Re:PAS in 2 Tim 3:16

Scott Anthony McKellar (
Tue, 20 Aug 1996 23:38:13 -0800

First, thank you to all who responded to my original post.

Carl Conrad replied;

>While I fear that part of your question may be unanswerable without resort
>to the presuppositions one brings to the reading of this text, I will
>suggest the following:

Fair enough, I suspect that applies to most matters in Scripture.

>(1) PAS is _normally_ predicative; very rarely would one find hH PASA
>GRAFH, but if one did, that would mean "the whole of scripture."
>(2) PASA GRAFH might be translated "every scripture" or "all
>scripture"--but either version would really mean simply every _single_
>scripture and thus "all" texts that may be termed "scripture."

This is very helpful, What do you think of Turner's notion of PAS meaning
"not every individual, like _hekastos_, but any you please." Turner seems
to be limiting the idea to some group of texts that may be called scripture
(the ones under consideration), rather than all possible scriptures viewed
individually. Perhaps this doesn't make a hugh difference in this passage,
but to me the former seems to treat the QEOPNEUSTOS as a tacit assumption,
while the latter makes it a principle.

>(3) I think that QEOPNEUSTOS in this text really must be understood as
>predicate to an implicit ESTI(N): "Every/all scripture is inspired and
>useful for ..."

Apparently various old versions omitted the KAI (Syr. Vul. Cop, Clement,
Origen, Tertullian, Hilary, Ambrosiaster, Primasius) thus leading to
QEOPNEUSTOS being treated attributively. Bruce Metzger says that "because
the word KAI seems to disturb the construction, it is omitted in several
versions." Textual Commentary.

Does your comment mean that you find the predicative use more natural
sounding/feeling in Greek than the attributive with KAI as an adjunctive

Does not the predicative use seem to be affirming the obvious?

>(4) The big question that cannot be decided solely on the basis of the
>meaning of the text is that of WHICH texts the writer deemed to be
>scripture. It depends at least in part upon the authorship and dating of 2
>Timothy; it then depends upon whether ANY PART of what later became the
>canonical NT was deemed "scripture" at any of the times when 2 Tim 3:16
>might have been written (I have my doubts about this, but that is a matter
>of historical criticism, not of what the Greek text itself may possibly
>mean); I think that if one attributes 2 Timothy to Paul and therefore
>dates it in the middle of the first century, it is highly questionable
>whether anything beyond Torah and Prophets is being referred to. I would
>reiterate, however, that this question is one the answer to which depends
>very much upon the assumptions that the reader/critic brings to bear upon
>the Greek text, and NOT upon the meaning of the Greek text itself.

Fair enough.

A K M Adam also raised the question of the meaning of GRAFH. Bauer (BAGD,
GRAFH, s.v. 2), declares that GRAFH is used exclusively in the NT in the
sacred sense of "Scripture" [meaning the OT]. G. Schrenk, TDNT 1, 751-761
seems to agree though there are examples from Christian backgrounds which
appear to use GRAFH more freely, quoting apocraphal works. (Barn. 16:5; 1
Clem. 23:3; cf Barn. 4:3, Herm. Vis. 2:3:4: _hOs gegraptai_, "as it is
written"). One would also want to consider passages using introductory
formula (IF) but which do not quote the OT per se;

1 Cor 2:9 (IF: gegramtai)
1 Cor 15:45b (IF:gegramtai)
Eph 4:8 (IF: legei)
Eph 5:14 (IF:legei)
1 Tim 5:18 (IF:H graphE legei)
James 4:5 (IF: H grapE legei)
Jude 14 (IF: apo adam henOx legOn)

1 Tim 5:18 may be in reference to a pre-Lukan Saying of Jesus = Lk. 10:7.
The question of whether GRAPH can mean an individual scripture or saying
rather than the OT as a whole is also raise by Schrenk.

Scott Anthony McKellar <>