Cross-eyed Exegesis

or Yahweh’s Autostereogram


Some readers of Bible Matrix get it straight away. Some get it after a while. Some will never get it. I was thinking it’s a bit like those “autostereograms” that were really popular a few years ago. I was one of the people who stared and stared and stared for years and couldn’t see the 3D images. When I finally did see one, it was a medium-to-large brontosaurus. How did I miss that?

Identifying the Bible Matrix is the same. You have to look at the text cross-eyed. If there is enough of a correspondence, your literary mind will align the two structures. The text of the Bible is architecture. It is a temple built row by row. This is not eisegesis. It is simply a definition of exegesis you hadn’t previously been aware of. It is systematic typology.

Reader Dan Isadore wrote me:

Your book Bible Matrix came in the mail yesterday.  Some things rattling around in my brain:

1.  P.32-33.  I’m not making the connection between these pages and some of the chiasms you draw out in other parts of the book. For instance, p.73: You begin talking about Adam in Creation and then move to Abel and Cain in Division. Fair enough. But then you speak of Lamech, Enoh, Seth and Enoch in Ascension.  I’m not tracking how you connects these guys with Ascension, especially because Lamech does not ascend to God. And how do Seth and Enoch bringing the law connect to Ascension? I get even more confused as I move on in this chiasm with Testing, Maturity, Conquest, and Glorification. It just seems like the simplicity that you present on p.32-33 falls through in many of these examples you give throughout the book. Could you help me to understand these terms more fully? And maybe make more explicit the way in which they logically relate to each other?

2. How deep and wide do you see this “DNA” that you speak of?  You seem to see it all over the place in Scripture. I can see your big picture: that postmillenialism is written all over Scripture in a typological way. But some of these more minute patterns that you are seeing just seem to be forced to me. Perhaps that is because my eyes are untrained in this method.  But if someone like me, who is familiar with theological work ranging from R.C. Sproul and John Piper to Leslie Newbigin and Tom Torrance, is having a hard time grasping this very introductory book, how is the average Joe on the street supposed to be able to see these intricate connections that you are seeing?

How do you know where these patterns are in Scripture and where they are not? Where do they start and where do they end?  At how many levels of the text (whole scripture, testaments, books, characters lives, events, etc.) are they found?  And how do you know if they are there?  Is it more of trial and error than anything else?

Thanks for the interaction!

My reply:

The best way to understand Adam to Noah is to see it as an expansion of the initial ministry of Adam. That original “word” has taken on flesh. Eve’s “harlotry” with the serpent becomes race-wide.

So the ascension is the set-up of new worship. Ascension is the approach of the Covenant “head” to receive the Law on the mountain and build a new house. But the kingdom is divided. Seth replaces Abel as head of the true Covenant. Lamech is the head of a false covenant. It takes more than one person to cover all the themes attached to Ascension until we get to Jesus.

To tell you the truth, initially I didn’t understand the significance of Lamech etc. until I had seen later structures (although Enoch’s ascension was obvious, of course!) See the articles on Genesis here.

If you think these are minute, wait till you see Totus Christus! Yes it is all over the place. A few are quite subtle, but I think that when 5 or 6 parts of the seven fall into place, one can quite confidently say it was the author’s intention. In Revelation, the entire book follows the structure as a whole. But then 1-5 and 1-11 and 12-19 and 20-22 also follow the structure. Then each of these sections has the same structures within it. I found I was just ticking the boxes after a while. It explains the order of the subject matter perfectly — beyond question as far as I am concerned.

Most theologians work like engineers and technicians. The Bible simply isn’t built that way. This method is the analysis of repeated themes in a repeated structure. It is more like music or movie or literary analysis. But it takes a while to get used to the symbol language of the Bible. Perhaps get into some Jordan lectures, but more simply, get really familiar with the one on page 35. That’s the key.

I’ve found that some people struggle with it and others get it right away. Depends on how your brain works I suppose.

