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

Chiastic Structure and Concentric Structure and Parallel of each pericope

[1]Salutation  (1 Cor 1:1-9)
  A(1:1-2)  1:2 you who have been sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be holy (1:2)"   (κλητοῖς)
    B(1:3-4)    1:3 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. (1:3)   (χάρις)
      C(1:5-6)      1:5 you were enriched in every way (1:5)
    B'(1:7-8)    1:7 you are not lacking in any spiritual gift (1:7)   (χαρίσματι)
  A'(1:9)  1:9 you were called to fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. (1:9)"   (ἐκλήθητε)
   A: Called. B: Grace. C: Enriched.

[2]Divisions in the church  (1 Cor 1:10-17)
  A(1:10)  1:10 I urge you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ (1:10)
    B(1:11-12)    1:12 I belong to Paul (1:12)
      C(1:13)      1:13 Is Christ divided? (1:13)
    B'(1:14-16)    1:15 no one can say you were baptized in my name. (1:15)
  A'(1:17)  1:17 Christ did not send me to baptize but to preach the gospel (1:17)
   A: By Christ. B: Separation. C: Is Christ divided?

[3]Christ the power and wisdom of God  (1 Cor 1:18-31)
  A(1:18-19)  Citation from Isaiah
    B(1:20-21)    1:20 Where is the wise one? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? (1:20)   (σοφός)
      C(1:22-23)      1:22 For Jews demand signs and Greeks look for wisdom, (1:22)"   (Ἰουδαῖοι)
      C'(1:24-25)      1:24 but to those who are called, Jews and Greeks alike, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. (1:24)"   (Ἰουδαίοις)
    B'(1:26-28)    1:27 God chose the foolish of the world to shame the wise, and God chose the weak of the world to shame the strong, (1:27)"   (σοφούς)
  A'(1:29-31)  Citation from Jeremiah
   A: Citation from the Old Testament. B: Wise one. C: Jews and Greeks.

[4]Proclaiming Christ crucified  (1 Cor 2:1-16)
  A(2:1-2)  2:2 to know nothing except Jesus Christ, and him crucified. (2:2)"   (εἰδέναι)
    B(2:3-5)    2:4 with a demonstration of spirit and power (2:4)   (πνεύματος)
      C(2:6)      2:6 not a wisdom of this age, nor of the rulers of this age who are passing away.(2:6)"   (αἰῶνος)
        D(2:7)        2:7 Rather, we speak God's wisdom, mysterious, hidden, which God predetermined before the ages for our glory,(2:7)
      C'(2:8-9)      2:8 which none of the rulers of this age knew (2:8)   (αἰῶνος)
    B'(2:10-13)    2:10 this God has revealed to us through the Spirit (2:10)   (πνεύματος)
  A'(2:14-16)  2:16 who has known the mind of the Lord, so as to counsel him? (2:16)"   (ἔγνω)
   A: To know God. B: Revelation by the spirit. C: Wisdom of this age. D: Wisdom of God.

[5]On divisions in the Corinthian church  (1 Cor 3:1-23)
  A(3:1-8)  3:5 What is Apollos, after all, and what is Paul? (3:5)"   (Ἀπολλῶς)
    B(3:9-11)    3:9 For we are God's co-workers; you are God's field, God's building. (3:9)"   (οἰκοδομή)
      C(3:12-15)      3:14 If the work stands that someone built upon the foundation, that person will receive a wage. (3:14)
    B'(3:16-17)    3:16 Do you not know that you are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? (3:16)"   (ναὸς)
  A'(3:18-23)  3:22 Paul or Apollos or Kephas, or the world or life or death, or the present or the future (3:22)"   (Ἀπολλῶς)
   A: Apollos, Paul. B: The temple of God. C: Rewards.

[6]The ministry of the apostles  (1 Cor 4:1-21)
  A(4:1-5)  4:1 Thus should one regard us: as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. (4:1)
    B(4:6-8)    4:7 Who confers distinction upon you? (4:7)
      C(4:9-13)      4:9 God has exhibited us apostles as the last of all, like people sentenced to death (4:9)
    B'(4:14-17)    4:14 not to shame you, but to admonish you as my beloved children. (4:14)
  A'(4:18-21)  4:21 Which do you prefer? Shall I come to you with a rod, or with love and a gentle spirit?(4:21)
   A: Administrator. B: Teaching of Paul. C: Hardship of the Apostles.

