Study of a Prepositional Phrase

Discussion in 'Bible Versions/Translations' started by Van, Oct 20, 2014.

  1. Van

    Van
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    The issues of understanding what is meant when a biblical writer uses “dia” or “di” are many. The basic idea of “dia” as a preposition is to show movement from one end of something to the other, i.e. to go “through” a tunnel includes entering, traveling along, and exiting the tunnel. So the basic meaning is well translated using “through.”

    The second usage to express the movement of time, from “throughout” the time, i.e. all of the specified time, or something occurring “within” the time specified.

    The third usage, with genitive, is to show causality. So rather than indicating something occurred because of something, it actually refers to something happening by the means of something. But if “dia” is used with an accusative, then it should be translated as “because of” but with a genitive it should be translated as by means of.

    Now here is where it gets tricky, because genitive constructions can be understood in several different ways. For example, are we saved by means of Christ’s faithfulness, i.e. the faith of Christ, or are we saved by means of our faith toward Christ, i.e. faith in Christ? Since both aspects are true, we need to figure out which meaning the biblical writer intended.

    In this very abbreviated study, lets boil this all down using just one verses, Galatians 2:16.. Here is how the NASB95 renders our verse:

    “ nevertheless knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the Law but through faith in Christ Jesus, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, so that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the Law; since by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified.”

    Note that the translation indicates the idea that “through faith in Christ Jesus” is our faith toward Christ, i.e. faith in Christ. In this usage, we see that “dia” is followed by three nouns in the genitive case, faith, Jesus and Christ. Many translations render it “through faith in Jesus Christ” but the NET comes down of the side as a subjective genitive, i.e. the faith in view is Christ’s.

    So if we translate “dia” as “by means of” and then translate as a subjective genitive, we get “by means of Jesus Christ’s faithfulness.” So we are justified by means of the precious blood of Christ rather than by our faith in the precious blood of Christ. But, you might say, the very verse says we are justified “by faith in Christ.” Not if we make a similar translation decision that if the preposition “ek” (out) when used to show source or origin with genitive, i.e. translated as “by,” the phrase could be translated as “by Christ’s faithfulness.” Again the idea is the source of our justification is the precious blood of Christ.

    When Christ died on the cross, covered with His own blood, He became the propitiation for the whole world, and access to that grace is granted by God crediting our faith in Christ as righteousness. Knowing this even we have believed into Christ.
     
  2. Greektim

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    I think so much error can be built around prepositions. To give them such rigid and hard/fast uses will lead to bad interpretations, imo.

    At most, I think prepositions simply answer questions like "who" or "when" or "where" or "how" etc. "The book is on (where?) the table." "The note came from (who?) Sam." And so on.

    I would like to read Harris's book on this, Prepositions and Theology.
     
    #2 Greektim, Oct 20, 2014
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  3. Deacon

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    Oh yeah, more than 300 pages on prepositions.
    That's one I'd read just before bed...yawn...

    Rob
     
  4. Yeshua1

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    cannot get from this that jesus death was meant to atobe for all sinners though, and we are granted access to that grace by Will of God towards us, and THEN we receive Jesus thru faith!
     
  5. Van

    Van
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    Some claim laying down His life as a ransom for all, or God desires all men to be saved, or Christ becoming the propitiation for the whole world does not mean what it says. In order to study the bible, we must assume the Bible does mean what it says, and if man-made doctrine says otherwise, the man-made doctrine is mistaken.

    The OP study provides food for thought and provides an alternate view of Galatians 2:16, and the phrase "through faith in/of Christ Jesus." Christ's faithfulness provided the propitiationary shelter, and our faith toward Christ, if credited by God as righteousness, provides our access to that grace.
     
    #5 Van, Oct 20, 2014
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  6. Rippon

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    You are quite mistaken. If Christ propitiated the sins of each and every person from the past, present and future then all are forgiven. No one is a resident of hell. All have Christ as their Advocate. Nobody is under the wrath of God. But the last four sentences are complete nonsense.

