blacklogoMy @ONE series on the Atonement is progressing.  On the aspect of Atonement that has to do with Reconciliation, I had come in my thinking to think of things like racial and national reconciliation.  That is all certainly in view.  Yet the methods of reconciliation among us usually deals with mutual interests, cultural competency, empathy, and other actions that come from us to others.

The need for Reconciliation to God has receded in our cultural thinking, for of course God is love and accepts all people.  Yet….

In the key passages of scripture the idea of Reconciliation is centered on the work of the Cross of Christ.  God does the reconciling and it is cruciform.

One passage is 2 Corinthians 5:18-21.  Here is my syntactical outline.  First of all, it is all from God. Then the work is accomplished by Christ (underlined portions) and our part is to be messengers (yellow highlight).  Not counting trespasses (v. 19) is not because God does not keep a record, but because he put the trespasses on Christ (v. 21).

At the top of the whole discussion is this statement “All this is from God.”


the yet in-progress sermon is this

I. Reconciliation is God’s work v. 18a

II. God Reconciled us by the death of Christ (underlined)

III. God Reconciles the world by the Gospel (yellow)


Thanks for the Outline, Craig

blombergI have come to like Craig Blomberg’s work in Matthew, I have his commentary  in which he does a very good job of laying out the shape of Matthew.  (The New American Commentary, Vol. 22, Matthew; Craig L Blomberg, B&H, Nashville, 1992).

I have posted on this  several times, check the “Matthew’s Gospel” link in the topic cloud to the right.

Matthew 5-7 gives Jesus’ authoritative teaching on what it means to be a disciple.  This is the Sermon on the Mount.  There follows two chapters that have 10 miracles in 9 miracle stories, but there are a couple of themes weaving in and out: Miracles, Following Jesus, Opposition.

Blomberg divides the text into 3 sets of 3 miracle stories (underlined).  The narrative pieces then seem to fit into this pattern.

  • Jesus Heals the Outcasts
    • Touching the Leper (uncleanliness) 8:1-4
    • Rewarding the Centurion (ethnicity) 8:5-13
    • Healing Peter’s Mother in law (gender) 8:14-15
    • Conclusion – 8:16-17
  • Jesus Demonstrates Authority in Discipleship
    • Inadequate responses – 8:18-22
    • Invading Satan’s Realm – 8:23-9:8
      • Storm
      • Demoniac
      • Paralytic
    • Discipleship – 8:9-17
      • Matthew
      • John’s Disciples
  • Jesus’ Ministry and Rising Opposition
    • Double Miracle – 9:18-26 – good publicity
    • Blind – 9:27-31 – rising opposition
    • Mute – 9:31-34 – division
  • Ministry Summary – 9:35-39
    • see 4:23ff
    • Links to next section on calling the 12

John 15 – syntactical analysis

I attach my worksheet – it is easy on the computer to plug in the text and then to use indentions or notations (ABCC’B’A’ – for example) to lay out the text.  This is largely from Raymond Brown in the Anchor Bible Series, vol 29a  with an assist by Charles Talbert in Reading John.

I will use arrows sometimes to show relatinships of sub clauses to major clauses.  but the indentions themselves show the “shape” of the text.

John 15 syntactical

Give that text some air! – James 4

So I am reading James 4 to prepare for a sermon.  The text does not seem to make much sense, as far as a unifying theme.  It appears to jump randomly from topic to topic.  So I look to my bag of tricks.

Since James is akin to Wisdom Literature, and WisLit tends to “jump around randomly” when one does not get the catch phrases, or chiastic structures that are there, I will often give the text some air.

By this I mean, take the text and paste it onto a word processing page.  Then start to use the enter and tab keys to indicate the syntactical structure.  that is to say, what is more important is closer to the left margin, what is explanatory is toward the right.

So I start to notice things, partly because the text is spread out a bit, like skeletal fragments on a light table in “Bones” the TV show.

v.1, v. 2 Passions

v. 1, v. 4 war, enmity

v.2 – do not have (material) do not have (prayer)

the language of passion, friendship, adultery, jealousy v. 1-4

Parallel between v. 2a and v2b-3 – the first is not receiving material things, the other not receiving spiritual things

That is all in verses 1-5, now with a little air I am seeing the structure.

Oh boy, here is another manuscript picture by cell phone.