Andrey Romanov, «Through One Lord Only: Theological Interpretation of the Meaning of 'dia', in 1 Cor 8,6», Vol. 96 (2015) 391-415
The present study attempts to clarify the theological meaning of dia, in 1 Cor 8,6. Traditionally the preposition is understood as an indication of a contrast between God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus' role is described as either instrumental or analogous to the role of Jewish Wisdom. The present study questions these interpretations on the basis of the analysis of the structure of the verse. In this author's opinion, dia, here indicates the unique functions of Jesus Christ which make him the co-worker of God the Father in both creation and salvation.
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405 THROUGH ONE LORD ONLY 405
and God are described. Vv. 24-25 demonstrate that in the end Christ
will destroy the enemies and put them under God’s feet. The “se-
quence of events” is worth noting; Christ hands over the kingdom
to God the Father after “the destruction has already occurred” 44.
The destruction is rendered through the active voice of katarge,w;
it will be Jesus Christ who will destroy his enemies. It is interesting
to note that in v. 25 Paul explicitly alludes to Ps 110,1; in the text
of the psalm one Lord (rendered as YHWH) addresses the other Lord
(Adonai) 45. This reference to Ps 110,1 is generally recognized. In
my view, however, the focus should be not only on the first verse
of the psalm but on the content of the psalm as a whole. In vv. 5-7
the author depicts some functions of the “minor” Lord (Adonai)
which are comparable with the destruction of the enemies in 1 Cor
15,24-25. In Ps 110,5 Adonai is expected to execute judgment;
whether the author of the psalm means the eschatological judgment
is not so clear. But in my view it is probable that in 1 Corinthians 15 Paul
has in mind not merely the first verse of the psalm but its whole con-
tent, and therefore he refers not so much to the status of Jesus as the
enthroned person (as in Ps 110,1) but rather to his action as the Judge.
The combination of 1,8 and 15,24-25 draws a picture of the es-
chatological events in which Jesus Christ is presented as the one
who will find some as “blameless” and others as deserving to be
“destroyed”. This picture is complemented with some other pas-
sages in 1 Corinthians. “The Day” (evidently, the day of the Lord
Jesus Christ of 1,8) is mentioned in 3,13-15. In 4,4 Paul writes
about the Lord who judges; in order to stress the eschatological
meaning of the judgment Paul adds in v. 5 the words concerning
the future (expressed through the aorist) coming of the Lord “who
will bring to light the things now hidden in darkness and will dis-
close the purposes of the heart” 46. After this “each one will receive
commendation from God”.
Also the words at the very end of the letter (maranatha, 16,22)
focus on the coming of the Lord as the eschatological Judge. It goes
J. LAMBRECHT, “Structure and Line of Thought in 1 Cor. 15:23-28”,
NovT 32.2 (1990) 149.
“The Lord says to my lord, ‘Sit at my right hand until I make your en-
emies your footstool’”.
Fee recognizes the parallel between 1 Cor 4,4-5 and Dan 2,20-23; he points
out, that “Christ himself will be the judge”, and “this action being an exclu-
sively divine prerogative… assigned to Christ as Lord”: FEE, Christology, 138.