    Christ's propitiatory sacrifice covered not only members from the Jewish race but from Gentiles too. Only the sins of the elect are covered by Christ's sacrifical death. His wrath still abides on those bound for perdition. Their sins have not --and will not, be propitiated by Christ.
     
  7. Van

    Van
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    Yet another Calvinist asserting man-made doctrine without any biblical support. Bible study requires actually studying the Bible.

    Does 1 John 2:2 say Jesus "propitiated" the whole world? Nope. So a man-made charge designed to change the subject. The verse says He became the propitiation or means of salvation for the whole world. Only when God puts us spiritually in Christ are we "propitiated."

    Here is the altered version of Galatians 2:16 based on the study of the prepositional phrase: “ nevertheless knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the Law but by means of Jesus Christ's faithfulness, even we have believed into Christ Jesus, so that we may be justified by Christ's faithfulness and not by the works of the Law; since by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified.”
     
  8. The Biblicist

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    I think what you are missing, is that it is not either or, but both. Romans 4:5-6 says we are justified by faith and the immediate context is not the faithfulness of Christ but the faith of Abraham (v. 3). However, the conclusion of the chapter defines the nature of Abraham's faith (v. 21) and then directly applies that kind of faith to the faithfulness of Jesus Christ (vv. 22-25). Hence, both are equally true and both are essential to justification by faith. It is faith IN the faithfulness of Jesus Christ that His righteousness/faithfulness is imputed to us.
     
  9. Van

    Van
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    Our faith is in Christ, in His name (attributes and promises) which includes the promise of justification.

    We are justified by means of Christ's faithfulness, i.e. the precious blood of Christ, but to access that grace, God must credit our faith in Christ as righteousness, Romans 5:2. Justification occurs not when we trust in Christ, because our trust might not be credited as righteousness, but if it is, our justification occurs when God puts us spiritually in Christ, where we undergo the circumcision of Christ where our sin burden is removed, and we arise in Christ holy and blameless, justified forever and ever.

    Romans 4:5 says we are to believe on the One justifying, and that is Jesus Christ. That is the faith that God credits as righteousness.

    My view is very simple and straightforward, and reflects my study of God's word. Not in Christ, dead in our sins, but in Christ, made alive and made holy, and made blameless, justified forever and ever.
     
  10. Rippon

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    Propitiation does not = means of salvation.

    Christ is our mercy-seat --our atonement cover. See Hebrews 9:5. God is merciful to the elect alone. His Son's propitiation pacified his Father's rightful wrath toward us. The sacrificial death of Christ satisfied God's just anger against us.
     
  11. Van

    Van
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    Folks, Mr. Rippon denies that Jesus Christ's faithfulness unto death, provides the means of our salvation. However Paul asserts that He is. See Romans 3:23-25.

    When Christ died on the cross, covered with His own blood, He became the propitiation for the whole world, and access to that grace is granted by God crediting our faith in Christ as righteousness. Knowing this even we have believed into Christ. See Romans 3:23-25 and Romans 5:2, and Romans 4:4-5.
     
  12. Rippon

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    Lying should not adorn the testimonty of a Christian. Join a non-Christian board and put words in the mouths of others all you want since you show no sign of a conscience --but don't muddy-up these pages with your mendacity.

    My nearly nine years here on the BB has amply demonstrated my full faith in Christ and what He accomplished on the cross for the sins of His people. My own posts here on this thread testify to that as well. Before you decide to deliberately malign my faith in the Lord and His cross-work --you had better take a good hard look at what you have charged me with and apologize.
     
  13. Van

    Van
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    1 John 2:2 says Jesus is the propitiation for our sins, and Romans 3:23-25 says Jesus is the means of our salvation. Thus to deny propitiation = Jesus Christ = means of salvation is falsehood.

