Saturday, May 20, 2017

Additional Links for Theopneustos


Duncan said...

Edgar Foster said...

Duncan, dare I say there are lots of problems with the link above? I quote:

The three inappropriate translations in the KJV of this verse are:

"1) The Greek word 'pasa' should in this verse be correctly translated as "EVERY" and NOT as "ALL".

2) In our present age the Greek noun 'graphe' should be translated as 'WRITING' and NOT as 'SCRIPTURE'. The word 'scripture' is an interpretation and not a translation of the Greek word 'graphe'.

3) The Greek adjective 'theopneustos' should have been translated as the adjective 'GOD-BREATHED' and NOT as the clause 'IS GIVEN BY INSPIRATION OF GOD'."

Firstly, PASA can be rendered as "all" or "every." 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).

Secondly, "scripture" for GRAFH perfectly fits the context for the Pastoral Epistle, 2 Timothy.

Thirdly, "God-breathed" is an option for 2 Tim 3:16 like NIV does, but inspired of God (and so forth) is just fine.

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.

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

Previously on this blog, I have also written:

Louw-Nida has "θεόπνευστος, ον: pertaining to a communication which has been inspired by God--inspired by God, divinely inspired" (Semantic Domain 33.261). Ralph Earle writes that the phrase "Given by inspiration" (KJV) is "one word in Greek, QEOPNEUSTOS (only here in NT). It literally means 'God-breathed'--QEOS, 'god,' and PNEW, 'breathe.' That is, God breathed His truth into the hearts and minds of the writers of Scripture. The best translation is 'God-breathed' " (NIV).

Yet Louw-Nida warn us that a dictational view of θεόπνευστος should not be adopted (33.261). So we must acknowledge that God apparently did not dictate his thoughts to men.

See Hab. 2:1-3; 1 Cor. 7:39ff.

Duncan said...

Firstly NO ONE can state what it LITERALLY MEANS only what it LITERALLY SAYS. One would need enough evidence for comparison - we do not have it. Commentary does not constitute evidence.

"Secondly, "scripture" for GRAFH perfectly fits the context for the Pastoral Epistle, 2 Timothy." - only in terms of that which prefixes the statement - but we do not know all that is being referenced.

The author of this links argues that there are grammatical grounds - which he does state.

BDAG is not really saying anything and writing/scripture is a modern category division in the lexicon. (by NEW do you mean Brill?)

God exhaled (breathed out) IMO fits better.

"That is, God breathed His truth into the hearts and minds of the writers of Scripture." - EVIDENCE ?

Edgar Foster said...

We can give an approximation of the so-called literal meaning, but the important thing anyway is what the term means in a given context. Translating "literally" is not the best practice: it can lead to fallacious reasoning.

I emphasize that literal rendering is not the desideratum of good translating. But I do not agree with the claim that there is sufficient evidence to tell what a Greek (or Latin) word means in a determinate context; we have boatloads of evidence to make good significational approximations. The whole literal discussion that the paper brought up is a red herring; most scholars don't aim for literal renderings.

To the point about scripture, let me add that GRAFH was also a fixed way of referring to the holy writings (2 Tim. 3:14) in antiquity. So whether one translates as "writing" or scripture, it's the same result.

By "new," I was contrasting BDAG with the older BAGD. I don't see how you can state that BDAG is not saying anything: the lexicon clearly applies GRAFH to scriptural writings. Furthermore, it is no accident that the holy writings and GRAFH are mentioned in such close proximity.

Why do you say that writing/scripture is a modern category in the lexicon? What makes you think that the ancients could not equate or distinguish between these two categories?

The comment about God breathing his truth, etc, was made by Ralph Earle, not me. It is a possible understanding, but certainly not the only one. The links I provided discuss all of these issues and the evidence for each position--especially in Warfield. Have you read his piece yet?

Scripturally, it seems evident that God communicated his truth through humans: 2 Sam. 23:2; 2 Pet. 1:20-21. Josephus also writes (Contra Apion 1.7):

"They being only prophets that have written the original and eldest accounts of things, as they learned them of God himself, by inspiration: and others have written what hath happened in their own times, and that in a very distinct manner also."

ἀλλὰ μόνον τῶν προφητῶν τὰ μὲν ἀνωτάτω καὶ παλαιότατα κατὰ τὴν ἐπίπνοιαν τὴν ἀπὸ τοῦ θεοῦ μαθόντων, τὰ δὲ καθ᾽ αὑτοὺς ὡς ἐγένετο σαφῶς συγγραφόντων,\n&d=Perseus:text:1999.01.0215:book=1:whiston%20section=7&i=1#lexicon

Philip Fletcher said...

I see that in our current English language every and all are fairly interchangeable, won't argue with you about the Greek or Latin, since I don't know them at all. So it comes down to what should the receiving language use for those Greek words. I like all, because it signifies to the reader "wholly" or "entirety" yet as I say I am no expert, but believe that it should come down to the receiving language in the dynamics of translation. I believe "every" is very similar. Can see both being used.

