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

Chiasmus and Concentric Structure of divided by 4


4-1

1 Salutation (1:1-9)
  2 Divisions in the church (1:10-17)
    3 Christ the power and wisdom of God (1:18-31)
      4 Proclaiming Christ crucified (2:1-16)
    5 On divisions in the Corinthian church (3:1-23)
  6 The ministry of the apostles (4:1-21)
7 Sexual immorality (5:1-13)
Former halfRelationLatter half
1 Salutation (1:1-9)
1:8 He will keep you firm to the end, irreproachable on the day of our Lord Jesus (Christ). (1:8)
Irreproachable7 Sexual immorality (5:1-13)
5:7 Clear out the old yeast, so that you may become a fresh batch of dough, inasmuch as you are unleavened. For our paschal lamb, Christ, has been sacrificed.(5:7)
2 Divisions in the church (1:10-17)
I mean that each of you is saying, "I belong to Paul," or "I belong to Apollos," or "I belong to Kephas," or "I belong to Christ." (1:12)
Paul and Apollos6 The ministry of the apostles (4:1-21)
I have applied these things to myself and Apollos for your benefit, brothers, (4:6)
3 Christ the power and wisdom of God (1:18-31)
Where is the wise one? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made the wisdom of the world foolish? (1:20)
Wisdom and foolishness5 On divisions in the Corinthian church (3:1-23)
3:18 Let no one deceive himself. If any one among you considers himself wise in this age, let him become a fool so as to become wise. 3:19 For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in the eyes of God, (3:18-19)

4-1-1

1 Salutation (1:1-9)
  2 Divisions in the church (1:10-17)
  3 Christ the power and wisdom of God (1:18-31)
4 Proclaiming Christ crucified (2:1-16)
Former halfRelationLatter half
1 Salutation (1:1-9)
I give thanks to my God always on your account for the grace of God bestowed on you in Christ Jesus, (1:4)
Receiving the grace of God4 Proclaiming Christ crucified (2:1-16)
We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit that is from God, so that we may understand the things freely given us by God. (2:12)
2 Divisions in the church (1:10-17)
For Christ did not send me to baptize but to preach the gospel, and not with the wisdom of human eloquence, so that the cross of Christ might not be emptied of its meaning. (1:17)
Proclaiming the crucified Christ without wisdom of human3 Christ the power and wisdom of God (1:18-31)
1:22 For Jews demand signs and Greeks look for wisdom, 1:23 but we proclaim Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, (1:22-23)

4-1-2

4 Proclaiming Christ crucified (2:1-16)
  5 On divisions in the Corinthian church (3:1-23)
  6 The ministry of the apostles (4:1-21)
7 Sexual immorality (5:1-13)
Former halfRelationLatter half
4 Proclaiming Christ crucified (2:1-16)
2:10 this God has revealed to us through the Spirit.For the Spirit scrutinizes everything, even the depths of God. (2:10)
Power of the spirit7 Sexual immorality (5:1-13)
5:3 I, for my part, although absent in body but present in spirit, have already, as if present, pronounced judgment on the one who has committed this deed, (5:3)
5 On divisions in the Corinthian church (3:1-23)
What is Apollos, after all, and what is Paul? Ministers through whom you became believers, just as the Lord assigned each one. (3:5)
Paul and Apollos as apostle6 The ministry of the apostles (4:1-21)
I have applied these things to myself and Apollos for your benefit, brothers, (4:6)

4-2

7 Sexual immorality (5:1-13)
  8 Glorify God in body and spirit (6:1-20)
    9 Directions concerning marriage (7:1-16)
      10 The life that the Lord has assigned (7:17-24)
    11 The unmarried and the widows (7:25-40)
  12 Food offered to idols (8:1-13)
13 The rights of an apostles (9:1-27)
Former halfRelationLatter half
7 Sexual immorality (5:1-13)
5:6 Your boasting is not appropriate. Do you not know that a little yeast leavens all the dough?(5:6)
Don't boast13 The rights of an apostles (9:1-27)
9:16 If I preach the gospel, this is no reason for me to boast, for an obligation has been imposed on me, and woe to me if I do not preach it! (9:16)
8 Glorify God in body and spirit (6:1-20)
6:5 I say this to shame you. Can it be that there is not one among you wise enough to be able to settle a case between brothers? (6:5)
Brothers12 Food offered to idols (8:1-13)
8:12 When you sin in this way against your brothers and wound their consciences, weak as they are, you are sinning against Christ. (8:12)
9 Directions concerning marriage (7:1-16)
7:8 Now to the unmarried and to widows, I say: it is a good thing for them to remain as they are, as I do, 7:9 but if they cannot exercise self-control they should marry, for it is better to marry than to be on fire. (7:8-9)
problem about marriage11 The unmarried and the widows (7:25-40)
Are you bound to a wife? Do not seek a separation. Are you free of a wife? Then do not look for a wife. (7:27)

