Ephesians 1:3-14 rearranged

Here is an attempt to visually see what Bob MacDonald noted in the comment yesterday.


Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,

who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places,

even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world,

that we should be holy and blameless before him.

In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ,

according to the purpose of his will,

to the praise of his glorious grace,

with which he has blessed us in the Beloved.

In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses,

according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us,

in all wisdom and insight making known to us the mystery of his will,

according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time,

to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.

In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined

according to the purpose of him who works all things

according to the counsel of his will,

so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be

to the praise of his glory.

In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation,

and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit,

who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it,

to the praise of his glory.


I took a little liberty with the repetition “to the praise of his glory” and matched the three-fold division as well.

Is this what you had in mind, Bob?

Author: exegete77

disciple of Jesus Christ, husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, teacher, and theologian

3 thoughts on “Ephesians 1:3-14 rearranged”

  1. That is the kind of thing I had in mind. Thanks. This sort of thinking is well described in Rabbi Jonathon Magonet’s book, A Rabbi Reads the Psalms.

    I have noticed (for my eyes) that one has to be careful with indentation. It needs to be minimal so that the eye does not lose its place. Alter in his book has deep indentation.

    Also there are a myriad of rhetorical constructions that might ‘demand’ attention, so it is a bit of a problem designing a reading surface that enables hearing because indentation is only a single visual clue.

    My own book on the psalms, provisionally entitled Seeing the Psalter, illustrates the word-recurrence patterns in tables. It is in Hebrew and English and hopefully will be available in 1Q2013. (My wife’s increasingly super criticism is complete up to Psalm 78 – she reads English only and is not distracted by the Hebrew).

    I find the technique of reading with a pencil in hand, marking up the text for aural and visible patterns, really slows you down and lets you hear the text closely. I can’t say what it ‘means’ but I can ‘see what it says’. 🙂 The ‘saying’ will stay with me because of the patterns that the eye remembers. Even here, I will not forget the opening of Ephesians because of this blog post.

    I am therefore very biased towards translations that mimic the rhetorical features of the source language usage.


    1. The indents and line spacing are limited by the WordPress theme I have used. If you haven’t see a printed version of GW, you might find it interesting because indentation, patterns, parallelism, etc. are used extensively in the Old Testament. I think it is a great help to students of the Bible (even if someone does not like or agree with the GW translation).

      I look forward to your book. I am a visual type of rememberer, that is, I don’t have complete photographic memory, but I do much better with the visual link. I can remember where something was on the page, or by the typeface used, etc. So, in the visual layout of the text, it makes a world of difference.

      Reading with a pencil (or for me, pen) is an excellent tool. Before computers I would write out long hand a text of Scripture and begin drawing lines to indicate possible links. It’s amazing how much that helps.

      Thanks for your comments, Bob. Very much appreciated.


      1. Rich – several months later – Seeing the Psalter is now available. I expect my first shipment via pony express in a week or so.


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