Parallelism in Ephesians 2:1-10

I’ve been studying Ephesians 2:1-10 for the ladies Bible study tomorrow night, and I arranged the passage visually (à la Justin Taylor) so I could see the flow of thought better. This method of breaking down a passage can help you see parallelism and follow complicated syntax. I’m sure there are other ways you could arrange these ideas, but this is what I came up with and this was helpful to me as I studied the passage.

1 And you

were dead in the trespasses and sins

2 in which you once walked,

following the course of this world,

following the prince of the power of the air,

the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience

among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh,

carrying out the desires of the body and the mind,

and were by nature children of wrath,

like the rest of mankind.

But God,

being rich in mercy,

because of the great love with which he loved us,

even when we were dead in our trespasses,

made us alive together with Christ—

by grace you have been saved—

and raised us up with him

and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,

so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.

For by grace you have been saved through faith.

And this is not your own doing;

it is the gift of God,

9 not a result of works,

so that no one may boast.

10 For we are his workmanship,

created in Christ Jesus

for good works,

which God prepared beforehand,

that we should walk in them.

    

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The Five People You Meet in Heaven: Writing Techniques

We’ve already touched on some of these ideas in previous questions and comments, but I wanted to make sure we discussed the writing techniques Albom used to convey this story, because they’re such a crucial part of how the story is organized.

Countdown to Death

I found the countdown to Eddie’s death to be disturbing because I felt like I was looking forward to his death. The suspense seemed perverse to me. It is, however, a creative technique for opening the story and focusing our attention on Eddie’s death and his afterlife. How did this countdown affect you?

Flashback

I just reread the first chapter and was more impressed with Albom’s use of flashback; the first time through I was a little disoriented. The story weaves in and out from the present to Eddie’s past and to the life stories of other characters and to the intersections of Eddie’s life with those other characters. Albom also uses Eddie’s birthdays as a way of giving us snapshots of Eddie’s life and marking the passage of time. What do you learn through the flashbacks and all the movement through time in the first chapter? How effective is Albom’s style for this story in particular?

For those of you concerned about source attribution, I’m basing some of my discussion questions on those provided by LitLovers, who got their questions from the publisher of TFPYMIH. I don’t always like their questions or how they phrase them, but I’m using them to guide the general direction of the discussion.