predicate adjectives

From: Carlton Winbery (
Date: Fri Feb 07 1997 - 13:30:02 EST

I got back in town last evening and today had the opportunity to read the
archives on the string about predicate adjectives, some of which Robbie and
Carl had sent to me directly. When I first replied to the post, I thought,
"Oh no, not again." But this turned into a wonderful exchange and took
twists and turns I could not have imagined a week ago. This is what a list
should be!

I would like to make some observations about the various twists and turns
the string has taken. First, the use of GRAFH/AI has been clearly exposed
as referring in the NT to what we call the OT in some form or other. That
is precisely the rub for those who want to extend it to the full canon as
we protestants see it today. But I'm afraid that that won't do. I've just
been reading a good book called _What is the Bible?_ by John Morgan of
Oxford. He makes it clear that the OT canon was not like ours in the early
church. It was more fluid, using the LXX and even adding to that (IV
Esdras). Remember Paul quotes from the LXX about as often as from
something else and Hebrews and I Peter most all the time. As for NT being
called Scripture like OT was referred to Scripture. Most likely not in the
first century. There is a good thesis in the library at N. O. Seminary by
Gerald Cowen, "The NT among the Gnostics." He proves to my satisfaction
that the first Christians to see Christian writings (esp. Paul) as
Scripture were the Gnostics (Valentinius and Basilides). They slightly
preceded even Marcion. Even the saying in Polycarp quoting Paul in Eph.
(Be angry and sin not, do not let the sun go down on your wrath) was called
scripture because it contains the quote from the Psalms. I don't think we
can count those Christians sayings where they are built on a phrase from
the scripture (OT) as called scripture by the early writers unless they
specifically stand alone (See the NT in the Apostolic Fathers, Oxford
Study). So, I would say if in II Peter, Paul's letters are called
scripture, it probably dates II Peter near the middle of the second
century. That would correlate with "ever since the Fathers have fallen

I second Edward's statement about Philemon and Knox's little book. He did
a masterful job also in the intro and commentary on Philemon in the
Interpreter's Bible. My love of that theses may be colored somewhat by the
fact that I am a romantic and get excited about the slave Onesimus becoming
the Bishop of Ephesus and being the collector of the Pauline Corpus. I
know that many have turned thumbs down on his thesis, but I can never read
Philemon quite the same.

Now more directly to the original string. I mentioned the word PARADOSIS
in connection with the talk of sound doctrine in the Pastorals. That was a
mistake. That's the word that Paul uses for the tradition that he himself
was passing on (I Cor. 11:2). The word the Pastor used to refer to near
the same thing but at a later stage was PARAQHKH, the deposit, I Tim. 6:20,
II Tim. 1:12 & 14. Then the verb PARAQOU in II Tim. 2:2. In my opinion
this is the heart of what later was embodied in the canon. The noun should
be understood in _all_ three places as what God has deposited with Paul
(and thus with the Paulinites). It means the same as DIDASKALIA, esp. when
DIDASKALIA is modified by the ptc. hUGIAINOUSA or the adjs. KALH or
EUSEBEIA. I think that it is ocassionally referred by the Pastor as hH
PISTIS (I Tim. 1:10; 1:19; 3:9; 4:6 (both hH PISTIS and KALH DIDASKALIA;
5:8; 6:10; II Tim 3:8; 4:3; 4:7; Tit. 1:13; 2:2). This was a body of
belief that was surviving both in written form and oral form. As late as
about 135 Papias (acc. Eusebius) said that he still preferred the living
and abiding voice over against anything written in books (he was speaking
of his meetings with people like the Elder, Aristeas, or some other of the
Lord's disciples). It is not difficult to see the Pastor as writing at the
time when the oral still had ascendancy. (I would see that perhaps as a
bit later than Edgar does.) Now as to the translation of PASA GRAFH
translations given are possible syntactally. I do not see word order as
decisive here (Carl is probably more of a pure Greek than the Pastor was.)
PROS DIDASKALIAN may be parallel to Ephesians 4:11-12. "He gave the
apostles, prophets, pastor/teachers (to be) for the preparation (PROS
KATARTISMON) of the saints . . .." So I still think it very possible that
both adjectives QEOPNEUSTOS KAI WFELIMOS modify GRAFH. Since their OT was
by no means settled (between the Hebrew and the LXX), he may well want to
indicate that not all of what is called Scripture is Scripture but what God
has given is given for a purpose.

This is a long post, but I've been gone all week and this is an excellent


Carlton L. Winbery
Fogleman Professor of Religion
Louisiana College
Fax (318) 442-4996
Phone (318) 487-7241

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