Here’s an outline of a pattern I’d like to investigate. I call it Fivefold Chiastic Epimone. Whilst I’ve found a couple of references in a number of commentaries to Commoratio / Epimone, (eg. Anders Eriksson) and Chiasm (Kenneth E Bailey), I haven’t anywhere found the pattern I illustrate below described as a formal rhetorical structure and formula for interpretation / translation.
See what you think:
From Matthew, a very formal, minimal version of fivefold chiastic epimone,
A - μη κρινετε #1
B - ινα μη κριθητε #2
C - εν ω γαρ κριματι #3
B' - κρινετε #4
A' - κριθησεσθε #5
James presents a more complex pattern in which the readers are kept waiting
μη καταλαλειτε αλληλων αδελφοι
A - ο καταλαλων αδελφου και κρινων #1 τον αδελφον αυτου
B - καταλαλει νομου και κρινει #2 νομον
C - ει δε νομον κρινεις #3
B'- ουκ ει ποιητης νομου αλλα κριτης #4
εις εστιν ο νομοθετης
ο δυναμενος σωσαι και απολεσαι
A' - συ τις ει ος κρινεις #5 τον ετερον
Paul here has a sevenfold chiasm very close to James and Matthew
A - Διὸ ἀναπολόγητος εἶ, ὦ ἄνθρωπε πᾶς ὁ κρίνων· #1
B - ἐν ᾧ γὰρ κρίνεις #2 τὸν ἕτερον,
C - σεαυτὸν κατακρίνεις,#3
D - τὰ γὰρ αὐτὰ πράσσεις ὁ κρίνων. #4
C' - οἴδαμεν δὲ ὅτι τὸ κρίμα #5 τοῦ θεοῦ ἐστιν κατὰ ἀλήθειαν ἐπὶ τοὺς τὰ τοιαῦτα πράσσοντας.
B' - λογίζῃ δὲ τοῦτο, ὦ ἄνθρωπε ὁ κρίνων #6 τοὺς τὰ τοιαῦτα πράσσοντας καὶ ποιῶν αὐτά,
A' - ὅτι σὺ ἐκφεύξῃ τὸ κρίμα #7 τοῦ θεοῦ;
Paul mixes it up further adding an alternative and gentler verb of chastisement rather than condemnation to encourage his readers to follow his warning
A - ει γαρ εαυτους διεκρινομεν #1
B - εκρινομεθα #2
C - κρινομενοι #3 δε υπο κυριου
B' - παιδευομεθα (#4)
A' - συν τω κοσμω κατακριθωμεν #5
Once again the pattern of five κρινω verbs is used, though Paul makes a more complex argument by hiding krino within compound verbs and shifting to a semantically milder equivalent. The chiastic pattern is however delivered without a break.
John has yet another interesting take in which he leaves the readers to draw their own conclusion,
A - ὑμεῖς κατὰ τὴν σάρκα κρίνετε #1,
B - ἐγὼ οὐ κρίνω #2 οὐδένα.
C - καὶ ἐὰν κρίνω #3 δὲ ἐγώ,
B' - ἡ κρίσις #4 ἡ ἐμὴ ἀληθινή ἐστιν,
(A') - ὅτι μόνος οὐκ εἰμί, ἀλλ᾿ ἐγὼ καὶ ὁ πέμψας με πατήρ.
NRSV readily supplies the final word,
A - You judge #1 by human standards;
B - I judge #2 no one.
C - Yet even if I do judge #3,
B' - my judgment #4 is valid;
(A') - for it is not I alone who judge (#5),
but I and the Father who sent me.
This time John sets Jesus' own words (#3) as the standard for judgement,
καὶ ἐάν τίς μου ἀκούσῃ τῶν ῥημάτων καὶ μὴ φυλάξῃ,
A - ἐγὼ οὐ κρίνω #1 αὐτόν·
B - οὐ γὰρ ἦλθον ἵνα κρίνω #2 τὸν κόσμον, ἀλλ᾿ ἵνα σώσω τὸν κόσμον.
c - ὁ ἀθετῶν ἐμὲ καὶ μὴ λαμβάνων τὰ ῥήματά μου (#3)
B' - ἔχει τὸν κρίνοντα #4 αὐτόν·
A' - ὁ λόγος ὃν ἐλάλησα ἐκεῖνος κρινεῖ #5 αὐτὸν ἐν τῇ ἐσχάτῃ ἡμέρᾳ.
That's a quick run through on one verb. Since identifying the pattern when writing an essay on 1 Cor 11:17-34, I’ve found the same structure with εχουσια in a couple of Paul's discussions with the Corinthians and τασσω in his writing to the Romans on obeying the authorities ordered by God. The sequence seems to keep popping up, but I'd like to find a way to formally identify it and test writers inside and outside the NT tradition - e.g. do Philo or Josephus use a similar device, or, Aristotle?
I've found others besides and could really do with some help to set up a system for recognising these patterns where x = any repeated verb. If Paul, James, Matthew and John are all riffing off the same verb in very similar ways, then there's either an early saying in there or a rhetorical pattern that is used by those writers and potentially others. I'd like to find out which or both is correct.
I think this would offer a good opportunity to pursue a literary / rhetorical critical track in my NT Research Methods essay (MA Biblical Studies Research in Sheffield, England), perhaps also looking at the way the pattern of verbal repetition is or isn’t represented by translations.
I’ve posted some of the above observations on a facebook forum of Accordance users (LXX Psalms in a year) to find if anyone knows search methodologies within Accordance for identifying strings of words where root = x and the root occurs more than three times within a limited range of verses and Daniel Semmler has given some helpful pointers. I wonder if anyone here has both the fluency with Accordance and the time to teach a total beginner how to write search constructs.
I hope this is a viable model for investigation. Please let me know what you think.
Edited by peterjsandford, 12 June 2015 - 01:57 PM.