Friday, December 11, 2009

All Scripture Is or Every Scripture That Is...

And moving right along this path to sure article ended up in my inbox the other day, that...imagine...goes along with this series. The article is called A Quaker Response to Christian Fundamentalism. The article can be found at the Quaker Universalist web site

Like yesterday's post, the article addresses more than the inerrancy question. It takes an overall look at the main differences between Christian Fundamentalists and liberal Quakers. As I read the article I found that the beliefs of liberal Quakers fit quite nicely with the beliefs of other more progressive faith groups. In many (most) areas, their beliefs are the antithesis of the beliefs of Christian Fundamentalists. It might be interesting to look at the article in a bit more depth and talk about some of the other issues it addresses....issue like original sin, the Holy Spirit, Jesus, Salvation and relations with other religions. But for this post, let’s just hone in on the inerrancy thing. The author of the article mentioned something I have never heard before. There are scholars who believe 2 Timothy 3:16 might be mistranslated.

We all know the traditional rendering….

All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness,

The article explains:

How do Friends view the Bible? Not surprisingly, early Friends were not fond of 2 Timothy 3:16; moreover, a number of them did not accept the standard translation of this passage as correct. Early Quaker theologian Robert Barclay, among others, argued that an ambiguity in the original Greek version of the passage allowed it to be translated as, “Every scripture inspired by God is useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness.” This translation opens up the possibility that only some passages in scripture are inspired by God, while others are not. Interestingly, the New Revised Standard Version of the Bible gives this alternate translation in its footnotes

And it is not just in the footnotes of the New Revised Standard Version. I found the following information on the Tyndale Archive of Biblical Studies. The article compares many different versions and their translation of this verse.

In this category, the verb "is" does not appear immediately following the word "Scripture." It is restrictive because the statement refers only to Scriptures that have been inspired by Yahweh. It suggests that there are Scriptures that have not been inspired by Him. It also suggests that Yahweh can instruct other servants throughout later times to write. Again, the translators have taken a stand, whether or not they accept the implication.

BNT - Every divinely inspired scripture is also useful for teaching the truth, for the refutation of error, for moral correction, and for training in the good life. (Barclay New Testament)

DRB - All scripture, inspired of God, is profitable to teach, ...( Douay-Rheims Bible)

LBP - All scripture written by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit is profitable for doctrine, ... .(Lamsa Bible)

NEB - Every inspired scripture has its use for teaching the truth and refuting error, ... .(New English Bible)

REB - All inspired scripture has its use for teaching the truth and refuting error, ... .(Revised English Bible)

WTNT - For all scripture given by inspiration of God, is profitable to teach ... . (William Tindale Newe Testament)

EDW - All Scripture, divinely inspired, is indeed profitable for Teaching, ... .(The Emphatic Diaglott)

IV - And all Scripture given by inspiration of God, is profitable for doctrine, ... .(Inspired Version)

WAS - Every Scripture inspired of God is also profitable for teaching, ...(Worrell New Testament)

HBME - Every Divinely inspired and useful writing was intended for teaching, attestation, and education in righteousness, ...( The Holy Bible in Modern English)

TCNT - Everything that is written under divine inspiration is helpful for teaching, ... .(The Twentieth Century New Testament)

And there are several other translations that are very similar.

American Standard Version
Every scripture inspired of God is also profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for instruction which is in righteousness.

Bible in Basic English
Every holy Writing which comes from God is of profit for teaching, for training, for guiding, for education in righteousness:

Hebrew Names Version

Every writing inspired by God is profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for instruction which is in righteousness,

And the online Greek Interlinear Bible at Scripture For All agrees with the above renderings.


And what are the implications of this…if indeed the verse means what it appears to mean in the examples listed above? 

Let’s talk more about that….tomorrow…..


Sue said...

Every Scripture inspired by God that comes out of my mouth, or your mouth, or the Bible, or the fucked-up lunatic on the corner, or from Marxist literature, or from a Christian fundamentalist pulpit.

Etcetera etcetera etcetera :)

Loving these posts, Cindi.

Cindi said...

Thanks Sue...stay tuned for more ramblings...