Does Eph 2:8 Teach That Faith Is The Gift Of God?

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Eph 2:8 "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: [it is] the gift of God:

What is the meaning of the second clause?

Hodge writes in his commentary:

The only point in the interpretation of these verses of any doubt, relates to the second clause. What is said to be the gift of God? Is it salvation, or faith? The words ??? ????? only serve to render more proninent the matter referred to. Compare Rom. 13, 11. 1 Cor. 6, 6. Phil. 1, 28. Heb. 11, 12. They may relate to faith (?? ?????????), or to the salvation spoken of (??????????? ?????). Beza, following the fathers, prefers the former reference; Calvin, with most of the modern commentators, the latter. The reasons in favour of the former interpretation are, 1. It best suits the design of the passage. The object of the apostle is to show the gratuitous nature of salvation. This is most effectually done by saying, ‘Ye are not only saved by faith in opposition to works, but your very faith is not of yourselves, it is the gift of God.’ 2. The other interpretation makes the passage tautological. To say: ‘Ye are saved by faith; not of yourselves; your salvation is the gift of God; it is not of works,’ is saying the same thing over and over without any progress. Whereas to say: ‘Ye are saved through faith (and that not of yourselves it is the gift of God), not of works,’ is not repetitious; the parenthetical clause instead of being redundant does good service and greatly increases the force of the passage. 3. According to this interpretation the antithesis between faith and works, so common in Paul’s writings, is preserved. ‘Ye are saved by faith, not by works, lest any man should 120 boast.’ The middle clause of the verse is therefore parenthetical, and refers not to the main idea ye are saved, but to the subordinate one through faith, and is designed to show how entirely salvation is of grace, since even faith by which we apprehend the offered mercy, is the gift of God. 4. The analogy of Scripture is in favor of this view of the passage, in so far that elsewhere faith is represented as the gift of God. 1 Cor. 1, 26-31. Eph. 1, 19. Col. 2, 12, et passim.

Robertson's Word Pictures says...

And that (kai touto). Neuter, not feminine tauth, and so refers not to pistiv (feminine) or to xariv (feminine also), but to the act of being saved by grace conditioned on faith on our part.
The way I look at it is simply this, it either is saying "faith is a gift" or it is saying "salvation is a gift". But think, if we are saved by grace through faith and salvation is a gift, it must be the case that faith is a gift it being the instrumental cause of our salvation.

As for the exegesis and linguistics I will leave that to others. :)
According to Hendriksen, there are other instances of a neuter pronoun referring to a feminine antecedent in the NT. Therefore, the conclusion of Robertson does not follow. I agree with Hodge on this matter.
According to Hendriksen, there are other instances of a neuter pronoun referring to a feminine antecedent in the NT. Therefore, the conclusion of Robertson does not follow. I agree with Hodge on this matter.

I would like to see these instances
According to Hendriksen, there are other instances of a neuter pronoun referring to a feminine antecedent in the NT. Therefore, the conclusion of Robertson does not follow. I agree with Hodge on this matter.

I would like to see these instances

Back when I took Greek (100 years ago or so), we were taught to look for grammatical concord. A femine antecedent would typically take a femine pronoun. Yet, while a pronoun usually agrees with its noun in gender, there are plenty of exceptions to the general rule (cf. Acts 8:10, Jude 12, 2 Pet. 2:17, 1 Pet. 2:19, 1 Cor. 6:11, and 1 Cor. 10:6) (Ref. A. T. Robertson, A Grammar of the Greek New Testament, p. 704).
According to Hendriksen, there are other instances of a neuter pronoun referring to a feminine antecedent in the NT. Therefore, the conclusion of Robertson does not follow. I agree with Hodge on this matter.

