Visual Representations of Biblical Poetic Parallelism

Russell Jay Hendel
Proceedings of Bridges 2011: Mathematics, Music, Art, Architecture, Culture (2011)
Pages 279–286 Regular Papers


Within a broader context of visual and musical symmetry patterns, we explore biblical parallelism, the poetic symmetry patterns of the Bible. We present six frequently occurring parallel forms---simple, chiastic, elliptical, sequential, unequal length, and repeated words. These six forms are broad enough to include many known examples of biblical parallelism. Our major contribution is a system of visual representation based on four attributes---column position, shading, use of blanks and caps. The visual representation system compactly represents and indicates diverse parallel styles at a glance. Many illustrations are presented including a complex parallelism using four parallelism methods