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Literary structure (chiasm, chiasmus) of First Epistle of John

Chiastic Structure and Concentric Structure and Parallel of each pericope

[1]The word of life  (1 John 1:1-4)
  A(1:1-3)  To hear, to see
    B(1:2)    testify to it and proclaim to you (1:2)
  A'(1:3)  To hear, to see
    B'(1:4)    1:4 We are writing this (1:4)
   A: To hear, to see. B: To proclaim.

[2]God is light  (1 John 1:5-2:6)
  A(1:5-10)  1:6 If we say, "We have fellowship with him," while we continue to walk in darkness, we lie and do not act in truth. (1:6)
    B(2:1-2)    2:1 My children, I am writing this to you so that you may not commit sin (2:1)
  A'(2:3-6)  2:4 Whoever says, "I know him," but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him (2:4)
   A: The truth is not in him. B: The reason to write.

[3]A new commandment  (1 John 2:7-17)
  A(2:7-8)  2:7 Beloved, I am writing no new commandment to you but an old commandment that you had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word that you have heard.(2:7)"   (γράφω)
    B(2:9-11)    2:10 Whoever loves his brother remains in the light, and there is nothing in him to cause a fall. (2:10)"   (ἀγαπῶν)
  A'(2:12-14)  2:12 I am writing to you, children, because your sins have been forgiven for his name's sake. (2:12)"   (γράφω)
    B'(2:15-17)    2:15 Do not love the world or the things of the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.(2:15)"   (ἀγαπᾶτε)
   A: To write. B: Love.

[4]Warning against Antichrists  (1 John 2:18-3:12)
  A(2:18-19)  2:18 so now many antichrists have appeared. (2:18)
    B(2:20-21)    2:21 every lie is alien to the truth (2:21)
      C(2:22-23)      2:22 Whoever denies the Father and the Son, this is the antichrist.(2:22)
        D(2:24-29)        2:27 remain in him (2:27)
      C'(3:1-2)      3:1 The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him (3:1)
    B'(3:3-6)    3:6 No one who remains in him sins (3:6)
  A'(3:7-12)  3:7 Children, let no one deceive you (3:7)
   A: The antichrist. B: Good and evil. C: Ignorance. D: Remain in him.

[5]Love one another  (1 John 3:13-24)
  A(3:13-15)  To love our brothers
    B(3:16-20)    To lay down our lives
  A'(3:21-24)  To love our brothers
   A: To love one another. B: To lay down our lives.

[6]Testing the Spirits  (1 John 4:1-6)
  A(4:1-2)  4:2 This is how you can know the Spirit of God (4:2)   (γινώσκετε τὸ πνεῦμα)
    B(4:3)    4:3 This is the spirit of the antichrist that, as you heard, is to come, but in fact is already in the world.(4:3)"   (κόσμῳ)
      C(4:4)      4:4 You belong to God, children, and you have conquered them (4:4)
    B'(4:5)    4:5 their teaching belongs to the world, and the world listens to them (4:5)"   (κόσμου)
  A'(4:6)  4:6 This is how we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of deceit. (4:6)   (γινώσκομεν τὸ πνεῦμα)
   A: To discern spirits. B: Opponents and the world. C: Victory against evils.

[7]God is love  (1 John 4:7-5:5)
  A(4:7-8)  4:8 Whoever is without love does not know God, for God is love. (4:8)
    B(4:9)    4:9 God sent his only Son into the world so that we might have life through him. (4:9)
      C(4:10-11)      4:10 In this is love: not that we have loved God, but that he loved us (4:10)
        D(4:12-13)        4:12 Yet, if we love one another, God remains in us, and his love is brought to perfection in us. (4:12)
        D'(4:14-16)        4:16 God is love, and whoever remains in love remains in God and God in him. (4:16)
      C'(4:17-21)      4:19 We love because he first loved us. (4:19)
    B'(5:1)    5:1 Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is begotten by God (5:1)
  A'(5:2-5)  5:3 For the love of God is this, that we keep his commandments (5:3)
   A: To love God. B: God gives life. C: God loves us. D: To remain in God.

[8]Testimony of God  (1 John 5:6-12)
  A(5:6-8)  5:6 This is the one who came through water and blood, Jesus Christ (5:6)
    B(5:9)    The testimony of God
    B'(5:10)    The testimony of God
  A'(5:11-12)  5:11 this life is in his Son (5:11)
   A: Christ. B: The testimony of God.

[9]Epilogue  (1 John 5:13-21)
  A(5:13-15)  5:13 you may know that you have eternal life (5:13)
    B(5:16-17)    Forgiveness of sin
  A'(5:18-21)  5:20 He is the true God and eternal life (5:20)
   A: Eternal life. B: Forgiveness of sin.

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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