In II Corinthians 3:4 Paul writes, "And such confidence we have through Christ into God."

This is an interesting phrase in the original Greek.

  

Πεποίθησιν δὲ τοιαύτην ἔχομεν διὰ τοῦ χριστοῦ πρὸς τὸν θεόν.

Literally this reads;

Confidence and such as we have through the Christ to the God.

Translated into proper English we have;

And such confidence we have through Christ to God.

What is interesting about this phrase is it uses the same wording as the intro to the Gospel of John.

Ἐν ἀρχῇ ἦν ὁ λόγος, καὶ ὁ λόγος ἦν πρὸς τὸν θεόν, καὶ θεὸς ἦν ὁ λόγος.

Literally this reads;

In beginning was the Word, and the Word was to the God, and God was the Word.

θεόν is the accusative form of the noun for God. This alters the meaning of πρὸς. In this context πρὸς literally means "a mental direction" or "as an end marking ultimate purpose" not "along with but directed to, implying intimate and closest inter-communion, together with distinct independence". It also means to be "against" in the sense of "to face".

In light of the above, the translations that use the phrase "God-ward", do not do justice to Paul's intent. Paul is not saying that through Christ we are pointed God-ward. Rather Paul is saying that "through Christ" we are πρὸς God. In other words through Christ we obtain an ultimate purpose with an intimate and close inter-communion and yet with an independence. Through Christ we come to, and even into God to the extent that in Christ we face God just as Christ, the Word was πρὸς God and thus faced God and was thus in full communion with God.

So for Paul, through Christ, we come to face God in the same communion that Christ did in the beginning.

 

 

© 2012, VoiceWind. . .Greg Loveless. All rights reserved.

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