English versions of the New Testament seem to take considerable latitude in translation of the Greek prepositions, “en” and “dia” and at times they seem to be used interchangeably. Specific choice of English word used to translate can introduce some subtle differences in the apparent emphasis of the text.
As examples consider Col 1:16, 1 Cor 8:6 and Heb 1:2. In Col 1:16 the initial, “en” is variously translated, “in”, “by” or “through” and, in fact, the Jewish New Testament by Stern, renders it, “in connection with”. With respect to “dia” in the last line of the same verse, we generally have either, “by” or “through” as the translation.
Is there any legitimate reason why “en” here could not be translated,”because of” and/or “dia” in the last sentence, be translated, “by reason of”? If so, then the emphasis of this verse would appear to be on Christ as the reason for creation rather than the instrument of creation. By the same token, could the last sentence of 1 Cor 8:6 be legitimately translated, “...one Lord Jesus Christ, because of whom are all things...”? If so, this would, as before, stress Christ as the reason for creation.
Finally, Heb 1:2, could the last line of this verse be legitimately translated, “...because of whom He made the ages...”? If so, the emphasis would again appear to be on Christ as the reason for making the ages. This would also seem to fit better with the concept of Christ being the, “heir”.