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Eph 2:8 τοῦτο ... τὸ δῶρον

Posted: September 6th, 2020, 10:06 pm
by Stephen Carlson
cwconrad wrote:
February 23rd, 2015, 7:24 am
Barry Hofstetter wrote:
Stephen Hughes wrote:Well, checking that has raised an interesting point. I had always assumed the "that" in English referred to "faith". What do you take the τοῦτο (θεοῦ τὸ δῶρον) as referring to?
A specific reference to faith would require αὕτη. τοῦτο most likely refers to the entire preceding clause.
Perhaps I ought to have written, "But for my part, I don't want to say that πίστις is a χάρισμα. The fact is that I don't.

We've had several discussions of Eph 2:8 and the question of the antecedent of τοῦτο. I know that the view that τοῦτο refers back to πίστις is held by many, but I would agree with Barry that, if it were, we might better expect a feminine demonstrative. I've also seen the explanation that τοῦτο refers forward to δῶρον, but I don't find that satisfactory either. I prefer to understand τοῦτο as referring to the entire clause, ]τῇ γὰρ χάριτί ἐστε σεσῳσμένοι διὰ τῆς πίστεως: "... and that (the fact that you have been saved by grace by means of faith) (is) not your doing; it's God's gift; it's not a result of works ... "
I hate to bring up a five-year old post, but what are the reasons that the proposal of forward attraction of τοῦτο to the neuter δῶρον is unsatisfactory?

Re: Eph 2:8 πίστις and τοῦτο

Posted: September 7th, 2020, 7:47 am
by Barry Hofstetter
Stephen Carlson wrote:
September 6th, 2020, 10:06 pm

I hate to bring up a five-year old post, but what are the reasons that the proposal of forward attraction of τοῦτο to the neuter δῶρον is unsatisfactory?
τῇ γὰρ χάριτί ἐστε σεσῳσμένοι διὰ πίστεως· καὶ τοῦτο οὐκ ἐξ ὑμῶν, θεοῦ τὸ δῶρον 9 οὐκ ἐξ ἔργων, ἵνα μή τις καυχήσηται.

By "forward attraction" are you talking about simple attraction to the gender of δῶρον, or the idea that τοῦτο actually modifies δῶρον? If the former, then δῶρον is simply too far removed for gender attraction to take place. And gender attraction, while fairly common with relative pronouns, is essentially unheard of with demonstratives.

If the latter:

1) Fairly common Greek for the neuter pronoun to refer to a previous clause.

2) The cataphoric use of οὗτος is rare.

3) Word order and clause structure. If the writer had wanted τοῦτο to modify δῶρον, then he could have written something like καὶ τοῦτο τὸ δῶρον ούκ έξ ὑμῶν... and note too the chiastic parallelism καὶ τοῦτο οὐκ ἐξ ὑμῶν, θεοῦ τὸ δῶρον which suggests that τοῦτο must have a different referent than δῶρον.

By the way, an interesting syntactic parallel is 1 Pet 2:9:

 τοῦτο γὰρ χάρις εἰ διὰ συνείδησιν θεοῦ ὑποφέρει τις λύπας πάσχων ἀδίκως.

Where χάρις is predicate, and the actual subject of the understood ἐστί is the εἰ clause, making τοῦτο referring to that clause nominative (and cataphoric, rare but not unattested!).

Re: Eph 2:8 πίστις and τοῦτο

Posted: September 7th, 2020, 10:08 am
by Stephen Carlson
Barry Hofstetter wrote:
September 7th, 2020, 7:47 am
Stephen Carlson wrote:
September 6th, 2020, 10:06 pm

I hate to bring up a five-year old post, but what are the reasons that the proposal of forward attraction of τοῦτο to the neuter δῶρον is unsatisfactory?
τῇ γὰρ χάριτί ἐστε σεσῳσμένοι διὰ πίστεως· καὶ τοῦτο οὐκ ἐξ ὑμῶν, θεοῦ τὸ δῶρον 9 οὐκ ἐξ ἔργων, ἵνα μή τις καυχήσηται.

By "forward attraction" are you talking about simple attraction to the gender of δῶρον, or the idea that τοῦτο actually modifies δῶρον? If the former, then δῶρον is simply too far removed for gender attraction to take place. And gender attraction, while fairly common with relative pronouns, is essentially unheard of with demonstratives.
Thanks for your comments. Smyth § 1239 says that gender attraction with a demonstrative is a thing:
1239. A demonstrative pronoun may agree in gender with a substantive predicated of it, if connected with the substantive by a copulative verb (917) expressed or understood: αὕτη (for τοῦτο) ἀρίστη διδασκαλία “this is the best manner of learning” X. C. 8.7.24, εἰ δέ τις ταύτην (for τοῦτο) εἰρήνην ὑπολαμβάνει “but if any one regards this as peace” D. 9.9.
As far as I can tell, Eph 2:8 meets all the conditions in Smyth (which is silent about being too far removed, though here it's just another predicate).

Re: Eph 2:8 πίστις and τοῦτο

Posted: September 7th, 2020, 11:40 am
by Barry Hofstetter
Stephen Carlson wrote:
September 7th, 2020, 10:08 am
Barry Hofstetter wrote:
September 7th, 2020, 7:47 am
Stephen Carlson wrote:
September 6th, 2020, 10:06 pm

I hate to bring up a five-year old post, but what are the reasons that the proposal of forward attraction of τοῦτο to the neuter δῶρον is unsatisfactory?
τῇ γὰρ χάριτί ἐστε σεσῳσμένοι διὰ πίστεως· καὶ τοῦτο οὐκ ἐξ ὑμῶν, θεοῦ τὸ δῶρον 9 οὐκ ἐξ ἔργων, ἵνα μή τις καυχήσηται.

