῖος)
    B(2:21-23)    2:23 breaking the law (2:23)   (παραβάσεως)
      C(2:24)      2:24 the name of God is reviled among the Gentiles (2:24)
    B'(2:25-27)    2:27 who break the law (2:27)   (παραβάτην)
  A'(2:28-29)  2:29 one is a Jew inwardly (2:29)   (Ἰουδαῖος)
 
   A: Jews. B: Breaking the law. C: The name of God is reviled among the Gentiles.

[7]None is righteous  (Rom 3:1-18)
 
  A(3:1-2)  3:1 What advantage is there then in being a Jew? (3:1)   (τί οὖν)
    B(3:3-4)    3:4 God must be true, though every human being is a liar (3:4)"   (ἀληθής)
      C(3:5-6)      3:5 But if our wickedness provides proof of God's righteousness, what can we say? (3:5)
    B'(3:7-8)    3:7 God's truth redounds to his glory through my falsehood (3:7)   (ἀλήθεια)
  A'(3:9-18)  3:9 Well, then, are we better off? Not entirely (3:9)"   (τί οὖν)
 
   A: Advantage. B: Lie and truth. C: Wickedness and righteousness.

[8]Righteousness through faith  (Rom 3:19-31)
 
  A(3:19)  3:19 the whole world stand accountable to God (3:19)
    B(3:20)    3:20 since no human being will be justified in his sight by observing the law (3:20)   (νόμου)
      C(3:21-22)      3:21 But now the righteousness of God has been manifested (3:21)   (δικαιοσύνη θεοῦ)
        D(3:23-24)        3:24 They are justified freely by his grace through the redemption in Christ Jesus, (3:24)
      C'(3:25-26)      3:25 to prove his righteousness (3:25)   (δικαιοσύνης αὐτοῦ)
    B'(3:27-28)    3:27 On what principle, that of works? No, rather on the principle of faith. (3:27)"   (νόμου)
  A'(3:29-31)  3:29 Does he not belong to Gentiles, too? Yes, also to Gentiles (3:29)
 
   A: God of the whole world. B: The law cannot justify. C: To show the righteousness of God. D: Justification through the redemption in Christ Jesus.

[9]The example of Abraham  (Rom 4:1-12)
 
  A(4:1-2)  4:2 Indeed, if Abraham was justified on the basis of his works, he has reason to boast; but this was not so in the sight of God.(4:2)"   (ἔργων)
    B(4:3)    4:3 Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness (4:3)"   (ἐπίστευσεν)
      C(4:4-5)      4:5 But when one does not work, yet believes in the one who justifies the ungodly, his faith is credited as righteousness. (4:5)"   (μὴ ἐργαζομένῳ)
      C'(4:6-8)      4:6 the person to whom God credits righteousness apart from works: (4:6)   (χωρὶς ἔργων)
    B'(4:9)    4:9 faith was credited to Abraham as righteousness (4:9)   (πίστις)
  A'(4:10-12)  4:11 the righteousness that he had by faith while he was still uncircumcised (4:11)   (περιτομῆς)
 
   A: Person is not justified by works. B: Person is justified by faith. C: Person is justified apart from works.

[10]God's promise realized through faith  (Rom 4:13-25)
 
  A(4:13-15)  4:13 through the righteousness that comes from faith (4:13)   (πίστεως)
    B(4:16-17a)    4:17 I have made you father of many nations (4:17)   (πατέρα πολλῶν ἐθνῶν)
      C(4:17b)      4:17 who gives life to the dead and calls into being what does not exist. (4:17)
    B'(4:18-22)    4:18 the father of many nations (4:18)   (πατέρα πολλῶν ἐθνῶν)
  A'(4:23-25)  4:24 it was also for us, to whom it will be credited, who believe in the one who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead, (4:24)"   (πιστεύουσιν)
 
   A: The righteousness comes from the faith. B: Father of many nations. C: The LORD of the life.

[11]Results of justification  (Rom 5:1-11)
 
  A(5:1-4)  5:1 we have been justified by faith (5:1)   (δικαιωθέντες)
    B(5:5-6)    5:5 because the love of God has been poured out into our hearts through the holy Spirit (5:5)   (ἀγάπη)
      C(5:7a)      5:7 one die for a just person (5:7)   (ἀποθανεῖται)
      C(5:7b)      5:7 a good person one might even find courage to die (5:7)   (ἀποθανεῖν)
    B'(5:8)    5:8 God proves his love for us (5:8)   (ἀγάπην)
  A'(5:9-11)  5:9 we are now justified by his blood (5:9)   (δικαιωθέντες)
 
   A: Justification. B: Love of God. C: Goodness and death.

