PAS in 2 Tim 3:16

Scott Anthony McKellar (
Mon, 19 Aug 1996 23:04:40 -0800


I have been attempting to sort out if _pasa_ in 2 Tim 3:16 means "every"
or "all"?

The predicative use of _pas_ (without the article) according to the
grammars is normally translated "every" or in this case "every inspired
Scripture" [BDF # 275.3; Turner, Syntax, p.199; Moule _Idiom-Book_, p.
94-95--though he favors breaking the normal rule with 2 Tim 3:16;
Robertson, Grammar, 771-73--exceptions noted with names and abstract words;
Zerwick _Biblical Greek_ # 188; Porter, Idioms, p. 119-120]. Is 2 Tim
3:16 an exception? BAGD is says that the meaning "every" is scarcely
different form the plural "all." I take this to mean that that "every"
approaches the meaning of "all" *plural* rather than simply that they mean
the same thing. [but when I thing about it, what is the plural *all* --is
this bad translation from German?] Nigel Turner points out; "_Pas_ before
an anarthrous noun means _every_ in the sense of _any_; not every
individual, like _hekastos_, but any you please. In other words *any* [or
all those] Scripture[s] you are pleased to single out. Turner suggests the
translation "whatever is Scripture" for 2 Tim 3:16.[p. 199] Is it in this
sense that it *might* be translated "the whole of Scripture" (following
Moule, and Porter?). Zerwick, argues that the anarthrous use of _pas_ in 2
Tim 3:16 establishes the principle of Scriptures inspiration rather than
the fact that the existing Scripture was inspired.

My question is this: Does the adoption of the translation "Every inspired
Scripture is also useful . . ." require grammatically that the author is
implying some _graphE_ exist which are not inspired. Turner's comment
would seem to me to imply that not every individual Scripture is in view,
and, therefore, it would *not* necessarily imply that some non-inspired
Scripture exist. It would seem to me that this reference in v. 16 is
directed back to _hiera grammata_ of v. 15. Verse 15 assumes the _hiera_
character of the _grammata_ and predicates of them that they are able to
make Timothy wise unto salvation. Similarly the inspired nature of every
Scripture is assume while it is affirmed that it is useful for the ends
mentioned. The focus of the argument would appear to me to be on the ends
achieved and not on inspiration per se. If it wasn't for concerns some
might have about defending the inspiration of Scripture and creating a
convenient proof text for that, would not "Every inspired Scripture is also
useful . . ." be the more natural translation?

ps. I read the list as digest and would appreciate being cc'ed.

Scott Anthony McKellar <>