Re: Eph. 2:8-9

Carl W. Conrad (
Sat, 5 Oct 1996 06:34:13 -0500

At 10:01 PM -0500 10/4/96, Russ Patrick Reeves wrote:
>B-Greek List:
>I hope this hasn't been discussed to death already. Is it possible for a
>neuter demonstrative pronoun to refer back to a feminine noun? Speficially,
>of course, I have the Eph. 2:8-9 in mind, and whether TOUTO refers back to
>PISTEWS (and if not, then what is the reference?) Other examples (if this
>is possible) would be greatly appreciated.

While I can think of or find no other examples of this in the NT, I would
understand this TOUTO as referring back to the preceding clause, THi GAR
XARITI SESWiSMENOI ESTE, and picking it up as the subject of OUK (ESTIN) EX
hUMWN: i.e.: "This (the fact that you have been saved) (is) not from you,
(it is) a gift of God.

Wallace (_Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics_, an impressive work in many
ways, although I'm hesitant about his own multiplication of syntactical
categories and readiness to create new terminology) has a nice discussion
of alternative understandings of this passage (pp. 334-5, under the heading
"Debatable Example"), and I note that this is the alternative he prefers
also. There's no way that the TOUTO can refer back to PISTEWS, at least not
in erms of grammatical logic.

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University
One Brookings Drive, St. Louis, MO, USA 63130
(314) 935-4018 OR