Tag Archives: Mark

Friday Phraseology: Chiasm

Chiasm: Derived from the Greek letter chi (which is shaped like a letter X), a rhetorical device whereby parallel lines of a text correspond in an X pattern, such as A-B-C-B’-A’ (in this case the center of the chiasm is C, and on either side line A will correspond to line A’ and so forth). For example, a chiastic pattern (without a C element) may be observed in Mark 2:27 and set out in the following fashion:

A: The sabbath was made

B: for humankind,

B’: and not humankind

A’: for the sabbath

The pattern can be as simple as a verse in Mark or as elaborate as a whole poem, a parable or a book. In using this device, an author can show both progression of thought and intensification of meaning. Chiasm is a way of “layering”


Arthur G. Patzia; Anthony J. Petrotta. Pocket Dictionary of Biblical Studies (pp. 24-25). Kindle Edition.

Terminology:Q hypothesis

Q hypothesis: In the early 1800, Friedrich Schleiermacher championed this hypothetical symbol Q which stands for German Quelle, meaning “source” in order to designate the hypothetical document that Matthew and Luke might have used as their source while writing their Gospels. This hypothetic source would account as the missing document or materials which were considered to be the exclusive sayings of Jesus that are only found in Matthew and Luke; not found in Mark. So, it suggests that they might have shared that particular source with each other.  This hypothesis is not widely accepted as Markan priority by the scholars; yet it is fairly supported by some.