[12]Adam and Christ  (Rom 5:12-21)
 
  A(5:12-14)  5:12 through sin, death, and thus death came to all (5:12)"   (θάνατος)
    B(5:15)    5:15 the grace of God and the gracious gift of the one person Jesus Christ (5:15)   (δωρεὰ)
      C(5:16)      5:16 the gift, after many transgressions, brought acquittal. (5:16)
    B'(5:17-19)    5:17 who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of justification (5:17)   (δωρεᾶς)
  A'(5:20-21)  5:21 as sin reigned in death (5:21)   (θανάτῳ)
 
   A: Sin and death. B: The grace and gift of God. C: Gift and sin.

[13]Dying and rising with Christ  (Rom 6:1-23)
 
  A(6:1-2)  6:1 Shall we persist in sin that grace may abound? Of course not! (6:1-2)   (χάρις)
    B(6:3-7)    6:7 For a dead person has been absolved from sin. (6:7)   (ἁμαρτίας)
      C(6:8-13)      6:13 the parts of your bodies to God as weapons for righteousness. (6:13)   (παριστάνετε)
  A'(6:14-15)  6:15 Shall we sin because we are not under the law but under grace? Of course not! (6:15)   (χάριν)
    B'(6:16-18)    6:18 Freed from sin, you have become slaves of righteousness. (6:18)"   (ἁμαρτίας)
      C'(6:19-23)      6:19 present them as slaves to righteousness for sanctification. (6:19)   (παρεστήσατε)
 
   A: Grace and sin. B: Freed from sin. C: Present the parts of your bodies to God.

[14]An analogy from marriage  (Rom 7:1-6)
 
  A(7:1)  7:1 brothers (7:1)   (ἀδελφοί)
    B(7:2-3)    7:2 she is released from the law (7:2)   (κατήργηται)
  A'(7:4)  7:4 my brothers (7:4)   (ἀδελφοί)
    B'(7:5-6)    7:6 we are released from the law (7:6)   (κατηργήθημεν)
 
   A: Calling to brothers. B: Released from the law.

[15]The inner conflict  (Rom 7:7-25)
 
  A(7:7-13)  7:7 I did not know sin except through the law (7:7)   (νόμος ἁμαρτία)
    B(7:14-17)    7:17 it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. (7:17)"   (ἐν ἐμοὶ ἁμαρτία)
    B'(7:18-20)    7:20 it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me (7:20)"   (ἐν ἐμοὶ ἁμαρτία)
  A'(7:21-25)  7:25 I myself, with my mind, serve the law of God but, with my flesh, the law of sin.(7:25)"   (νόμῳ ἁμαρτίας)
 
   A: Sin and the law. B: Sin that dwells in me.

[16]Life in the spirit  (Rom 8:1-17)
 
  A(8:1-3)  8:3 by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for the sake of sin
    B(8:4-10)    8:6 The concern of the flesh is death, but the concern of the spirit is life and peace. (8:6)
      C(8:11)      Resurrection
    B'(8:12-13)    8:13 For if you live according to the flesh, you will die, but if by the spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live
  A'(8:14-17)  8:14 For those who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God
 
   A: Children of God. B: Sin and death. C: Resurrection.

[17]Future glory  (Rom 8:18-30)
 
  A(8:18-21)  8:21 share in the glorious freedom of the children of God. (8:21)
    B(8:22-23)    8:23 we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit
      C(8:24-25)      8:24 For in hope we were saved (8:24)
    B'(8:26-27)    8:26 the Spirit too comes to the aid of our weakness (8:26)
  A'(8:28-30)  8:30 those he predestined he also called; and those he called he also justified; and those he justified he also glorified
 
   A: Glory. B: The Spirit. C: Hope.

[18]God's election of Israel  (Rom 8:31-39)
 
  A1(8:31-32)  8:31 who can be against us? (8:31)
  A2(8:33)  8:33 Who will bring a charge against God's chosen ones? (8:33)
  A3(8:34)  8:34 Who will condemn? (8:34)
  A5(8:35-39)  8:35 What will separate us from the love of Christ? (8:35)
 
   A: Who?

[19]God's wrath and mercy  (Rom 9:1-29)
 
  A(9:1-5)  9:4 They are Israelites (9:4)
    B(9:6-13)    9:11 God's elective plan might continue (9:11)
      C(9:14)      9:14 What then are we to say? (9:14)
        D(9:15-16)        9:15 I will show mercy to whom I will (9:15)
        D'(9:17-18)        9:18 he has mercy upon whom he wills (9:18)
      C'(9:19)      9:19 Why does he still find fault? (9:19)
    B'(9:20-23)    9:21 Or does not the potter have a right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for a noble purpose and another for an ignoble one? (9:21)
  A'(9:24-29)  9:27 Though the number of the Israelites were like the sand of the sea, only a remnant will be saved (9:27)
 
   A: Israel. B: God's elective plan. C: Question. D: Mercy of God.