[7]Sexual immorality  (1 Cor 5:1-13)
  A(5:1-2)  5:1 It is widely reported that there is immorality among you (5:1)   (πορνεία)
    B(5:3-5)    5:3 I have already pronounced judgment on the one who has committed this deed, (5:3)"   (κέκρικα)
      C(5:6-8)      5:7 Clear out the old yeast, so that you may become a fresh batch of dough, inasmuch as you are unleavened. (5:7)
  A'(5:9-11)  5:9 I wrote you in my letter not to associate with immoral people,(5:9)"   (πόρνοις)
    B'(5:12-13a)    5:12 For why should I be judging outsiders? Is it not your business to judge those within? (5:12)   (κρίνειν)
      C'(5:13b)      5:13 Purge the evil person from your midst.(5:13)
   A: Immorality. B: Judgment. C: Purge the evil person.

[8]Glorify God in body and spirit  (1 Cor 6:1-20)
  A(6:1-8)  6:2 Do you not know that the holy ones will judge the world? (6:2)   (ἅγιοι)
    B(6:9-12)    6:11 you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God. (6:11)"   (Χριστοῦ)
      C(6:13-14)      6:14 God raised the Lord and will also raise us by his power (6:14)
    B'(6:15-18)    6:15 Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? (6:15)   (Χριστοῦ)
  A'(6:19-20)  6:19 Do you not know that your body is a temple of the holy Spirit within you (6:19)   (ἁγίου)
   A: The holy ones. B: Christ. C: Resurrection.

[9]Directions concerning marriage  (1 Cor 7:1-16)
  A(7:1-4)  7:1 It is a good thing for a man not to touch a woman (7:1)
    B(7:5)    7:5 Do not deprive each other (7:5)
      C(7:6-7a)      7:7 Indeed, I wish everyone to be as I am (7:7)
        D(7:7b)        7:7 each has a particular gift from God, one of one kind and one of another.(7:7)
      C'(7:8-9)      7:8 it is a good thing for them to remain as they are, as I do,(7:8)
    B'(7:10-11)    7:10 a wife should not separate from her husband (7:10)
  A'(7:12-16)  7:15 If the unbeliever separates, however, let him separate (7:15)
   A: Separation. B: Don't deprive. C: As Paul does. D: Difference of each life.

[10]The life that the Lord has assigned  (1 Cor 7:17-24)
  A(7:17-19)  7:18 He should not try to undo his circumcision (7:18)
    B(7:20)    7:20 Everyone should remain in the state in which he was called. (7:20)   (μενέτω)
  A'(7:21-23)  7:21 Were you a slave when you were called? Do not be concerned (7:21)
    B'(7:24)    7:24 Brothers, everyone should continue before God in the state in which he was called. (7:24)"   (μενέτω)
   A: Don't change. B: To remain in the state.

[11]The unmarried and the widows  (1 Cor 7:25-40)
  A(7:25-26)  7:26 it is a good thing for a person to remain as he is. (7:26)
    B(7:27)    7:27 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)   (δέδεσαι)
      C(7:28)      7:28 If you marry, however, you do not sin (7:28)"   (ἥμαρτεν)
        D(7:29-31)        7:29 I tell you (7:29)   (φημι)
          E(7:32-34a)          7:32 An unmarried man is anxious about the things of the Lord, how he may please the Lord. (7:32)"   (ἄγαμος)
          E'(7:34b)          7:34 An unmarried woman or a virgin is anxious about the things of the Lord (7:34)   (ἄγαμος)
        D'(7:35)        7:35 I am telling you this (7:35)   (λέγω)
      C'(7:36-37)      7:36 He is committing no sin; let them get married.(7:36)   (ἁμαρτάνει)
    B'(7:38-39)    7:39 A wife is bound to her husband as long as he lives. But if her husband dies, she is free to be married to whomever she wishes (7:39)"   (δέδεται)
  A'(7:40)  7:40 she remains as she is (7:40)
   A: Remain. B: Marriage and unmarried. C: Marriage is not a sin. D: Words of Paul. E: Unmarried.

