When Jesus said he lives **because ** of the living Father what do because(δια) and living Father mean at John 6:57?

  • Will you indicate the translation used or reword the question? Every one I checked have Jesus saying it was the living Father who sent Him, and He lives because of the Father. While I think it is fair to say "living Father" is implied in the "because of..." portion, adding living disrupts the parallelism Jesus used: (a) As the living Father sent Me/so whoever feeds on Me and (b) I live because of the Father/will live because of Me. – Revelation Lad Jan 16 '20 at 18:30
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    Not much of a clarification. Jesus never said "I live because of the living Father." If you are going to ask a question which essentially deals with the specific text, you shouldn't embellish that text. – Revelation Lad Jan 16 '20 at 18:52
  • I said it is accurate to say it is implied. IMO if you ask a technical question, your question should be presented with the same technical precision you expect from an answer. – Revelation Lad Jan 16 '20 at 19:45
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    On one hand you say you are looking for contemplative answers. On the other, you critique answers with a brush of linguistic precision lacking in the original question. I am just saying, you should be consistent. If you have a standard by which you examine answers, you should use the same standard for your question. – Revelation Lad Jan 16 '20 at 21:20
  • Let us continue this discussion in chat. – Revelation Lad Jan 17 '20 at 3:09


The living Father sent me, and because of him I live also. In the same way whoever eats me will live because of me. [GNT]

καθὼς ἀπέστειλέν με ὁ ζῶν πατὴρ κἀγὼ ζῶ διὰ τὸν πατέρα καὶ ὁ τρώγων με κἀκεῖνος ζήσει δι᾽ ἐμέ [mGNT]

All English translations treat the verb ζῶν ("to live") as an adjective describing a characteristic of the noun ("living Father"). However, if it is treated as a verb, we have ...the Father who lives...

The Father who lives sent me, and "because of" (διὰ) him I live also.

Of διὰ Thayer's states:

b. used, with the accusative of any noun, of the mental affection by which one is impelled to some act [English for; cf. Winer's Grammar, 399 (372)] διὰ φθόνον, because prompted by envy, for envy, Matthew 27:18

There are times where διὰ means "for." In this case the accusative which follows is τὸν πατέρα, "the Father." Thus Jesus is impelled to live "for" the Father:

As the Father who lives sent me I also live for the Father...

The Bread Who Lives
The Father could have come, but did not. He sent the Son, whose life on earth is for the Father. As a result, seeing Jesus (who lives), is the same as seeing the Father (who lives):

8 Philip said to him, “Lord, show us the Father; that is all we need.” 9 Jesus answered, “For a long time I have been with you all; yet you do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. Why, then, do you say, ‘Show us the Father’? 10 Do you not believe, Philip, that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I have spoken to you,” Jesus said to his disciples, “do not come from me. The Father, who remains in me, does his own work. 11 Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me. If not, believe because of the things I do.
(John 14)

At the end of the Bread of Life Discourse, Jesus uses parallelism to make His point:

the Father who lives sent me  |  I also live for the Father
whoever feeds on me           |  will live because of me

The "Father who lives sent Me" parallels "whoever feeds on Me" which is Jesus, ὁ ἄρτος ὁ ζῶν (6:51), "the Bread which lives." The complete saying can be understood as:

the Father who lives sent me            | I also live διὰ "for" the Father [who lives]
whoever feeds on me [Bread which lives] | will live δι "because of" me [Bread which lives]

As elsewhere in the Fourth Gospel, the unity between Jesus (who is living) and the Father (who is living) is described. The same type of unity is available for those who feed on Bread (which is living).


The Greek δια means "by means of," or "through the mode of," as in God making all creation through the Son (John 1:1). Jesus lives because He receives His being Who He is, directly from the Father with Whom He is one (John 10:30). "Living Father" indicates a kind of finality or source of life in this precise context, as in, "As the Source of all life is Himself alive, and I myself am alive through Him..." It doesn't mean "in the exact same manner as I live by the Father" any more than "as" in 'As God worked 6 days and rested the 7th, so he asks us to hold a holy day of rest also' would mean 'Create the world ex nihilo and then sustain it in existence without creating anything new.' That is, the similarity drawn is not the precise manner (John 17:21), but that Christians will live by partaking of Christ's sacrificial body and blood (1 Corinthians 10:16) as leaves need the vine for life (John 15:5), just as the Son lives from the Father like a necessary leaf on the eternal Vine.

  • John begins his Gospel going to lengths to tell us Who Christ truly is: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God: and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God: all things were made through him, and without him was made nothing that has been made." It's clearly about creation, and the Word is that through which all creation comes in this passage. Also, that He's God proves that He is not a creature; the way the Greek is written means the Word is by nature God, as St. Paul also taught: "being fundamentally in the form of God, humbled himself, taking the form..." – Sola Gratia Jan 15 '20 at 15:22

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