John’s Chiasms

stjohntheologian

John structures both his Gospel and his Revelation as Creation-themed Chiasms.

John has two possible chiasms, both related to each other:

The First Week of John
A. 1:1-13 (Day One, Light)
B. 1:14-28 Mediators Jesus and John
C. 1:29-34 Baptism
D. 1:35-39 The Disciples of Jesus (stars in Heaven)
C’. 1:40-42 Host is created
B’. 1:43-51 True Israelite identified
A’. Rest
A”. 2:1-11 New Week at Cana

The Gospel of John (with correspondences to Temple imagery from Leithart)
A. 1:1-13 Light
B. 1:14-4:54 Mediators, Cleansing; the Laver
C. 5:1-8:11 Jew and Gentile separated and united; Table of Facebread
D. 8:12-12:50 New Lights established; Lampstand
C’. 13-17 Multitude of hosts established; Incense
B’. 18-19 Passion; Day of Atonement
A’. Days in Grave, John’s Holy of Holies
A”. 20-21 The Resurrection

The Revelation of Christ has a similar structure with two weeks:
A. Ephesus – refers to the Tree of Life, food
B. Smyrna – refers to the Jews and to coming trouble
C. Pergamum – manna, white stone, new name, Jesus coming soon
D. Thyatria – true and false leaders
C’. Sardis – white garment, name, Jesus coming soon
B’. Philadelphia – Jews, tribulation
A’. Laodecia – dine with Christ

A. Jesus the Shining Light (Sabbath) – 1
B. Churches as Firmament Mediators (Passover) – 2-3
C. Called to the Throne (First Sheaf) – 4-5
D. The Body, Seven Seals (Pentecost) – 6-7
C’. Judgments, Seven Trumpets (Trumpets) – 8-15
B’. False City and True Bride (Covering) – 16-20
A’. The Sabbath Wedding (Tabernacles) – 21-22

In this sense, the Gospel and Revelation are one big chiasm that turns on resurrection:
A. 1:1-13 Light
B. 1:14-4:54 Mediators, Cleansing; the Laver
C. 5:1-8:11 Jew and Gentile separated and united; Table of Facebread
D. 8:12-12:50 New Lights established; Lampstand
E.. 13-17 Multitude of hosts established; Incense
F. 18-19 Passion; Day of Atonement
G. 20-21 The Resurrection
G’. Jesus the Shining Light (Sabbath) – 1
F’. Churches as Firmament Mediators (Passover) – 2-3
E’. Called to the Throne (First Sheaf) – 4-5
D’. The Body, Seven Seals (Pentecost) – 6-7
C’. Judgments, Seven Trumpets (Trumpets) – 8-15
B’. False City and True Bride (Covering) – 16-20
A’. The Sabbath Wedding (Tabernacles) – 21-22

Some of the connections are tenuous at best, but some work well: John 1 mentions that the Logos became incarnate and dwelt with us, while A’ is the Tabernacles section of Revelation. B’ is the Covering section of Revelation and B refers to the new birth by the Spirit. The Judgments in C’ separate saint from beast and C details the unity of Jew and Gentile in Christ. D details the growth of Jesus’ ministry and his connection with the Father and D’ is the Pentecost section where the 144,000 are sealed. The disciples gather around Jesus in E, and in E’ the angels and elders gather around the Lamb at the throne. F and F’ is a hard connection: the Passion creates the Churches who mediate the firmament. G and G’ both deal with the resurrected Christ.

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