Ephesians 2:8

Carl W. Conrad cwconrad at artsci.wustl.edu
Fri May 10 21:50:56 EDT 2002

At 11:38 AM -0700 5/10/02, Dennis Hukel wrote:
>>>>Why is TOUTO in Ephesians 2:8 in the Neuter form. Is it referring to
>PISTEWS, XARITI, both or neither?<<<
>Dear Group,
>I have recently come to agree with Carl, however, there is one neuter noun
>in the previous verse which is neuter
>singular and could be the antecedent of TOUTO in verse 8. That noun is
>PLOUTOS (wealth, riches). If we understand the
>riches of God's grace to include everything we experience (including our
>faith and salvation), then the resulting sense
>is semantically similar to taking TOUTO to refer to what has just been
>As I said, I have come to agree with Carl, but it is interesting that the
>author chose to make PLOUTOS neuter here
>(since it is usually masculine) and give this passage a potentially deeper

Still, PLOUTOS is pretty far removed (in a previous sentence) from TOUTO.

PLOUTOS is indeed interesting in terms of form; there doesn't seem to be an
ounce of difference in meaning--not even a nuance, unless someone is
fetching from afar--between the more common masculine hO PLOUTOS and the
less common neuter TO PLOUTOS, but TO PLOUTOS appears only 8x, hO PLOUTOS
14x. The neuter noun's distribution is interesting: 1x in 2 Cor 8:2, 1x in
Phil 4:9, and then 4x in Eph (1:7, 2:7, 3:8, 3:16) and 2x in Col (1;27,
2:2). The masculine hO PLOUTOS is found in the Pauline corpus in Rom (9:23,
11:12; 11:33), Eph 1:18, and 1 Tim 6:17.

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University (Emeritus)
Most months:: 1647 Grindstaff Road/Burnsville, NC 28714/(828) 675-4243
cwconrad at artsci.wustl.edu OR cwconrad at ioa.com
WWW: http://www.artsci.wustl.edu/~cwconrad/

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