1 Cor 3:15-17: Assurance of salvation or warning

Polycarp66 at aol.com Polycarp66 at aol.com
Thu Mar 28 21:18:37 EST 2002


In a message dated 3/28/2002 8:13:15 PM Eastern Standard Time, 
moon at sogang.ac.kr writes:

"As through fire" was an idomatic way of saying "just barely", 
"by the skin of one's teeth". Paul is not assuring the one who built
poorly (i.e, though you will lose your reward you will still be saved),
but
warning - though you may attain salvation, it will be by the skin of your
teeth as it were.
__________________________________

Moon,

You certainly know how to be provocative by your choice of subject title.  As 
an old Calvinist, I could say something; however, I will 'bite my tongue' and 
avoid the theological comments which are not appropriate for this forum.
_________

Liddell & Scott does not tend to confirm this when they cite 

Xenophon:  DIA PUROS IENAI  "(as we say) to go through <i>fire and water</i>

and 

Euripides:  DIA PUROS HLQE hETRWi LEKTRWi "she <i>raged furiously</i> against 
the other partner of the bed."
_______

BGAD on the other hand does seem to support this interpretation

Of the Christian worker who has built poorly in the congregation it is said 
SWQHSETAI hWS DIA PUROS he will be saved as if through (the) fire, i.e. like 
a person who must pass through a wall of fire to escape fr. a burning house

and citing 

Crates:  Epistle 6 KAN DIA PUROS 

Josephus:  Antiquities 17, 264:  DIA TOU PUROS 

and 

Diodorus Siculus, 1, 57, 7; 8:  DIA TOU FLOGOS . . . SWQEIS "from a burning 
tent"

They also suggest that Ignatius' Epistle to the Romans V.3 be compared

MHQEN ME ZHLWSAI TWN hORATWN KAI AORATWN, hINA IHSOU XRISTOU EPITUXW.  PUR 
KAI STAUROS QHRIWN TE SUSTASEIS, ANATOMAI, DIAIRESEIS, SKORPISMOI ASTEWN, 
SYGKOPH MEWN, ALESMOI hOLOU TOU SWMATOS, KAKAI KOLASEIS TOU DIABOLOU EP' EME 
ERXESQWSAN, MONON hINA IHSOU XRISTOU EPITUXW.

May nothing of things seen or unseen envy me my attaining to Jesus Christ.  
Let there come on me fire, and cross, and struggles with wild beasts, 
cutting, and tearing asunder, rackings of bones, mangling of limbs, crushing 
of my whole body, cruel tortures of the devil, may I but attain to Jesus 
Christ!

tr. Kirsopp Lake

also Ignatius to the Smyrnaeans IV.2:  

EI GAR TO DOKEIN TAUTA EPRAXQH hUPO TOU KURIOU hHMWN, KAGW TO DOKEIN DEDEMAI. 
 TI DE KAI hEAUTON EKDOTON DEDWKA TWi QANATWi, PROS PUR, PROS MAXAIRAN, PROS 
QHRIA; ALL' EGGUS MAXAIRAS EGGUS QEOU, METACU QHRIWN METACU QEOU; MONON EN 
TWi ONOMATI IHSOU XRISTOU EIS TO SUMPAQEIN AUTWi PANTA hPOMENW, AUTOU ME 
ENDUNAMOUNTOS TOU TELEIOU ANQRWPOU.

For if it is merely in semblance that these things were done by our Lord I am 
also a prisoner in semblance.  And why have I given myself up to death, to 
fire, to the sword, to wild beasts?  Because near the sword is near to God; 
with the wild beast is with God; in the name of Jesus Christ alone am I 
enduring all things, that I may suffer with him, and the perfect man himself 
gives me strength.

tr. Kirsopp Lake

They also cite the Martyrdom of Polycarp which I can't locate at the moment.

I found nothing in Louw & Nida on DIA PUROS

gfsomsel





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