I would like to see these instances
8. Reflecting on what he has just now said about grace, and repeating the parenthetical clause of verse 5b, the apostle says, For by grace59 you have been saved.… For explanation see on verse 5. He continues: through faith; and this not of yourselves, (it is) the gift of God …
Three explanations deserve consideration:
(1) That offered by A. T. Robertson. Commenting on this passage in his Word Pictures in the New Testament, Vol. IV, p. 525, he states, “Grace is God’s part, faith ours.” He adds that since in the original the demonstrative “this” (and this not of yourselves) is neuter and does not correspond with the gender of the word “faith,” which is feminine, it does not refer to the latter “but to the act of being saved by grace conditioned on faith on our part.” Even more clearly in Gram.N.T., p. 704, he states categorically, “In Eph. 2:8 … there is no reference to διὰ πίστεως [through faith] in τοῦτο [this], but rather to the idea of salvation in the clause before.”
Without any hesitancy I answer, Robertson, to whom the entire world of New Testament scholarship is heavily indebted, does not express himself felicitously in this instance. This is true first because in a context in which the apostle places such tremendous stress on the fact that from start to finish man owes his salvation to God, to him alone, it would have been very strange, indeed, for him to say, “Grace is God’s part, faith ours.” True though it be that both the responsibility of believing and also its activity are ours, for God does not believe for us, nevertheless, in the present context (verses 5–10) one rather expects emphasis on the fact that both in its initiation and in its continuation faith is entirely dependent on God, and so is our complete salvation. Also, Robertson, a grammarian famous in his field, knew that in the original the demonstrative (this), though neuter, by no means always corresponds in gender with its antecedent. That he knew this is shown by the fact that on the indicated page of his Grammar (p. 704) he points out that “in general” the demonstrative “agrees with its substantive in gender and number.” When he says “in general,” he must mean, “not always but most of the time.” Hence, he should have considered more seriously the possibility that, in view of the context, the exception to the rule, an exception by no means rare, applies here. He should have made allowance for it.60 Finally, he should hare justified the departure from the rule that unless there is a compelling reason to do otherwise the antecedent should be looked for in the immediate vicinity of the pronoun or adjective that refers to it.
(2) That presented, among others, by F. W. Grosheide. As he sees it, the words “and this not of yourselves” mean “and this being saved by grace through faith is not of yourselves” but is the gift of God. Since, according to this theory — also endorsed, it would seem, by John Calvin in his Commentary — faith is included in the gift, none of the objections against theory (1) apply with respect to theory (2).
Does this mean then that (2) is entirely satisfactory? Not necessarily. This brings us to
(3) That defended by A. Kuyper, Sr. in his book Het Werk van den Heiligen Geest (Kampen, 1927), pp. 506–514.
Dr. Kuyper is, however, not this theory’s sole defender, but his defence is, perhaps, the most detailed and vigorous. The theory amounts, in brief, to the following: Paul’s words may be paraphrased thus, “I had the right to speak about ‘the surpassing riches of his grace’ for it is, indeed, by grace that you are saved, through faith; and lest you should now begin to say, ‘But then we deserve credit, at least, for believing,’ I will immediately add that even this faith (or: even this exercise of faith) is not of yourselves but is God’s gift.”
With variations as to detail this explanation was the one favored by much of the patristic tradition. Supporting it were also Beza, Zanchius, Erasmus, Huigh de Groot (Hugo Grotius), Bengel, Michaelis, etc. It is shared, too, by Simpson (op. cit., p. 55) and by Van Leeuwen and Greijdanus in their commentaries. H. C. G. Moule (Ephesian Studies, New York, 1900, pp. 77, 78) endorses it, with the qualification, “We must explain τοῦτο [this] to refer not to the feminine noun πίστις [faith] precisely, but to the fact of our exercising faith.” Moreover, it is perhaps no exaggeration to say that the explanation offered is also shared by the average man who reads 2:8 in his A.V. or A.R.V. Salmond, after presenting several grounds in its favor, particularly also this that “the formula καὶ τοῦτο might rather favor it, as it often adds to the idea to which it is attached,” finally shies away from it because “salvation is the main idea in the preceding statement,” which fact, of course, the advocates of (3) would not deny but do, indeed, vigorously affirm, but which is not a valid argument against the idea that faith, as well as everything else in salvation, is God’s gift. It is not a valid argument against (3), therefore.
I have become convinced that theory (3) is the most logical explanation of the passage in question. Probably the best argument in its favor is this one: If Paul meant to say, “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this being saved is not of yourselves,” he would have been guilty of needless repetition — for what else is grace but that which proceeds from God and not from ourselves? — a repetition rendered even more prolix when he now (supposedly) adds, “it, that is, salvation, is the gift of God,” followed by a fourth and fifth repetition, namely, “not of works, for we are his handiwork.” No wonder that Dr. A. Kuyper states, “If the text read, ‘For by grace you have been saved, not of yourselves, it is the work of God,’ it would make some sense. But first to say, ‘By grace you have been saved,’ and then, as if it were something new, to add, ‘and this having been saved is not of yourselves,’ this does not run smoothly but jerks and jolts.… And while with that interpretation everything proceeds by fits and starts and becomes lame and redundant, all is excellent and meaningful when you follow the ancient interpreters of Jesus’ church.”61 This, it would seem to me also, is the refutation of theory (1) and, to a certain extent, of theory (2).
Basically, however, theories (2) and (3) both stress the same truth, namely, that the credit for the entire process of salvation must be given to God, so that man is deprived of every reason for boasting, which is exactly what Paul says in the words which now follow, namely, 9, 10. not of works, lest anyone should boast. This introduces us to the subject:​
Works in relation to our salvation
(1) Rejected
As a basis for salvation, a ground upon which we can plead, works are rejected. “Not the labors of my hands can fulfil thy law’s demands.” In this connection it must be remembered that the apostle is not thinking exclusively or even mainly of works in fulfilment of the Mosaic law, by means of which the Jew, unconverted to Christ, sought to justify himself. Surely, also by such “works of the law” “no flesh will be justified in his sight” (Rom. 3:20; cf. Gal. 2:16). But in view of the fact that Paul was addressing an audience consisting mostly of Christians from the Gentile world it is clear that he wishes to emphasize that God rejects every work of man, be he Gentile, Jew, or believer in his moments of spiritual eclipse, every work on which any man bases his hope for salvation. If, then, salvation is completely from God, “who spared not his own Son but delivered him up for us all” (Rom. 8:32), every ground of boasting in self is excluded (Rom. 3:27; 4:5; I Cor. 1:31). When the Lord comes in his glory, those at his left hand will do all the boasting (Matt. 25:44; cf. 7:22); those at his right hand will be unable even to recall their good deeds (Matt. 25:37–39).
Now all boasting is excluded,
Unearned bliss is now my own.
I, in God thus safely rooted,
Boast in sovereign grace alone.
Long before my mother bore me,
E’en before God’s mighty hand
Out of naught made sea and land,
His electing love watched o’er me.
God is love, O angel-voice,
Tongues of men, make him your choice.62
59 The original has τῇ γὰρ χάριτι. Note the anaphoric use of the article. This is very common in Greek. See Gram.N.T., p. 762. Some translate: “this grace.”

