Did you know that there are diamonds buried in your Bible!? I want to show you how to find those hidden gems in...
The Chiasm Course!
My name is Jay Carper, and I want to help you filter out the noise and focus on building your faith and keeping God's commandments through better Bible study! No pagan police. No Torah terrorists.
(Click here to go directly to the subscription plan!)
There are literary patterns embedded in the text throughout the Bible, and with a little patience and careful reading, you can find them and add new dimensions to passages that used to seem flat!
You don't need a degree in ancient languages or any other college or seminary degree for that matter. This 5-part course will teach you how to find and connect related statements within a Bible passage to reveal new facets of meaning and make your Bible study more meaningful, more fascinating, and even more fun!
The Chiasm Course is just one of the many benefits of being part of the Common Sense Bible Study community, including...
Future courses on how to read and understand the Bible. Who wrote it? Why? And who decided that this book stays and that one goes?
Weekly live, interactive Bible studies with a focus on practical application. The Bible gives us rules for living, so why don't we live by them?
Moderated group conversations on all kinds of Bible topics. Everyone's coming from a different place and has different questions. We'll try to answer them together.
Quests and challenges to find biblical answers and practical advice for fellow believers facing real difficulties.
The Chiasm Course starts again on October 25th. Sign up anytime after September 22nd so you don't miss the first class!
Click here to go directly to the subscription plan
Have you ever been reading the Bible and think to yourself, "Hey! Didn't I just read that a couple of verses up?", again and again in the same passage, like a literary déjà vu? God's Word doesn't waste words, so you can be sure that there's a reason for that repetition.
Do any of these questions sound familiar?
- Why does this passage say the same thing that last passage just said?
- Why does it feel like this same series of events just happened to someone else in the story?
- Why is this weird statement in the middle of a completely different topic?
- Why is one story sandwiched in the middle of another one?
- Why does this story seem to end up in the same place it began?
- Why does this one phrase keep repeating in a passage?
If you've asked yourself some of these questions while reading your Bible, there's a good chance that you were in the middle of a chiasm!
What's a Chiasm?
A chiasm is a literary device used to highlight connections between different events or ideas or to highlight a central point in a story. Many ancient cultures used chiasms in their literature, but they are especially prevalent in the Hebrew Bible.
Since we know that everything in the Bible is there for us to learn something, we can also know that these structures aren't there just by accident. Chiasms are like special gems hidden in a diamond mine, just waiting to be revealed!
What's in The Chiasm Course?
The Chiasm Course will walk you through these 5 lessons:
Introduction to Chiams. We'll talk about what chiasms are and how they are used in places you might not expect. I'll give you a brief introduction to some of the literary devices used in the Bible, and to the ways chiasms are used in the Bible.
A Pocketful of Gems. I'm going to show you a parallelism and 3 chiasms in the Old and New Testaments. We'll talk about how all the parts connect to each other and what hidden meanings they might hold.
Diamond Mining. Here's where I help you get your hands dirty digging for some chiasms of your own. You'll learn how to spot the telltale signs of a chiasm, how to find the beginning and end, and--most importantly--how to find the center and main point of the chiasm.
More Chiasms! We'll do some serious analysis of a couple more Biblical chiasms and survey one that shows up in a really surprising context: a Disney cartoon!
Chiasm Enhanced Living. We'll go over a test to validate chiasms. The Bible is a book about real life, full of instructions on how to live better, love better, worship better... and chiasms can help you put it to work in your life!
The Chiasm Course represents hundreds of hours of study and preparation! You might think that something like this would cost at least two or three hundred dollars, but I'm not trying to get rich from this. The Chiasm Course is just one of the benefits you get as a member of Common Sense Bible Study for only $14.99/month or $149.99/year if you sign up now!
If you're not happy with The Chiasm Course and the other benefits of Common Sense Bible Study, I'll refund up to your last twelve months of membership!
Frequently Asked Questions about The Chiasm Course
- What is a chiasm? A chiasm is a literary structure used by ancient writers in many cultures in order to emphasize a central point and make connections between different parts of the text. You'll learn more details about what they are and how they're used in the Bible in the course.
- Do I need to know Hebrew or Greek to take this course? Not at all! Most chiasms have more to do with the ideas expressed in the text than how a word looks or sounds.
- Can I get college credit for this course? Unfortunately, no. Even though this course can be a little technical at times, it is not accredited for any college or seminary credit.
- Do I need to have a degree from a Bible college to understand this course? Nope. I have tried hard to make this material accessible to anyone with a good vocabulary and a basic knowledge of the Bible.
- Aren't chiasms just imaginary or accidental patterns in the text? Not everything that looks like a chiasm really is one, so we have to be careful not to add meaning that the authors didn't intend, but chiasms are real and recognized by scholars of ancient literature from all over the world.
- Are chiasms secret codes hidden in the Bible? Not really. Chiasms are hidden only in the sense that most people don't know that they're supposed to be looking for them.
- Is this course available in any languages besides English? Not yet! If you know someone who would be interested in helping translate it, please let me know.
