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Eph 2:8-9 - Is it grace or faith not of ourselves?

(Garth D. Wiebe, July 2020)

I've heard the question come up, whether Eph 2:8-9 refers to "grace" or "faith" as being a "gift" that is "not of ourselves." This is easily answered using both Greek and English grammar. The text is

τη γαρ χαριτι εστε σεσωσμενοι δια της πιστεως και τουτο ουκ εξ υμων θεου το δωρον ουκ εξ εργων ινα μη τις καυχησηται.
Hyper-literally, this is translated
For to-the grace you(plural) are-being having-been-saved through the faith and this not out of-you of-God the gift not out of-works in-order-that not any should-boast.
In both Greek and English, "through the faith" is a prepositional phrase. The preposition is δια, "through," and the object of the preposition is "the faith." In Greek, της πιστεως, "the faith," is in the genitive case. In English, it is in the objective case, the object of the preposition, "through." In Greek, τουτο, "this," is in the nominative case, which corresponds to the English subjective case. In Greek, το δωρον, "the gift," is in the nominative case. It corresponds to the English subjective case. That means that τουτο, "this," corresponds with το δοωρον, "the gift," not της πιστεως, "the faith," because "the faith" is the object of the preposition, not the subject, "this...the gift."

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