iTodd:

Moore Vanity

“The more words, the more vanity...” Eccl. 6:11

 
 

Welcome to my site.  As you probably guessed, it is named after yours truly.  You might be asking yourself “Is this guy so vain that he created a web site solely about himself?”  Rest assured, that is not the case.  While it is my internet site and it does mostly highlight my own work, I believe what is presented here is the result of God’s gracious enabling.  Thus, it is intended for the greater good of his church and ultimately for God’s own glory (not my own).  You might think the very idea of an individual considering himself enabled by God, borders on delusion - an even greater vanity!  However, wisdom is known of its children.  You can view the site and decide for yourself.  I hope you will see that the name is really just a gimmick to get your attention and that there is material of quality and interest on the site.  


If you happen to enjoy studying the Bible, I invite you to take a look at the main attraction of the site - chiastic structures.  This area is a collection of examples of the rhetorical device known as Chiasmus (Chiasm, for short). This literary figure has been one of my personal interests for many years - since 1984 to be exact.  It was in 1984 that I had second thoughts and decided to read a journal article in Bib Sac (BibliothecaSacra) that I had skipped for lack of interest on my first pass.  The article was entitled, “The Value of Chiasm for New Testament Interpretation,” by Ronald E. Man.  I had no idea what a “chiasm” was (and even today I don’t claim to be an expert).   It turned out to be a life changing article for me!  For what it is worth, a chiasm, at it’s most basic level, is defined as a form of inverted, or concentric, parallelism in which there is verbal or thematic correspondence (commonly illustrated as A B B’ A’).  There are many variations, especially in length - from phrase, to  paragraph, to an entire document in size.  I do include a short article explaining more about chiastic structure on the site, as well as links to other similar sites. 


I have wanted to provide an information source on this topic for quite some time now, because Chiasmus has often been neglected (and when not neglected, it has often been abused).  This figure of speech is more common than one might think in the pages of Scripture.  Since casual modern readers/writers (like most of us) don’t often plan their literary work, they don’t expect to see highly organized thought structure in ancient literature.  This is an incorrect assumption.  Rhetorical structure, and chiastic structure in particular, seems to be quite normal as a means of outlining basic thought in ancient literature, and so in much of scripture.  Understanding the basic thought structure is always helpful in interpretation.  Generally, comprehending the author’s writing strategy results in an accurate view of the context - and context is the primary indicator of authorial intent and meaning.  Also, on some occasions, a parallel thought can help clarify the specific meaning of its structural counterpart.  I note some of these occasions on the site.  These are just a few reasons why I always look at the structure of the text whenever I study a passage of Scripture.


It is a satisfying experience when a chiastic structure is found as a result of a little disciplined study.  I have great joy and thank God on these occasions, because, as already mentioned, the illumination of the text is a gift from God.  In turn, I hope the Lord is pleased when his word is made clearer to those who would seek to know his will.  The church certainly needs all the help (from God’s word) that it can get!  Therefore, I want to share these thoughts with you, dear reader, and encourage you to learn more and then go and find some of these golden nuggets for yourself in your own personal study of God’s word.  I only ask that you use these structures for his glory and that you give credit where credit is due (and that includes not plagiarizing material from this site).  Hopefully my words hereafter, and so my vanity, will be kept to a minimum.  Enjoy.