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The Life Foundations Nexus

 

 

THE DENOTATION HALF-FUTILITY PRINCIPLE

 

 

Copyright August 4, 2005 6:21 AM CST

By Dr. Michael J. Bisconti

 

Updated August 4, 2005 10:12 PM CST

Copyright August 4, 2005 10:12 PM CST

By Dr. Michael J. Bisconti

 

 

 

Read the Empirical Futility Principle page before you read this article.

 

 

The “Empirical Futility Principle” states:

 

Physical evidence alone cannot achieve 100% certainty as to what is the true text of the Bible in the original languages.

 

Therefore, you need something more.  What is this “something more”?  Well, there is only one other type of thing that can assist us in determining the true text of the Bible and that is “the denotation (meaning) of the text.”  In other words, you can identify the true text of the Bible by checking to see if it has the correct meaning.  Therefore, you are going to have to determine the correct meaning of the true text of the Bible before you can identify the true text of the Bible.

 

The correct meaning will be the meaning of one of the manuscripts of the Bible.  If you are starting from scratch, you, initially, do not know what that meaning is.  Therefore, you must examine the meanings of all of the manuscripts of the Bible, pure and corrupt, to learn the correct meaning of the Bible.

 

Let us work with an imaginary example:

 

You have two manuscripts.  One says “Jesus is only a man.”  The other says “Jesus is God and man.”

 

How are you going to know which of the two manuscripts expresses the correct meaning?  Of course, if you are a believer, you know which of the two manuscripts is correct – the second.  But suppose you were confronted with the following imaginary example:

 

You have two manuscripts.  One says “Peter walked one mile towards Bethlehem.”  The other says “Peter walked three miles towards Bethlehem.”

 

This example requires an investigation of the “context pool” of the manuscripts.  A context pool is “all possible contexts based on all manuscripts.”  For example, the first manuscript said in a previous verse that on the previous day Peter had walked a mile away from Bethlehem.  The second manuscript said that on the previous day Peter had walked two miles away from Bethlehem. 

 

Here is the context pool for the two manuscripts:

 

·        Context for manuscript 1:  Peter walked a mile away from Bethlehem.

 

·        Context for manuscript 2:  Peter waked two miles away from Bethlehem.

 

Obviously, context number 2 for the second manuscript is possibly NOT TRUE.  Why?  Because, if Peter had walked two miles away from Bethlehem, he couldn’t have then walked three miles towards Bethlehem.  This would mean there was an INCONGRUITY (AN INDIRECT CONTRADICTION) in the second manuscript.

 

The fact of the incongruity would NOT prove that the second manuscript was incorrect.  It would only prove that A PART of the second manuscript was incorrect.  However, you would now know that it was PROBABLE that the second manuscript was incorrect.

 

The type of analysis and reasoning you have just read is useful BUT IT WILL ONLY OBJECTIVELY ESTABLISH A PROBABILITY AS TO WHAT IS THE TRUE TEXT OF THE BIBLE.  Therefore, we need something more.  The “Denotation Half-Futility Principle” states:

 

Denotative evidence added to physical evidence cannot achieve 100% certainty as to what is the true text of the Bible in the original languages.

 

See Probabilistic Textual Induction And Inductive Textual Calculus.