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Books: Mark 10:11 Is A Simple Syllogism

Posted by: Pastor_Don_Milton on Dec 05, 2009 - 12:07 AM
Ethics In Practicing Your Faith

The following is taken from foonote 9, Page 270 of Prince of Sumba, Husband to Many Wives. Copyright 2009 - Don Milton - All Rights Reserved

Mark 10:11 is confusing to many students of the Bible. In that verse, Jesus presents us with a syllogism. A syllogism is a logical argument that has the form; If A and B, then C. Here is the syllogism Jesus presented in Mark 10:11:

Whosoever shall put away his wife, and shall marry another,
                          [A]                                         [B]
committeth adultery against her.{DBY}
             [C]

Notice that the Bible DOES NOT SAY:

Whosoever shall not put away his wife, and shall marry another,
                             [NOT A]                                    [B]
committeth adultery against her.
             [C]

Since this example is not found anywhere in the Bible, we lie if we claim that a man who has not put away his wife, and marries another, commits adultery. Only when a man marries a new wife, having put away another wife, has he committed "adultery against her." William Tyndale, the first English translator of the Bible, renders it, "breaketh wedlocke to her warde" which is synonymous with "causeth her to commit adultery." Mark 10:11 is simply one of the many examples of putting away "for reasons other than fornication." Putting away, "saving for the cause of fornication," is forbidden. Marrying a new wife, without putting away another wife, is not forbidden.

Matthew 5:32 But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery.

For those of you who are having a hard time grasping this I am adding additional material here that is not in my novel.

Let's look at a real life example of a logical syllogism.

[Whoever borrows his friend's car] and [sells that car as his own]
                     A                                                                 B
[commits fraud.]
          C
From this syllogism, we can infer the example below is true:
Henry borrowed his friend's car and sold that car as his own.
                         A                                          B
Henry committed fraud.
                   C
But when one of the antecedents (A or B) is not true then the conclusion (C) does not follow.
Henry bought his friend's car and sold that car as his own.
                NOT A                                   B
  Henry committed fraud.
                  C
In the second example, A is not true and therefore C cannot be proven. Henry bought his friend's car. He did not borrow it. So although B is true, he sold it as his own. Selling your own car is permissible so to charge Henry with fraud is unwarranted.

NOW LISTEN: The only people who think that Henry committed fraud in the second sentence are people who grew up in communist countries where strict laws against buying and selling have short circuited their brains into making them think that any activity involving buying and selling is forbidden.

Look at where you live. If your country has strict laws against polygamy then your brain has likely been short circuited to make you think that even an illogical argument against polygamy is logical simply because you've been improperly brought up to believe that is is forbidden. Remember, on the topic of buying and selling a car, you completely understood that the change of A to Not A (not borrowed but purchased) made the sale completely legitimate. Apply that to the topic of putting away and marriage. Only putting away for the purpose of marrying is forbidden. Marrying without putting away is not forbidden. Of course a woman who takes another husband commits adultery and there are verses against a married woman being with more than one man.

Romans 7:3 So then if, while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man.

The following is a typical course description for Philosophy 101 for a first year Pre-Theology student. It includes an introduction to syllogisms. You do not have to be a theologian, or a linguist to understand that [If A and B then C] DOES NOT PROVE [If Not A and B then C.] In fact, it doesn't even hint at C. You simply must have studied one paragraph from any first year logic book or even a dictionary to understand this.

PHIL101 An Introduction to Philosophical Argumentation
3 credits. This is an introductory course in logic and critical thinking as practiced by Western philosophers since the time of Aristotle, including the nature and uses of formal arguments or syllogisms; truth, validity, and soundness; the distinction between deduction and induction; and the nature and misuses of informal fallacies.

Note: Pastor Don Milton graduated from the University of Washington in 1987 with a Bachelor of Arts in Linguistics. He applies his knowledge of linguistics and logic to analyze and preach the Bible.

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