Monday, March 03, 2008

Beyond my depth

So I'm working through the grammar of Eph 2:8 with respect to what exactly is "the Gift of God." There are two options which seem more reasonable than the rest to me. That would be that "ye are saved" or that "ye are saved by Grace through Faith".

Darby seems to render it as I understand the doctrine, and the underlying Text "For ye are saved by grace, through faith; and this not of yourselves; it is God's gift"

That is to say the subject is "ye are saved" and that both "this" and "it" refer back to this subject. The problem comes with the gender and number of the Greek words, such that there is the potential for conflict between plural/singular and masculine/feminine/neuter.

Right now I'm digging into the website for some insight.

Here is a copy of a forum post that shows where my thinking is (including my questions) right this instance.

Each sentence must have a subject, says "The subject of a sentence is a word or a group of words about which something can be said or asserted. It must be a noun or a group of words functioning as a substantive. " and of a substantive "A substantive is a noun, pronoun, or any word functioning like a noun. This could include such items like an adjective, participle, or infinitive used as the subject or a direct object of the sentence. A substantive may be one word or a group of words."

sozo is a participle, and described by as a "verbal-noun" that is plural and masculine. (the noun soteria is feminine does this affect the gender of the sentence since sozo is a participle?)

It would see to me that "ye are saved" is the "subject" of the sentence. It is the group of words about which something can be said or asserted.

And if this is the subject, then doesn't it follow that touto and doron refer back to it - este sozo?

If it could refer to the varied genders and numbers of "by grace through faith salvation" then why not to the "ye are saved"?

Updates will be in the comments

1 comment:

Kevl said...

Through a conversation with Wayne of I've learned the following.

When the antecedent (thing referred back to) is implied instead of actually being in the sentence there is no requirement for agreement in the gender or number for that matter.

So both touto and doron are neuter. And nothing else in the sentence that could be the antecedent based on agreement in gender. They are all masculine or feminine.

BUT if what is being referred back to is the "fact of salvation" instead of the "having been saved" which is the participle of the fact of salvation. And sozo is a participle, "verbal-noun" as it were. If the antecedent is implied then it makes perfect sense for the referrers to be neuter.