Re: GRAFAI (was Predicate adjectives)

From: Jonathan Robie (
Date: Fri Feb 07 1997 - 08:34:35 EST

Did this go out? I sent it last night, but didn't see it in the archives, so
I'm sending it again...but I'm adding some stuff at the top. Does anybody
have access to the following patristic writings, cited in BAGD, which might
shed some light on this?

1 Clement 23:3, 23:5, 34:6, 35:7, 45:2, 53:1
2 Clement 2:4, 6:8, 14:1f
Barnabas 4:7, 4:11, 5:4, 6:12, 13:2, 16:5
Petruskerygma 4 p. 16, 6

I don't have ready access to them. Also, BAGD makes the following
interesting comment:

"The close acquaintance of Christians with Scripture has its parallels in
the familiarity of the greeks with Homer Herclit. Sto. 1 p. 2 1. 3ff: EK
PRWTHS hHLIKIAS the child is trained on Homer. To the end of his life he
occupies himself with Homer's works."

Here's the original message I sent:

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
POET Software, 3207 Gibson Road, Durham, N.C., 27703
Ph: 919.598.5728 Fax: 919.598.6728
email:, <--- shockwave enabled!

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.4 : Sat Apr 20 2002 - 15:38:05 EDT