Breaking down Ephesians 2:8, how do I do that?

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Chris D. Mallea | Forum Activity | Posted: Sat, Feb 26 2011 12:59 PM

A friend of mine and I are looking at Ephesians 2:8 (ESV)  "8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God,"  We are in disagreement as to whether or not the "gift of God" refers to "grace" or "faith" (or both). 

How do I break this sentence down (sentence structure, word forms, etc) in/from the original Greek to show where the emphasis on "gift of God" is placed?  Hopefully my question makes sense.  I don't know what you call this "process".

Any help or being pointed to a tutorial would be appreciated.

Posts 1971
Donnie Hale | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Feb 26 2011 1:12 PM

I'm in a study on Ephesians these days, and we just did this passage recently.

If you have a reverse interlinear, I recommend using that to check the morphology of the words "grace", "faith", "this" (or "that" - "and this/that not of yourselves"), and "gift". Also, compare verse 5 where a portion of verse 8 is first stated. You can also read the commentaries, but you'll find that there's no agreement; and they all make good cases for their opinions.

Good luck! It's a fun study.

Donnie

 

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Francis | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Feb 26 2011 1:14 PM

I think it is asking too much of grammar and syntax to settle this question. While the question might be entertained on the basis of the verse taken in isolation from its context, that context makes it clear what it is that Paul is emphasizing. 

Beyond that, I can see how a person and commentators could want to import other theological commitments in the raising of this question. But whether the question stands as valid generally from a theological standpoint or not, the verse itself interpreted in its context should be allowed to emphasize what it emphasizes.

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Feb 26 2011 3:08 PM

I would suggest that you take a look at any of your resources identified as sentence analysis, clausal analysis/visualization/outlines, discourse analysis, and syntactic analysis/visualization, These resources will show you how others have addressed the problem and whether they resolve it or leave it ambiguous.

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

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painfree | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Feb 26 2011 3:55 PM

Francis,  I would tend to agree with you here as the context seems to hold the answer.

Posts 72
Chris D. Mallea | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Feb 26 2011 5:26 PM

MJ. Smith:

I would suggest that you take a look at any of your resources identified as sentence analysis, clausal analysis/visualization/outlines, discourse analysis, and syntactic analysis/visualization, These resources will show you how others have addressed the problem and whether they resolve it or leave it ambiguous.

 

You must teach Greek.  Stick out tongue

In my original post, one of the questions I ask is what this process is even called.  Obviously I'm not going to know what you're even talking about.

Posts 72
Chris D. Mallea | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Feb 26 2011 5:40 PM

I'm still looking for a direct answer. Wink

I'll go ahead and throw in verse 9 so that it is Ephesians 2:8-9 as so often quoted.  Let's say for discussion purposes that you are asked what the phrase "gift of God" relates to.  Without giving any personal opinions, your task would be to go to the original language, and using that, plus how the sentence is structured in the Greek and or any other feature related to hermeneutics, how would you give your answer or structure your "report"?  Think of this as a class assignment and the problem is a math one.  You would show your work  Hopefully I'm making sense in my question but based on some of the answers, most likely I'm not.

Maybe I should be asking how to use Logos to exegete this pericope?  Help me out here please........

chris

 

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Friedrich | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Feb 26 2011 6:37 PM

maybe this is too simple of an answer, but put your text into the "exegetical guide".  Run it.  Depending on what resources you have in your Logos, you will see syntax resources (diagramming the sentences), Grammars (explaining various parts of the verses--maybe your question is dealt with there), etc.  But for that to be useful you will need to know language and grammar terms (and Logos can help you with resources there).  And for that matter, even diagrams and grammars--to some degree--are open to variance according to the presuppositions and/or analysis by the grammarian.  Each verse cannot be diagrammed as thought we know exactly how it is supposed to be.  Good commentaries (yes, reflecting the opinion of the author as well as others he/she has consulted) will highlight some of those issues for you and perhaps reference works and studies you don't have in your library--which will give you a bigger picture. 

Sometimes you can tell emphasis by what word/phrase is placed (peculiarly) at the beginning of a sentence.  There are probably other rules that reveal emphasis.  But even an emphatic word and its resultant import can be overblown.

