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

From: Carl W. Conrad (
Date: Tue Oct 07 1997 - 13:05:45 EDT

At 11:35 AM -0500 10/7/97, John M. Sweigart wrote:
>Hello Carl;
>In this same verse, any thoughts about the somewhat peculiar (to me at
>least) usage of JESUS with the definite article. Why only the first

(a) You may find the definite article used with a proper name or not used
without a great deal of clear differentiation (if any). It is much more
standard in classical Attic to use the article; it is less standard in
Koine--but with a proper name the presence or absence of an article with a
SINGLE proper name and no articles or epithets is not especially uncommon.
It's instructive to use a search program on the Pauline letters and look at
But here enters the other part of your question:

(b) CRISTOS was not originally a name but a TITLE of Jesus. IHSOUS is the
name of the person whom God sent or designated as Messiah. I think if you
do the search I suggested, you'll find that CRISTOS, when used alone, much
more regularly is used with an article (hO CRISTOS) because it is an
epithet: "the Messiah." On the other hand, it may be used without an
article as a title in conjunction with the proper name: IHSOUS CRISTOS or
CRISTOS IHSOUS, where we really ought to understand the combination as
"Jesus Messiah" or "Messiah Jesus."

(c) At some point--and I'm not sure exactly when, but probably when
Greek-speaking Christians lost the immediate awareness that CRISTOS is a
Title representing the Jewish conception of an anointed King of Israel, it
came to be conceived as part of the proper name. But that's a historical
question rather than a grammatical one.

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics/Washington University
One Brookings Drive/St. Louis, MO, USA 63130/(314) 935-4018
Home: 7222 Colgate Ave./St. Louis, MO 63130/(314) 726-5649 OR

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