Gram.N.T. A. T. Robertson, Grammar of the Greek New Testament in the Light of Historical Research

60 Though Lenski calls Robertson’s statement (“Grace is God’s part, faith ours”) careless, his own explanation (op.cit., p. 423), in which he likewise bases everything on the fact that τοῦτο is neuter but πίστις feminine, is basically the same as that of Robertson.

A.V. Authorized Version (King James)

A.R.V. American Standard Revised Version

61 As to grammar, from the works of Plato, Xenophon, and Demosthenes several instances of the use of τοῦτο to indicate a masculine or feminine antecedent are cited by Kuyper. He also quotes the following from a Greek Grammar: “Very common is the use of a neuter demonstrative pronoun to indicate an antecedent substantive of masculine or of feminine gender when the idea conveyed by that substantive is referred to in a general sense.” The quotation is from the work of Kühnhert, Ausführliche Grammatik der Griech. sprache (Hanover, 1870), Vol. II, p. 54.

62 This is the product of my attempt to translate into English, with retention of meter, the first stanza of the beautiful Dutch hymn “Alle roem is uitgesloten.”

Hendriksen, W., & Kistemaker, S. J. (1953-2001). Vol. 7: New Testament commentary : Exposition of Ephesians. Accompanying biblical text is author's translation. New Testament Commentary (120). Grand Rapids: Baker Book House.
Robertson - "but to the act of being saved by grace conditioned on faith on our part. " ??? :eek:

Of course this passage is saying that faith is the gift of God. It's part of the doctrine of ordo salutis, and the fleshing it out. hmm the flesh at work?? works??? mwhaa ha ha
Rich, is Hendriksen available online, or di you type that up yourself?

$100 is not bad! But I was wondering if it was availabe to read somewhere online. It looked like Rich just cut and pasted the article above.

I did copy and paste but it's from the Libronix version. You can get that at Christianbooks too:

Baker's New Testament Commentary on CD-ROM - By: Simon J. Kistemaker, William Hendriksen -
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