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Logic And Second Timothy


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Logic and Second Timothy


In which I show a popularly quoted verse to not be entirely true.


1. Preliminaries


Let us first have an introduction to the logic I will use. This comes straight from my mathematical training.


We can make a statement of the form:


Statement 1:

Given a set K, {K1,K2, K3...}, all elements in K satisfy property P.


Now all that we have to do to prove Statement 1 wrong is to find one element in K that does not satisfy P. If we do find one that does not satisfy P, then we would say:


There exists an element in K such that the element does not satisfy P.

Therefore Statement 1 is false.


Let's do an example. Here is another statement:



Let a set M equal {2,4,6,8,9}


Statement 2:

Given set M, all numbers in M are even.


Now all we have to do is find an non even number, which of course is 9.

Thus Statement 2 is false.


I have now shown the logical groundwork for this essay.


2. The verse in question


No doubt at sometime you have heard this verse.


All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.


--2 Timothy 3:16 KJV


Now let's break this down. The author says All Scripture, so we now can define a set S that contains every verse in the Bible as an element. Then the author writes that it "is given by inspiration of God." So now we have a property for S to satisfy. Let's call this property G. Thus, we have this:


Given that set S consisting of all scripture in the Bible, all elements satisfy G.


Now to disprove this we need to find one element in S that does not satisfy G or one piece of scripture that was not inspired by God. Let us look at 1 Corinthians 7:12


Here it is in KJV:

12 But to the rest speak I, not the Lord: If any brother hath a wife that believeth not, and she be pleased to dwell with him, let him not put her away.



12 To the rest I say this (I, not the Lord): If any brother has a wife who is not a believer and she is willing to live with him, he must not divorce her.


We can see from this verse the author is not speaking under inspiration under God, but giving his own opinion. Now you might counter with saying that couldn't he be still under God's influence? But why would say he isn't? Wouldn't he be mistaken? If he was mistaken wouldn't that mean that God had inspired a mistake? This would be unacceptable as according to other passages God does not tolerate falsehoods. See Acts 4.


A bit later in verse 25 he says (NIV):

Now about virgins: I have no command from the Lord, but I give a judgment as one who by the Lord’s mercy is trustworthy.


So here he says it. God has given him no direct or indirect thoughts on this matter. This is his own opinion. The Spirit has not told him to write this. 


Now we have a verse which is contained in S that is not inspired by God (property G).


Therefore there exists in S an element which does not satisfies G.




3. Addendum

Definition of scripture.


Some claim that the author of 2nd Timothy was only referring to the Old Testament because the same Greek word translated as "scripture" is used by Jesus in the Gospels to refer to the OT.

Please see at least 2 Corinthians 3 and Acts 10. It is understood that much of the Old Testament is rendered moot given Jesus according to at least Paul.

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How do we know he wasn't secretly under the power of the lord and just didn't realize it? John the Baptist couldn't seem to tell if he was Elijah or not. All current xians are always under the power of the lord no matter what they spout. Paul having an on/off switch would make him pretty special.



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