Re: predicate adjectives

From: Edgar Krentz (
Date: Mon Feb 03 1997 - 17:24:28 EST

>Ron Minton wrote;
>>>>>>>>In 2 Tim. 3:16, it seems to me that God-breathed and profitable are two
>parallel predicate adjectives. Thus, they describe the quality of
>Scripture, telling what kind of writing it is. In this context, it is
>sort of like saying all Scripture is blessed of God or has God's stamp of
>approval. This passage speaks as much of preservation as it does
>inspiration. What think ye?<<<<<<<
>It seems to me good to translate PASA GRAFH QEOPNEUSTOS KAI WFELIMOS PROS
>and beneficial scripture is for reprove, for improvement. . . ." The
>main emphasis before this sentence and after this sentence is that the
>Pastor is trying to get the younger Pastor to use scripture and tradition
>(PARADOSIS) to bring about more mature concepts (hUGIAINOUSHS DIDASKALIAS
>[4:3]) in the church.
Carlton Winbery's analysis is grammatically possible and in many ways
appealing. But there is another way to read the Greek text of 2 Tim 3:16
that is, IMHO, also appealing and historically likely.

I would translate the text as follows: Every inspired [God-breathed]
scripture [or passage] is also beneficial for for reproof, for improvement,
for ...." I date 2 Timothy after 90 CE [possibly as late as 120 CE] at a
time when there was debate about which books belonged among those
authoritative [i.e., canonical]. In the face of these debates 2 Timothy
assures the readers that they need not worry, since whatever the outcome
is, the authoritative texts will serve the needs of the Christian community

Like Carlton I infer the copulative, but at a different point in the
sentence, understanding the KAI as emphatic, not conjunctive. I prefer this
because IMHO it puts the passage into an historical context which accounts
for the presence of the text and makes it message very relevant to a
community which was concerned about sound teaching.

What think ye?

Edgar Krentz, New Testament
Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago
Tel: [773] 256-0752; (H) [773] 947-8105

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