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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409 THROUGH ONE LORD ONLY 409
site relations with various manifestations of the divine reality. Paul
firstly indicates how the “unspiritual” misunderstand the meaning
of a certain reality, and then how the “spiritual” properly respond
to the same reality. The repetition of de, helps us to comprehend the
whole scheme of opposition 54; in this manner v. 10 correlates with
v. 8 (in terms of the relations of the two groups to God’s Wisdom),
v. 12 with v. 11 (God’s Spirit), and v. 15 with v. 12 (things which
come from God’s Spirit). The same de, is used to separate the two
groups in v. 16. One can understand the quotation from Isaiah as
the reference to the “unspiritual” with their relations to nou/j
kuri,ou, while the second half of the verse as about the opposing
group (h`mei/j) in their relations to nou/j Cristou/. If, as in the
whole passage, Paul here depicts the two groups in their relation-
ship with the same reality, then it would be logical to assume that
ku,rioj in v. 16a and Cristo,j in v. 16b designate the same person.
And consequently, if Paul refers in his quotation from Isaiah in 1
Cor 2,16a to Jesus Christ, is it possible to assume that in Rom 11,34
he has in mind God the Father when he writes the same words? In
this regard, a further question may be asked. Is it Paul’s primary
concern who precisely is understood by his audience when he refers
to ku,rioj in the OT quotation: whether it is God the Father or the
Lord Jesus Christ 55?
It should be noted that the context of Is 40,13 (Isaiah 40-41) es-
tablishes God’s uniqueness as the Creator of everything (40,26.28;
41,20), the Redeemer (41,14) and the Judge (cf. 41,1). The comparison
of God with an idol is inadmissible (40,18-20). The author of Isaiah
40–41 does not just proclaim the oneness of God but depicts God
as the only one to whom the fundamental divine functions belong.
He uses different ways to designate God, including the traditional
rendering YHWH but also in 40,10 Adonai (both translated in the
LXX as ku,rioj). All the designations seem to be interchangeable
Cf. FEE: “Gk. de, [in 1 Cor 2,6-16] clearly adversative here and thus
rightly translated ‘however’ (cf. ‘yet’ in RSV, GNB, NAB)”; First Corinthians,
101, n. 12.
Cf. Heil concerning 1 Cor 10,26: “It does not matter whether Paul’s au-
dience understands ‘to the Lord’ in the scriptural quote in 10:26 to refer to
Jesus Christ or to God. Because of their roles in creation both God the Father
and the Lord Jesus Christ (and not the idols and the demons) have absolute
dominion over ‘the earth and its fullness’”; J.P. HEIL, The Rhetorical Role of
Scripture in 1 Corinthians (SBL 15; Atlanta, GA 2005) 171.