Re: GRAFAI (was Predicate adjectives)

From: Jonathan Robie (
Date: Thu Feb 06 1997 - 22:38:17 EST

Carl W. Conrad ( wrote:

> I fear that Jonathan opened a can of worms yesterday with the question of
> whether GRAFAI in 2 Tim 3:16 can refer to writings other than "scriptures."

Now, Carl, you know I would never open a can of worms ;->

> Through a freak accident that I have described in embarrassing
> detail previously, I've lost my BAGD. What does it say? Does it give any
> guidance regarding the perhaps naive questions I raise below in response to
> Fred Nofer's message?

Let me try outlining BAGD's discussion of GRAFH:

1. a little book (not a NT meaning)
2. in the NT exclusively w. a sacred meaning, of Holy Scripture
2.A. hH GRAFH the individual scripture passage
2.B. Scripture as a whole
2.B.a. the plural hAI GRAFAI : "the scriptures"
2.B.b. the singular as designation of scripture as a whole

BAGD cites 2 Tim 3:16 in category 2.A. As for the scriptures Fred Nofer
cited, BAGD cites 1 Timothy 5:18 as 2.B.b. and 2 Peter 3:15-16 as 2.B.a. I
find this surprising - I would have classified them both as 2.A. There are a
number of references to the early patristic writings; unfortunately, I don't
have ready access to these writings.

In Louw and Nida, they clearly specified "Old Testament" rather than "Holy
Scripture" for category 2. BAGD leaves it more open.

> >Also, in I Timothy 5:18, GRAFH is apparently used to refer to both Deut.
> >25:4 and Luke 10:7.
> This is a somewhat more complicated passage. Again let me cite it for
> clearer reference:

hH GRAFH is singular here. Doesn't it apply only to the first quote?


Jonathan Robie
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