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Jesus and the Roman Centurion (Matthew 8:5–13): A Window to Chiasmus and Apostolic Pedagogy
|Jesus and the Roman Centurion (Matthew 8:5–13): A Window to Chiasmus and Apostolic Pedagogy
|Year of Publication
|Buckwalter, H. Douglas
|Parry, Donald W., and John W. Welch
|Chiasmus: The State of the Art
|BYU Studies/Book of Mormon Central
|Provo, UT/Springville, UT
|Chiasmus; Faith; Jesus Christ; Mortal Ministry of
H. Douglas Buckwalter, “Jesus and the Roman Centurion (Matthew 8:5–13): A Window to Chiasmus and Apostolic Pedagogy,” examines Matthew’s account of Jesus Christ’s interaction with the Roman centurion (Matt 8:5–13). Buckwalter finds that this account consists of a six-part chiasmus—an A-B-C-C′-B′-A′ structure—with the centurion’s “great faith” serving as the focal point. This six-part chiasmus, Buckwalter observes, is placed in the greater context of Matt 8:1–11:1, which consists of nine miracle episodes set in clearly demarcated structures, with the narrative of the centurion and his servant being the second of the nine miracles. Buckwalter concludes that his study contributes “in five ways to understanding apostolic pedagogy in relation to structured text,” namely (1) the apostle’s teachings were designed to be understood by lay persons; (2) the text’s structure was created to facilitate memorization by individuals who lacked their own personal scriptures; (3) the text’s structure was designed to provide practical lessons to its readers; (4) memorization of the apostles’ writings allowed Christians to possess God’s word in various parts of the known world where written texts were rare or even nonexistent; and (5) memorization of the text would have encouraged Christians to take God’s word “to heart” and to apply it to one’s life.
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