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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beyond the scope of this study to reproduce the long discussion
concerning the meaning of maranatha. The parallels (in terms of
either wording or content) with Phil 4,5 (o` ku,rioj evggu,j), Rev
22,20 (e;rcou ku,rie VIhsou/), and Jude 14 as a reference to 1 En.
1,9 (h=lqen ku,rioj; here the perfectum futuri is used) indicate that
maranatha is to be best understood as the eschatological coming
of the Lord 47. In 1 Cor 16,22 this coming is linked with the notions
of love and curse. As A. Eriksson has shown, for Paul the Lord’s
return gives a reason “for the judgment that will come upon those
who do not love the Lord” and also gives a reason “for blessings
on those who do love the Lord”. In other words, the Lord will be
both the Judge and the Saviour in his second coming 48.
This consistency in Paul’s understanding of the character of the
eschatological events in 1 Corinthians allows us to better interpret
the meaning of the second dia, in 8,6 and especially the link be-
tween h`mei/j diV auvtou/ and h`mei/j eivj auvto,n. Firstly, there is no
reason to deny the future-oriented meaning of the second dia,. Secondly,
the analogy with the first dia, indicates that Jesus Christ’s partici-
pation in the eschatological events will be an active participation.
It is Jesus Christ who, according to some passages in 1 Corinthians,
first brings into action the eschatological scenario and then places
its results in front of God the Father. In the course of the letter Jesus
Christ is presented as the eschatological Judge and therefore as the
one who will determine who will attain God the Father as the ulti-
mate goal. This makes Jesus Christ the unique eschatological me-
diator: no one has a chance to come back to God while bypassing
the Lord’s final judgment. The act of final salvation is the co-work-
ing of the Lord Jesus Christ and God the Father and the “creational
dia,” is complemented with the “salvific dia,”. “We” are saved not
just through him but only through him.
For instance, M. BLACK, “The Maranatha Invocation and Jude 14, 15 (1
Enoch 1:9)”, Christ and Spirit in the New Testament. In Honour of Charles Francis
Digby Moule (eds. B. LINDARS – C.F.D. MOULE) (London 1973) 189-196.
See A. ERIKSSON, “Maranatha in the Letter’s Peroratio”, IDEM, Traditions
as Rhetorical Proof. Pauline Argumentation in 1 Corinthians (Coniectanea
Biblica New Testament Series 29; Stockholm 1998) 294.