Re: dia + genitive

From: Carlton Winbery (
Date: Sun May 09 1999 - 18:08:38 EDT

Joseph Brian Tucker wrote;
>I need input on the grammatical issue of dia + genitive being intermediate
>agency. This is a rather accepted canon of grammar but in Galatians Paul
>refers to dia theou. How can God be anything but ultimate agent. I have
>just begun my study and I am in need of some bibliography. Wallace has a
>discussion on this topic as well as TDNT. But I could use some feedback
>concerning this topic.
I prefer to deal with DIA with the genitive by relating it to the English
preposition "through." It can mean "through a period of time, eg. Lk. 5:5,
"through the whole night;" or local as through a place or space eg. Jn.
10:1 "through the gate;" or through as to means or agency egs. Jn 1:3 "all
things were made through him." Zerwick says, "Too much stress must not be
laid on the use of the preposition DIA with the genitive as expressing the
role of mediator." It is entirely appropriate to express intermediate
agency egs. "through the prophet," but may also express direct agency or
means egs. 1 Jn 5:6.

The treatment in the Bauer Lexicon is very thorough and should be read
carefully for all prepositions at some point. Prepositions are function
words and any effort to give one primary meaning with any one case should
be resisted.

Dr. Carlton L. Winbery
Foggleman Professor of Religion
Louisiana College
Ph. 1 318 448 6103 hm
Ph. 1 318 487 7241 off

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