Arcing and Bracketing are both study methods that serve to graphically display the flow of thought in a biblical text. Thus, in one way they are the same thing with just a difference graphical representation. Yet, each method possesses its own strength. Arcing’s strength is to most clearly display how groups of propositions relate to one another. Bracketing’s strength is to most clearly display the main point of the passage.
Consider the arc and bracket of Romans 3:21-26 below.
Notice now easy it is to see from the arc that 25a-25b relates to 25c-26b as an Action-Purpose relationship. God put Jesus forward as propitiation (action) in order to show God’s righteousness and that he might both just and the justifier (2 purposes).
Here, the bracket makes it crystal clear what the main point is, as seen by the longest line. “The righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law.” This is the main point that this entire passage supports and explains.
Also available: new online, interactive courses in Arcing and Bracketing.