A chiasm is a literary structure where vocabulary of the first section of a passage is repeated in reverse order in the second. The center of the chiasm is typically the climax of the passage. In 2 Corinthians 2:14-17 the center and climax is “For we are a fragrance of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing (2 Cor 2:15). A But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumph in Christ, (2:!4a) B and manifests through us the sweet aroma (Greek: osmē) of the knowledge of Him in every place. (2:!4b) C For we are a fragrance of Christ to God among those who are being saved (2:15a) C’ and among those who are perishing; (2:15b) B’ to the one an aroma (Greek: osmē)from death to death, to the other anaroma (Greek: osmē) from life to life. And who is adequate for these things?1 (2:16) A’ For we are not like many, peddling the word of God, but as from sincerity, but as from God, we speak in Christ in the sight of God. (2:17) 1 The answer to the question “who is adequate for these things?” is found in 2 Corinthians 3:5: ” Not that we are adequate in ourselves to consider anything as coming from ourselves, but our adequacy is from God” (NASB Study Bible, 1692).
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