From: B. Ward Powers (
Date: Mon Jun 19 2000 - 08:47:40 EDT

<x-flowed>At 07:29 AM 000618 -0400, Carl W. Conrad wrote:

>The last time we went through the matter of DIA + X hHMERWN I made a
>suggestion that may be worth repeating: the expression should be understood
>to mean "with an interval of X days" and seen as comparable to British
>English "in a fortnight" (= 14 days hence) or German "heute in acht Tagen"
>(= a week from today" or "in a week"). Each of these has a perspective on
>the interval as a whole from the end of the time-span. It seems to me
>that's the way this Greek expression with DIA and a genitive of time
>interval ought to be understood.
>Carl W. Conrad

I have followed with interest the present discussion, and the previous one
to which Carl refers.

Carl points to parallel expressions and says,

>Each of these has a perspective on the interval as a whole from the end of
>the time-span. It seems to me that's the way this Greek expression with
>DIA and a genitive of time interval ought to be understood.

Fair enough. Now, a major issue which is linked to what we make of DIA in
Galatians 2:1 is the starting point for the "fourteen years". That is to
say, do they carry on from (i.e., commence at the end of) the "three years"
of Gal 1:18, or do they have the same starting point as the three years
(i.e. they overlap: these three years are also the first three years of the
fourteen-year period)?

Clearly, which of these alternatives we choose will affect our
understanding of the chronology of Acts as it interrelates with Galatians,
and thus also how and where we fit Paul's autobiographical details into the
events of Acts and thus when we take Galatians to have been written,
especially in relation to the Council of Jerusalem of Acts 15. This in its
turn affects how we interpret some elements of Galatians and of Acts.


And in 1:21 we get EPEITA again, but without any specific time note.


Is the DIA of 2:1 fully synonymous in meaning with the META of 1:18? Or is
something of the connotation of "through" - the most common meaning of DIA
with the genitive - attaching to this usage in 2:1? The conclusion I have
come to after considering the alternatives is: yes, it does. That is, that
the use of DIA here means "after", just like META does: but that the use
here of DIA also indicates that the fourteen years of 2:1 runs "through"
the time interval of three years which has been mentioned just previously
in 1:18.

So when I accept the validity of Carl's comment that "Each of these has a
perspective on the interval as a whole from the end of the time-span", I
take it that the interval as a whole commences at the same starting point
as the previously mentioned three years: they overlap; they run concurrently.

I do not assert that this nuance in DIA is enough to PROVE this
interpretation; but I would hold that it supports it. The picture which
this fits would then be: Paul's conversion is in about 34; so the Epistle
to the Galatians was written in 48, which would make it his first extant
writing; the recipients would be the South Galatians whom he visited on his
First Missionary Journey; and this epistle would be written
contemporaneously with Paul's contention with the Judaizers coming to
Antioch (Acts 15:1) bringing the same teaching that he answers in this letter.

If one does not see this nuance in the use of DIA, that does not vitiate
the South Galatian Theory (as above); but if the nuance is there, then it
helps us decide the starting point for the "fourteen years".




Rev Dr B. Ward Powers Phone (International): 61-2-9799-7501
10 Grosvenor Crescent Phone (Australia): (02) 9799-7501
SUMMER HILL NSW 2130 email:
AUSTRALIA. Director, Tyndale College

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