1 Chiastic Structures in Hebrews: A Study of Form and Function in Biblical Discourse by David Mark Heath Dissertation presented for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Biblical Languages at the University of Stellenbosch Promoter: Professor Johan C. Thom Co-Promoter: Professor Ernst R. Wendland Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences Department of Ancient Studies March 2011
2 ii DECLARATION
3 iii ABSTRACT The compositional strategy, structure, and peak of the book Hebrews are heavily debated. Most scholars analyze Hebrews from only a Western linear approach. Other scholars like Vanhoye, Neeley, G.H. Guthrie, and Gelardini have suggested a chiastic perspective. Despite the insights gained from a chiastic approach, the linguistic analyses of Neeley and G.H. Guthrie posit linguistic peaks that appear incompatible with the chiastic peak of Vanhoye, Neeley, and Gelardini. Neeley, G.H. Guthrie, and Westfall claim to apply linguistic principles to the text, but with quite different conclusions. This study focuses on the form and function of the literary units and the relationship of these units to the overall book-level structure. Initial considerations include defining the individual literary units and determining the significance of lexical and syntactical recurrences within the pericopes. Such recurrences are important features for determining textual boundaries, transitions, and compositional patterns. Subsequently, this study evaluates literary units in relation to each other in light of book-level correspondences (syntactical and semantic) as a means of positing an overall structure and compositional strategy for the book of Hebrews. Unlike the linear study of Westfall, the relationships of non-sequential literary units are considered as well as sequential units (i.e., both linear and concentric patterns). In addition to the analysis of the form and function of chiastic and parallel literary units, this study also considers the rhetorical function and significance of the central placement of OT quotations within those structures. Although the OT quotations often occur in the center of the chiastic structures, imperativals (imperatives,
4 iv prohibitive subjunctives, and hortatory subjunctives) do not generally occur in the chiastic centers, but in the outer components of the chiastic structures. Such a perspective is helpful for understanding where the author is placing emphasis as well as for clarifying the relationship between the epideictic (doctrinal) and deliberative (hortatory) sections. Contrary to G.H. Guthrie s and Westfall s emphases on the deliberative sections, this study contends that Hebrews contains a coherent concentric pattern (involving a central thematic peak, dual hortatory climaxes, and dual apexes) as part of an overall compositional strategy. This is not to suggest that the epideictic sections are more important than the explicit exhortations found in the deliberative sections, but that the hortatory essence of Hebrews is rooted in both the theological truth of Jesus role as the great high priest and the function of his everlasting sacrifice in the heavenly tabernacle. The author weaved these texttypes together to deliver an even more powerful call to faithfulness. This study also challenges Nauck s assertion that Heb 4:14 10:31 is one integral section. One of the key elements of this challenge is the unique interpretation of Heb 5:1-10 as foreshadowing the topic found in Hebrews 7. Understanding the foreshadowing essence of Heb 5:1-10 opens the means of interpreting Heb 4:14-16 and 10:19-22 as hortatory bookends to the central theological sections of Hebrews as opposed to designating Nauck s lexical parallels as an inclusio.
