Joshua's latest post, click here, gave an example of arcing plus links to learn how we could do arcing ourselves. Although I've studied the technique of arcing a little, I've never really done the hard work to put it into practice. Though not putting it into practice I did note in that the technique of arcing requires one to identify the propositions within the text, their nature, and how they relate in context. This whole relationship once discerned is diagrammatically expressed by arcing. Often times as I'm studying and meditating on a passage, I try to identify propositions, to ask questions to make sure I grasp the passage, think on it deeply, and understand it within the context. Below is an example of how I tried to work this out on Romans 1:17-21. I simply think of it as "Questions." Sometimes the answers are obvious but the asking and verbalizing helps to see the flow, and make sure I really do have some understanding of the text. Sometimes the answers are elusive and it's necessary to do some extensive study to make sure I really do have a grasp of God's intended meaning of the text. And other times the questions remain, hopefully I make note of this and wait sometimes weeks later, months or even years when occasionally and joyfully the answer which previously evaded me becomes evident.
** Update ** And the more I read through the text and consider the questions usually the more questions that I see I should have asked.
KJV Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. 17 For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.
NAU Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. 17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, "BUT THE RIGHTEOUS man SHALL LIVE BY FAITH."
NIV Romans 1:16 I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. 17 For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: "The righteous will live by faith."
ESV Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. 17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, "The righteous shall live by faith."
Starting with verse 17:
Q. Consider what is meant by THEREIN, (NASB/ESV “in it” NIV “in the gospel”.) What does this reference?
Q. How is the righteousness of God revealed in the Gospel?
Q. What does it mean from faith to faith?
Q. Where is it written, “the just shall live by faith.”
Q. How does this quotation connect with previous clause?
Q. What is the righteousness of God in this verse? (this is actually a point of contention these days especially in view of the New Perspective on Paul.)
KJV Romans 1:18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;
NAU Romans 1:18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness,
NIV Romans 1:18 The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness,
ESV Romans 1:18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth.
NOTE: verse 17 talks of righteousness being revealed and now verse 18 of WRATH OF GOD revealed.
Q. What is the Wrath of God?
Q. In what way or what is meant by the “Wrath of God is Revealed from heaven?”
Q. Against whom or what is the Wrath of God revealed?
Q. What is the difference between ungodliness and unrighteousness - to what do they refer?
Q. What is meant by “hold the truth in unrighteousness?”
Q. What truth is held in unrighteousness?
KJV Romans 1:19 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.
NAU Romans 1:19 because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them.
NIV Romans 1:19 since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them.
ESV Romans 1:19 For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them.
Q. What is “that which may be known of God?”
Q. And what does it mean to be “manifest in them” or “evident WITHIN them?”
Q. Do you think it is significant that the NASB and the KJV both indicate “IN THEM” or “WITHIN THEM?” NIV and ESV simply say “to them.” Greek says literally IN THEM -- not TO THEM.
Q. Note the two clauses beginning with BECAUSE…..FOR, or SINCE…BECAUSE… or FOR… BECAUSE. How do they relate to one another?
Q. Also note the noun in the first clause, manifest, and the verb in the second clause, shewed -- or EVIDENT…MADE IT EVIDENT. How does the noun - verb connection which are really practically the same word “manifest and to make manifest,” connected together.
KJV Romans 1:20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:
NAU Romans 1:20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.
NIV Romans 1:20 For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities-- his eternal power and divine nature-- have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.
ESV Romans 1:20 For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.
Q. What are the “invisible things?”
Q. Is it from the creation or by the things created, or since the creation?
Q. What is it that is understood?
Q. Explain why they are without excuse?
Q. What is meant by "eternal power"?
Q. What is meant by Godhead?
KJV Romans 1:21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.
NAU Romans 1:21 For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened.
NIV Romans 1:21 For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened.
ESV Romans 1:21 For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened.
Q. When did this take place, "who knew God?"
Q. How did they know God? What about God did they know?
Q. Is this applicable now? Or is this speaking of historical event or people? Specific people? Meant to be applied generally?
Q. Explain "their thinking became futile."
Q. What is it to have a "foolish heart" "darkened?"