Edgar Foster said...

Philip, I continue to learn more about English as I study Greek/Latin. English also makes a distinction between all and every, but the distinction likely escapes us most of the time. What we're talking about in this case is a matter of emphasis--the whole of something versus a thing viewed distributively. I agree with Gordon Fee that in the final analysis, we arrive at the same place in terms of how we understand 2 Tim 3:16.

But one English dictionary gives the example, "all the cake," which denotes the cake in its entirety. A much different sense would be communicated, however, if one said: "every cake." Another example is "all year" versus "every year."

As for the Greek, there's one preposition being used PAS, that can be rendered all or every.

Philip Fletcher said...

Yes, our English is tricky, so the target audience needs to understand that when we make a translation from another language to ours. So important to really understand well both languages involved. This was educational in that regard thanks.

Duncan said...

In its classical legal sense:-
graphe, pl. graphai · Lit. “a writing”; hence, “a written indictment,” cf. Eng. “writ.” This was the name given to the new “public” form of ordinary prosecution introduced apparently by Solon in the 590s. Its characteristic was that the indictment could be brought by any qualified citizen (ho boulomenos), whereas the older dike procedure could be brought only by the injured party. Graphai and other public procedures appear to have given rise to higher penalties, and thus to have rewarded a successful plaintiff much more heavily than did dikai; but they were also considerably more risky: a plaintiff in a public suit who failed to obtain 20 per cent of the votes of the jury could expect to suffer a heavy fine and possibly also other penalties (e.g. at least partial atimia).

This is referring in effect to laws. A 1st century understanding of Torah.

Edgar Foster said...

Thanks, Duncan. Just to clarify, I am not denying that grafh can mean "writing" but it can be used for the holy writings as well, that is, scripture.

Duncan said...

For NT brilldag primarily sites 1 cor 5:3 & Luke 4:21.

Also haer 1.1.3 but I am having trouble finding the key for this work and the Greek fonts used are not the easiest to read.

Edgar Foster said...

For GRAFH, Louw and Nida give "a particular passage of the OT, Scripture" by which they mean the OT. See Romans 10:11. Compare Mark 12:24.

Edgar Foster said...

Haer is probably Irenaeus, Against Heresies. It is usually easy to find online.

Duncan said...

Sorry, brilldag sites 1 cor 15:3.

Duncan said...

Isaiah 28:16 John 20:9 Isaiah 25:8.

Duncan said...

"To the point about scripture, let me add that GRAFH was also a fixed way of referring to the holy writings (2 Tim. 3:14) in antiquity. So whether one translates as "writing" or scripture, it's the same result."

Do you mean 2 Tim 3:15? Of course ἱερός is used fairly consistently in the LXX to refer to "Temple".

Duncan said...

"Furthermore, it is no accident that the holy writings and GRAFH are mentioned in such close proximity." - I am still not getting your point as special writings are still writings.

Take for example the Geneva & KJV1611 - the literacy tools for a large proportion of the English speaking world - did the majority know Shakespeare at the same time or even Chaucer? So what was the thing written for the majority?

In the NT we have two sets of people. The "you hear it said" & the "it is written" - The temple writings would be by far the biggest exposure that first century Jews, including diaspora would have two writing in general.

I find it interesting how the term is used in the NT writings that are more Jewish in scope & how the highest frequency of use in in the gospel of John.

John 2:22 When then he was raised from the dead, [remembered his disciples] that this he said to them; and they believed in the scripture (graphe), and in the word (logos) >>which Jesus spoke<<.

The thing Read & the thing Heard.

Edgar Foster said...

Thanks for the correction: I did mean 2 Tim 3:15. Now concerning ἱερός, we must distinguish between that form and ἱερόν, which is the neuter substantive form of the adjective ἱερός. What I find is that the LXX/OG normally uses some form of the substantive ἱερόν when referring to the temple. However, ἱερός is clearly modifying "writings" in 2 Tim 3:15--i.e., clearly not referring to the temple in this case.


My point about the mention of holy writings within the proximity of GRAFH is that such wording indicates that GRAFH, in this context, refers to sacred/holy writings, that is, scripture and not just any special writings. All writing = all scripture, in 2 Tim 3:16. The writing is not just special, but also holy within a Judaeo-Christian context.


Edgar Foster said...

I understand the distinction you're making between "you hear it said" vs. what is written. Nevertheless, even writing/scripture was primarily communicated/assimilated orally in the first century due to the literacy rates at that time. Think about how long Buddhist "scripture" (the sutras) remained in oral form before someone decided to write them down. Either way, when John 2:22 uses GRAFH, it is still referring to Scripture as a whole or to a passage of the holy writings. I don't believe John 2:22 undermines translating GRAFH as scripture in 2 Tim 3:16, which was the main point I was making as a rejoinder to Mr. Nelte.

Edgar Foster said...

