Grammar is often bypassed these days, whereas in the past, it was presented much more explicitly.  I teach French using a methodology that focuses on helping students naturally acquire a second language through lots of meaningful and comprehensible input. We converse (in French that they can understand) about what is going on in the world and in THEIR lives, just as I do with my friends.  We also create oral stories together and we read, savoring and teasing out information we glean from the content.  Language flows into their brains and out of their mouths almost effortlessly.

I view grammar in my classroom as a condiment, to be used sparingly.  Meaning is what drives the communication.  Grammar is used to clarify and clear up confusion (“the –ent on the end of the word means more than one person is doing the action”)

Yet in my personal life, I LOVE grammar.  My daily Bible study recently got a boost, thanks to some grammar observations.

My Bible is the Hebrew-Greek Key Word Study Bible (NASB translation, published by AMG, edited by Spiros Zodhiates).  I supplement that with The English-Greek Reverse Interlinear NT, ESV version.

Here is one recent observation:

Galatians 2:20 – in the NIV reads:

I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

But the KJV translates the underlined part as by the faith of the Son of God

There’s a huge difference between IN and OF.  So I looked at the Greek.  Sure enough – it’s ‘of’ – and the case of the Greek word is annotated ‘GENETIVE’.  That indicates possession.  It’s not MY faith that I have to ramp up and put in the Son of God.  It’s HIS faith given to me by the virtue of my new nature.

{When someone is regenerated, she/he gets a new nature. For example, I am no longer Maria – I am Christ-in-Maria.  Here is a poor analogy, but you can catch the drift: As a human born into sin, I was dying as just Maria…think carbon-monoxide…and then Christ infused His super-natural life into me (added another oxygen atom to make carbon-DI-oxide) and now I am completely different – alive.}

Back to looking at WHOSE faith it is. Since the faith in me is not MINE, but HIS, I don’t have to worry about FEELING strong.  It’s no longer a matter of strong or weak, but possession.

Here’s another place where we are led to think the effort and responsibility for sanctification depend on us, despite consistently translating the preposition ‘of’ to indicate possession.

Consider the famous ‘fruit of the spirit’ passage further on in Galatians 5:22-23a:

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,  gentleness and self-control…


1)    The fruit does not come from my labor – I don’t have to ‘woman or man up’.  I RECEIVE God’s love and 8 blessed outcomes of that AGAPE when my eye is on Jesus, when I’m not out earning and working for the fruit.

2)    I used to think I had to work at those 9 qualities, with God’s help of course, because I’m a Christian.

3)    Trees and bushes and branches don’t work, they just stay connected.  I know that branches don’t have a mind of their own, but we human kind of branches do! And our thought life can cut off the life-giving, fruit-providing HOLY SAP.  Eyes on us, focused on our work and our plans, we cut off the conduit to the Holy Spirit flow.  And we wonder why we get so tired, lose our peace and energy and gentleness with others!   The Good News is that we can lift our eyes back to Jesus and rest in His provision.

2 verses to underscore this glorious truth:

Hebrews 3:1 – Therefore, Holy brothers who share in the heavenly calling, fix your thoughts on Jesus…..

Isaiah 30:15 – In repenting/ returning to Me and in rest you shall be saved;
in quietness and in trust shall be your strength….

So where have you found a new nugget of understanding through studying the words and how they are structured?  Let us DIG ON for God’s gold.