In 2 Peter 3:15-16, Peters states:
And count the patience of our Lord as salvation, just as our beloved brother Paul also wrote to you according to the wisdom given him, as he does in all his letters when he speaks in them of these matters. There are some things in them that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other Scriptures. (2 Peter 3:15-16 ESV)
Nearly every time canonicity is addressed, I hear this passage cited as proof that Paul's letters are included. It is sufficient, it is claimed, that one of the Twelve authenticates the corpus as such, and that (more to the point of this question) Peter does so here by referring to Paul's letters as "Scriptures".
I don't intent to address here whether or not Paul's letters are, or ought to be, canonical. My main concern is whether Peter is doing what is claimed.
- The term used for "Sciptures" here is γραφὰς. Does γραφὰς or the γραφή word group ever carry the technical sense of "Scripture" as it is used in the church today?
- If so, does this term always carry this sense?
- Does this sentence structure either allow or necessitate that Peter is using this term to refer to Paul's work, as opposed to simply using "the other scriptures" as a basis for comparison of Paul's work?
- Most importantly, does identifying Paul's work as canonical appear to be Peter's point here, or is this rather an auxiliary conclusion once could draw from this passage?