5 v OPSOMMING Daar word hewig gedebatteer oor die komposisionele strategie, struktuur en piek van die Hebreër-boek. Die meeste geleerdes analiseer Hebreërs slegs vanuit n Westerse liniêre benadering. Ander geleerdes soos Vanhoye, Neeley, G.H. Guthrie en Gelardini het n chiastiese perspektief voorgestel. Ten spyte van die insigte wat n chiastiese benadering opgelewer het, poneer die linguistiese analises van Neeley en G.H. Guthrie linguistiese pieke wat onversoenbaar met die chiastiese piek van Vanhoye, Neeley and Gelardini lyk. Neeley, G.H. Guthrie en Westfall maak daarop aanspraak dat hulle linguistiese beginsels op die teks toepas, maar met uiteenlopende gevolgtrekkings. Hierdie studie fokus op die vorm en funksie van die literêre eenhede in die Hebreërboek en die verhouding van hierdie eenhede tot die oorkoepelende boek-vlak struktuur. Aanvanklike oorwegings sluit die omskrywing van die individuele literêre eenhede en die bepaling van die belang van leksikale en sintaktiese herhalings binne die perikope in. Sulke herhalings is van groot belang om die tekstuele grense, oorgange en komposisionele patrone te bepaal. Daarna word die literêre eenhede in verhouding tot mekaar in die lig van boek-vlak (sintaktiese en semantiese) ooreenkomste gëevalueer in n poging om n oorkoepelende struktuur en komposisionele strategie vir die Hebreërs-boek te poneer. Anders as die liniêre studie van Westfall word die verhoudings tussen nie-opeenvolgende sowel as opeenvolgende eenhede in ag geneem (d.w.s. beide liniêre en konsentriese patrone). Benewens die vorm en funksie van chiastiese en parallele literêre eenhede word die retoriese funksie en belang van die sentrale stelling van OT aanhalings binne hierdie
6 vi strukture ook in oënskou geneem. Hoewel die OT aanhalings dikwels in die kern van die chiastiese strukture voorkom, word bevelsvorme (imperatiewe, verbodsubjuntiewe en aansporende subjunktiewe) nie normaalweg in die chiastiese kern aangetref nie, maar in die buitenste komponente van n chiastiese struktuur. Hierdie insig help ons verstaan waar die skrywer die nadruk plaas en bied ook klarigheid oor die verhouding tussen die epideiktiese (leerstellige) en deliberatiewe (aansporende) gedeeltes. In teenstelling met G.H. Guthrie en Westfall se nadruk op die deliberatiewe gedeeltes word in hierdie studie aangevoer dat Hebreërs n koherente konsentriese patroon (met n sentrale tematiese piek, tweevoudige aanporende klimakse en tweevoudige kruine) bevat as deel van n oorkoepelende komposisionele strategie. Dit beteken nie dat die epideiktiese gedeeltes belangriker is as die eksplisiete aansporings in die deliberatiewe gedeeltes nie, maar wel dat die aansporende essensie van Hebreërs gewortel is in sowel die teologiese waarheid van Jesus se rol as groot hoëpriester asook in die funksie van sy ewigdurende offerande in die hemelse tabernakel. Die skrywer het die onderskeie tekstipes verweef om n nog sterker oproep tot getrouheid te maak. Hierdie studie betwis ook Nauck se bewering dat Heb 4:14 10:31 een integrale gedeelte vorm. Een van die sleutelelemente van die kritiek is die unieke interpretasie dat Heb 5:1-10 die tema wat in Hebreërs 7 voorkom, voorafskadu. Insig in die voorafskaduende rol van Heb 5:1-10 bied die geleentheid om Heb 4:14-16 en 10:19-22 as aansporende boekstutte vir die sentrale teologiese gedeeltes van Hebreërs te interpreteer instede daarvan om Nauck se leksikale parallele as inclusio te beskryf.
7 vii ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS I am indebted to a number of colleagues and institutions mainly from the United States, Nigeria, and South Africa for their assistance and support during the different stages of this research. Gratitude is hereby expressed to: Prof. Dr. Danny McCain (University of Jos, Nigeria), Dr. Wendy Helleman (University of Jos, Nigeria), and Mr. Jerry Allen (Wycliffe, U.S.A.), who encouraged me during the initial stages of my advanced studies. Dr. Michael Morrison (U.S.A.), who through provided me with the resources and encouragement to help an African cyber friend whom he had never meet before. Prof. Dr. George H. Guthrie (Union University) and Dr. Gabriella Gelardini (University of Basel), who offered words of encouragement and suggested articles for this research. Dr. Loren Bliese (UBS), Prof. Dr. Andy Warren (UBS), Prof. Dr. Robert Longacre (Wycliffe), Dr. Carl Follingstad (Wycliffe), and Dr. Shin Ja J. Hwang (Wycliffe), my colleagues in Bible Translation who have interacted with me on numerous occasions and suggested sources that shaped my thinking. Mrs. Linda Neeley (Wycliffe), who has not only interacted with me but provided a good foundation for this study. Dr. Malcolm Offord (U.K.), Helen Davies (U.K.), and Tessy Ononugbo (Nigeria), who translated some of the French sources on my behalf. Derek Cheeseman (U.K.), who translated a German source. Mr. Chuck Tessaro (Lutheran Bible Translators), a great friend and colleague, who interacted, encouraged me, and helped proof this study. Mrs. Lois Hunter (Wycliffe), Mr. Norman Price (Wycliffe), Dr. Ervin Starwalt (Wycliffe) and Dr. Coleen Starwalt (Wycliffe), who helped proof this study. I deeply indebted to Barbara Thomas and Carole Unseth of Graduate Institute of Applied Linguistics (GIAL) and Annemarie Eagleton of the University of Stellenbosch, who showed great mercy on my lack of good library resources.