After a while you do get to recognise them easily. Sure, there are some in Totus Christus that are a bit iffy, but not in Bible Matrix. As you go through it you should become more familiar with the process, and all the common themes that repeatedly get attached to each point. There is a consistency — it is not scientific but poetic. However, it is consistent.

Daniel again:

I sure do appreciate all of this help! It was funny… today after writing you I couldn’t stop thinking about what I had written. So I spent some time going back over the first 6 chapters.  And then something just clicked. I started to see it! This is right on: “Most theologians work like engineers and technicians. The Bible simply isn’t built that way. This method is the analysis of repeated themes in a repeated structure. It is more like music or movie or literary analysis.” Something just snapped into place and I started to realize just that fact (something that I’ve known for a while now but haven’t be able to quite get into my system).

It also helped when I figured out that Division, Ascension, and Maturity were primarily about the “Mediator” (singular) and not necessarily about the ones who came out of the Division. Didn’t pick that up until the second time through though, and reading much more slowly. I assumed too much the first time.

Anyhow, after reading earlier today I have to admit that I really do believe you are onto something significant. Looking forward to digesting more of your text, and then diving into Totus Christus afterward. That is much more in-depth I imagine?

Thanks again!

Click on the picture above for the large version. You may see the Tomb of Cyrus. If not, this is what you’re looking for.

See also:
Jordan’s Musical Hermeneutics
Downsampling the Word
Technicians and Intuitions
Hermeneutical Asperger’s

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2 Responses to “Cross-eyed Exegesis”

  • Dave Says:

    Hi, thank you for starting this thread – finally something I can “contribute” to :-)

    I’m reading Totus Christus and have been thinking of getting the Bible Matrix. I’d love to be able to use this material as a small group study – we’re always lamenting about how “fluffy” most bible studies are. Is Bible Matrix in such a form that you could work your way through it in a small group format?

    re Totus Christus, I’ve been jumping around alot, read the beginning, then the appendices, now doing Revelation before going back to the beginning, (and then finally finishing reading “The Writing on the Wall”). My main question is: how interchangeable are the various patterns? You have the 7 days of creation, the 7 feasts, the 7 steps from creation to glorification. On a surface glance by looking at the various charts in the book they sometimes are presented as being variations of the same thing, but obviously you always pick one specific pattern to match up with the text. Should I be thinking of them as completely different structures with different meanings, asking myself “which specific structure did the original author intend to convey to the reader?” Or should we assume that only the Holy Spirit initially was aware of the structure He was writing, opening up the possibility of infinite overlapping structures?

    Also, reading Jordan’s “A Brief Readers Guide to Revelation”, he shows all these chiastic structures, but they’re not 7 point specific structures, they’re just highly parenthetical (a,b,c,d,e,f,f2,e2,d2,c2,b2,a2 etc). How are we to put together the two seemingly different methods?

    My 3D-CGI-Media-Age spoiled consumer please-spoon-feed-me self would ideally like to see how you approach a text in some kind of step by step form; I.e.going from a flat text, then progressing to “hmmm, look at this pattern repeated – could this be creation and glorification?, no looks more like Sabbath and Booths” until you come up with the final structure. Do you have something like that in Bible Matrix, or anywhere on the web?

    Thanks for your work (and good graphic sense too)!

  • Mike Bull Says:

    Hi Dave
    Yep – Bible Matrix is the place to go. It’s spoon feeding with a really big spoon. Spends more time on getting you used to it. And recommended by Mr Jordan for a group study:

    Re the structure, the three are usually all present but one in particular tends to shine.

    Creation also tends to line up more with ‘Garden,’ Feasts with ‘Land,’ and Dominion with ‘World.’ It’s Word, Sacrament and Government, or God/Mediator/Nations – same as the Tabernacle.

    Yes, there are more detailed chiastic features within the structure, but I’m not real good at that.

    Identifying them usually starts with spotting a familiar symbol (TC gives you much more of these than BM) and seeing if it is surrounded by others in the correct order.

    Thanks for the comment.