 

Lots of verbiage to say: have at it, and the more you know Greek, the better able you will make sense of those tools.

I like Apples.  Especially Honeycrisp.

Posts 332
Ralph Mauch | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Feb 26 2011 6:40 PM

Chris D. Mallea:
Maybe I should be asking how to use Logos to exegete this pericope?

Have you tried the Exegetical Guide? Here is what the results look like, and "one" tool I clicked on to show the analyze was the Lexham Syntactic Greek NT, shown below on the right of the Guide (you have to hover over the different stuctures to fully understand).

 

 

Posts 332
Ralph Mauch | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Feb 26 2011 6:46 PM

Dan DeVilder:

Lots of verbiage to say: have at it, and the more you know Greek, the better able you will make sense of those tools.

Big Smile you added the words to my picture, and having a tool like Wallace's Greek will also help, for those of us (me) that had just enough Greek to be dangerous.

 

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Keep Smiling 4 Jesus :) | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Feb 26 2011 6:46 PM

Chris D. Mallea:

How do I break this sentence down (sentence structure, word forms, etc) in/from the original Greek to show where the emphasis on "gift of God" is placed?  Hopefully my question makes sense.  I don't know what you call this "process".

Process is formally called exegesis.  Related discipline is hermeneutics (variety of techniques for interpretation - includes contextual analysis).

MJ. Smith:

I would suggest that you take a look at any of your resources identified as sentence analysis, clausal analysis/visualization/outlines, discourse analysis, and syntactic analysis/visualization, These resources will show you how others have addressed the problem and whether they resolve it or leave it ambiguous.

Initially looked at sentence analysis, clausal analysis, and discourse logosres:clausalnt;ref=BibleNA27.Eph2.8-9 and logosres:lexhamsgntgraph;ref=BibleNA27.Eph2.8-9 and logosres:ldgnt;ref=BibleNA27.Eph2.8-9 - noted greek genders: this pronoun was neuter that agreed with gift of God but neither grace nor faith (feminine) - also looked at sentence structure - then looked at couple commentaries - found similar observations plus contextual references to Ephesians 2:5 - decided to include Logos web site links and Logos resource URL's.

Logos Scholar's packages and above include A.T. Robertson's "Word Pictures in the Greek New Testamentlogosres:rwp;ref=Bible.Eph2.8

Logos Platinum and Portfolio packages include A.T. Robertson's "Grammar of the Greek New Testament in the Light of Historical Research", one of 4 greek reference grammars often cited in lexicons and commentaries => http://www.logos.com/product/guide/greek-bible-texts-tools

Logos Scholar's Gold packages and above include United Bible Societies handbooks logosres:ubshbk70;ref=Bible.Eph2.8-9;off=1

A basic search Ephesians WITHIN 100 WORDS "gift of God" finds more articles in Logos library to consider - including example 181 in "Discourse Grammar of the Greek New Testament: A Practical Introduction for Teaching and Exegesislogosres:discgrmrgrknt;ref=Page.p_334;off=158 which is part of a Discourse Bundle

Keep Smiling Smile

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Feb 26 2011 6:59 PM

Chris D. Mallea:

You must teach Greek.  Stick out tongue

In my original post, one of the questions I ask is what this process is even called.  Obviously I'm not going to know what you're even talking about.

Scarcely know any Greek. However, the tools to which I referred are the tools Logos teaches in their DVD lessons on how to use original language resources in Logos even though you don't really know the language. Enter your passage into the exegetical guide:  You should get something similar to this:

The visualization section contains many of the resources to which I referred:

Choosing the second item as an example, click on Lexham sentence analysis. This gives you a sentence diagram in tree format:

Now, you may be saying that's help - what's all that garble-de-gook? Mouse over gives you definitions

Yes, it takes time to learn to read the diagrams but the payoff it great. So the short answer to your question?

Conclusion: People who really know Greek aren't willing to commit to either answer .so I probably shouldn't either.

Edit: Lot's of people gave you good answers while I was making my pretty pictures.  Hope it helps anyway.