8 viii Prof. Dr. David Crozier, Mr. Steve Dettweiler, and my colleagues in the Bible Translation Department of the Theological College of Northern Nigeria, who taught heavy loads so that I could complete this research. I am grateful for the support, encouragement, financial assistance, and opportunity given to me by my Wycliffe administrators and colleagues in Nigeria and through Wycliffe s Corporate Academic Scholarship Fund. Prof. Dr. Ernst R. Wendland, who encouraged and interacted with me even before he became my promoter. I am grateful for his gift of encouragement as well as the wealth of books and articles that has shaped my thinking and research! His integration of academics and life has been personal challenge and model to follow. Prof. Dr. Johan Thom from the Department of Ancient Studies within the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at Stellenbosch University, who patiently walked me through the program giving valuable comments, support, and assistance. A heart felt word of thanks is definitely in order to my wife Carleen for all the sacrifices that she made during the years and her faithful encouragement. In discouraging days, she cheered me on and listened. I am also grateful to my sons Cole and Zach who encouraged me to work hard, but also reminded me when it was time to quit for the day. While I am grateful to the above people and organizations, I consider myself responsible for errors and mistakes found within these pages. If there is helpful and useful ideas in this research, I cannot help but acknowledge a verbal and heartfelt prayer to God in December of 1994 when I specifically asked for help in understanding the flow of the argument of Hebrews and the author s use of the OT quotations.
9 ix ABBREVIATIONS The abbreviations of the SBL Handbook of Style will be used. In additional to these, the following abbreviations will also used: + plus or positive - minus or negative section paragraph acc. accusative adj. adjective B.C.E. Before Common Era ca. circa, about approximately C.E. Common Era CEV Contemporary English Version cent. century cf. confer, compare D.O. direct object e.g. exempli gratia "for example" ESV English Standard Version etc. et cetera, and so forth gen. genitive i.e. id est "that is," or "that is to say" LSJ Liddell and Scott LXX Septuagint (the Greek Old Testament) MS Macro-structure MT Masoretic Text (of the Old Testament) n footnote NASB New American Standard Bible NCV New Century Version NET New English Translation NLT New Living Translation NIV New International Version non-q non-quotation, not an Old Testament quotation
10 x n.p. no page NRSV New Revised Standard Version NS New Series NT New Testament obj. object OT Old Testament P 46 Papyrus 46 PF perfect pl. plural POC point of correspondence PN pronoun Pss Psalms Q quotation from the Old Testament REB Revised English Bible REV Revised English Version RSV Revised Standard Version s.v. sub verbo, under the word TEV Today s English Version UBS United Bible Society (Greek text) v or vv verse or verses vs. versus x number of times a form occurs
11 xi TABLE OF CONTENTS DECLARATION...ii ABSTRACT...iii OPSOMMING...v ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS...vii ABBREVIATIONS...ix 1. INTRODUCTION THE PROBLEM THE PURPOSE APPROACH HISTORICAL, RHETORICAL, AND LITERARY SETTING AUTHOR RECIPIENTS DATE PURPOSE AND SITZ IM LEBEN/RHETORICAL SITUATION ORAL-AURAL AND LITERARY SITUATION CONCLUSION PREVIOUS STRUCTURAL ANALYSES OF HEBREWS BRIEF OVERVIEW OF SCHOLARSHIP ON THE STRUCTURE OF HEBREWS Genre Issues Symmetrical Patterns: Book-level and Macro-structures Structure Defined by OT Quotations DISCOURSE STRUCTURE AND PEAK IN HEBREWS Neeley s A Discourse Analysis of Hebrews G.H. Guthrie s The Structure of Hebrews: A Text-Linguistic Analysis Westfall s A Discourse Analysis of the Letter to the Hebrews: The Relationship between Form and Meaning SUMMARY CHIASMUS AND OTHER STRUCTURING DEVICES CHIASMUS Historical Introduction Chiasmus on Different Levels Simple chiasmus: lexical roots Chiasmus: beyond lexical roots Chiasmus: beyond the phrase level to chiastic structures Micro-, macro-, and book-level chiastic structures Components and Arrangements: OT and NT Examples Semantic correspondences Proper names and divine names Synonyms Antonyms/antithetical Word pairs and doublets Semantic grouping Logical relationships Rhetorical questions Collocation Syntactical correspondences Case and Subject-Verb-Object patterns...76