[12]Food offered to idols  (1 Cor 8:1-13)
  A(8:1-3)  8:1 all of us have knowledge (8:1)   (οἵδαμεν)
    B(8:4-6)    8:4 we know that "there is no idol in the world," and that "there is no God but one." (8:4)
      C(8:7)      8:7 not all have this knowledge (8:7)
    B'(8:8)    8:8 Now food will not bring us closer to God. We are no worse off if we do not eat, nor are we better off if we do.(8:8)
  A'(8:9-13)  8:10 with your knowledge (8:10)   (γνωσιν)
   A: Knowledge. B: Invalidity. C: Not all have this knowledge.

[13]The rights of an apostles  (1 Cor 9:1-27)
  A(9:1-2)  9:1 Are you not my work in the Lord?(9:1)   (ἔργον)
    B(9:3-7)    List of the rights of Paul
      C(9:8-11)      9:11 If we have sown spiritual seed for you, is it a great thing that we reap a material harvest from you? (9:11)
        D(9:12)        9:12 Yet we have not used this right (9:12)   (ἐχρησάμεθα)
          E(9:13-14)          9:14 the Lord ordered that those who preach the gospel should live by the gospel. (9:14)
        D'(9:15)        9:15 I have not used any of these rights (9:15)   (κέχπημαι)
      C'(9:16-18)      9:18 What then is my recompense? That, when I preach, I offer the gospel free of charge so as not to make full use of my right in the gospel. (9:18)
    B'(9:19-23)    List of the targets in Paul's evangelization
  A'(9:24-27)  9:24 Run so as to win.(9:24)   (βραβεῖον)
   A: Results of works. B: Lists. C: Rewards. D: Not using the rights. E: To live by the gospel.

[14]Warnings against idolatry  (1 Cor 10:1-22)
  A(10:1-4)  10:4 and all drank the same spiritual drink, for they drank from a spiritual rock that followed them, and the rock was the Christ.(10:4)"   (Χριστός)
    B(10:5)    10:5 they were struck down in the wilderness (10:5)   (κατεστρώθησαν)
      C(10:6)      10:6 These things happened as examples for us, so that we might not desire evil things, as they did.(10:6)"   (τύποι)
        D(10:7-10)        List of prohibition
      C'(10:11)      10:11 These things happened to them as an example, and they have been written down as a warning to us, upon whom the end of the ages has come. (10:11)"   (τυπικῶς)
    B'(10:12-13)    10:12 watch out that you do not fall (10:12)   (πέσῃ)
  A'(10:14-22)  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? (10:16)"   (Χριστοῦ)
   A: Participation in Christ. B: Fall. C: An example. D: List of prohibition.

[15]Do all to the glory of the LORD  (1 Cor 10:23-11:1)
  A(10:23-24)  10:24 No one should seek his own advantage, but that of his neighbor. (10:24)"   (ζητείτω)
    B(10:25-28)    10:25 Eat anything sold in the market, without raising questions on grounds of conscience,(10:25)"   (συνείδησιν)
    B'(10:29-30)    10:29 I mean not your own conscience, but the other's. For why should my freedom be determined by someone else's conscience? (10:29)"   (συνείδησιν)
  A'(10:31-11:1)  10:33 just as I try to please everyone in every way, not seeking my own benefit but that of the many, that they may be saved.(10:33)"   (ζητῶν)
   A: Seeking other's advantage. B: Conscience.

[16]Head coverings  (1 Cor 11:2-16)
  A(11:2)  11:2 you remember me in everything and hold fast to the traditions (11:2)
    B(11:3)    11:3 Christ is the head of every man, and a husband the head of his wife, and God the head of Christ.(11:3)"   (ἀνδρὸς, γυναικὸς)
      C(11:4-5)      11:5 But any woman who prays or prophesies with her head unveiled brings shame upon her head, for it is one and the same thing as if she had had her head shaved. (11:5)"   (ἀκατακαλύπτω)
      C'(11:6-7)      11:6 For if a woman does not have her head veiled, she may as well have her hair cut off. But if it is shameful for a woman to have her hair cut off or her head shaved, then she should wear a veil. (11:6)"   (κατακαλύπτεται)
    B'(11:8-12)    11:11 Woman is not independent of man or man of woman in the Lord.(11:11)   (ἀνδρὸς, γυνὴ)
  A'(11:13-16)  11:13 Judge for yourselves (11:13)
   A: Comparison between tradition and self judgement. B: Men and wemen. C: Veil of women.

