Re: predicate adjectives

From: Ronald L. Minton (
Date: Mon Feb 03 1997 - 23:06:42 EST

On Mon, 3 Feb 1997, Edgar Krentz wrote:
> >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
> addressed.
> 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?

Thanks for the post. Your date is, of course, speculative. I also
think my understanding fits the context very well as did Carlton's. Also
your view might not adequately express the parallel relation between God
breathed and profitable. These are IMHO inseparable in the Greek text.
Most English translations seem to agree with me. As an experiment, I
will contact missionaries with whom I am on a list and see what foreign
translations are saying.

Prof. Ron Minton:   W (417)268-6053  H 833-9581
Baptist Bible Graduate School 628 E. Kearney St. Springfield, MO 65803

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