12 xii Prepositions Singular - plural Number of components Verb mood Morphological correspondences Gender Phonological Hybrid correspondences Discourse level correspondences Functions of Chiastic Structures Attention-getting device/verfremdung Memory aid Highlight a contrast or comparison Establish or draw attention to a new textual boundary Establishing topic Drawing attention to the center of a larger structure Cohesion, structure, ordering of ideas Denoting prominence Summary of function Criticism of Proposed Chiastic Structures Author and recipient focused criticism Analysis focused criticism Proposing and Evaluating Chiastic Structures: Steps and Criteria Initial considerations Basic steps in analyzing a text for possible chiastic arrangement Critical criteria for establishing chiastic structures Features that strengthen the positing of a chiastic structure Rebuttal of Critics of Chiasmus in Biblical Literature Conclusion on Chiasmus and Chiastic Structures OTHER LITERARY AND DELINEATING DEVICES Mot-crochets ( Hook words ) Inclusio ( sandwich structures ) Parallel Passages Parallelism Other Devices as a Guide to Structure Comparison of Textual Boundaries OTHER POETIC DEVICES AND RHETORICAL TECHNIQUES Rhetorical Features Images, Metaphors, and Comparisons CONCLUSION CHIASTIC MACRO-STRUCTURES IN HEBREWS MACRO-STRUCTURES Macro-structure 1 (1:1-4) Macro-structure 2 (1:5-6) Macro-structure 3 (1:7-14) Macro-structure 4 (2:1-4) Macro-structure 5 (2:5-18) Macro-structure 5 a (2:5-9) Macro-structure 5 b (2:9-18) Macro-structure 6 (3:1 4:16)...155
13 xiii Macro-structure 6 a (3:2-19) Macro-structure 6 b (4:1-16) Macro-structure 9 a (5:1-10) Macro-structure 7 (5:11 6:12) Macro-structure 8 (6:13-20) Macro-structure 8 a (6:13-17) Macro-structure 8 b (6:18-20) Macro-structure 9 (resumed) (7:1-28) Macro-structure 9 b (7:1-10) Macro-structure 9 c (7:11-28) Macro-structure 10 (8:1-6) Macro-structure 10' (8:7-13) Macro-structure 9' (9:1 10:14) Macro-structure 9' a (9:1-14) Macro-structure 9' b (9:15-28) Macro-structure 9' c (10:1-18) Macro-structure 8' (10:15-21) Macro-structure 8' a (10:15-18) Macro-structure 8' b (10:19-21) Macro-structure 7' (10:22-39) Macro-structure 6' (11:1-40) Macro-structure 5' (12:1-24) Macro-structure 5' a (12:1-13) Macro-structure 5' b (12:14-17) Macro-structure 5' c (12:18-24) Macro-structure 4' (12:25) Macro-structure 3' (12:26-29) Macro-structure 3' a (12:26-27) Macro-structure 3' b (12:28-29) Macro-structure 2' (13:1-19) Macro-structure 1' (13:20-25) CONCLUSION RELATIONSHIP OF MACRO-STRUCTURES TO THE BOOK-LEVEL STRUCTURE THE SIGNIFICANCE OF HEBREWS MACRO-STRUCTURES COMPARED TO THE CORRELATING STRUCTURES MS10 (8:1-6) and MS10' (8:7-13) Compared MS9 (5:1-11; 7:1-28) and MS9' (9:1 10:18) Compared MS8 (6:13-20) and MS8' (10:15-21) Compared MS7 (5:11 6:12) and MS7' (10:19-39) Compared MS6 (3:1 4:16) and MS6' (11:1-40) Compared MS5 (2:5-16) and MS5' (12:1-24) Compared Point of Correspondence between Heb 2:17 3:1 and 12: MS4 (2:1-4) and MS4' (12:25) Compared MS3 (1:7-14) and MS3' (12:26-29) Compared MS2 (1:5-6) and MS2' (13:1-19) Compared MS1 (1:1-4) and MS1' (13:20-25) Compared PROPOSED BOOK-LEVEL STRUCTURE EVALUATION BASED ON STRUCTURAL BALANCE...309