[20]Israel's unbelief  (Rom 9:30-10:21)
 
  A(9:30-33)  9:31 Israel, who pursued the law of righteousness, did not attain to that law? (9:31)
    B(10:1-7)    10:4 For Christ is the end of the law for the justification of everyone who has faith (10:4)
      C(10:8-13)      10:10 For one believes with the heart and so is justified, and one confesses with the mouth and so is saved (10:10)
    B'(10:14-17)    10:17 Thus faith comes from what is heard, and what is heard comes through the word of Christ. (10:17)
  A'(10:18-21)  10:19 did not Israel understand? (10:19)
 
   A:Ignorance of Israel. B: Salvation by Christ. C: Faith and salvation.

[21]Salvation is for all  (Rom 11:1-10)
 
  A(11:1-4)  11:1 has God rejected his people? (11:1)
    B(11:5-6)    11:6 But if by grace, it is no longer because of works (11:6)
  A'(11:7-10)  11:7 What Israel was seeking it did not attain, but the elect attained it (11:7)
 
   A: Salvation of Israel. B: Grace.

[22]Israel's rejection is not final  (Rom 11:11-24)
 
  A'(11:11-12)  11:12 how much more their full number. (11:12)
    B(11:13-15)    11:13 Inasmuch then as I am the apostle to the Gentiles, I glory in my ministry (11:13)
      C(11:16-18)      11:18 you do not support the root; the root supports you. (11:18)
    B'(11:19-21)    11:19Branches were broken off so that I might be grafted in (11:19)
  A'(11:22-24)  11:24 how much more will they who belong to it by nature be grafted back into their own olive tree. (11:24)
 
   A: Salvation of Jews. B: Salvation of Gentiles. C: Jews support Gentiles.

[23]All Israel will be saved  (Rom 11:25-36)
 
  A(11:25-27)  11:25 I do not want you to be unaware of this mystery (11:25)
    B(11:28-30)    11:30 Just as you once disobeyed God but have now received mercy because of their disobedience,(11:30)"   (ἠλεήθητε)
    B'(11:31-32)    11:31 so they have now disobeyed in order that, by virtue of the mercy shown to you, they too may (now) receive mercy. (11:31)"   (ἐλέει)
  A'(11:33-36)  11:33 Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! (11:33)
 
   A: Mystery of God. B: Mercy and disobedience.

[24]The new life in Christ  (Rom 12:1-21)
 
  A(12:1-2)  12:2 what is good and pleasing and perfect. (12:2)   (ἀγαθὸν)
    B(12:3-5)    12:3 not to think of himself more highly than one ought to think (12:3)   (ὑπερφρονεῖν)
      C(12:6-8)      12:8 if one exhorts, in exhortation; if one contributes, in generosity; if one is over others, with diligence; if one does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness.(12:8)
        D(12:9-12)        12:10 love one another with mutual affection; anticipate one another in showing honor. (12:10)
      C'(12:13-15)      12:13 Contribute to the needs of the holy ones, exercise hospitality. (12:13)
    B'(12:16-18)    12:16 do not be wise in your own estimation. (12:16)   (ὑψηλὰ φρονοῦντες)
  A'(12:19-21)  12:21 conquer evil with good (12:21)   (ἀγαθῷ)
 
   A: Good things. B: Warning against boastfulness. C: Contribution. D: Love one another.

[25]Being subject to authorities  (Rom 13:1-7)
 
  A(13:1)  13:1 there is no authority except from God (13:1)   (θεοῦ)
    B(13:2)    13:2 whoever resists authority opposes what God has appointed (13:2)   (ἀντιτασσόμενος)
      C(13:3a)      13:3 For rulers are not a cause of fear to good conduct, but to evil (13:3)"   (κακῷ)
        D(13:3b)        13:3 Do you wish to have no fear of authority?(13:3)   (φοβεῖσθαι)
          E(13:3c)          13:3 Then do what is good and you will receive approval from it, (13:3)"   (ἀγαθὸν)
          E'(13:4a)          13:4 for it is a servant of God for your good(13:4)   (ἀγαθν)
        D'(13:4b)        13:4 But if you do evil, be afraid (13:4)"   (φοβοῦ)
      C'(13:4c)      13:4 it is the servant of God to inflict wrath on the evildoer. (13:4)   (κακὸν)
    B'(13:5)    13:5it is necessary to be subject not only because of the wrath but also because of conscience. (13:5)   (ὑποτάσσεσθαι)
  A'(13:6-7)  13:6 for the authorities are ministers of God (13:6)   (θεοῦ)
 
   A: God and authority. B: Disobedience, obedience. C: Evildoers. D: Fear. E: Doing good.

