Re: 1Thess. 4:14, what about dia?

From: Jonathan Robie (
Date: Tue Oct 07 1997 - 10:05:32 EDT

At 08:58 AM 10/7/97 -0400, wrote:

>Is it possible or likely that dia is used to show
>purpose in 1 Thess. 4:14? This much debated passage
>would be easy to understand if we could say "even
>so those who died for the sake of Jesus God will
>bring with Him."

SUN AUTWi. You say that this is a "much debated passage"; I have not heard
this discussed much, but I do note that a number of translations interpret
this as TOUS KOIMHQENTAS DIA TOU IHSOU as "those who have fallen asleep in
Christ". Can someone explain this to me? I don't see how to derive that
interpretation, but a number of translations render it similarly. (I could
understand a phrase like TOUS KOIMHQENTAS DIA TOU PAULOU to mean "those who
have fallen asleep because of Paul", to describe people like the guy who
fell asleep and fell out of the window when Paul preached too long in Acts,
but that doesn't seem to be the meaning here...)

Your interpretation makes sense to me - actually there are two
interpretations which make sense to me:

1. DIA TOU IHSOU means "through the agency of Jesus". This is the
interpretation of RSV, NRSV, Luther, and NAB.

1The 4:14 (RSV) For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even
so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep.

2. DIA TOU IHSOU means "for the sake of Jesus", as you suggest. This meaning
of DIA occurs in several other places, e.g. Matt 10:22 KAI ESESQE MISOUMENOI
hUPO PAN TWN DIA TO ONOMA MOU, "and you will be hated by all for the sake of
my name". This is the way that I originally read it, and it makes a lot of
sense to me - so why don't more translations use it?

But we will both know more when a few other people respond!


Jonathan Robie
POET Software, 3207 Gibson Road, Durham, N.C., 27703

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