Θεόπνευστος and its implications for the concept of scripture in 2 Timothy 3:14-17

Adebayo, Oluwarotimi Paul (2019-12)

Thesis (MTh)--Stellenbosch University, 2019

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The idea of scripture is a complex and often an elusive concept to define in its origin, nature and authority especially since the idea is embedded in layers of ideological conception over the centuries of its existence. However, these intricacies in understanding the concept of scripture is not limited to the Christian Scripture alone but evident in probably all the scriptural religions of the world. This study, therefore, investigates the concept of Christian Scripture in 2 Timothy 3:14-17 as it seeks to understand the relationship between the usage of the Greek terms ἱερὰ γράμματα, γραφή, and θεόπνευστος and their implications on the concept of scripture judging from the selected pericope. This study further seeks to observe how these words and the text in question have contributed to an understanding of scripture especially as it relates to the debates on its inspiration and authority. A double methodological approach was deployed to examine the chosen pericope of this research. The historical-grammatical exegetical method was used to comprehend the historical and literary contexts of the text. Then also the ideological texture, a component within the socio-rhetorical critical approach was used to sample the ideology of the text, its readers and its generation of interpreters. The body of this study, therefore, includes a general introduction, a survey of definitions of the concept of scriptures, various conceptions of scripture in different religious traditions, and an evaluation of the concept of the Christian Scripture in the various periods in the history of the Christian Church. A basic understanding of scripture was arrived at using both the historical-grammatical method and the ideological texture of the socio-rhetorical approach. The findings of this research are therefore as follows; ἱερὰ γράμματα used in the pericope is a representation of the Jewish Scripture, while the author of the Pastoral Epistles (early 2nd century CE), used γραφή for the combination of the Jewish Scripture and the emerging scripture of the Second Testament at the time. Thus, the use of γραφή is most likely a reference to the Septuagint in addition to the emerging Second Testament writings and not the autographs as some have suggested. This however unveils that the scripture the term θεόπνευστος was used to qualify in the pericope is not identical to the present scripture in the form of the Roman Catholic Bible nor the Protestant Bible. Findings on the hapax legomenon, θεόπνευστος, however at best remains inconclusive. Thus, this study in view of the grammatical construction of the given context, suggests θεόπνευστος not to be seen as the crux of the passage regarding inspiration as such interpretation was made rather popular and convincing as a result of the ideological ploys of generation of interpreters. Therefore, the term θεόπνευστος is rather taken to describe the practical, useful and functional nature which biblical texts had on ancient, biblical community which led to scripturalization of such texts. Finally, this study upheld the relational definition of the concept of scripture as communities which produced these texts were also responsible for their scriptural status and authority. The Christian Scripture is therefore seen as the Church’s book and as the testimony of these communities about God.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die idee van die Skrif is 'n ingewikkelde en dikwels ontwykende konsep om te definieer in terme van oorsprong, aard en gesag, veral omdat die idee oor die eeue van gebruik ingebed is in lae van ideologiese opvatting. Hierdie verwikkeldhede in die verstaan van die Skrifbegrip is egter nie net tot die Christelike Skrif beperk nie, maar is tipies van Skrifgodsdienste van die wêreld. Hierdie studie ondersoek die konsep van die Christelike Skrif in 2 Timoteus 3: 14-17, deur die verband tussen die gebruik van die Griekse begrippe ἱερὰ γράμματα, γραφή en νεόπνευστος en die implikasies daarvan vir die begrip Skrif beoordeel aan die hand van die geselekteerde perikoop. Hierdie studie poog verder om die bydrae van hierdie woorde en die betrokke teks tot die verstaan van die Skrif te verreken, veral hoe dit verband hou met die debatte oor die inspirasie en gesag daarvan. ‘n Dubbele metodologiese aanpak is gebruik om die gekose perikoop van hierdie navorsing te ondersoek. Die grammaties-historiese eksegetiese metode is gebruik om die historiese en literêre kontekste van die teks te begryp. Daarmee saam is die ideologiese struktuur, 'n komponent in die sosio-retoriese kritiese benadering, gebruik om die ideologie van die teks, die lesers en die generasie van interpreteerders te verken. Die hoofdeel van hierdie studie bevat dus 'n algemene inleiding, 'n oorsig van die definisies van die Skrifbegrip, verskillende opvattings van die Skrif in verskillende godsdienstige tradisies, en 'n evaluering van die konsep van die Christelike Skrif in die verskillende tydperke in die geskiedenis van die Christelike kerk. 'n Basiese begrip van die Skrif is sodoende geformuleer met behulp van sowel die grammaties-historiese metode as die ideologiese struktuur van die sosio-retoriese benadering. Die bevindinge van hierdie navorsing is soos volg; ἱερὰ γράμματα wat in die perikoop gebruik word, is 'n voorstelling van die Joodse Skrif, terwyl die skrywer van die Pastorale Briewe (vroeë 2de eeu nC), γραφή gebruik het vir die kombinasie van die Joodse Skrif en die opkomende Skrif van die Tweede testament destyds. Die gebruik van γραφή is waarskynlik dus 'n verwysing na die Septuagint benewens die opkomende geskrifte uit die Tweede Testament en nie die autographa soos sommige voorgehou het nie. Dit lê egter bloot dat die Skrif waarvoor die term θεόπνευστος gebruik is in die perikoop, nie identies is aan die huidige Skrif in die vorm van die Rooms-Katolieke Bybel of die Protestantse Bybel nie. Alhoewel bevindings oor die hapax legomenon, θεόπνευστος, soos hierdie studie aantoon altyd weer aanvegbaar is, is hierdie woord volgens die grammatikale konstruksie egter nie die kern van die inspirasiegedeelte nie, maar is verhef tot primêre belang as gevolg van die ideologiese idees van generasie van tolke. Daarom word die term θεόπνευστος eerder gesien dat dit die praktiese, bruikbare en funksionele aard van inspirasie in 'n antieke gemeenskap verteenwoordig, wat gelei het tot die hantering van sulke tekste as Skrif. Uiteindelik het hierdie studie die relasionele definisie van die Skrifbegrip bevestig, aangesien gemeenskappe wat hierdie tekste voortgebring het, ook verantwoordelik was vir hulle skriftuurlike status en gesag. Die Christelike Skrif word dus gesien as die boek van die kerk en as getuienis van hierdie gemeenskappe oor God.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/107118
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