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Ephesians 2:8

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  • Ephesians 2:8

    Hello, I'm having difficulty figuring this one out. I was wondering if I could get some pointers!

    It's Ephesians 2:8 (morphology including verse 9 from BibleHub attached).

    So far, I have this...

    My Attempt:

    grace: dative of means, "by means of". So, For "by means of" grace...

    you are: indicative in present tense = present statement of fact, plural referring to "you people"

    saved: perfect tense = not aorist, so happened in past and continues forward in time until it "ends". Verb for "you people". So, "you people" are saved today, happened sometime in the past and continues forward to "unknown" time. Also nominative therefore ((you are) saved) is nominative.

    (For by grace ((you are) saved)) - nominative

    through faith: through - preposition indicating spatial concept. "Through" or "by means" of this thing called faith. Genitive because of preposition. So, genitive of case.

    ((For by grace ((you are) saved)) + through faith) -> first clause

    and: conjunction. Connects first clause with another clause and/or a phrase.

    this: demonstrative pronoun - needs to match with another noun with the same gender, case, and number. Only other one available is "gift". Therefore, "this" refers to "the gift".

    [it is] of God: genitive case. I'm thinking that it's genitive of source since "the gift" comes out of/from God which is then given to us. Masculine, singular - referring to God in a general sense as opposed to the God-head (which I would expect to be masculine plural).

    of yourselves: genitive of possession

    not: adverb describing a verb. No verb but "of yourselves" is in a way acting as a verb (???). So negation of "of yourselves". Context - the gift is not from us, it is from God.

    (and (this + the gift from God) + (not of yourselves)) -> second clause

    So far, I have the following:

    ((For by grace ((you are) saved)) + through faith) + (and (this + the gift from God) + (not of yourselves))

    My questions:

    1. I can't figure out which participle "saved" falls under. I am thinking of participle of means/instrument from . But it still doesn't seem to fit. Perhaps it is not an adverbial participle?

    2. Is "the gift" referring to the entire first clause? Or is "the gift" referring individually to either "grace" or "faith"? I am thinking it is referring to the entire clause - sort of like a general statement. I think this will help me determine the voice for "saved" though my bias says it is "passive" lol

    3. Why doesn't "faith" have a voice? I was expecting it to be either passive or middle. Is it because of the preposition which indicates it is merely describing "grace" as opposed to who does the "faithing"? But then that would mean the entire first clause is "the gift".

    Hoping someone can shed some light!

    Attached Files
    Last edited by oopsies; 01-10-2020, 03:35 PM.

  • #2
    I am thinking about it some more. I have a feeling, based on the chapter (not just the verse), that the "gift" and "this" is referring to clause 1 in a general sense rather than specific "gift" or "grace". Just as a whole. Need proof though... haven't found it yet.


    • #3
      In the first clause "saved" is nominative. In the second clause "gift" is nominative. So as I understand this the gift is being saved.
      Last edited by 37818; 01-14-2020, 09:10 PM.
      . . . the Gospel of Christ, for it is [the] power of God to salvation to every [one] believing, . . . -- Romans 1:16.

      . . . that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: . . . -- 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4.

      Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: . . . -- 1 John 5:1.


      • #4
        As I have heard, "this" refers to "by grace you have been saved through faith" (not to "gift"). Though "gift" does seem to refer back to "this".

        Source: Expositor's Bible Commentary

        Does “and this” (kai touto) connect with “faith,” with “saved,” or with the entire clause? Probably the latter interpretation is preferable. Hence Barclay translates: “The whole process comes from nothing that we have done or could do.”

        © Copyright Original Source

        And indeed "saved" is not adverbial, and "faith" is a noun, therefore it doesn't have a voice, only verbs have voice.

        "What I pray of you is, to keep your eye upon Him, for that is everything. Do you say, 'How am I to keep my eye on Him?' I reply, keep your eye off everything else, and you will soon see Him. All depends on the eye of faith being kept on Him. How simple it is!" (J.B. Stoney)


        • #5
          I feel so dumb for not seeing that "faith" is not a verb and therefore cannot have voice. That's a facepalm moment

          Sorry for the late response. I did some more digging and thinking. I finally got my hands on the library's copy of Wallace's book. Turns out I got a few things wrong though my initial thought of the conclusion is most likely correct.

          My first question was what kind of participle is "saved"? "You are" is present while "saved" is perfect. Present + perfect = perfect participle. But because "you are" is verb to be + participle, that makes it periphrastic. Therefore, "you are saved" is a periphrastic perfect participle. Which means time aspect is event happened in the past and the effect of that event continues to the present. The emphasis is on the present state (as a result of the past action), not on the past event state. So, "by grace you are saved" is stressing that today (his audience reading the letter) you are saved because of a past event that happened.

          Regarding "this", Wallace has a whole section dedicated to "this" in Eph 2:8 on page 334. Basically, there are four views:

          1) "this" refers to "faith" as the antecedent
          2) "this" refers to "grace" as the antecedent
          3) "this" refers to "by grace through faith" (the entire clause) as the antecedent
          4) "this" has no antecedent and is translated instead closer to "and especially"

          1 and 2 can be struck from the list because "the gift" refers to the "it" of "[it is] of God" (the "it is" part is implied and not actually in translation). Which means that "this" doesn't have a predicate nominative. "this" needs an antecedent and a predicate nominative. Now, he says that neuter of outos (which is "this" in this particular verse) is "routinely used to refer to a phrase or clause" (Wallace 333) as a "conceptual antecedent/postcedent." If this is the case, then "For by grace you are saved, through faith" would be the "conceptual antecedent" clause. This also means the postcedent would probably be "[it is] of God, the gift." I think he is saying then that clause one is "feminine" while clause two is "masculine" which would sandwich "this" in between and would match up with other cases in the NT where the neuter pronoun is sandwiched in between two differing gender antecedents and postcedents. This would be #3 or, the "general statement" view.

          #4 basically assumes that there is no antecedent or postcedent. He rephrases the verse to be understood as "For by grace you are saved through faith, and [you are saved] especially not by your own doing; it is a gift of God."

          #4 is interesting because Wallace has a footnote explaining that he doesn't see "faith" as a work or as a "gift". He sees faith as "the reception of the gift of salvation". To him, it is in a sense not really a "gift". He says that even if "faith" is not a work nor a gift, it doesn't "preclude the notion that for faith to save, the Spirit of God must initiate the conversion process" (Wallace 335, footnote 53). If I'm not misunderstanding, it sounds like he's just saying that "faith" is like a word that describes the resultant effect. Kind of like how you pointed out that "faith" is a noun in Eph 2:8.

          Food for thought!
          Last edited by oopsies; 01-25-2020, 12:19 AM. Reason: correct 3 to 4 views


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