14 xiv 6.5 WEAKNESSES OF THE PROPOSAL THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE PRESENT PROPOSAL AND PROPOSALS OF SCHOLARS Nauck s Parallels and Macro-structures Comparison of the Present Analysis with Other Chiastic Analyses Comparison of the Chiastic, Linear, and Thematic Outlines CONCLUSION: SIGNIFICANCE OF CHIASTIC STRUCTURES IN HEBREWS IMPLICATIONS WITH REGARD TO UNDERSTANDING THE STRUCTURE OF HEBREWS IMPLICATION FOR GENRE IMPLICATION FOR EXEGESIS Defining Unclear Passages by the Clear Passages Hebrews 1:7-14 (MS3) and Hebrews 12:26-29 (MS3') Hebrews 5:11 6:12 (MS7) and Hebrews 10:22-39 (MS7') Establishing the Main Thematic Points of the Author Exegetical Relationship of Theology to Application IMPLICATIONS FOR UNDERSTANDING DISCOURSE FEATURES AND PEAK Problem of Peak Some Common Discourse Features and Their Relationship to the Chiastic Structures Conjunctions Rhetorical questions Participant and pronominal reference Verbal mood IMPLICATIONS OF THIS STUDY FOR THE GENERAL UNDERSTANDING OF CHIASMUS Book-level Observations and Implications for the Understanding of Chiasmus Semantic relationships vs. restatement Redefined focus or expanded implications Contrast and Comparison Macro-structure Level Observations and Implications for the Understanding of Chiasmus Position of commands, prohibitions, and hortatory elements Placement of micro-structures within the macro-structures Function of the chiastic macro-structures Number of components in the center of chiastic macro-structures General Observation for Theological Content THEOLOGICAL IMPLICATION IMPLICATIONS OF THE PLACEMENT OF OT QUOTATIONS WITHIN THE CHIASTIC STRUCTURES TOPICS FOR FURTHER STUDY CLOSING REMARK WORKS CITED APPENDICES A. G.H. Guthrie s chart Approaches to the Structural Divisions of Hebrews B. Chiastic Rendering of Green Eggs and Ham...375
15 xv C. Chiastic Micro- and Macro-Structures D. Hook Words in Hebrews E. Inclusios in Hebrews F. Parallel Passages G. Rhetorical Features in Hebrews H. Metaphors and Comparisons in Hebrews I. Surface Form Imperativals in Hebrews J. Comparison of Textual Boundaries...395
16 1. INTRODUCTION 1.1 THE PROBLEM The composition of Hebrews is heavily debated. Over the years, scholars have proposed various outlines and themes for the book of Hebrews in hopes of discerning and representing the compositional patterns and structure of the author. Some scholars like D. Guthrie (1983) have proposed patterns that resemble a composition of Pauline style containing two parts: doctrine and exhortation. Other scholars have produced such a wide variety of textual divisions that G.H. Guthrie (1994:22) felt compelled to illustrate graphically the disparities (see Appendix A). While one might expect a certain amount of disagreement, the reality is that rarely (if ever) have two analyses of the structure of Hebrews ever corresponded to any great degree. This lack of agreement among scholars has led others to ignore the structural issues altogether. Perhaps the primary unspoken presupposition behind a structural agnostic stance on the outline of Hebrews is that the book s complexity prohibits discernment of an overall, step-by-step development in the author s argument. (Guthrie 1994:25) The evasive structure, outline, and argument have been difficult for exegetes to harness, but scholars also struggle to state a theme for the book with confidence (Buck 2002:4). Daniel Buck states his frustrations by saying:...to wade into the interpretive waters of Hebrews is to be confronted with a seemingly endless array of suggestions about the guiding principles for uncovering the thought of this composition. (2002:6) In the pursuit of a pattern within the text, scholars from various fields have proposed various explanations for the structure of Hebrews. Some scholars have looked for patterns in terms of theme, genre, and key words. Other scholars have compared Hebrews to patterns found in Greco-Roman rhetorical discourse or other literary writings extant in the first cent. (C.E.). Linguists Neeley (1987), G.H. Guthrie (1994),
