Aristotle’s Temporal Logic and the Problem of Foreknowledge in Jesus' Prediction of Peter's Denial

In his On Interpretations, chapter 9, Aristotle raises an important issue that relates to the application of the rules of bivalence and contradiction to statements about future. If the statement “there will be a sea fight tomorrow” is true now, then it implies that a sea fight is bound to happen tomorrow – though one may say that the statement is not the cause of the event, but only an assertion. Its contradictory statement “there will not be a sea fight tomorrow” would, therefore, be necessarily false.  Thus, necessity is predicated of both the statements: one is necessarily true while the other is necessarily false. This would mean that all events (past and future) are necessary and not fortuitous, meaning there were no unactualized possibilities. This went against Aristotle’s theory of potentiality and actuality; so, he considered propositions related to future as excepted from the rule of contradiction.

If so, Jesus’ statement, “You will deny me thrice,” would not be subject to the law of contradiction at the moment it is said; while “Peter denied him thrice” as actualized event fits therein. In that sense, there is at least this one statement among many of such future statements of Jesus that is neither true nor false (in Aristotle’s words “that which is not always existent or not always nonexistent”) – unless the truth of statement is known as an actualized possibility already (or is in the past). However, Jesus’ statement evinces necessity in meaning “It cannot be that you would not deny me thrice”. While one may contend about modality issues, the issue of whether Jesus was speaking the truth or not still exists.

In reply to … Jonah’s prophecy, as well as that to Hezekiah, were altered since they were open to conditionality. Could it be said that Jesus’ statement here was also open to conditionality – obviously, it is not, unless one could linguistically explain away the meaning of the words “Verily I say unto you…”

Delay is not denial

Once upon the tumultous shore
Of raging waves tossing by
I thought of all the worldly lore
That taunted and made me cry.

'God' they said 'is just a bore'
'Who's silent or anything but not.'
This did hurt me to the core
For I believed Him and all else not.

But then I saw the waves become a door
Of new blessings that keep pouring in.
God tarries but delays not more
Than we can take and in Him we win.

RED - Reading, Exhortation, Doctrine (1 Timothy 4:13)

1Ti 4:13 Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine.

Ephesus. The City, The Church

The 1st Epistle of Timothy

1. Reading
Both private and public. More significantly, the reading of God’s word (then, Old Testament).
a. The Old Testament cannot be thrown out. It contains the law and the prophets. The entire Scripture is profitable for doctrine.
b. Reading “all scripture”. Reading with balance.
c. Reading with memory and understanding. Regularity. Focus. Repetition. Interpretation.
d. Reading with faith. Application.
Reading publicly. The Synagogue pattern. The Septuagint. The blessing of Bible translations.

2. Exhortation
One can’t exhort until one is exhorted, one has read.

3. Doctrine
Teaching the doctrines in to people.

Domenic Marbaniang, 2009

On Pride - A A Allen

Pride takes five forms. Pride of FACE. (How much better we DO look than those around about us!) Pride of PLACE. (Don't ask THAT of one in my POSITION!) Pride of RACE. (We come of an excellent family, you know, and must uphold the family honor at any cost.) Pride of PACE. (Everyone should be able to see that we are the most capable and efficient person available. No one else could keep up with us!) And then that last and WORST of all the forms of pride -- pride of GRACE! Proud of our spiritual accomplishments; proud of the length of our fasts; proud of visions and dreams and revelations; proud of the gifts we think we possess; feeling that we must be a special favorite with God; yes, even proud of our humility! Whatever form our pride may have taken, puffing us up like a toy balloon, the first thing that must be done, before we can have real power with God, is "I MUST DECREASE."

A. A. Allen - The Price of God's Miracle Working Power

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