Apology for Diagramming

Actually I’m not sorry. I am giving you an apology (ἀπολογία) in the classical sense of the term, viz. a “defense or explanation.”

Definition: A sentence diagram is a visual representation of the grammatical elements of a sentence. It presents a view into the interrelationships of a sentence’s component parts.

Creating a sentence diagram, or studying an existing one, can be a great help in grappling with the meaning, and thereby gaining a more accurate and complete understanding of a sentence. It is especially helpful in the epistolary literature, e.g. the letters of Paul, where there is considerable grammatical and logical subordination of thought. These are some of the benefits:

  • compels the student to determine the constituent parts of a sentence and record them objectively
  • points out the central assertions of a passage by isolating the connective particles, and focusing on the independent clauses

Much of this material has been gleaned from the excellent classroom manual Principles and Practice of Greek Exegesis by John D. Grassmick, which is sadly no longer in print. You may be able to find a used copy on Alibris


  1. Click on a '(Diagram)' link to view the diagram
  2. Click opened image to magnify it
  3. Right-click opened image to download it (Save Image As..)
  4. Hover over the Scripture reference to view the text
  5. Click the citation to open the text in a new tab or window



χάρις ὑμῖν καὶ εἰρήνη,
Διδάσκαλος Ἀνδρέας