Hebrews 2:10 DIA
jonathan.robie at sagus.com
Thu Jul 29 07:01:46 EDT 1999
This threw me for a loop this morning:
Hebrews 2:10 EPREPEN GAR AUWi, DI' hON TA PANTA KAI DI' hOU TA PANTA,
POLLOUS hUIOUS EIS DOXAN AGAGONTA TON ARCHGON THS SWTHRIAS AUTWN DIA
The phrase DI' hON TA PANTA KAI DI' hOU TA PANTA refers to God. The first
DIA, with the accusative, means "for the sake of"; the second, with the
genitive, means - at least I thought - "through the agency of". I remember
first encountering this use of DIA when reading John the first time, where
I thought the whole point of using DIA in this way was to distinguish the
primary agent of creation (God) from the secondary agent of creation
(Jesus). Some verses where I thought this distinction was carefully made
using DIA occur in John 1:3, John 1:10, Colossians 1:16.
Hebrews 2:10 threw me for a loop because it uses DIA+genitive for God, who
would be the primary agent, using the distinction made above. Other verses
that seem to use this in a similar way occur in 1 Cor 1:9, 1 Cor 12:8,
Hebrews 2:10, Hebrews 13:11, 1 Pet 2:14, etc (references thanks to Zerwick,
Also, DIA+genitive is used to refer to the person who betrays Jesus (Matt
26:24, Mark 14:21, Luke 22:22). I had always thought this implied that
Judas was an intermediary agent of Satan, the same way that Jesus was an
intermediate in God's creation.
Incidentally, I tried looking at verses that refer to a man having a child
by a woman, but the preposition used in these verses seems to be EX rather
than DIA. Nice try...
At any rate, back to my question: to what extent does DIA+genitive
distinguish a secondary agent from a primary agent? How is it to be
understood in the verses discussed above, e.g. in Hebrews 2:10? Is it
legitimate to translate DI' hON TA PANTA KAI DI' hOU TA PANTA as "for whom
and by whom"?
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