Psalms Explorer parallelism analyses

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Posts 16
Roy Daniel | Forum Activity | Posted: Tue, Jul 14 2015 11:38 AM

Hello to my logos community;

I needed help interpreting the lowercase letters in the parallel analysis. Although when one's cursor hovers over the lowercase letters and it might indicate it being "Synonymous" or "Synthetic" or other, it does not explain the significance of the various lowercase letters within one parallel unit.

In the case of Psalms 46 verse 1(enable Parallelism), you have two lowercase "a" letter and when your cursor hovers over the "a"  it indicates it is Synonymous. But when you come to verse 2 within it's parallel unit and you hover over it's lowercase letters it indicates it is Synthetic; and it's lowercase letters are "abbccbc". Why isn't the lowercase letter "b" not given in front of "Its waters roar and foam". This phrase seems to carry the same idea as the previous phrase in verse 2, "though the earth gives way" , "though the mountains be moved" so in like manner the phrase, "though its waters roar and foam.

I am so confused with the significance of these lowercase letters and the entire parallelism analysis.

I also have question on how the indentation are determined in the structural analysis. Please answer all questions concerning Psalms 46. Thank you! God Bless you all!

Sincerely,

Roy Daniel

Posts 1266
LogosEmployee
Rick Brannan (Faithlife) | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Jul 14 2015 12:07 PM

Hi Roy.

The parallelism analysis was done on the Hebrew text; the analysis in the English text is accomplished through reverse interlinear alignment. The order of the lower-case letters in the popup represents the order in the Hebrew text.

So a few questions: Are you asking about the placement of a lower-case letter in the English or Hebrew? If English, which English text? (ESV?) The lines between classifying something as synthetic and synonymous are sometimes slight and overlapping; this may be an instance.

On the structural analysis, have you consulted the 'About' text in the interactive tool? ("About" on the toolbar after the version selector). Here's that text:

Structural Analysis

The structure of each Psalm is identified as either:

  • Acrostic — each line, or each line in each strophe, begins with a different letter of the alphabet. These are the simplest structures to identify.
  • Chiastic (or symmetrical, concentric) — topical/thematic units are introduced in sequence up to a central pinnacle, sometimes called a pivot or fulcrum. The sequence is then revisited in reverse order, creating a round-trip from a starting point to an emphasis point and back again. In this notation, corresponding units are labeled with a corresponding letter of the alphabet: The “A” unit at the beginning corresponds to another “A” unit at the end. For the identification of these structures, much is owed to Robert Alden’s analysis published in JETS , though we deviated at various points where it seemed good to us to do so.
  • Strophic — lines are grouped into thematic units, somewhat akin to paragraphs. This analysis builds on Samuel Terrien’s The Psalms: Strophic Structure and Theological Commentary.

Ps 46 is noted as a chiasm, so the indentations are controlled by whether a section is ABCD, etc.; the headings go with the structural analysis. 

Does this help?

Rick Brannan
Data Wrangler, Faithlife
My books in print

Posts 823
GregW | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Jul 14 2015 3:07 PM

Rick Brannan (Faithlife):
Does this help?

I don't know if it helped Roy, but it certainly helped me. I've found it a bit confusing up until now, but this explanation means it all makes a lot more sense to me now. Thanks very much. I was also sufficiently dumb not to have looked at the "About" information. 


Running Logos 6 Platinum and Logos Now on Surface Pro 4, 8 GB RAM, 256GB SSD, i5

Posts 569
Schumitinu | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Jul 14 2015 5:57 PM

Roy Daniel:

In the case of Psalms 46 verse 1(enable Parallelism), you have two lowercase "a" letter and when your cursor hovers over the "a"  it indicates it is Synonymous. But when you come to verse 2 within it's parallel unit and you hover over it's lowercase letters it indicates it is Synthetic; and it's lowercase letters are "abbccbc". Why isn't the lowercase letter "b" not given in front of "Its waters roar and foam". This phrase seems to carry the same idea as the previous phrase in verse 2, "though the earth gives way" , "though the mountains be moved" so in like manner the phrase, "though its waters roar and foam.

Looking at the English translations I agree that "abbcbbc" makes more sense. And it would be more symmetrical. I'm no Hebrew expert, but given the fact that the word "though" is missing in both lines of V3, and since the analysis was done on the Hebrew text, it could lend to a different analysis. The analysis of parallelisms is not always as straight forward as we would like it to be. The analysis provided is based on somebody's interpretation. Your interpretation might be different. There will always be some ambiguity I guess.

If you have David A. Dorsey's "The Literary Structure of the Old Testament" you can check what he suggests.

Posts 16
Roy Daniel | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Jul 15 2015 1:52 PM

Hi Rick;

Thanks for getting back to me. In reference to your question, I am asking about the placement of the lower-case letter in English and in the ESV. Although I did read the information in the About, I am still not clear of the meanings of the lowercase letters in each parallel unit. As you have indicated that Ps 46 is a Chiastic psalms and I just saw that more clear in the detailed view where it shows in it's indentation form and sub-headings. It is thus illustrated  -    A - God is a refuge

                                                          B - No fear

                                                             C - God rules over natural calamities

                                                                 D- God is present

                                                                     E - Nations rage

                                                                      E -  God Speaks

                                                                  D- God is present

                                                               C - God rules over political calamities

                                                            B - Be Still

                                                      A - God is a refuge

So this is illustrated in the ABCDEEDCBA form following the rules of a Chiastic poem. So getting the Chiastic structure out of the way, I am still faced with trying to understand the significance of the lowercase letters in each parallel unit. Again going back to my earlier question about why was not a "b" used in verse 3 of Ps 46 right before the phrase "Its waters roar and foam".

I am not even sure what makes something Synonymous, even though I read the definition of what Synonymous is. What is in verse 1 that makes that verse Synonymous. "God is our refuge and strength" alludes to a place of comfort but "a very present help in trouble" alludes to a meaning of protection. I guess I am asking what makes this Synonymous?

And starting in verse two it is labeled as Synthetic. I also read the definition of Synthetic as well and I am not sure why the "b" was not placed in verse 3 as I mentioned before. Maybe I am not understanding the meaning of each lowercase letters in each parallel unit.

Please help me understand this! Thanks for your help!

Roy

 

                               

 

Posts 16
Roy Daniel | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jul 20 2015 8:49 AM

Hi Rick;

Did you get a chance to look at my last post? I would appreciate your help! Thanks!

Roy

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