Diagrammatical Analysis


Diagramming is an essential tool in learning to really work with the text. One of the reasons it is so useful is the very reason it is not liked. Namely, the identification of parts of speech is largely unfamiliar to us. The unfortunate result when studying scripture is that we miss the actual flow and meaning of the passage at hand and by habit impose upon it whatever moralistic meaning we have once been taught (rightly or wrongly) which the text contained.

Most of us labored through the diagramming parts of High school English dreading and hating each moment and even after “passing” the section we left it with little comprehension of what we had learned or why we had spent the time doing so.
Permit me to simply encourage you that it is worth digging in to the principles of both identifying parts of speech and then learning how to diagram it in some way meaningful to you. To that end I would strongly encourage you to learn diagramming.
For an excellent instruction in Diagramming Greek or Hebrew consider investing in Lee Kantenwein’s Diagrammatical Analysis. His is the method which I have employed at various points throughout this site.
A portion of his introduction will suffice to make the case:

I believe in Biblical inerrancy without apology. An energetic emphasis upon the Word of God is imperative. A workable knowledge of Greek and Hebrew is without equal. A truly effective Christian ministry involves the proclamation of the whole counsel of God (Acts 20:27). A methodology which focuses upon the comprehension of the distinctive communication and the revelatory message of the inspired Biblical writers is essential. Diagrammatical analysis of the Biblical languages is an indispensable and methodological exegetical tool for the purpose of observing sentence structure and syntactical relationships.
Many sermonizers have never been instructed to diagram or have forgotten the method. Some have been trained that diagramming must always fit into select molds. Many individuals have never been taught the nomenclature of the part of speech or their function. The problem is further compounded for many Biblical interpreters because sermonic preparation should be based upon a syntactical analysis of the Hebrew and Greek texts. An exegetical expository preaching and teaching ministry of a “What saith the Scriptures?” is based upon a literal, contextual, historical, cultural, and grammatical interpretation. This five-fold basis must be maintained if Diagrammatical analysis is going to be used effectively.
Lee L. Kantenwein, Diagrammatical Analysis (Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 2003), 7.

You can obtain it either from Logos Library Systems or Buy it at Christian Book Distributors | Amazon.com.