Re: hEWS

From: Andrew Kulikovsky (
Date: Wed Sep 24 1997 - 05:32:40 EDT

On Tue, 23 Sep 1997, Jim Beale wrote:

> > Jim, so good to hear from you again. Was on the way out, then saw
> > your post. Couldn't resist. It takes only one example to the contrary
> > to refute implication, as you know. One quick one comes to mind,
> >
> >
> > He will confirm you blameless until (hEWS) the end. Does this imply
> > that afterwards He will not confirm us blameless? I don't think so.
> Hi Paul,
> The logic is not the problem. Logic deals with propositions in
> formal language. The problem is that the Bible is not written in
> formal language. It must be exegeted from a natural language into
> formal language. And there is the rub. The local context must be
> determinative of the meaning.

I have to agree with Jim here. There seems to be a great tendency to try
and apply rigid rules of logic to the biblical text as if it is some
kind of mathematical formal specificication.

As a software engineer I am often given specifications of processes or
systems written in natural language and am expected to come up with a
software solution. But even the best, most clearly and concisely
written specs (often done by experts in the field) are still not
logically consistent and are still ambiguous (I'm sure other software
engineers on this list have had the same experience. Natural language apart
from context can not communicate the precision demanded by formal logic.
For years researchers have tried to come up ways to express
program designs in a formal language - but for other than trivial
programs, it is easier to write the program than it is to express the
design in a formal language.

The Biblical text is far more complex than a trivial program - it just
doesn't fit the formal logic box - that doesn't mean what it says is
illogical - just that it is not expressed using formal logic.

Now, where logic should be applied is to interpretations of the
scripture. I'm sure we all read lots of commentaries and articles where the
arguments contain logical fallicies, hidden presuppositions or completely
baseless ones.


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