Re:PAS in 2 Tim 3:16

From: A K M Adam (
Date: Tue Aug 20 1996 - 08:48:51 EDT

Scott Anthony McKellar notes:

> 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 consider passages using introductory formula (IF) but which do not quote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.

This is just my complaint with much NT lexicography, though. Many lexicons show a strong
inclination to prefer anachronistic ecclesial glosses for "secular" Greek words. Now, I repeat my
concession that here GRAFH seems to work well as "Scripture," and the usage will be intertwined
with a longer-standing OT/LXX tradition. Still, we ought not focus our attention only on narrower,
more technical senses when broader, more conventional usage can ease an interpretive problem.

Did I say that I'm not arguing over 2Tim 3:16 any more? Carl and Greg had quite convinced me on
this passage.

Grace and peace,
A K M Adam
Princeton Theological Seminary

"To translate is human; to parse, divine"

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