17 2 and Westfall (2005) have analyzed the text for patterns of conjunctions, verb forms, rhetorical questions, and other discourse features. Despite these efforts and various approaches, Joslin concludes that there is little consensus regarding the structure of Hebrews (2007:122). The biggest reason for these discrepancies in the outlines is the frequent switching of epideictic and deliberative sections (i.e., doctrinal and hortatory sections) within Hebrews. Other complicating issues are the myriad of parallels within the text and various themes that weave in and out of the discourse. While some scholars have given up their attempts to understand the structure and argument of the author, others, like Leon Vaganay (1940) and Albert Vanhoye (1963, 1976, 1989) have moved beyond a Western linear 1 structural model and suggest the presence of concentric patterns (chiastic structures) within the text of Hebrews. In general, chiastic 2 structures are defined by Brad McCoy (2003:8) as the use of inverted parallelism of form and/or content which moves toward and away from a strategic central component. Considering the focus of the text as being in the center of a chiastic structure is in sharp contrast with Western linear structural models that tend to emphasize one of the extremities, either a beginning thesis or an ending conclusion, or both. However, this does not mean that the author of a chiastic structure will not reinforce the focal center at the end of the discourse as well. While 1 2 Linear and concentric patterns should not be viewed as diametrical opposites. In texts with concentric patterns, both systems of textual organization may complement and re-enforce each other (Wendland 1985). Acknowledgement of concentric patterns in a given text does not imply the absence of linear qualities in a text. While there are many possible terms to describe concentric patterns (see Chapter 4), I will be using the terms chiasmus and chiastic structures since I believe there is a relationship between the phrase level structure and the larger structures. Although a chiasmus is composed of at least four parts, most scholars will still label a structure composed of an odd number of components as chiastic. In larger structures with only three components, the term ring structure or ring composition is applied.
18 3 such structuring may appear to be foreign to some cultures, Mary Douglas (2007) and other scholars recognize that concentric patterns may be a reflection of cultural patterns for presenting, processing, and storing information that goes beyond a literary style alone. Although not without controversy, many portions in the Old Testament 3 (henceforth OT) and NT have been shown to reflect concentric arrangement (Wendland 1985, 1988, 2000, 2008; Dorsey 1999; and others). The influence of the OT s patterns upon the text of Hebrews must be considered. (See Chapter 4 for background information on chiasmus and chiastic structures.) Using a chiastic compositional model, Vaganay and Vanhoye saw the importance of the strategic central component in the middle of Hebrews. A crucial issue is whether the chiastic book-level structure of Vaganay and Vanhoye is merely a ring composition that is functioning to give the text (non-thematic) cohesion, 4 or whether the author intended the structure to establish some type of peak. 5 If the chiastic structures are shown to be valid, their semantic and/or pragmatic functions in the text still have to be decided. While Vaganay and Vanhoye initially focused on the book-level structures, over the years, a large number of scholars 6 have illustrated chiastic structures in Hebrews also In light of the controversy regarding the source texts for Old Testament citations (Thomas 1965; G. Howard 1968; Steyn 2009), I am using the general term Old Testament which would include the LXX instead of using Hebrew Bible which might erroneously imply that the source text for the quotations is in the Hebrew language. That is, establishing cohesion by controlling the order of the constituents but not necessarily highlighting the most important constituents in the text. Some scholars use peak and other related terms without clearly defining them. According to Longacre and Hwang (2008:15), peak is a great moment of a story marked by unusual SURFACE STRUCTURE features (emphasis theirs). Please see Sections 3.3 and 7.4 for more discussion on this topic. Bligh (1966a:1-33), Vanhoye (1976:62, 70, 76, 80, 88, 98, 131, 149, 264), Horning (1978:37-48), Rice (1981: ), Neeley (1987:15-16), D.A. Black (1987b), Cosby (1988:62), Ebert (1992), R.E. Davis (1994:151, 173, 186, 200, 204, 246, 258), Ramey (1997:1), and Rhee (1998).
