Re: help on graphe artios

From: Carl W. Conrad (
Date: Tue Feb 27 1996 - 07:00:37 EST

To: brent justin anduaga-arias <>
From: @
Subject: Re: help on graphe artios

You wrote:

> I have a list of questions pertaining to 2nd Timothy 3:15-17.
> First, v17 uses 'artios' and 'exartizo.' I have heard raging debates
> about whether the words mean: 'equipped' and 'furnished' respectively, or
> something stronger: 'complete' and 'fully furnished' respectively. Any
> thoughts out there on this?

ARTIOS originally meant "fitting neatly together" in a very concrete sense.
It could be used of the "cyclopean walls" of the understructure of Apollo's
temple at Delphi, where massive rocks fit into a neat smooth structure. It
was used by Pythagoreans of an "even" number (ARTIOS ARIQMOS) as opposed to
an "odd" (PERITTOS ARIQMOS) wherein an element is "over and above" the
matched elements. It was used by Solon to describe a mind that was
well-ordered (NOOS ARTIOS). Perhaps that is enough to give a sense of
ARTIOS in 2 Tim 3:17. You decide on an adjective that expresses that idea.
And as for EXARTIZW, it means, in this instance, "to make someone (or
something) ARTIOS."

> Regardless of which is correct, I also would like to know (since I am
> just beginning to learn Greek) if the three verses are truly conveying
> the thought that ALL doctrine necessary for faith and practice are found
> in scripture, or is this idea something that has been read into the text
> for Reformation polemics?

Well, there are plenty of polemics apart from the Reformation ones. Some
may even now surface if I express my opinion that the "scripture" here
spoken of, in its own context, very likely (I really can't conceive an
alternative) refers to the Old Testament, and perhaps not even to all of
the OT, but certainly to the Torah, or five books of Moses, perhaps the
Prophets as well, but rather questionably the "Writings." Although Paul's
letters may have some authority by the time 2 Tim is composed, it still is
not, nor would I think any of the NT literature is as yet canonized

> Now for some more specific questions: Does the 'teaching, refutation,
> and correction' address 'righteousness' as part of the 'training in
> righteousness' phrase or are they distinct? In other words, could the
> thought be legally reworded like this: 'teaching in righteousness,
> refutation for righteousness, correction for righteousnes, and training in
> righteousness' - without doing damage to Paul's intention?

As I read the Greek, the article THN preceding DIKAIOSUNHN means that it
attaches strictly and properly only to PAIDEIAN, which is a broad word for
"education." I'd say this is the summary phrase, perhaps inclusive of the
three items mentioned just preceding--but I think there might be reasonable
argument on this matter.

> What about verse 16's 'didaskalion?' It seems to me this word does in
> fact just mean 'teaching.' However I have noticed that it is common for
> some English translations to render it as 'doctrine' here as elsewhere.
> Any comments?

DIDASKALIA does in fact mean "teaching," but the Latin equivalent is
DOCTRINA, which Anglicizes as "doctrine." I'm not so sure about the NT
sense of DIDASKALIA, but the Classical sense usually does refer more to the
giving of instruction, whereas English "doctrine" often suggests an
established body of accepted and acceptable lore.

What you need to do is to get a big unabridged dictionary and start
exploring these words in terms of the wide ranges in which they brance out
from one, two, or three simple concrete senses. Quite frankly, though, you
can't really start resolving questions such as the ones you raise until you
get some real instruction in Greek and start reading big chunks of text for
yourself. I can give you answers like this, or so can anyone else, but you
don't know whether they're right unless you have gone through the course of
Greek study for yourself.

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University
One Brookings Drive, St. Louis, MO, USA 63130
(314) 935-4018 OR

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