By "forward attraction" are you talking about simple attraction to the gender of δῶρον, or the idea that τοῦτο actually modifies δῶρον? If the former, then δῶρον is simply too far removed for gender attraction to take place. And gender attraction, while fairly common with relative pronouns, is essentially unheard of with demonstratives.
Thanks for your comments. Smyth § 1239 says that gender attraction with a demonstrative is a thing:
1239. A demonstrative pronoun may agree in gender with a substantive predicated of it, if connected with the substantive by a copulative verb (917) expressed or understood: αὕτη (for τοῦτο) ἀρίστη διδασκαλία “this is the best manner of learning” X. C. 8.7.24, εἰ δέ τις ταύτην (for τοῦτο) εἰρήνην ὑπολαμβάνει “but if any one regards this as peace” D. 9.9.
As far as I can tell, Eph 2:8 meets all the conditions in Smyth (which is silent about being too far removed, though here it's just another predicate).
Ah, of course Smyth is right, I was thinking of a different construction and applying it here. I'll respond in more detail later.

Re: Eph 2:8 τοῦτο ... τὸ δῶρον

Posted: September 7th, 2020, 6:25 pm
by Stephen Carlson
I should add for the sake of being more complete, that BDAG has a somewhat different option:
BDAG οὗτος 1bγ wrote:γ. καὶ τοῦτο and at that, and especially (B-D-F §290, 5; 442, 9; W-S. §21, 4; Rob. 1181f) Ro 13:11; 1 Cor 6:6, 8; Eph 2:8. καὶ ταῦτα (also Pla. et al.; s. Kühner-G. I 647) passing over fr. and at that to although (Jos., Ant. 2, 266) Hb 11:12.

Re: Eph 2:8 τοῦτο ... τὸ δῶρον

Posted: September 8th, 2020, 7:18 am
by Barry Hofstetter
So, bottom line for me is that the the summative anaphoric use of τοῦτο here better fits the context than any kind of "forward attraction."

Re: Eph 2:8 τοῦτο ... τὸ δῶρον

Posted: September 8th, 2020, 8:01 am
by Stephen Carlson
Barry Hofstetter wrote:
September 8th, 2020, 7:18 am
So, bottom line for me is that the the summative anaphoric use of τοῦτο here better fits the context than any kind of "forward attraction."
Sounds like something’s missing with the initial “So,” but I don’t really see a necessary tension between the two positions. The forward attraction merely explains the gender of the demonstrative; its antecedent still has to be determined from the context.

Re: Eph 2:8 τοῦτο ... τὸ δῶρον

Posted: September 8th, 2020, 8:51 am
by Barry Hofstetter
Stephen Carlson wrote:
September 8th, 2020, 8:01 am
Barry Hofstetter wrote:
September 8th, 2020, 7:18 am
So, bottom line for me is that the the summative anaphoric use of τοῦτο here better fits the context than any kind of "forward attraction."
Sounds like something’s missing with the initial “So,” but I don’t really see a necessary tension between the two positions. The forward attraction merely explains the gender of the demonstrative; its antecedent still has to be determined from the context.
So here is just a particle with no real meaning... :) However, if τοῦτο refers to the preceding clause, it would normally be neuter, and that I think is a better explanation. But you could also be right, or it could be that it's both and a first speaker of the language wouldn't even notice the difference.

Re: Eph 2:8 τοῦτο ... τὸ δῶρον

Posted: September 8th, 2020, 7:53 pm
by Stephen Carlson
Barry Hofstetter wrote:
September 8th, 2020, 8:51 am
But you could also be right, or it could be that it's both and a first speaker of the language wouldn't even notice the difference.
From what I can tell of ancient native speakers who interpreted the passage, they placed much less (indeed virtually no) weight on the gender of τοῦτο in their interpretations as compared with modern interpreters. The nice thing about recognizing the forward attraction (which is a thing according to Smyth) is that it seems to fit actual native intuitions about the passage. And that means if we are to resolve the conundrum raised by the text, we have to read the context (more) carefully rather than try to short-circuit that process and settle it (like the heavily cited treatment by Dan Wallace) by appeal to grammatical rules that turn out to be more flexible than we assume.

Re: Eph 2:8 τοῦτο ... τὸ δῶρον

Posted: September 12th, 2020, 11:30 am
by Barry Hofstetter
Stephen Carlson wrote:
September 8th, 2020, 7:53 pm
Barry Hofstetter wrote:
September 8th, 2020, 8:51 am
But you could also be right, or it could be that it's both and a first speaker of the language wouldn't even notice the difference.
From what I can tell of ancient native speakers who interpreted the passage, they placed much less (indeed virtually no) weight on the gender of τοῦτο in their interpretations as compared with modern interpreters. The nice thing about recognizing the forward attraction (which is a thing according to Smyth) is that it seems to fit actual native intuitions about the passage. And that means if we are to resolve the conundrum raised by the text, we have to read the context (more) carefully rather than try to short-circuit that process and settle it (like the heavily cited treatment by Dan Wallace) by appeal to grammatical rules that turn out to be more flexible than we assume.
Nicely stated. In pursuing this sort of thing in the past, what troubles ancient authors about a text, or the use to which they put the text, is often quite different from what we do, and they often fail to help us ask the questions we are addressing to the text. As first and fluent speakers of the language, and in a very different cultural context, they simply were not interested in the same sorts of issues that exercise us. And yes, for them it was a language they habitually used, not the "secret decoder ring." That gets back to my hobby horse of encouraging people to spend a lot of time in Greek outside the NT. It helps. A lot.