RE: Ephesians ~ Generic Dative?

From: George Blaisdell (
Date: Sat Apr 24 1999 - 12:32:36 EDT

>From: "Bill Ross"

>>It seems to me that it ought to read:
>> "In grace are you, having been saved through faith"

Hi Bill ~

The center of this is ESTE, enclosed by XARITI and SESWiMENOI. From
which I have always taken it to mean that ESTE is a 'stand-alone'
verb. I could be wrong...

The core 'sentence,' then, would be "You are existing."

The first word, which announces the theme of the thought, is XARITI, a
simple dative ~ a generic dative ~ for which we really have no English
equivalent. "In grace", "By grace", [or even thankfulness!] all fall
short of the impact of the Greek simple dative here, imho, because
without a preposition, and without even an article, it really would
seem to mean ALL of these, unless further restricted by context.

The last word then gives us the reason for the first, and both first
and last modify the center, which is the core of this sequence. The
first locates, and the last explains, the very existence of those whom
he addresses.

In English we might say "Your very existence is in Grace, [because]
you have been saved..." But this is not the Greek, you see, and might
miss other importance in the way the Greek speaks. It does honor the
centrality of ESTE, however.

The Greek simply says "In grace you exist having been saved..."

The generic dative locates what it modifies in the most general way
possible, if I am understanding this right.

George Blaisdell
Roslyn, WA

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