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Tuesday, February 03, 2004

11073-Rob Bowman and The Fallacy of the Negative Inference 

A recent topic between evangelicals and JWs has been the interpretation of Galatians 1:1 which reads:
NWT Galatians 1:1 Paul, an apostle, neither from men nor through a man, but through Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised him up from the dead,

When this verse was applied by JWs to show that Paul teaches that when he was appointed as an apostle Jesus was no longer a man of flesh and blood it caused much consternation amongst the evangelicals on the message board!

As a result, the list owner, Robert Bowman challenged the JWs on the board to address what he considered a dilemma for JWs. This exchange occurred on 2/1/2004 and it was addressed to me. The url is at Yahoo! Groups : evangelicals_and_jws Messages : Message 11073



Jessica,
I asked:
"Was Simon, later named Peter, called to be an apostle by a man?"


You replied:

I have not read all the recent posts. Is this a riddle?


Yes, I suppose it is. :)


In past posts, Dave Barron has leaned very heavily on Galatians 1:1 to prove that Jesus is not a man, because Paul says that he was not called by a man. So, I asked, was Simon Peter called to be an apostle by a man?


In Christ's service,
Rob Bowman




Rob continues to elaborate in more detail how interpreting Paul's words literally would be an embarrassment to JWs. The url of this exchange can be found at Yahoo! Groups : evangelicals_and_jws Messages : Message 11139



All,


In past posts, Dave Barron has leaned repeatedly and heavily on Galatians 1:1 to prove that Jesus is not a man, because Paul says that he was not called or sent by a man. So, I asked:


"Was Simon, later named Peter, called to be an apostle by a man?"


I reposted this question, and even explained to Jessica why I asked it. So far, no one has answered the question.


The reason is easily recognized: the question poses a dilemma for the JW who uses Dave's argument.


If you say that Simon Peter *was* called by a man, then Paul's comments about his being a true apostle because he was *not* being called by a man and not receiving his gospel from a man (Gal. 1:1, 11-12) would show that Simon Peter was not an apostle--or at least not as authoritative an apostle.


If you say that Simon Peter was *not* called by a man, you contradict the Gospels, which report that Christ called Simon Peter to be an apostle during his earthly ministry, while Christ was beyond dispute a man (Luke 6:13-14).


The correct understanding of Galatians 1 is that Paul is denying having been called to be an apostle or given his revelation of the gospel by a *mere* man. Once this is understood, the text cannot be used to disprove the idea that Jesus Christ is still a human being.


In Christ's service,
Rob Bowman


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