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  1. #41
    Raymott's Avatar
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    Default Re: Newbie needs help

    Quote Originally Posted by pharmer View Post
    So can a person use that sentence as legitimate support for either view and still keep the integrity of the sentence the way the author intended?
    No. Assuming that the author meant only one thing (A, for example), someone else can not legitimately use the sentence to argue the opposite (say, B) - assuming that this person knows that the author meant A.

    Now, if the other person understands the author's sentence as meaning B, and uses it to argue B, then that is honest on the second person's part, but not a valid use of that sentence to make the B argument.

    We have to assume also that the author wrote the sentence he meant to, ie. in arguing A, he wrote a sentence that would ordinarily be taken to mean A.

    So here we have a problem. The author must not only believe A, but also have a good idea that a reader will understand A from his sentence. If the author writes a lazy sentence that could be construed as meaning B, he will be misunderstood by some.
    And if this is case, what is the "integrity' of the sentence. Does it mean 'a sentence meaning A' or 'a sentence that could mean A or B'?
    If by 'integrity' you mean that it could mean A or B, then you could legitimately use it as an argument for B, even though the author meant to have it mean A.

  2. #42
    pharmer is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: Newbie needs help

    So a sentence, that is as ambiguous as you see it, could be cleared up pretty easily by having a clarifier sentence following it, right?

  3. #43
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    Default Re: Newbie needs help

    Quote Originally Posted by pharmer View Post
    So a sentence that is as ambiguous as you see it, could be cleared up pretty easily by having a clarifier sentence following it, right?
    Yes.
    Language has a certain amount of redundancy built into it. A meaning can be negotiated sequentally in turns in a conversation.
    In writing, there is only one 'turn' - the writers. So s/he sometimes has to say the same thing twice in two different ways to make sure the intended meaning becomes the understood meaning. Hence the comment about the meaning of meaning. There are (at least) three meaning to a text: the author's intended meaning, the reader's understood meaning, and the meaning that is inherent in the text, ie. a meaning which the average competent speaker would be expected to take from the text.

  4. #44
    pharmer is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: Newbie needs help

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    In writing, there is only one 'turn' - the writers. So s/he sometimes has to say the same thing twice in two different ways to make sure the intended meaning becomes the understood meaning.
    So in these sentences:

    "Though it is not a Biblical doctrine in the sense that any formulation of it can be found in the Bible, it can be seen to underlie the revelation of God, implicit in the Old Testament and explicit in the New Testament. By this we mean that though we cannot speak confidently of the revelation of the Trinity in the Old Testament, yet once the substance of the doctrine has been revealed in the New Testament, we can read back many implications of it in the Old Testament."
    The author states that the "formulation" cannot be found, but he/she doesn't define what that formula is. He/she does finish the sentence saying how the Trinity can be seen to underlie the revelation of God (explicitly in the NT and implicitly in the OT).

    Using that information alone isn't enough to determine the author's meaning (if I'm understanding you correctly). However, the author goes on in the next sentence to describe how the substance for that doctrine (the doctrine of the Trinity) is revealed in the NT and can be seen to be implied in the OT. Basically, he is saying the same thing twice, but in two different ways to make sure the intended meaning becomes the understood meaning, just like you said, right?
    Last edited by pharmer; 13-Mar-2010 at 01:53.

  5. #45
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    Default Re: Newbie needs help

    Quote Originally Posted by pharmer View Post
    So in these sentences:
    "Though it is not a Biblical doctrine in the sense that any formulation of it can be found in the Bible, it can be seen to underlie the revelation of God, implicit in the Old Testament and explicit in the New Testament. By this we mean that though we cannot speak confidently of the revelation of the Trinity in the Old Testament, yet once the substance of the doctrine has been revealed in the New Testament, we can read back many implications of it in the Old Testament."
    The author clearly states that the "formulation" cannot be found, but he/she doesn't define what that formula is.
    I'd say that 'formulation' has its normal meaning. The doctrine of the Trinity isn't formulated anywhere in Bible. It's not written as such. No one wrote: There is a tripartite God, or God consists of three persons.

    He/she does finish the sentence saying how the Trinity can be seen to underlie the revelation of God (explicitly in the NT and implicitly in the OT).
    Yes.
    Using that information alone isn't enough to determine the author's meaning (if I'm understanding you correctly).
    I think it is. But the author obviously thinks it's wise to express it in another way as well. It does have some slight differences, eg.
    "... formulation of it can['t] be found in the Bible ..." as opposed to "... revelation of the Trinity in the Old Testament ..." - thus changing from 'the Bible' to 'the OT'. But I don't think you should read anything significant into that.

    However, the author goes on in the next sentence to describe how the substance for that doctrine (the doctrine of the Trinity) is revealed in the NT and can be seen to be implied in the OT. Basically, he is saying the same thing twice, but in two different ways to make sure the intended meaning becomes the understood meaning, just like you said, right?
    I would think so - since it starts with "By this we mean ..."
    Certainly there's nothing in the second bit that contradicts the first bit. So you would take it as a clarification - a rewording of the first bit, given that no new material is introduced.

    R.

  6. #46
    pharmer is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: Newbie needs help

    Since the author states, and restates clearly his/her main point, that the “substance”- that very matter that makes up the core of the Trinity- is found throughout the entire Bible (explicitly in the NT and implicitly in the OT), would it not be a misrepresentation of the author’s intended meaning to use him/her as supporting the non-Biblical view? I am not suggesting we have to agree with author “A”, I am suggesting, however, author A’s intended meaning should be accurately represented.

  7. #47
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    Default Re: Newbie needs help

    Quote Originally Posted by pharmer View Post
    Since the author states, and restates clearly his/her main point, that the “substance”- that very matter that makes up the core of the Trinity- is found throughout the entire Bible (explicitly in the NT and implicitly in the OT), would it not be a misrepresentation of the author’s intended meaning to use him/her as supporting the non-Biblical view?
    What do you mean by "the non-Biblical view"? The non-Biblical view of what? You'll need to be specific.
    But I can't see how you could use this extract to support any non-Biblical views at all. Do you mean "I don't believe in the Bible, and I offer this passage as support"? The passage doesn't mention non-Biblical views at all. It presumes the truth of the Bible. What is in contention is the nature of the Trinity - of whether it has Biblical support.


    I am not suggesting we have to agree with author “A”, I am suggesting, however, author A’s intended meaning should be accurately represented.
    Of course it should.
    R.


  8. #48
    pharmer is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: Newbie needs help

    Sorry for the confusion. When I say "the non-Biblical view", I mean the view that holds the doctrine of the Trinity as not Biblical.

  9. #49
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    Default Re: Newbie needs help

    Quote Originally Posted by pharmer View Post
    Sorry for the confusion. When I say "the non-Biblical view", I mean the view that holds the doctrine of the Trinity as not Biblical.
    Yes, you could use the author's passage.
    You might write, Even though X believes that the Trinity is founded upon Biblical principles, X also admits that there is no formulation of the Trinity in the Bible, and that the Trinity is not mentioned in Bible. What X gives us is a rather lame, and unsubstantiated, opinion that "the substance of the doctrine has been revealed in the New Testament". X does not say where it is 'revealed'. I submit that this is because it is not there!

  10. #50
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    Default Re: Newbie needs help

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    Even though X believes that the Trinity is founded upon Biblical principles,
    So, you could not claim that author A is saying that the Trinity is not Biblical.

    You recognize that the author obviously thinks the Trinity has a Biblical basis.

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