- What other literary structures are used in the Bible? The Bible is a collection of smaller books that use narrative, poetry, pun, parallelism, anaphora, and more. It would probably take a full college course (or more!) to cover them all.
- Does this work with any version of the Bible? Unfortunately, it doesn't. Literal translations work best because they are closer to the Hebrew text. Very informal or paraphrase-type translations like The Living Bible or The Message do a good job of making the Bible accessible to new readers, but they make it harder to see patterns that were in the original texts. I recommend using a literal translation like the English Standard Version, the New American Standard Bible, or the New King James Version.
- Can't I just get the same information for free on YouTube? Most of those videos are only introductions to the idea of chiasms or are of a single short lecture. You could probably get all of the same information from those free videos, but you'll have to wade through ten times more material, and almost none of it will be focused on teaching you how to find and understand chiasms in the Bible. The Chiasm Course will get you there faster and with fewer irrelevant detours.
Common Sense Bible Study
We all have doubts and questions, and nobody has all the answers. Nobody is right about everything.
When you first realize that your church taught you something contrary to Scripture, it’s tempting to reject everything else they taught you too. “If that was a lie, what else have I been lied to about!? So many traditions don’t seem to have any basis in the Bible!”
Be careful! I want to help you work through these troubled times, but not everything you were taught is a lie. Not all traditions are wrong.
Our job isn't to throw out everything we ever learned, but to test each doctrine against Scripture, to hold on to what is true, and reject only those things that aren't compatible.
Bible study doesn't have to be just for the experts!
You don’t have to read Greek and Hebrew. You don’t need to go to seminary or Bible college.
The Bible is a very big book and it can be complicated…but it’s not so complicated that you need an advanced education to understand it. I don't have a theology degree, but I have been reading and studying the Bible for most of my life and learning to keep God's Law for the last 25 years.
Why Am I Doing This?
We’re all on a journey from who we used to be to who God wants us to become. You’re not alone. I know what it’s like to have questions, and I want to help you find your answers without interference from Torah terrorists and pagan police.
I've published hundreds of articles on my own websites as well as on a few others and almost 200 videos teaching on scriptural topics from both the New and Old Testaments. They're all free, and I'll continue to post new content regularly.
But it's not enough for me anymore just to explain the Scriptures to you. With Common Sense Bible Study, I want to help you understand the Bible for yourself.
Click here to go directly to the subscription plan!
Here are what some other people have said about my online teaching:
- "I just found you on YouTube. I absolutely love your teachings and your character is such a breath of fresh air. It's truly Christlike!" -Renee C.
- "I love you! Pro-Torah believer in Yeshua [Jesus], who urges people to not immediately disregard scholarship, but instead use our mind to discern and seek the truth..." -Rio K.
- "Not gonna lie. When I clicked on this, I thought it was going to be some woke nonsense. Instead, it was sound biblical interpretation and application. A breath of fresh air. Great thoughts, brother." -Jeremy E.
- "WOWEE!!! The well-explained steps and questions are an answered prayer. Thank you. We really appreciate your encouragement, and we are excited to learn more." -Kurt G.
- "Hey Jay, just wanted to say your knowledge and insight are amazing, no doubt a gift from GOD. I enjoy your Twitter post and videos….would love to see more!!!" -Douglass J. [Unfortunately, I've been banned from Twitter for pointing out obvious truths.]
The Common Sense Bible Study community might be a good fit for you if...
- You've been wondering why the Bible says one thing, while your church says another.
- You've felt God calling you to greater obedience to his commandments, but you're not sure what to do. It seems like there's nobody around who understands.
- Sunday School lessons just aren't enough anymore. You want a deeper understanding of the Word of God.
- You're part of a regular Bible study group, but you feel like you don't have a lot to contribute.
- You lead a Bible study, but you've been struggling to keep it interesting and relevant to your students.
On the other hand, Common Sense Bible Study might not be for you if...
- You love God and his Word, but you prefer to leave the studying and teaching to your pastor or priest.
- You're looking for a university-level course for credit or CEUs.
- You don't have the patience for a systematic Bible study.
- You would never give up something that you and all your friends love because the Bible says God wants you to.
- You believe God's Law is irrelevant to Christians today and studying it can only trap people in legalism.
If anything in that last list describe you, no hard feelings. This community just isn't a good fit for you, where you're at right now. Maybe it will work better for you down the road.
Am I selling the Scriptures?
No. There are 100+ translations of the Bible available for free on thousands of websites, and I have many hundreds of articles and videos available for free elsewhere.
There are two plain and inescapable facts that make it necessary for me to charge for access to the Common Sense Bible Study community:
- This community takes a lot of time and money to host.
- People are more committed to things they're paying for.
I'm not charging an arm and a leg, but I do need to charge enough to pay for hosting, software, etc., and to ensure that the members of this community are committed to learning and helping each other grow into the people God wants them to be!
Don't miss out on The Chiasm Course, our weekly Bible studies, and all the great projects we have planned for the future!
Come with me and together we’ll discover what the Scriptures are supposed to be, not what some central planning committee wants them to be.
Welcome to our community. We're going to learn a lot together!