Help on graphe artios

From: Edgar M. Krentz (
Date: Fri Mar 01 1996 - 11:54:48 EST


>The problem that I have with the latter view is that KAI would have
>to taken as adverbial ('also') when it really looks like it wants to
>>be a conjunction.

My respnse to this: I do not understand how Stephen knows what KAI "wants
to be." Philologically it can mean "and," or "also," or "even," or "and
so." An adverbial KAI is certainly possible, given its location just before
the adjective WFELIMOS, just as a conjunctive use is possible between two
adjectives: QEOPNEUSTOS KAI WFELIMOS. A decision about its use depends upon
what one concludes that the author was trying to say.

Carlton Winbery wrote in response to Stephen C Carlson:

>Surely BOUN ALOWNTA OU FIMWSEIS in I Tim. 5:18 is a quote from Deut. 25:4.
>That is enough to account for the writers use of LEGEI hH GRAFH without
>assuming that the next quote is also scripture. If he did think that AXIOS
>hO ERGATHS TOU MISQOU AUTOU was scripture, he could have been influenced in
>that by Num. 18:31 and/or 2 Chron. 15:7. I see not strong evidence here to
>say that the writer saw any Christian writing as Scripture.

I agree with Carlton that there is no reference to any NT writing here. I
want to stretch the discussion a bit by suggesting a somewhat different
reading of PASA GRAFH QEOPNEUSTOS KAI WFELIOMOS .... I start from the
observation that TA hIERA GRAMMATA in v. 15 refers to the accepted Old
Testament canonical books, while GRAFE refers to a single writeing or

To allow readers to know my position and therefore biases--I regard the
pastoral letters as deutero-pauline and date them somewhere between 90 and
135 CE, i.e. between the two Jewish Wars in Palestine [probably closer to
135 than to 90, but that hypothesis is unprovable]. At this time early
Judaism was still considering, discussing, debating which books were Holy
Scripture, to be included in the writings, the third part of the TANACH.
Was Esther canonical? Jesus ben Sirach? Wisdom? Enoch? Jude alone is
evidence that people were reading 1 Enoch. The discovery of Hebrew Sirach
at Masada suggests some there may have considered it Holy Scripture.

In this context I infer that some Christians were uneasy with this
uncertainty about the extent of the Hebrew Scriptures. The author of 2
Timothy writes to quell this unease. That is why I translate this passage
"Every God-breathed [i.e. canonical] writing will also be useful for ...."
The writer thus affirms his faith in God's control of the process under
way, assures his readers that the scriptures decided on will indeed be
useful "to make people wise unto salvation" as one uses them for teaching,
for refutation of error, for correction, for education in true piety and
correct life.

I one holds to the Pauline authorship of the pastoral epistles, one can
still appropriate my suggestion (I forget where I first read of the
possibility!), since the third part of the canon was equally fluid in
Paul's lifetime, as Luke 24:44 (law,,prophets, Psalms) suggests. Josephus
is the first to list the 24 (= 39) book canon in his treatise _In Apionem_;
but he cannot be pressed to argue that his view in the first decade of the
second century was universally held by Jews.

Sorry I wrote at this length; I'll be interested in the responses, which
will be many and varied, I suspect.

Peace, Ed Krentz

Edgar Krentz, New Testament
Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago
1100 East 55th Street
Chicago, IL 60615
Tel.: 312-256-0752; (H) 312-947-8105

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.4 : Sat Apr 20 2002 - 15:37:38 EDT