Update for February, 2015

Today I completed the first draft of “Take Care How You Hear: Luke 7:1-8:56″ (Yay!) and am now soliciting peer reviews before I submit a further draft to a publisher who may be interested. These months of work on two preliminary papers have been generative not only for producing documents but also for clarifying analytical method and for plotting strategy in sequencing my analysis in “the big paper” and perhaps even for turning that paper into a series of papers. If a series of papers, as I’m tending to think, the next paper may put forward the most difficult argument I hope to make, an argument that makes (or breaks) the overall thesis. Although this project is often slow and at times uninspired, I take great joy in studying Luke, studying Jesus, and articulating a thesis about them.

Update for mid-August, 2014

I just completed the second draft of “Disciples and Apostles: Luke 4:38-6:19,” and am putting it out for “peer-review before peer-review.” The paper is one of a proposed two or three dealing with Lukan antecedents to the huge concentric parallelism in Luke 9-19. “Disciples and Apostles” is addressed to pastors and other Bible teachers who work in Greek, showing by means of a sample text how they can identify and validate a concentric form that they may have noticed in the scriptures. After further improvements to this paper and submission for publication, I hope to turn my efforts to the second antecedent paper. All of these papers are postponing major work on the big paper, but, thank the Lord, I am learning and practicing the method that I urge upon Greek-literate teachers, a method that will be foundational to the big paper as well.

Update for April, 2014

Ideas for papers multiply like mice! New ones, barely started, crowd in beside familiar ones not yet done:

“John Albert Bengel’s Chiasmus Advocacy in English Translation of his Gnomon” was rejected by one journal. We plan to submit it elsewhere.

“Macro-Chiasmus in Luke 9:51-19:44″ remains uncompleted, awaiting new energy from the completion of other related papers.

“The Roles of Section N/N'” has a good start, but needs to simmer on low heat to sort out some issues of my compositional strategy.

“Antecedant Chiasmus in Luke 4:42-6:19″ received my most recent hours of attention, and “Antecedant Chiasmus in Luke 7:1-8:56″ is outlined, but not put to writing.

The newest research and writing idea is a way to discover chiastic awareness in Greek authors, from the ancients to those of late antiquity. I happened upon two surprises of this sort recently, and now may have a method to discover more.

But I feel so isolated in this pursuit! I want to find and attend a conference on chiasm in classical and biblical literature! Or, failing that, I masochistically imagine trying to organize just such a conference myself. I solicit your comments about the existence of such a conference.

Update for late July, 2013.

Life may now be simplifying a bit, allowing me to refocus on the project more this summer. The first major paper is only a few pages longer than it was at my last update. I anticipate a few more months of work on it, including peer-review before peer-review. The paper stands now at about 75 pages and presents a quandary (in addition to finishing it): some say it’s way too long for submission as a paper, and yet there’s more to include before wrapping it up. What to do . . . what to do?

In the meantime I have rewritten an old paper (my first conference paper) to clean up some of its many flaws. I hope to submit it soon to a local academic conference, or possibly use it as a first sortie into submitting for publication in a juried journal. I hope eventually to provide you a link to it. The new title is “John Albert Bengel’s Chiasmus Advocacy in English Translations of his Gnomon.”

Ideally, most mornings until lunch will be spent doing work on Luke. Always a great joy!

Progress report for mid-September, 2012

I am still writing the second draft of the foundational paper in the six-movement thesis, and am having various aha! moments about argument and style as I go. So far the 26-page first draft has expanded to 70 pages (and growing) in the second draft.  I continue to thank God for Kevin, my reader and friendly critic.

Along the way, ideas keep coming for the paper on movement two of the thesis (having to do with Section N’) and for a paper on Lukan antecedents. I am doing scattered research among the classical historians, looking for examples of macro-chiasmus in their writings, since Luke is best counted as historiography, not biography.

But life at home is very complex and crowded right now, so work is likely to slow down even further over the next few months. So far I have been able to take most Wednesdays as study days for the “Luke project.” What a pleasure!

Is Virgil’s Aeneid a prototype or literary inspiration for Luke in any sense?

The question needed to be asked because in that story

  • Aeneas is destined by the gods and fate to found a new kingdom in an existing populace
  • He must travel to the place of destiny through many difficulties
  • He takes a band of followers from the homeland
  • He faces storms at sea, gives and receives table fellowship
  • He is verbally addressed by the gods
  • He is a son of the gods
  • He has a heavenly opponent who has minions to assist

And the answer to the question is No because

  • Aeneas intends to establish a kingdom of the same kind, not of a different kind
  • He travels by boat, not by land
  • He is not a teacher or a healer, but a warrior-king
  • The glory he seeks is that of Troy, of battle, of victory
  • Travel to the destination is less than half of the story; the rest is blood, guts, and rage, and a visit to Hades
  • The travel part does not reveal a chiastic form
  • The travel part begins in media res, begins without a beginning

OK, that’s taken care of. On we go . . . .


Please see the “About” page for an explanation of this blog.

I’m Denny Chadwick, a former pastor and now a campus minister with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, serving God at the University of Kansas in a ministry to graduate students and faculty. My second calling is to biblical scholarship, especially to a study and explanation of chiasmus in the Gospel of Luke. I am married to a musician, have two married daughters, and am somewhat close to retirement.

My interest in Luke and in chiasmus come first from love of Bible study and second from a love of literary analysis gained primarily from InterVarsity’s inductive Bible study training and in graduate school at the University of Kansas. I apply instincts that are linguistic, architectural, antiquarian, and analytical. In the Russian Department where I studied most recently I would be called a Structuralist by approach to literary analysis.

MA, Russian Language and Literature, University of Kansas

MDiv, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, Deerfield IL

BA, Russian, University of Iowa

I’m new to doing a blog, and still trying to figure out the relative importance of “pages” vs “posts,” but help is on the way. If you have suggestions about the blog, please comment. And, of course, if you have comments on the various pages of chiasmus material, please comment.