    Thus I stand by:
    When Christ died on the cross, covered with His own blood, He became the propitiation for the whole world, and access to that grace is granted by God crediting our faith in Christ as righteousness. Knowing this even we have believed into Christ. See Romans 3:23-25 and Romans 5:2, and Romans 4:4-5.
     
    #13 Van, Oct 22, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 22, 2014
  14. Dr. Bob

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    Basing theology that is contrary to the Word on a "suspect" definition of a preposition is foolishness.

    Reading this thread is another waste of my time.
     
  15. Rippon

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    I do not deny the doctrine of propitiation. I have discussed this long before you ever came on the board and since then. You will desist from attributing untruthful and malicious things about me.
     
  16. John of Japan

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    Trying to ignore the acrimony, I'd like to suggest:

    1. Don't get your definitions for NT (koine) Greek from Wiktionary. The definitions there do not fit NT Greek, nor even do they match up with the classical Greek lexicon, Liddell and Scott.

    2. You can't properly interpret the prepositional phrase in Gal. 2:16 without understanding the ean mh construction that comes before it. Don't try.

    3. The object of the prepositional phrase there is pistewj, a genitive, and so it is meaningless to list any meaning for dia other than that for the usage with the genitive.
     
  17. Van

    Van
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    Hi JOJ,
    1) Unless you offer an alternate definition, the OP definition is sound.

    2) Saying not to try to understand God's word is without merit. Again, no alternate understanding was offered.

    3) The OP addresses other usages (other than with genitive) of the preposition "dia".
     
  18. Van

    Van
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    When Christ died on the cross, covered with His own blood, He became the propitiation for the whole world, and access to that grace is granted by God crediting our faith in Christ as righteousness. Knowing this even we have believed into Christ. See Romans 3:23-25 and Romans 5:2, and Romans 4:4-5 and 1 John 2:2.
     
  19. Van

    Van
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    Jesus Christ = Propitiation = Means of Salvation

    Before we even think about studying hilasterion and the related words hilaskomai and hilasmos, we must address the three cornerstone words of salvation - propitiation, the means of salvation, redemption, the act of salvation, and reconciliation, the result of salvation. Our word study below enters into the arena of the means of salvation, which is Jesus Christ.

    Hilasterion

    Our best historical understanding is that hilasterion referred to the lid of the ark of the covenant, which was sprinkled with blood, and thus referred to as the mercy seat. Articles on its meaning are filled with classic words like expiation, atonement, and propitiation, all of which convey almost nothing to the modern reader. In a nutshell, under the Old Covenant, the blood of animals was sprinkled on the hilasterion on the day of atonement to provide temporary reconciliation with God and avoidance of the wages of sin. Under the New Covenant, Jesus, covered with His precious blood, has become our "hilasterion" (and our blood sin offering) as the means of everlasting reconciliation with God and avoidance of the wages of sin.

    Three related Greek words (Hilasterion and Hilasmos-nouns and Hilaskomai -verb) appear 6 times in the New Testament, Romans 3:25, Hebrews 9:5 ; 1 John 2:2, 1 John 4:10, Luke 18:13, and Hebrews 2:17. If we look at several translations we find the words translated as (1) propitiatory sacrifice; (2) propitiation; (3) mercy seat; (4) atonement and (5) atoning sacrifice for the nouns; with the verb being translated as (1) have mercy; (2) be merciful; (3) turn your wrath; and (4) make propitiation.

    In short the verb refers to the act of having mercy and the noun to the means of having mercy. Therefore hilasterion should be understood as the means of obtaining mercy , i.e the propitiatory shelter. Thus the Propitiation refers to Jesus Christ covered in His Own Blood, providing the means of salvation.







    .

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  20. Van

    Van
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    Many translations go with "but" or if not.

    The idea seems to be "if not "A" then not "B", which logically converts to "if "A" is valid, then "B" is valid. Thus if we are not justified by the works of the Law, then we are justified by means of Christ's faithfulness. Therefore, translating "ean mh" as "but" works well.
     

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