19 4 on the paragraph and section levels (henceforth referred to as macro-structures ). 7 However, only Vanhoye (1977/1989:79), Neeley (1987:61), and R.E. Davis (1994:284) have briefly commented on both chiastic book-level structures and macro-structures. To date, no scholar has constructed a chiastic book-level structure for Hebrews that is based on the possibility of many underlying chiastic macro-structures. Although the presence of chiastic macro-structures does not necessarily imply that a chiastic booklevel structure exists (or vice versa), there are some possible implications. First, if there are a significant number of chiastic structures demonstrated on the lower level, then a chiastic book-level structure is more plausible. Second, if the focal point 8 of each macro-structure is identified, then these focal points might provide structural nodes for clarifying the nature and purpose of a book-level structure. In light of the number of ideas and concepts expressed in a single section of literary discourse, the identification of the focal point may clarify the most important lexical and semantic parallels (opposed to an obscure or contrived parallel). In other words, if the central component of each chiastic macro-structure is compared with the central components of other constituent sections, then it may be easier to posit an overall organization for the entire discourse. Comparing the central focal points of the corresponding constituents may validate or refute claims of a chiastic book-level structure. In the final analysis, an evaluation of a book-level structure, which is based on the central components of all of its constituent macro-structures, would be more convincing than 7 8 Scholars do not use the term macro-structure consistently. Some use macro-structure to refer to the overall discourse (book-level), while others use it to refer to paragraph or section levels (see Section for a discussion of terminology). One of the functions of a chiastic macro-structure is to highlight a concept or idea that is in the center of such a macro-structure. The different functions of chiastic structures will be discussed in Chapter 4.
20 5 a book-level structure supported by merely lexical and semantic parallels alone (cf. Heil 2010). Although there are a growing number of scholars who give credit to the chiastic insights of Vaganay and Vanhoye (Lane 1991; Ellingworth 1993, and many others), there is still no clear consensus on the structure of Hebrews. Despite the fact that linguists Neeley (1987) and G.H. Guthrie (1994) also suggest a chiastic book-level structuring, there is no clear relationship between the assumed strategic central component and their proposed linguistic peaks. 9 Why would analysts using a chiastic compositional model, which focuses on recursion and reiteration, suggest Heb 8 as the peak of Hebrews while linguists using a text-linguistic approach 10 suggest either Heb 6 or Heb as the peak point of Hebrews? Are there two different systems of textual organization, or is there a relationship between the central chiastic component and the peaks proposed by Neeley (1987), G.H. Guthrie (1994), and Westfall (2005)? However, the problem of discerning the structure of Hebrews is incomplete without some consideration of the quotations from the OT within the structure. For years, biblical scholarship has recognized the dualistic problem of the author s use of the OT and of the problem of the book s structure. David MacLeod (1989:196) stated that the book of Hebrews was arranged around the OT quotations. MacLeod noted that many scholars debated over which quotations were most significant and 9 10 Neeley (1987:41) claims the peak of Hebrews is in Heb 10:19 13:21, but G.H. Guthrie (1994:144) claims the hortatory center is in Heb 6:4-6 (based on his own unique chiastic structure), and the climax is in Heb 12:18-24 (1994: ). I will discuss the problem of the various peaks as proposed by Neeley, G.H. Guthrie, and Westfall in Section 3.3. The text-linguistic approach typically focuses on the patterns of conjunctions, tense, participant reference and other discourse features.
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