Hope you and the family are well. We love and miss you to bits. Looks like things might be moving along as we had anticipated and prayed for the next season. For the time being, it seems fruitful to review some bits of the Inductive Bible Study method. Two of the laws of structure that the Bible uses are called ‘Inclusio’ or Parenthetical Inclusion, and ‘Chiasmus’ or ‘Chiastic Structure.’ They are considered auxiliary structural laws, meaning they have to stand with another major structural law. Nevertheless they are loads of fun when you find them.
- First, Inclusio. You will, at times, find that the Bible will reapeat not words or phrases, but entire sentences and that in the same paragraph. You will read something that is of substantial size like an entire verse followed by five verses and then at the end you read that exact same verse. It looks something like this: ABCDEFGA. You read one verse paragraph- ‘the boy continued to grow in wisdom strength and grace,’ then a paragraph of about 7 verses narrating an event, followed by another one verse paragraph that reads – ‘and the boy increased in wisdom stature and favor.’ After training your observation skills for a while those kinds of things jump off the page and illustrate something that some scholars refer to as the sandwich effect. Two verses or two paragraphs(this might happen with entire segments) that bracket in material that is important and in the authors focus. Like a sandwich, you dont much care what kind of bread is used just what is in the middle – that’s what’s important. You find Inclusio throughout the scriptures. It is a dead giveaway that tells you the authors emphasis
- Second is Chiasmus. This one looks like this: ABCDCBA. What happens is that the author is making a point so he will use the immediate context to form sort of an arrow head. The two A’s will amount to similar wording or content, the same will occur between the B’s, and again the C’s will contain very similar material or subject matter, and finally D will reveal the authors focus. Sometimes the Pattern is a simple ABA, or an ABCBA but it can get much more elaborate and cover entire chapters or even an entire book, as it does with the book of Judges.
Obviously these two laws occur along side of repetition and continuity without which they cannot develop their patterns, however depending on how broad the amount of material being covered there can be within the Inclusio or Chiasmus many more structural laws at work.At any rate, I hope these pep up your studies a bit.