[b-greek] 2Tim 3:16

From: Patrick Narkinsky (patrick@extremehope.org)
Date: Mon Nov 06 2000 - 00:49:25 EST

Dear Big Greeks:

I came across the following statement in F.F. Bruce's "Canon of
Scripture." I'm especially interested in the footnote included.

        When we speak of 'the scriptures' we mean 'the sacred writings' as
        distinct from other writings: to us 'scripture' and writing' are
        separate words with distinct meanings. But in Hebrew and Greek
        one word does duty for both 'writing' and 'scripture': in these
        languages 'the scriptures' are simply 'the writings' -- that is
        to say, 'the writings' _par excellence_. As we shall see,
        sometimes this involves a measure of ambiguity: does the word in
        this or that context mean 'scripture' in particular or 'writing'
        in general? {2}

        {2} Compare the ambiguity of the beginning of 2 Tim 3:16. Does
        _graphe_ here mean 'scripture' (in the special sense) or
        'writing' (in the general sense)? If the former (which is more
        probable), the translation is 'Every scripture is divinely
        inspired (God-breathed) and profitable...'; if the latter, the
        translation is 'Every divinely inspired writing is also

Would anyone care to comment on the legitimacy of the second translation?
I'm far too little a Greek to examine this competently. I'm not so much
interested in whether it is *correct* (even Bruce says that it isn't) as
to whether it is conceivable.



Patrick Narkinsky patrick@extremehope.org

"It is not as a child that I believe and confess Jesus Christ. My Hosanna is
born of a furnace of doubt." -- Fyodor Dostoevski

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