Within the nucleus of each cell in our
bodies is a complex DNA code blueprinting all the genetic
possibilities of our species, all with perfect
structure. Peering into the vastness of Space, which is made up of
billions of Galaxies, we can see worlds of perfect structure. Even as we
admire a common tree, beginning with its root system and reaching out to
its furthest twigs, there is a perfect structure. Our human skeleton also,
with its multitude of ball and joint sockets, all working in complete
harmony show us a perfect structure. Planet Earth lives because rain and
snow falls in the highlands, then runs to the oceans in rivers and
streams, returning to the clouds by evaporation, only to descend again
upon the highlands, all with a perfect structure.
All of GOD's creation testifies of
this perfect structure, so it is no wonder that HIS words would also be
spoken in perfect structure. If the very hairs on our head are numbered,
is it not reasonable to suppose that GOD's words would also be
numbered, in a perfect Literary Structure? We do not always see this
structure in our Bibles because the words have been translated from their
Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek into Latin and then English. Oftentimes
the structure was lost in the translation. Howbeit, many times it wasn't,
as we shall soon witness.
One of my favorites is ROMANS 10:9,10.
A. That if thou shalt confess with thy
mouth the Lord Jesus [Yeshua],
B. and shalt believe in thine heart
that GOD hath raised Him from the dead,
C. thou shalt be saved
B. For with the heart man
believeth unto righteousness;
A. and with the mouth confession
is made unto salvation.
See how wonderfully A. and A.
correspond, opening and then finalizing the passage? Both mention the
mouth confessing. Then see how B. and B. correspond, building unto
and then backing away from the crescendo, "C"? Here in both, the heart is
believing. Then, in perfect structure all the units of this passage turn
on the pivotal phrase, "C. thou shalt be saved". The Structure tells us
what the Author's principal point is. Amazing isn't it? Like a marvelous
tapestry, the Bible is weaved together with this perfect structure. Not
only do the verses have their own structure, but the chapters and the
books also are connected with a perfect structure. The Holy Book itself is
one magnificent structure.
On too rare of an occasion has the treasure
of Biblical Literary Structure been studied over the ages. Probably the
most complete work was done by E. W. Bullinger in his "Companion Bible".
His History of Biblical Structures can be read
at the link. Another
work worthy of mention is John Breck's book entitled "The Shape of
Not all Biblical Literary Structures are
identical in design. The Structure of ROMANS 10:9,10 illustrated above has
a perfect structure, but one that is different than the Structure of
Seek ye the Lord [Yahweh]
while HE may be found,
Call ye upon HIM
while HE is near.
Here there is no pivotal point upon which
the passage turns. It is more a series of progressive thoughts, exhorting
the reader on to a more worthy endeavor. Another structure is where the
thoughts are set in contrast to each other, or "Layered", where they build
upon one another, as in PROVERBS 27:6.
Faithful are the wounds of a
But the kisses of an enemy are
The study of Biblical Structures is
vital, and no interpretation of Scripture is complete without
considering the structure of the passage. Where does it lay in the
surrounding verses? How is it presented to the reader? To whom was it
spoken? These questions are often answered only after considering the
To quote Dr Bullinger on the subject;
...And yet, we may say that, no more
powerful weapon has yet been placed in our hands outside that Word,
which is "the Spirit's sword". It affords a wondrous proof of
Inspiration; it gives us a clearer and more comprehensive view of the
scope of the Scriptures, than the most learned and elaborate
commentaries can ever hope to do; and it is capable of even turning the
scale in doubtful, doctrinal, and critical questions.
Or as Mr. Breck wrote;
This helical structure, from Genesis to
Revelation, illustrates as few other rhetorical devices can, how
theological meaning comes to expression through literary form.
Biblical Structure is a vital key to
understanding scripture. Each student can for himself learn to recognize
these structures. We have assembled a few for the readers enjoyment at
General Index to the
more can be found in other men's works. Howbeit, the Bible itself is where
we discover the whole treasure.