A Small Taste of Symbolic Logic and the Galatians

INTRODUCTION:

The entire book of Galatians is a logical argument. In essence, the people of the Galatian churches were trying to say Jesus (J) plus (.) law (X) equals righteousness (R). Paul rebuttals by declaring that righteousness is by the Gospel and the Gospel (G) is Jesus alone (Ja). The people mentioned in this logical manuscript are Paul, Peter, Gentiles, and Jews. This book is incredibly important to study because the problems within it are extremely relevant to the culture in the contemporary church. So many Christians are claiming that salvation is dependent upon perfect law keeping. They say that Jesus plus perfect living and Jesus plus perfect worship structure is the only way to salvation. Paul does an excellent job of exposing this false teaching. With that said, there are several smaller arguments inside the larger context of Galatians. This article will mention just 8 of them and how they relate to to the overall argument in the book.

KEY:

< = “implies”

~ = “not”

: = “therefore”

V = “or”

. = “and”

ARGUMENTS:

Arguments # 1

A)The text is Galatians 1:6-9

B)The argument presented here is the basis of the entire book. It is a Disjunctive Syllogism. The Jewish Christians were claiming that Jesus plus circumcision brings righteousness. They said that their ideology was THE Gospel.

C) Paul first defines what the true definition of the Gospel is, and then he makes an interesting and exclusive argument.

D) g= Gospel; og= other gospel

E) Paul’s argument in this context was:

g V og

~ g

: og

F) It is either the true Gospel or it is not. They were preaching another gospel. Therefore, they were not preaching the Gospel and were cursed.

Argument #2

A) The text is Galatians 2:11-13

B) The context of the argument presented here is categorical, however it is something that is implied from the text. Peter sinned by being a racist towards the Gentiles.

C) Paul confronts Peter, which shows the truthfulness of the argument.

D) H= humans; A= Apostles; S= sinners

E) All H are S

All A are H

: All A are S

F) Apostles are humans and humans sin. Therefore all Apostles sin.

Argument #3

A) The text is Galatians 2:13-14

B) The context of the argument here is Modus Ponens. The Jewish Christians joined in with Perter with his racist sin.

C) Paul saw the influence Peter had on the Jews and scolded them as well.

D) P= prejudice; H= hypocrisy

E) P < H

P

: H

F) The Jews were hypocrites because of their unscriptural bias.

Argument #4

A) The text is Galatians 2:15-21

B) This argument is a Disjunctive Syllogism. It discusses whether or not we are justified by law. The other option in this context is justification by faith through Christ.

C) Paul gives the two choices.

D) l= law; f= faith

E) l V f

~L

:F

F) One is not justified by law, but by faith alone through grace.

Argument #5

A) The text is Galatians 3:6-9

B) This is a categorical syllogism. The Jews have a hard time understanding why they should accept uncircumcised individuals.

C) Paul addresses the reasoning for the acceptance.

D) N= Nations; B= Blessed; G= Gentiles

E) all N are B

G are a N

: all G are B

F) There was a promise for all nations to be blessed and Gentiles are part of that promise.

Argument #6

A) The text is Galatians 3:18

B) This is a disjunctive syllogism. The context is teaching the origin of the godly inheritance.

C) Did it come from the law or something beyond the law?

D) ibp = inheritance by promise; ibl = inheritance by law

E) ibp V ibL

~ ibl

: ibp

F) The inheritance that Christians receive has never been one obtained by law, but by the promise of God. If one is in a covenant with God then he receives the promised inheritance. Perfection is not needed, but a covenant is needed.

Argument #7

A) The text is Galatians 3:27

B) This a categorical syllogism. There is an argument here that shows how one is clothed with Christ.

C) How is one clothed with Christ?

D) b= baptized; c= clothed; y= you

E) all B are C

all of y are B

: y are c

F) If you (they) are baptized into Christ you are also clothed with Him.

Argument #8

A) The text is Galatians 5:18-25

B) This is a Constructive dilemma. Paul lists bad things and good things. He says that one is the character of a Christian saved by grace, and the other is the character of someone who has fallen from grace.

C) Paul gives a choice between two extremes.

D) f= flesh; bf= bad fruit; s= Spirit; gf= good fruit

E) (F < bf) . (S < gf)

f V S

: bf V gf

F) Obviously, the ideal situation in this context is to be led by the Spirit and thus bear the fruit of the Spirit. One cannot bear both bad and good fruit and be led by the Spirit at the same time. One must choose.

CONCLUSION:

These arguments show that anyone can be saved by Jesus alone. Jesus plus anything is a false teaching that will lead a Christian away from grace. It is not the true Gospel. One saved by Jesus will live a life according to His Spirit.

Paul is right in all of these arguments. Part of the reason he is right is because he was an educated man. Part of the reason was because these arguments were all logically valid. But the overall reason Paul was right in these arguments was because he was blessed by a logical God through inspiration. Being logical is also being like our creator. Logic, if accompanied by sound foundations, leads to truth. Jesus is truth and God is not a liar. Being logical shows the Christian the way to salvation in Christ. – Jesse