[17]The Lord's supper  (1 Cor 11:17-34)
  A(11:17-22)  11:17 I do not praise the fact that your meetings are doing more harm than good (11:17)   (συνέρχεσθε)
    B(11:23-26)    11:24 This is my body that is for you. Do this in remembrance of me. (11:24)   (σῶμα)
    B'(11:27-32)    11:29 For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body, eats and drinks judgment on himself.(11:29)"   (σῶμα)
  A'(11:33-34)  11:33 when you come together to eat, wait for one another (11:33)"   (συνερχόμενοι)
   A: Gathering. B: The body of the LORD.

[18]Spiritual gifts  (1 Cor 12:1-31a)
  A(12:1-3)  12:1 Now in regard to spiritual gifts, brothers, I do not want you to be unaware.(12:1)"   (πνευματικῶν)
    B(12:4-11)    12:10 to another mighty deeds; to another prophecy; to another discernment of spirits; to another varieties of tongues; to another interpretation of tongues. (12:10)
      C(12:12-13)      12:12 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)"   (σώματος)
        D(12:14-17)        12:15 If a foot should say, "Because I am not a hand I do not belong to the body," it does not for this reason belong any less to the body. (12:15)"   (ξείρ)
          E(12:18-20)          12:18 But as it is, God placed the parts, each one of them, in the body as he intended. (12:18)
        D'(12:21-25)        12:21 The eye cannot say to the hand, "I do not need you," nor again the head to the feet, "I do not need you." (12:21)"   (ξειρί)
      C'(12:26-27)      12:27 Now you are Christ's body, and individually parts of it.(12:27)"   (σῶμα)
    B'(12:28-30)    12:28 Some people God has designated in the church to be, first, apostles; second, prophets; third, teachers; then, mighty deeds; then, gifts of healing, assistance, administration, and varieties of tongues.(12:28)
  A'(12:31)  12:31 Strive eagerly for the greatest spiritual gifts. (12:31)   (χαρίσματα)
   A: The spirit and the gift. B: Lists of the gifts. C: The body of Christ. D: Not belonging to the body. E: God made the parts of the body.

[19]The gift of love  (1 Cor 12:31b-13:13)
  A(12:31b-13:3)  13:1 If I speak in human and angelic tongues (13:1)   (γλώσσαις)
    B(13:4-5)    13:5 it is not rude, it does not seek its own interests, it is not quick-tempered, it does not brood over injury (13:5)
      C(13:6)      13:6 rejoices with the truth. (13:6)   (ἀληθεία)
        D(13:7-8a)        13:7 It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. (13:7)"   (πιστεύει, ἐλπίζει, ἀγάπη)
  A'(13:8b-10)  13:8 If there are prophecies, they will be brought to nothing; if tongues, they will cease; if knowledge, it will be brought to nothing.(13:8)"   (γλῶσσαι)
    B'(13:11)    13:11 I put aside childish things (13:11)
      C'(13:12)      13:12 At present I know partially; then I shall know fully, as I am fully known. (13:12)"   (γινώσκω)
        D'(13:13)        13:13 So faith, hope, love remain, these three (13:13)"   (πίστις, ἐλπίς, ἀγάπη)
   A: Tongues. B: Putting aside childish things. C: The truth. D: Faith, Hope, and Love.

[20]Gifts of prophecy and tongues  (1 Cor 14:1-25)
  A(14:1-5)  14:1 above all that you may prophesy (14:1)   (προφητεύτε)
    B(14:6-12)    14:11 but if I do not know the meaning of a language, I shall be a foreigner to one who speaks it, and one who speaks it a foreigner to me. (14:11)"   (βάρβαρος)
      C(14:13-14)      14:14 if I pray in a tongue, my spirit is at prayer but my mind is unproductive.(14:14)"   (νοῦς)
        D(14:15-17)        14:15 I will pray with the spirit, but I will also pray with the mind. I will sing praise with the spirit, but I will also sing praise with the mind. (14:15)
      C'(14:18-19)      14:19 but in the church I would rather speak five words with my mind, so as to instruct others also, than ten thousand words in a tongue. (14:19)"   (νο)
    B'(14:20-22)    14:21 By people speaking strange tongues and by the lips of foreigners I will speak to this people, and even so they will not listen to me (14:21)"   (ἑτερογλώσσοις)
  A'(14:23-25)  14:24 everyone is prophesying (14:24)   (προφητεύωσιν)
   A: Validity of prophecy. B: Foreign language. C: Invalidity of tongues. D: Spirit and mind.