4-2-1

7 Sexual immorality (5:1-13)
  8 Glorify God in body and spirit (6:1-20)
  9 Directions concerning marriage (7:1-16)
10 The life that the Lord has assigned (7:17-24)
Former halfRelationLatter half
7 Sexual immorality (5:1-13)
5:7 Clear out the old yeast, so that you may become a fresh batch of dough, inasmuch as you are unleavened. For our paschal lamb, Christ, has been sacrificed.(5:7)
The atonement of Christ10 The life that the Lord has assigned (7:17-24)
7:23 You have been purchased at a price. Do not become slaves to human beings. (7:23)
8 Glorify God in body and spirit (6:1-20)
6:18 Avoid immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the immoral person sins against his own body. (6:18)
Avoiding adultery9 Directions concerning marriage (7:1-16)
7:2 but because of cases of immorality every man should have his own wife, and every woman her own husband. (7:2)

4-2-2

10 The life that the Lord has assigned (7:17-24)
  11 The unmarried and the widows (7:25-40)
  12 Food offered to idols (8:1-13)
13 The rights of an apostles (9:1-27)
Former halfRelationLatter half
10 The life that the Lord has assigned (7:17-24)
7:21 Were you a slave when you were called? Do not be concerned but, even if you can gain your freedom, make the most of it. (7:21)
Slaves13 The rights of an apostles (9:1-27)
9:19 Although I am free in regard to all, I have made myself a slave to all so as to win over as many as possible.(9:19)
11 The unmarried and the widows (7:25-40)
7:36 If anyone thinks he is behaving improperly toward his virgin, and if a critical moment has come and so it has to be, let him do as he wishes. He is committing no sin; let them get married.(7:36)
Sins12 Food offered to idols (8:1-13)
8:12 When you sin in this way against your brothers and wound their consciences, weak as they are, you are sinning against Christ. (8:12)

4-3

13 The rights of an apostles (9:1-27)
  14 Warnings against idolatry (10:1-22)
    15 Do all to the groly of the LORD (10:23-33_11:1)
      16 Head coverings (11:2-16)
    17 The Lord's supper (11:17-34)
  18 Spiritual gifts (12:1-31a)
19 The gift of love (12:31b-13:13)
Former halfRelationLatter half
13 The rights of an apostles (9:1-27)
9:16 If I preach the gospel, this is no reason for me to boast, for an obligation has been imposed on me, and woe to me if I do not preach it! (9:16)
Don't boast19 The gift of love (12:31b-13:13)
13:3 If I give away everything I own, and if I hand my body over so that I may boast but do not have love, I gain nothing. (13:3)
14 Warnings against idolatry (10:1-22)
10:16 The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ? The bread that we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ? 10:17 Because the loaf of bread is one, we, though many, are one body, for we all partake of the one loaf. (10:16-17)
Parts of body of Christ18 Spiritual gifts (12:1-31a)
As a body is one though it has many parts, and all the parts of the body, though many, are one body, so also Christ. (12:12)
15 Do all to the groly of the LORD (10:23-33_11:1)
10:30 If I partake thankfully, why am I reviled for that over which I give thanks? (10:30)
Thanks17 The Lord's supper (11:17-34)
11:24 and, after he had given thanks, broke it and said, "This is my body that is for you. Do this in remembrance of me." (11:24)

4-3-1

13 The rights of an apostles (9:1-27)
  14 Warnings against idolatry (10:1-22)
  15 Do all to the groly of the LORD (10:23-33_11:1)
16 Head coverings (11:2-16)
Former halfRelationLatter half
13 The rights of an apostles (9:1-27)
Do we not have the right to eat and drink? 9:5 Do we not have the right to take along a Christian wife, as do the rest of the apostles, and the brothers of the Lord, and Kephas? (9:4-5)
problem about customs16 Head coverings (11:2-16)
Judge for yourselves: is it proper for a woman to pray to God with her head unveiled? (11:13)
14 Warnings against idolatry (10:1-22)
10:14 Therefore, my beloved, avoid idolatry.(10:14)
Avoiding idolatry15 Do all to the groly of the LORD (10:23-33_11:1)
10:28 But if someone says to you, "This was offered in sacrifice," do not eat it on account of the one who called attention to it and on account of conscience; (10:28)

