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Friday, February 06, 2004

Rob Trys another approach on Galatians 1:1 and commits three more fallacies. 

At Yahoo! Groups : evangelicals_and_jws Messages : Message 11266 Rob Bowman takes a different approach to prove that Galatians 1:1 does not prove Jesus is no longer a man of flesh and blood. However in doing so, he commits at least three Exegetical Fallacies, Equivocation, the abuse of "Obviously" and the "preposition-case" fallacy.


Equivocation

Dear Rob,
At Galatians 1:1 you have said that you consider ANQRWPOS to be “mere” man. However at Acts 5:4 you say “of course, what Peter was saying was that Ananias had not lied *merely* to men; they had in fact lied also and more importantly to God.”


When one says that someone is “mere” man there is the sense that the man is himself more than a man. With respect to Acts 5:4 when you say that Ananias had not lied “merely” to men it means that you consider that he lied both to a man and to God.


However you equivocate with the stem “mere.” In this context “mere” and “merely” are not the same thing at all. While Peter was filled with the holy spirit, he was not more than a man in reality, a “mere” man, not a god-man.


At Acts 5:4 the contrast is to two direct objects in the dative. When one considers the context it is apparent that there is a true contrast between ANQRWPOS and QEOS.


The fact that this is a true contrast between two polar opposites does not help you here. At Galatians 1:1 there is also a complete contrast between two opposites, ANQRWPOS and QEOS.


Abuse of “obviously” and similar expressions

Acts 12:22 is also a contrast between QEOS and ANQRWPOS. Here QEOS is used in the sense of pagan emperor worship. Deification of the Roman Emperors occured after death although during their life they would receive divine honor. Vespasian supposedly said when he realized that he was dying, "Uh oh, I'm turning into a god, I think." Despots would sometimes claim this before their death but no one really considered them more than human.


Yet you say:
By your reasoning, the people must have believed that Herod Agrippa wasn't human at all. This is highly unlikely (since they knew his Herodian ancestry); it is almost certain that they were hailing him as a god as distinct from a *mere* man.


In doing this without proof you have fallen into the “obviously” fallacy. D.A. Carson discusses this on page 122 of his book, Exegetical Fallacies. According to Carson one should not use words indicating a view is certain unless “he or she has marchaled such overwhelming evidence that the vast majority of readers would concur that the matter being presented is transparent, or that the argument is logically conclusive.”


The preposition-case fallacy

The application of KATA ANQRWPON at Galatians 1:11 as “literally” eliminating the possibility that a human being is involved is flawed. You said “If this is taken literally, it would mean that the gospel that Paul preached was not the gospel "according to" any man. However KATA followed by the accusative ANQRWPON means “according to human standards.” Your example at Romans 2:16 KATA TO EUANGELION MOU has the sense of men being judged according to the standards set by the gospel and therefore does not support your theory.


You miss the point of KATA A. as opposed to A. in the rest of your citations as well. In addition you commit a fallacy when you compare a word in a particular case with that same word which preceded by a preposition. This is related to the fallacy that Wallace describe of the “fallacy of lumping preposition + case uses with simple case uses (a practice followed in more than one intermediate grammar). “ [Wallace GGBB]


Just me,
Jessica






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