Tuesday, December 20, 2016

PASA GRAFH--Possible Meaning in 2 Timothy 3:16 (BAGD and Gordon Fee)

PASA GRAFH in 2 Timothy 3:16 has more than one possible meaning and way to understand the syntax, but A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament (BAGD), provides this information about GRAFH. The word is used:

"of a little book . . . the individual Scripture passage . . . Scripture as a whole" (166).

Of these possible senses, BAGD list 2 Tim. 3:16 as an example of sense number two. This observation could very well be true and there are numerous examples that can be marshalled to buttress BAGD's conclusion. Despite the potential accuracy of the comments, however, I am inclined to concur with Gordon Fee:

"does PASA GRAFH mean all Scripture (i.e., Scripture as a whole collectively understood) or "every Scripture" (i.e., distributively understood to mean each individual passage). This one is almost impossible to decide on grammatical grounds, and in either case the meaning comes out at the same place" (Fee 281).

Update: The newer BDAG says that GRAFH could be used for "a brief piece of writing, writing," "sacred scripture" which might include individual scriptural passages, "scripture in its entirety" or "Scripture as a whole." See page 206.

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