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

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Rich DeRuiter | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Feb 26 2011 7:06 PM

Chris D. Mallea:

Maybe I should be asking how to use Logos to exegete this pericope?  Help me out here please........

chris

Sometimes the ambiguity of the English text mirrors that of the original. If you don't take that seriously, you can force any ambiguity into whatever mold you want (even inventing ambiguity, if necessary). It's been done. In this case, it would seem that you'd want to resolve the issue of whether the original text is genuinely ambiguous regarding the question you raise, or not. If it is, you'll need to leave the issue unresolved, or, as you suggest, consider whether the ambiguity is intentional implying that both grace and faith are gifts.

In resolving that question, the key (IMHO) is understanding how the pronoun "this" functions. You suggest that "this" points to either grace or faith. Have you considered that "this" may point to the entire phrase: this = salvation by grace through faith? If so the entire means of salvation is a gift, which does not answer the question of whether both then must be gifts as well.

Maybe you'll want to answer the question of whether either or both faith/grace is a gift by looking at other Scriptures.

 Help links: WIKI;  Logos 6 FAQ. (Phil. 2:14, NIV)

Posts 72
Chris D. Mallea | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Feb 26 2011 7:12 PM

This is all great stuff, thanks folks.  Lots of good material to go over.

Posts 332
Ralph Mauch | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Feb 26 2011 7:36 PM

Richard DeRuiter:

Maybe you'll want to answer the question of whether either or both faith/grace is a gift by looking at other Scriptures.

Best answer yet, the same author (Paul) has more to say on this when you look at Romans 4... Logos book - Figures of Speech Used in the Bible: Explained and Illustrated by Bullinger is a favorite tool when looking into these matters.

 

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Keep Smiling 4 Jesus :) | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Feb 26 2011 8:14 PM

Chris D. Mallea:

This is all great stuff, thanks folks.  Lots of good material to go over.

Since not know what resources your Logos library has, if would like some copy & paste, please ask.

Initially had copied from Word Pictures and UBS handbook (good material to read) - then decided links should be sufficient.

Edit: case of πίστεως (faith) used with preposition διὰ (through) provides some actionable insight about "through faith"

Keep Smiling Smile

Posts 72
Chris D. Mallea | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Feb 26 2011 11:01 PM

I have the Scholar's Edition with Luther's Works and the Catholic Doctrine collection.  I also got the Greek and Hebrew language set to delve into here shortly.  I'll definitely take a look at all the resources mentioned and I give a big thanks to all, this is just what I was looking for, especially the visual pieces.

Posts 72
Chris D. Mallea | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Feb 26 2011 11:04 PM

Ralph Mauch:

Richard DeRuiter:

Maybe you'll want to answer the question of whether either or both faith/grace is a gift by looking at other Scriptures.

Best answer yet, the same author (Paul) has more to say on this when you look at Romans 4... Logos book - Figures of Speech Used in the Bible: Explained and Illustrated by Bullinger is a favorite tool when looking into these matters.

 

Thanks for that Ralph, I see that I have that book so I'll check it out.

Posts 72
Chris D. Mallea | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Feb 26 2011 11:13 PM

MJ. Smith:

Chris D. Mallea:

You must teach Greek.  Stick out tongue

In my original post, one of the questions I ask is what this process is even called.  Obviously I'm not going to know what you're even talking about.

Scarcely know any Greek. However, the tools to which I referred are the tools Logos teaches in their DVD lessons on how to use original language resources in Logos even though you don't really know the language. Enter your passage into the exegetical guide:  You should get something similar to this:

MJ;

I was being lighthearted on the teaching Greek comment because I didn't understand a word of what you said and so as the saying goes......

It sounds like you are referring to the Greek and Hebrew language courses.  I did purchase those also but haven't had a chance to delve into them.   I'll make that a priority.  Thanks also MJ for the time you took to create the post with the pics.  That was very helpful to me and I'm sure will be for those who do a search as I did.

chris

 

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Feb 26 2011 11:32 PM

Chris D. Mallea:

MJ;

I was being lighthearted on the teaching Greek comment because I didn't understand a word of what you said and so as the saying goes...

The nice thing about Greek is that I can honestly say "It's all Greek to me". I will confess to a language/linguistics background - just not Greek, Latin or Hebrew.

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

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