Not meaning to nitpick Nelte, but he writes:

In biblical Greek an adjective may precede or follow the noun it describes. While we do not use such a grammatical construction in English, placing an adjective after the noun is quite common in several other languages. One need only think of Italian expressions like "mamma mia" (rather than "mia mamma") to see an illustration of this grammatical construction. In the above Greek text of this verse we see one adjective preceding the noun "graphe", while the second adjective follows this noun "graphe".


Actually, we do have both attributive adjectives in English and predicative adjectives. See

Furthermore, it is unremarkable that 2 Tim 3:16 does not have a singular verb.

Duncan said...

Responding to your comment about "temple" see JMNT translation:-

2Ti 3:15 and that from an infant (babe) you have seen and thus know [the] sacred Scriptures (Temple writings): the ones being constantly able (those continuously having power) to give you wisdom -- [that leads you] into deliverance (wholeness, good health, rescue and salvation) -- through Jesus’ faith, resident within Christ (or: through means of faith (trust) that [is] in Jesus Christ).

Now I am sure he would not have inserted this here without any justification.

Duncan said...

"special, but also holy" - What do the think the Hebrew term means?

Duncan said...

"even writing/scripture was primarily communicated/assimilated orally in the first century due to the literacy rates at that time." - but hearing what from whom and where? (CF "Moses seat")

Duncan said...

"There are two main options regarding the phrase "Moses' Seat." Some say "that in every synagogue there was an actual chair called a 'Moses' Seat' in which the leaders of the congregation would sit and teach with authority. The other opinion was that 'Moses' seat' was a figure of speech indicating someone who teaches with the authority of Moses. Either way, the statement that the Pharisees sit in 'Moses' seat' meant that they have some kind of Mosaic authority" (The Hebrew Yeshua Vs. the Greek Jesus, pp. 2-3).

It can, in fact, be shown that "Moses' Seat" is a symbolic, physical seat within ancient synagogues where the scribes or Pharisees would sit during services. It was a seat of authority and judgment within Pharisaical Judaism, usually beautifully and ornately carved and located in a prominent position within the synagogue. Archaeologists have found stone chairs in ancient synagogues in Hamath, Chorazin, En-Gedi and Delos next to where the law was kept, which served the same function. When reading from scripture, the reader would apparently sit in this chair and expound to the congregation."

Duncan said...

Why is 1Cor 9:13, 2Tm 3:15 listed together?

Duncan said...

Acts 17:2

Edgar Foster said...

There are too many examples of hieros/hieron in the LXX for me to check, but I know from previous studies that hieron is normally the word used for the temple. See

I dont know why JMNT uses "temple writings," unless there is some confusion between hieros/hieron. The adjective in 2 Tim 3:15 is clearly modifying "writings," and it should be rendered "holy" or something to that effect.

Temple writings (i.e., the Torah/Law of Moses) skews the textual meaning. Note how both Josephus and Philo refer to the sacred writings:

From Henry Alford: The expression carries the learning back to his extreme infancy: see Ellic. here) thou hast known the (with or without the art., this will be the rendering) holy scriptures (of the O. T. This expression for the Scriptures, not elsewhere found in the N. T. (hardly, as Huther, John 7:15), is common in Josephus: see Wetst.: cf. also reff. 2 Macc.) which are able (not as Bengel, “ ‘quæ poterant:’ vis præteriti ex nosti redundat in participium:” for οἶδας is necessarily present in signification: ‘thou hast known … which were’ would be a solœcism) to make thee wise

See also

Edgar Foster said...

I think the Hebrew term means holy, sacred, consecrated--but "special" in English is not necessarily synonymous with holy. For example, giving your child a special treat after the meeting. We would hardly say it's holy.

No disagreement about readings in the synagogue, but that was not the only place that God's word was heard. Children learned from their parents at a very young age. The word was circulated in other venues too. It was not only heard at the temple or synagogue.

On 2 Tim 3:15; 1 Cor 9:13, they both use ἱερὰ, but in different ways. One verse uses the term adjectivally, but the other does it substantivally.


Edgar Foster said...

Also see Edersheim at these links:

Duncan said...

What about the synagogue at iconium only 20 miles away down the via Sebaste. So are these commentary claiming that Timothy and his mother could not travel 20 miles for some Sabbath's at least the prominent ones. What about the fact that Paul was able to teach in the synagogue. Could anyone or was it the fact that he still had the appearance of a Pharisee and the priveledges of that status?

Duncan said...

Duncan said...

A possible temporary location.

Edgar Foster said...

I don't think anyone (Edersheim, et al.) is denying that Timothy might have been instructed in the synagogues, but we have testimony indicating Jewish parents instructed their children in God's ways and there were also schools. The command in Deut. 6:4-7 is that parents should teach children Jehovah's precepts--we have good reason to believe that pious Jewish parents taught their sons and daughters from infancy.

Probably not just anyone could speak at the synagogue. It was Paul's custom to speak there; fittingly, he had been trained by Gamaliel and Jesus spoke there too, also called rabbi by his followers.

Duncan said...