Greek word - (graphe G1124)

Quiz - Choose the answer that is closest to what you think SCRIPTURE is.
A - a writing
B - a sacred writing
C - the Bible
D - a verse in the Bible

Problem - Outdated, Misleading

KJV Example - "But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe." (Galatians 3:22)


The Greek word for scripture is graphe. Its meaning is straightforward. It is a writing, something that is written.

The Greek verb form of this word is grapho, which means to write. It is a common verb.

The English word, scripture, comes from the Latin word for writing, scriptura. In the mid-fourteenth century, scripture meant a writing. Today it means something more than that.

The word, scripture, is misleading because today's reader does not realize that when this word was put in the Bible, it meant a writing, not a sacred writing. Even English dictionaries define it as a sacred writing, because English dictionaries tell what the word means today, not what it meant when the English Bible was written.

Even though the Greek word itself does not carry with it the idea of something sacred, when it is used in the New Testament, it almost always is referring to the Old Testament or a part of it. It assumes that the reader knows it is talking about the Old Testament.

For example, look at Galatians 3:22. In Greek it says, "the writing locked everything up together under sin." What writing? It does not say. It assumes the reader knows that it is talking about the Old Testament, but the Greek words themselves do not state that.

For this reason when I translate this Greek word, I often add the italicized words, Old Testament, before writing, Old Testament writing. But in Greek it is simply writing.

The King James Version and most Bible versions always translates graphe as scripture. But this adds meaning that is not in the original Bible text.

In the Bible, a scripture is a writing.

Modern Synonym - (Old Testament in italics) writing

Bible Version Tally (how other versions translate this word) - scripture (46 of 50), holy writing (2 or 50), writing (1 of 50)

Breakthrough Version - "But the Old Testament writing closed everything up under sin, so that the promise out of trust of Jesus, the Anointed King, might be given to the people trusting." (Galatians 3:22)