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Noah: The Flood and the Rainbow
Video 12 of 22
The reason why that's important is because it may not always seem as you're reading it that this over here - this little piece of text defined by the chiasm - is really one idea, it may seem like it's really a conglomeration of three or four ideas. If it's all organized chiastically then it's kind of a clue that actually in some kind of way all of this is unified. It - despite appearance it's revolving around a single kind of idea. I think that's one way in which a chiasm can be helpful.
But it can be helpful in other important ways too. Here's the second way. Second way is kind of fairly obvious, but the pairs can play off of each other. In other words, it's not just that the same thing is happening in Element A and in Element A1 or A', it's that they're playing off of each other. There's a certain kind of idea over here and it's recognizable over here but it's not exactly the same, there's some sort of development happening here. Similarly, in Element B and Element B1, they're not exactly the same, it's recognizable, but there's some sort of development happening here. Again the same is going to happen with the Cs and the C1s. So you can learn something about this idea A by looking at its mirror in A1. You can learn something about B by looking at its mirror in B1. Or in a - to put it a little bit differently, you can learn something about the transition from A to A1, to the transition from B to B1. So you always want to be asking when you look at a chiasm, what's the relationship between the pairs? Is there a relationship you can identify between the pairs?
But perhaps the most crucial way that chiasms play off of each other is what I'm going to call level 3, which is chiasms can identify for you the focus of attention. In other words, a chiasm is really shaped like an arrow when you really think about it, it's kind of focused like that, and with any good arrow, the center of attention is right at the center of the arrow. The chiasm is relentlessly focusing your attention over here on this center - and what is it that you're going to find at a center? You're going to find something central. You'll find a turning point or you'll find some sort of center of gravity, some kind of idea that the whole text kind of revolves around. Some very central point or crucial point.
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So in other words, what it ends up is that a chiasm is a kind of commentary that the Bible is weaving into its text to try to help you how to understand it. When we think of commentaries we often think of other people coming along centuries later to try to explain to us what is going on in the Bible, but wouldn't it be neat if the Bible as a text included its own commentary? If the Bible were telling you what the central point, what a center of gravity, what it's all about, what these 15 sentences if you want to sum them up with the central ideas about how it all revolves around everything, that would be a big deal. If we could understand that, if we could get some sort of insight from the text itself as to what the text thinks it's all about, that's a big deal, we want to pay attention to it. So we want to pay attention to a chiasm.
So in this series we're going to be focusing more on this idea over here. Out of all these three levels we're going to be chiefly asking what happens at the center of a chiasm? What - if we can identify a center, those centers are going to be important because they'll give us some kind of sense of what's going on. So again, I'm going to argue to you that there is a chiasm going on in the rainbow, and the reason why it's important is because that chiasm is a kind of commentary that the Bible is putting into place to help us understand the meaning of the rainbow. You want to understand in a deep way what the rainbow is talking about, look at its center, look at the vortex, look what everything seems to be swirling around, kind of like the center of the storm.
Okay, so when we come back we're going to take a look at the rainbow carefully, we're going to try to see if we can identify the center, and if we manage to do that, we're going to come back and try to put everything together. Try to say okay, on the one hand we've seen all these intertextual connections between the creation on the one hand and re-creation on the other hand. Those intertextual connections have culminated in the Sabbath on one hand and the rainbow on the other, and we want to understand how these two things relate to each other. One of the clues we're going to get is from chiasmus, or from the chiasm. If the rainbow is structured in this arrow-like fashion and we can identify the center, we are going to have a clue as to what the rainbow is really all about and we're going to wonder how that sort of pairs off with the Sabbath? How does that relate - that center - relate to the various different ideas which we're hearing about in the Sabbath?
Again, it may seem a little bit abstract, let's try and actually take a look at the text of the rainbow and this will begin to come alive. Okay, so the next I'm going to do is I'm going to try to go through the rainbow, see if we can identify these kinds of pairs leading to a kind of chiasm in the rainbow, and then we'll sort of go from there. I'll see you in our next video.
1. Water, Water Everywhere
2. Parallel Universes
4. The Sixth Day
5. Brave New World
6. Noah's World
7. Is There a 'Sabbath' in Noah's World?
8. Sabbath Echoes
9. Rainbows Have Seven Colors
10. A Bow In the Clouds
12. Chiasms: More Than Just a Pretty Face
13. Colors of the Rainbow
14. Numeric Centers; Thematic Centers
15. Taking Stock: Where Are We Now?
16. Sabbath's Center
17. How Tiring Was It To Create a World?
18. Rest As the Purpose of Work?
19. Positive Rest
20. What If a Parent Never Lets Go?
21. Conclusion: Two Ways to Destoy a World
22. Epilogue: Why the Rainbow Covenant is a Two-Way Street (Premium)
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