[21]Order of meeting  (1 Cor 14:26-40)
  A(14:26-31)  14:26 brothers? (14:26)   (ἀδελφοί)
    B(14:32-33)    14:32 Indeed, the spirits of prophets are under the prophets' control, (14:32)"   (προφητῶν)
      C(14:34-36)      14:34 women should keep silent in the churches (14:34)
    B'(14:37-38)    14:37 If anyone thinks that he is a prophet or a spiritual person, he should recognize that what I am writing to you is a commandment of the Lord. (14:37)"   (προφήτης)
  A'(14:39-40)  14:39 brothers (14:39)   (ἀδελφοί)
   A: A call to brothers. B: Prophecy and spirit. C: Women.

[22]The resurrection of Christ  (1 Cor 15:1-11)
  A(15:1-2)  15:2 Through it you are also being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you (15:2)"   (ἐπιστεύσατε)
    B(15:3-8)    15:3 For I handed on to you as of first importance what I also received (15:3)
  A'(15:9-11)  15:11 Therefore, whether it be I or they, so we preach and so you believed. (15:11)"   (ἐπιστεύσατε)
   A: To believe Gospel. B: Confession of Faith.

[23]The resurrection of dead  (1 Cor 15:12-30)
  A(15:12-19)  15:14 if Christ has not been raised, then empty is our preaching; empty, too, your faith. (15:14)"   (ἐγήγερται)
    B(15:20-22)    15:21 For since death came through a human being, the resurrection of the dead came also through a human being.(15:21)"   (θάνατος)
      C'(15:23-25)      15:24 then comes the end, when he hands over the kingdom to his God and Father, when he has destroyed every sovereignty and every authority and power.(15:24)
    B'(15:26-28)    15:26 The last enemy to be destroyed is death,(15:26)"   (θάνατος)
  A'(15:29-30)  15:29 If the dead are not raised at all, then why are they having themselves baptized for them?(15:29)"   (ἐγείρονται)
   A: Resurrection of the dead. B: Destruction of death. C: The end will come.

[24]The body of resurrection  (1 Cor 15:31-58)
  A(15:31-32)  15:31 I have in Christ Jesus our Lord. (15:31)   (ἐν Ξριστῷ Ἰησοῦ)
    B(15:33-34)    15:34 stop sinning (15:34)   (ἁμαρτάνετε)
      C(15:35-43)      15:42 So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown corruptible; it is raised incorruptible.(15:42)   (ἀνάστασις)
        D(15:44-49)        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)
      C'(15:50-53)      15:53 For that which is corruptible must clothe itself with incorruptibility, and that which is mortal must clothe itself with immortality. (15:53)"   (ἀθανασίαν)
    B'(15:54-56)    15:56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law.(15:56)"   (ἁμαρτία)
  A'(15:57-58)  15:58 knowing that in the Lord (15:58)   (ἐν κυρίω)
   A: In the Lord. B: Sin. C: Death and resurrection. D: Nature and spirit.

[25]Final messages and greetings  (1 Cor 16:1-24)
  A(16:1-9)  16:1 Now in regard to the collection for the holy ones, you also should do as I ordered the churches of Galatia.(16:1)"   (ἐκκλησίαις)
    B(16:10-12)    16:10 If Timothy comes, see that he is without fear in your company (16:10)
      C(16:13-14)      16:13 Be on your guard, stand firm in the faith, be courageous, be strong. (16:13)
    B'(16:15-18)    16:17 I rejoice in the arrival of Stephanas, Fortunatus, and Achaicus, because they made up for your absence, (16:17)
  A'(16:19-24)  16:19 The churches of Asia send you greetings (16:19)   (ἐκκλησίᾳ)
   A: Other churches. B: Words to people. C: Exhortation.

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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