Re: Galatians (various)

From: Mike Sangrey (
Date: Tue Jun 13 2000 - 16:21:07 EDT

Jason Hare <> said:
> Mike,
> Thanks for your comments, but I would have to (in some way) disagree.
> To say that DIA (w/gen) is referring to the span of time in this
> instance does not make sense. That would make Paul say: "Over the
> next fourteen years I went up (several times) with Barnabas."

No, that's not what I'm saying. Please allow me to try again.

In an English idiom, Paul is saying, "Afterward, having gone through a
span of 14 years, I again went..." Paul is using DIA in the sense of
"through and out the other side" which we get from the context. I think
there is emphasis on the length of time by Paul using DIA which we
don't get with META (at least not in this context). Also, please don't
confuse the form I've used in the English with the form in the Greek;
I'm trying to capture the sense of the Greek. It's a little wordy,
but I think it's accurate.

I think an important question to ask is: what would be going through the
reader's mind as he saw the words, one at a time, when he read Galatians
for the first time (rather loosely a.k.a. Wm. Gardner Hale's "The Art
of Reading Latin: How to Teach It")? Here's one example:

EPEITA (Afterward)
    Paul is continuing his temporal sequence. I should be ready for
    him to tell me what he did next.

DIA DEKATESSARWN ETWN (through 14 years)
    This could mean he did something during 14 years or that he did
    something after 14 years, but 14 years is a significant span to have
    gone 'through'. I'll have to wait a moment to determine which of
    these two meanings Paul had in mind.

PALIN (again)
    Ahhhh. He has done something 'again'. He hasn't voiced any
    repetitive actions so far, so this must be another singular event;
    but I'll hold judgment on that just a little longer. Though 'again'
    seems to imply 'singular'.

ANEBHN (I went up)
    Aorist! There is no reason for me to think of this as repetitive
    events summed up as a single point-action. This must be punctiliar.
    That explains the DIA phrase. In fact, repetitive "goings" would
    contradict Paul's whole emphasis. He did this after the 14 years.

EIS hIEROSOLUMA (into Jerusalem)
    Ok, that explains the EPEITA. He went to Jerusalem before and now
    he has gone again. Wow, he hadn't gone to see the Jerusalem leaders
    over that length of time, even considering the things he did!!!
    Paul, you were really preaching the Gospel of Jesus on your own,
    weren't you?

    And THAT is the reaction Paul is trying to generate. At least
    IMO, anyway.

Lastly, I would be very interested in any thoughts from those practiced in
reading a lot of Greek. I would be most grateful for the guidance.

Mike Sangrey
Landisburg, Pa.
       Every Christian library should have a plaque which states:
            "There is one book that explains all of these."

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