[B-Greek] Ephesians 2:8
cwconrad2 at mac.com
Sat Jun 18 07:21:32 EDT 2005
I've always maintained that the TOUTO refers back to the entire
preceding clause THi GAR XARITI ESTE SESWiSMENOI DIA PISTEWS and not
to any one word in that clause; that's reasonably common ; AT
Robertson, Word Pictures:
"And that (KAI TOUTO). Neuter, not feminine ταυτη, and so refers
not to πιστις (feminine) or to CARIS (feminine also), but to
the act of being saved by grace conditioned on faith on our part.
Paul shows that salvation does not have its source (EX hUMWN, out of
you) in men, but from God. Besides, it is God's gift (DWRON) and not
the result of our work."
Quite frankly, it seems to me that this is one of the NT passages
wherein people have frequently decided what they think the passage
means and then gone out to seek grammatical justification for their
Here's some of what the archives have to offer on this passage:
Revcraigh 7:30 PM 1/21/98 Re: Eph. 2:8-10
Carl W. Conrad 6:33 AM 1/22/98 Re: Eph. 2:8-10
Jonathan Robie 7:26 AM 1/22/98 Re: Eph. 2:8-10
Carl William Conrad 9:13 AM 1/22/98 Re: Eph. 2:8-10
Dale M. Wheeler 11:39 AM 1/22/98 Re: Eph. 2:8-10
Carl William Conrad 8:42 AM 1/23/98 Re: Eph 2:8 KAI TOUTO
Revcraigh 4:40 PM 1/24/98 Re: Eph 2:8 KAI TOUTO
Steve Amato 9:45 AM 7/2/98 Saved by Grace?
Jonathan Robie 6:18 AM 7/3/98 Re: Saved by Grace?
Bill Ross 8:33 AM 4/14/99 RE: Ephesians
Carl W. Conrad 9:09 AM 4/14/99 RE: Ephesians
Kevin W. Woodruff 11:08 AM 4/14/99 RE: Ephesians
Bill Ross 3:58 PM 4/16/99 RE: Ephesians
B. Ward Powers 8:10 AM 7/14/00 [b-greek] Re: Eph. 2:8
On Jun 18, 2005, at 5:15 AM, George F Somsel wrote:
> This seems to have not been sent to the list itself so I am
> resending it
> to the list only. If the lost post should appear suddenly as a
> duplicate, I offer my apologies in advance.
> On Fri, 17 Jun 2005 21:00:55 -0400 (EDT) "Gerald A. Wooten"
> <gawooten at mindspring.com> writes:
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: George F Somsel <gfsomsel at juno.com>
>> Sent: Jun 17, 2005 7:22 PM
>> To: grcjman2004 at yahoo.com
>> Cc: b-greek at lists.ibiblio.org
>> Subject: Re: [B-Greek] Ephesians 2:8
>> On Fri, 17 Jun 2005 15:30:31 -0700 (PDT) Gregory Carpenter
>> <grcjman2004 at yahoo.com> writes:
>>> I have recently begun studying Koine Greek. I am
>>> studying from William Mounce's book, "Basics of
>>> Biblical Greek". In the beginning of Chapter 2 he
>>> states that "it" refers to the entire process of
>>> salvation, including our faith. How do you
>>> grammatically explain from this text that "it"
>>> includes our "faith"? Thanks.
>> Greetings, Gregory, and welcome to the wonderfully whacky world of
>> Since you are new, you probably are not aware that it is good to
>> a transliteration of the text under consideration (many of the "old
>> timers" (Ahem !! Take note ! ) fail to do so). I would encourage
>> you to
>> learn good habits early.
>> THi GAR XARITI ESTE SESWiSMENOI DIA PISTEWS KAI TOUTO OUK EC hUMWN,
>> TO DWRON.
>> Note the word TOUTO. It is from hOUTOS, hAUTH, TOUTO. A check in
>> (Baur, Danker, Arndt & Gingrich _A Greek-English Lexicon of the New
>> Testament and Other Early Christian Literature_ (3rd edition), which
>> THE lexicon to have for NT studies (Accept no substitutes. Go, sell
>> first-born child and buy one.), reveals that it signifies first of
>> "the person or thing comparatively near at hand in the discourse
>> material." In this case that would be PISTIS. It is thus a matter
>> the nearest referent.
>> I too send my greetings to you Greg. Welcome to Greek world. I
>> normally am a "lurker" (someone who reads all/almost all of the
>> posts, but who chooses not to enter into the fray), however, I find
>> the most significant portion of what George has written to be in
>> error such that even a "lurker" is called to respond.
>> What George is forgetting from his beginning Greek course, however
>> many years ago, is that pronouns agree in gender and number with
>> their antecedent. In this sentence, PISTEWS is genitive, singular
>> but TOUTO is neuter, singular. Thus, PISTEWS cannot be TOUTO's
>> antecedent. When you look for TOUTO's antecedent, you really don't
>> find "a word" that agrees in gender and number that also makes sense
>> for the sentence . The antecedent most likely is the whole phrase
>> "THi GAR XARITI ESTE SESWiSMENOI DIA PISTEWS." Mounce's comment
>> reflects this grammatical interpretation. Many commentators have
>> taken PISTEWS as the antecedent; thus, George is not alone in this.
>> For many, even the ability to believe (Faith) is a gift from God. I
>> agree with them, but not from that interpreation of the grammar.
>> Rather, the whole phrase supports that idea: salvation through faith
>> is a gracious gift from God. Since those that do not have faith do
>> not have salvation, the faith to believe must also be God's gift to
>> us who have been saved!
>> Gerald A. Wooten
> No, George has not forgotten his beginning Greek course from many
> ago (was it really many?). Yes, normally the pronoun agrees with its
> antecedent in gender and number. In more advanced Greek classes
> you also
> learn (if you have had the course) that there are exceptions to that
> rule. There are constructions ad sensum (or KATA SUNESIN), e. g. in
> which the natural gender is used rather than the grammatical gender
> what we have here). There are also solecisms. Wallace notes in his
> intermediate grammar
> "A demonstrative pronoun is a pointer, singling out an object in a
> special way. The three demonstrative pronouns used in the NT are ??
> ??e????, and ?de. (This last one is rare, occurring only ten times.)
> ??t?? regularly refers to the near object ('this'), while ??e????
> regularly refers to the far object ('that'). There are exceptions
> to this
> rule in that both demonstratives sometimes function like personal
> pronouns. As well, ***** they sometimes 'violate' the general rules of
> concord that pronouns normally follow. ***** Such exceptions are often
> freighted with exegetical significance." (p. 325)
> While is is true that a neuter demonstrative can be used to refer
> to an
> entire phrase, this does not seem to be that case here. XARIS, of
> course, refers to something which is by definition not from one's
> so it would be rather duplicative to state that it is not of one's
> This would therefore apply to the entire phrase as well. I stand
> by my
> position that TOUTO refers to PISTIS since this is the object which
> appears to be what one might consider within his own control --
> Paul is
> saying that it is not in one's own control.
> B-Greek home page: http://metalab.unc.edu/bgreek
> B-Greek mailing list
> B-Greek at lists.ibiblio.org
Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University (Emeritus)
1989 Grindstaff Road/Burnsville, NC 28714/(828) 675-4243
cwconrad at ioa.com or cwconrad2 at mac.com
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