[26]Love for one another  (Rom 13:8-14)
 
  A(13:8-10)  13:9 You shall not commit adultery; you shall not kill; you shall not steal; you shall not covet (13:9)
    B(13:11a)    13:11 it is the hour now for you to awake from sleep (13:11)   (ὥρα)
      C(13:11b)      13:11 For our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed;(13:11)
    B'(13:12)    13:12 the night is advanced, the day is at hand (13:12)"   (ἡμέρα)
  A'(13:13-14)  13:13 not in orgies and drunkenness, not in promiscuity and licentiousness, not in rivalry and jealousy.(13:13)
 
   A: Evildoing. B: Dawn. C: Coming of salvation.

[27]Do not judge another  (Rom 14:1-23)
 
  A(14:1-6)  14:3 The one who eats must not despise the one who abstains, and the one who abstains must not pass judgment on the one who eats (14:3)"   (ἐσθίων)
    B(14:7-8)    14:8 we are the Lord's.(14:8)
      C(14:9)      14:9 For this is why Christ died (14:9)
        D(14:10)        14:10 Why then do you judge your brother? (14:10)   (κρίνεις)
          E(14:11-12)          14:12 each of us shall give an account of himself. (14:12)
        D'(14:13)        14:13 Then let us no longer judge one another (14:13)   (κρίνατε)
      C'(14:14-15)      14:15 for whom Christ died (14:15)
    B'(14:16-19)    14:18 whoever serves Christ in this way (14:18)
  A'(14:20-23)  14:20 For the sake of food, do not destroy the work of God (14:20)"   (ἐσθίοντι)
 
   A: Problem about foods. B: Serving to Christ. C: Christ died. D: Don't judge. E: An account of oneself.

[28]Please others, not yourselves  (Rom 15:1-13)
 
  A(15:1-2)  15:2 let each of us please our neighbor for the good, for building up. (15:2)
    B(15:3-4)    15:4 we might have hope (15:4)
      C(15:5-6)      15:6 you may glorify the God (15:6)
        D(15:7)        15:7 Welcome one another, then, as Christ welcomed you, for the glory of God.(15:7)
      C'(15:8-11)      15:9 the Gentiles might glorify God (15:9)
    B'(15:12)    15:12 in him shall the Gentiles hope (15:12)
  A'(15:13)  15:13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing (15:13)
 
   A: Joy. B: Hope. C: Praise. D: Welcome one another.

Rom 15:1-13
  A(15:1-2)  15:2 let each of us please our neighbor for the good (15:2)
    B(15:3)    15:3 Christ did not please Himself (15:3)
      C(15:4)      15:4 we might have hope (15:4)
        D(15:5-6)        Prayer to the LORD
  A'(15:7)  15:7 Welcome one another (15:7)
    B'(15:8-11)    15:8 Jesus Christ has become a servant (15:8)
      C'(15:12)      15:12 in him shall the Gentiles hope (15:12)
        D'(15:13)        Prayer to the LORD
 
   A: Love each other. B: Christ's humility. C: Hope. D: Prayer to the LORD.
(This structure was analyzed by the help of Mr. Yuriy Lishchinski. Thanks to Mr. Yuriy Lishchinski.)

[29]Paul's reason for writing so boldly  (Rom 15:14-21)
 
  A(15:14)  15:14 filled with all knowledge (15:14)   (γνώσεως)
    B(15:15-16)    15:16 to be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles in performing the priestly service of the gospel of God (15:16)   (εὐαγγέλιον)
      C(15:17-19a)      15:18 what Christ has accomplished through me (15:18)
    B'(15:19b-20)    15:19 I have finished preaching the gospel of Christ.(15:19)   (εὐαγγέλιον)
  A'(15:21)  15:21 Those who have never been told of him shall see, and those who have never heard of him shall understand (15:21)"   (συνήσουσιν)
 
   A: Knowledge. B: Evangelization. C: What Christ has accomplished through me.

[30]Paul's plan to visit Rome  (Rom 15:22-33)
 
  A(15:22-24)  15:22 That is why I have so often been prevented from coming to you. (15:22)   (ἐλθεῖν)
    B(15:25-27)    15:27 if the Gentiles have come to share in their spiritual blessings (15:27)   (πνευματικοῖς)
      C(15:28-29)      15:29 and I know that in coming to you I shall come in the fullness of Christ's blessing. (15:29)
    B'(15:30-31)    15:30 by the love of the Spirit (15:30)   (πνεύματος)
  A'(15:32-33)  15:32 so that I may come to you with joy by the will of God and be refreshed together with you. (15:32)   (ἐλθὼν)
 
   A: Wish to visit. B: Gift of the spirit. C: Visit of Paul.

[31]Personal greetings and final instructions  (Rom 16:1-27)
 
  A(16:1-16)  Salutation
    B(16:17-20)    Blessing
  A'(16:21-24)  Salutation
    B'(16:25-27)    Blessing
 
   A: Salutation. B: Blessing.


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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