The Berean Expositor
Volume 36 - Page 239 of 243
Index | Zoom
Bishop Middleton says;
"I do not recollect any passage in the N.T. in which two adjectives, apparently
connected by the copulative, were intended by the writer to be so unnaturally disjoined.
He who can produce such an instance, will do much towards establishing the plausibility
of a translation, which otherwise must appear, to say the least of it, to be forced and
improbable . . . . . But in fact the proposed rendering is inadmissible, being without
logical coherence and consistency. The utmost that could be pretended would be that
S. Paul's assertion is that `every portion of Scripture being inspired (i.e. inasmuch as it
is--because it is--inspired) is also profitable', etc., else there could be no meaning in the
kai. But, in the name of common sense, if this be so, why have the blessed words been
meddled with?"
Dr. Henderson cites the following rule, when dealing with the rendering of
II Tim. 3: 16 adopted by the R.V.:
"Such a mode of construction is at variance with a common rule of Greek syntax--
which requires that, when two adjectives are closely joined, as theopneustos and
ophelimos (`given by inspiration of God' and `profitable') here are, if there be an ellipsis
(an omission) of the substantive verb esti (is), this verb must be supplied after the former
of the two, and regarded as repeated after the latter."
This rule is observed in the translation of the A.V. but is broken by the translation
given in the R.V. Let us now turn to the actual wording of this passage. We have already
spoken of the usage of graphe, which though it could mean, anything written by
anybody, is strictly reserved in the New Testament to refer to the Holy Scriptures,
"THE" writings par excellence. Graphe therefore must be considered as equivalent to a
proper name, and be treated as an appellative. Pasa graphe therefore signifies tota
Scriptura "the whole Scripture", as pasa Ierosoluma "all Jerusalem" (Matt. 2: 3) and
pas oikos Israel "all the house of Israel" (Acts 2: 36).  We find that Josephus, a
contemporary of Paul, uses a similar expression to theopheustos, saying of the complete
canon of Old Testament Scriptures, that the prophets "Wrote according to pneustia that
comes from God", and Philo, another contemporary, in his account of an embassy to the
emperor Gaius, calls the Scriptures "theochrest oracles", that is oracles given under the
dictation of God. Theopneustos is composed of Theos "God" and a word derived from
pneo "to breathe". Let us acquaint ourselves a little more closely with this word pneo
and its derivatives.
Pneo. "The winds blew" (Matt. 7: 25). There are seven occurrences of pneo in
the New Testament and every reference in the English refers to the "wind"
blowing, although we must remember that more than one word is
translated "wind" in the A.V.
Pnoe. "A rushing mighty wind" (Acts 2: 2); "He giveth to all life, and breath"
(Acts 17: 25). These are the only occurrences of pnoe.
Pneuma. "God hath not given us the spirit of fear" (II Tim. 1: 7). This word has
at least fourteen distinguishable usages in the New Testament, as for
example "God is spirit", "the Holy Spirit", "the gifts". It is however
outside our subject to pursue these subdivisions here.
Pneumatikon. "Now concerning spiritual (gifts)" (I Cor. 12: 1).