[B-Greek] Is GRAPH ever used as a proper noun in the NT?
George F Somsel
gfsomsel at yahoo.com
Tue Aug 15 13:50:45 EDT 2006
That partly depends upon how you wish to understand these passages. 2 Tim 3.16 can be understood to say "Every inspired writing is also . . ." 1 Pet 2.6 can be read as "For it says in writing . . ." (note there is no article before GRAFHi and it is singular). 2 Pet 1.20 probably has the greatest claim to being used as a sort of proper name. This is because it is in the genitive. If it were the same case as PROFHTEIA it would be understood as "prophetic writing." Even as a genitive, however, it could be a simple common noun. Robertson refers to the genitive as the "specifying case" in the quotation below.
(c) The Specifying Case. It is this and no other. The idea of the genitive case is at bottom simple. The genitive shows DIAIRESIN and something EIDIKON. It is the case of genus (GENOS) or kind. For a very full discussion of the genitive see Delbrück, Vergl. Synt., III, pp. 307360. The genitive does indeed resemble the adjective, but it is not adjectival in origin,﻿﻿ though the source of the genitive ending is unknown. The adjectival possessive pronoun (like EMOS) is a mere variation of the genitive case (EMOU) and the two may be in apposition with one another, as THi EMHi XEIRI PAULOU (2 Th. 3:17). But the function of the case is largely adjectival as in hHMERA PARASKEUHS (Lu. 23:54), though the adjective and the genitive are not exactly parallel, for with two substantives each idea stands out with more sharpness, as in EN KAINOTHTI ZWHS (Ro. 6:4) and EPI PLOUTOU ADHLOTHTI (1 Tim. 6:17).﻿﻿ It is the specifying case, then, the case of
Robertson, A. (1919; 2006). A Grammar of the Greek New Testament in the Light of Historical Research (p. 493). Logos.
Leonard Jayawardena <leonardj at sltnet.lk> wrote:
In his article "The Terms 'scripture' and 'scriptures'" (in The Inspiration and Authority of the Bible), B. B. Warfield says that GRAPH is used as a proper name in the following passages:
2 Timothy 3:16: PASA GRAPH QEOPNEUSTOS
1 Peter 2:6: DIOTI PERIECEI EN GRAPHi
2 Peter 1:20: PASA PROFHTEIA GRAPHS IDIAS EPILUSEWS OU GINETAI
Some translations, too, seem to reflect this view.
What exactly is the basis for treating GRAPH in the above verses as a proper noun? Warfield's argument seems to be that the word, either in the singular or plural, is always used in the NT in a technical sense to refer to the OT. Is there a Greek rule covering this point?
GRAPH occurs without the definite article in all these instances (plus John 19:37--hETERA GRAPH), whereas in all other 25 or so occurrences in the NT it is accompanied by the definite article (hH GRAPH). In all the cases where GRAPH occurs in the singular with the article it can be demonstrated that the word always refers to a single passage of the OT. I think GRAPH in 2 Tim. 3:16 can be understood as simply "writing" and in 1 Peter 2:6 it may be used indefinitely to mean a "a scripture." The Twentieth Century New Testament translates this verse thus:"For there is a passage of Scripture that runs...." Moffatt translates PROFHTEIA GRAPH in 2 Peter 1:20 as "prophetic scripture."
If what I have said in the preceding paragraph is correct, is the view that GRAPH is used as a proper noun in the above three verses tenable?
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