4-3-2

16 Head coverings (11:2-16)
  17 The Lord's supper (11:17-34)
  18 Spiritual gifts (12:1-31a)
19 The gift of love (12:31b-13:13)
Former halfRelationLatter half
16 Head coverings (11:2-16)
11:4 Any man who prays or prophesies with his head covered brings shame upon his head.(11:4)
Prophesies19 The gift of love (12:31b-13:13)
13:2 And if I have the gift of prophecy and comprehend all mysteries and all knowledge; if I have all faith so as to move mountains but do not have love, I am nothing. (13:2)
17 The Lord's supper (11:17-34)
This is my body that is for you. Do this in remembrance of me. (11:24)
Body of Christ18 Spiritual gifts (12:1-31a)
As a body is one though it has many parts, and all the parts of the body, though many, are one body, so also Christ. (12:12)

4-4

19 The gift of love (12:31b-13:13)
  20 Gifts of prophecy and tongues (14:1-25)
    21 Order of meeting (14:26-40)
      22 The resurrection of Christ (15:1-11)
    23 The resurrection of dead (15:12-30)
  24 The body of resurrection (15:31-58)
25 Final messages and greetings (16:1-24)
Former halfRelationLatter half
19 The gift of love (12:31b-13:13)
13:1 If I speak in human and angelic tongues but do not have love, I am a resounding gong or a clashing cymbal.(13:1)
Love25 Final messages and greetings (16:1-24)
16:14 Your every act should be done with love. (16:14)
20 Gifts of prophecy and tongues (14:1-25)
14:12 So with yourselves: since you strive eagerly for spirits, seek to have an abundance of them for building up the church. (14:12)
Spirit24 The body of resurrection (15:31-58)
15:44 It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual one. (15:44)
21 Order of meeting (14:26-40)
14:32 Indeed, the spirits of prophets are under the prophets' control, 14:33 since he is not the God of disorder but of peace. As in all the churches of the holy ones, 14:34 women should keep silent in the churches, for they are not allowed to speak, but should be subordinate, as even the law says. (14:32-34)
Obedience23 The resurrection of dead (15:12-30)
15:27 for "he subjected everything under his feet." But when it says that everything has been subjected, it is clear that it excludes the one who subjected everything to him. 15:28 When everything is subjected to him, then the Son himself will (also) be subjected to the one who subjected everything to him, so that God may be all in all. (15:27-28)

4-4-1

19 The gift of love (12:31b-13:13)
  20 Gifts of prophecy and tongues (14:1-25)
  21 Order of meeting (14:26-40)
22 The resurrection of Christ (15:1-11)
Former halfRelationLatter half
19 The gift of love (12:31b-13:13)
But I shall show you a still more excellent way. (12:31)
Pauls most important teachings22 The resurrection of Christ (15:1-11)
For I handed on to you as of first importance what I also received: (15:3)
20 Gifts of prophecy and tongues (14:1-25)
14:4 Whoever speaks in a tongue builds himself up, but whoever prophesies builds up the church. (14:4)
Prophesies and speaking in tongues21 Order of meeting (14:26-40)
14:39 So, (my) brothers, strive eagerly to prophesy, and do not forbid speaking in tongues, (14:39)

4-4-2

22 The resurrection of Christ (15:1-11)
  23 The resurrection of dead (15:12-30)
  24 The body of resurrection (15:31-58)
25 Final messages and greetings (16:1-24)
Former halfRelationLatter half
22 The resurrection of Christ (15:1-11)
But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me has not been ineffective. Indeed, I have toiled harder than all of them; not I, however, but the grace of God (that is) with me. (15:10)
The grace of God25 Final messages and greetings (16:1-24)
The grace of the Lord Jesus be with you. (16:23)
23 The resurrection of dead (15:12-30)
15:13 If there is no resurrection of the dead, then neither has Christ been raised. (15:13)
Resurrection of dead24 The body of resurrection (15:31-58)
15:35 But someone may say, "How are the dead raised? With what kind of body will they come back?"(15:35)

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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