Biblical Inferences



It has been regularly taught that there are three methods of establishing the authority of scripture.

  1. command
  2. example
  3. necessary inference

I would not doubt that many think there is a verse stating this in scripture. The three are an attempt by man to determine what is important in scripture. Unfortunately many commands and examples are ignored and most inferences in scripture are not usable to create a command nor an example.

Logically there are two types of inference, necessary and sufficient. They are forms of reasoning. Logic is a wonderful tool that can help one understand scripture. We have a logical God.

Basically a sufficient inference is a set of premises that can lead to a logical conclusion. A necessary inference is a statement or premise that stands alone. There is no further statement that supports or defines the first. As an example we can be told that an event happened, but no logical conclusion can be drawn from that event. Many of the inferences in scripture that are used by the church to create a command or example are of this necessary type.

With that in mind I refer to the reason why I have thought this logic so important to point out.

Acts 20:7 "And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread".

Even if the Greek text said the above we are told that an event occurred. The disciples came together to break bread. There is nothing further to support the idea of creating a command or example from this statement.

Here is what the Greek actually says.

Acts 20:7 "And upon the first of Sabbaths, when the disciples came together to break bread".

The first of Sabbaths is a specific Sabbath in the Spring time of the year. So if someone wanted to make this simple statemtent of fact into a command or example, then it is a one time a year event.

The above brief information was inspired by an article, "Inferences: Biblical or Otherwise" by "Epaphroditus" in a journal no longer in print nor on line, The Examiner, March 1990.







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Thank You

Tim
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