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Monday, October 6, 2014

Does Fitch's Paradox Imply an Omniscient God?

Fitch's Paradox of Knowability states that if a truth can possibly be known, then that truth is known. Here is a summary from the Stanford Encyclopedia entry on the subject.

Our propositional variables p and q will take declarative statements as substituends. Let K be the epistemic operator ‘it is known by someone at some time that.’ Let ◊ be the modal operator ‘it is possible that’.
Suppose the knowability principle (KP)—that all truths are knowable by somebody at some time:


(KP) ∀p(p → ◊Kp).
And suppose that collectively we are non-omniscient, that there is an unknown truth:


(NonO) ∃p(p ∧ ¬Kp).
If this existential claim is true, then so is an instance of it:


(1) p ∧ ¬Kp.
Now consider the instance of KP substituting line 1 for the variable p in KP:


(2) (p ∧ ¬Kp) → ◊K(p ∧ ¬Kp)
It follows trivially that it is possible to know the conjunction expressed at line 1:


(3) ◊K(p ∧ ¬Kp)
However, it can be shown independently that it is impossible to know this conjunction. Line 3 is false.
The independent result presupposes two very modest epistemic principles: first, knowing a conjunction entails knowing each of the conjuncts. Second, knowledge entails truth. Respectively,


(A) K(pq) ⊢ KpKq
(B) Kpp
Also presupposed are two modest modal principles: first, all theorems are necessary. Second, necessarily ¬ p entails that p is impossible. Respectively,


(C) If ⊢ p, then ⊢□p.
(D) □¬p ⊢ ¬◊p.
Consider the independent result:


(4) K(p ∧ ¬Kp) Assumption [for reductio]
(5) KpK¬Kp from 4, by (A)
(6) Kp ∧ ¬Kp from 5, applying (B) to the right conjunct
(7) ¬K(p ∧ ¬Kp) from 4–6, by reductio, discharging assumption 4
(8) □¬K(p ∧ ¬Kp) from 7, by (C)
(9) ¬◊K(p ∧ ¬Kp) from 8, by (D)
Line 9 contradicts line 3. So a contradiction follows from KP and NonO. The advocate of the view that all truths are knowable must deny that we are non-omniscient:


(10) ¬∃p(p ∧ ¬Kp).
And it follows from that that all truths are actually known:


(11) ∀p(pKp).
The ally of the view that all truths are knowable by somebody is forced absurdly to admit that every truth is known by somebody.

In plain English:
Given a few very reasonable assumptions, we can prove that any truth that is knowable is also known. Here are the assumptions:

1. Knowledge implies truth (if some fact is known, then that fact is true).
2. If we know the conjunction of two truths (e.g. it's raining outside and my car is wet) then we know the two truths themselves (e.g. we know that it's raining outside and we know that my car is wet).
3. Contradictions are necessarily false.
4. All truths are at least possibly knowable.

If we assume that there is some truth that is unknown, and that such a truth is knowable, then we can derive a contradiction. It follows with logical certainty that if any truth is unknown, then it is unknowable. This means that if all truths are knowable, then all truths are known.

Strengthening the Argument
There is still one problem with the argument. Assumption 4 may very well be called into dispute. What reason do we have to think that all truths are knowable? Fair enough.

Let's switch assumptions by swapping out:
4. All truths are at least possibly knowable.
and swapping in:
4. Some particular truth is at least possibly knowable.

Let's call that particular truth q.

Now, let's replace the KP with a modified KP

(KP') ∃q(q ∧ ◊Kq) - There is some truth that is true and possibly knowable.
(NonO') (q ∧ ¬Kq) - This truth is also unknown.
(POS) ◊K(q ∧ ¬Kq) - The fact that this truth is unknown is at least possibly knowable.

If this existential claim is true, then so is an instance of it:

(1) q ∧ ¬Kq.

It is possible to know (1):

(2) (q ∧ ¬Kq) ∧ ◊K(q ∧ ¬Kq)

Given (2), we apply conjunction elimination:

(3) ◊K(q ∧ ¬Kq)

However, it can be shown independently that it is impossible to know this conjunction. Line 3 is false. If (3) is true, then there is some possible world where K(p ∧ ¬Kp) holds. If that world can be shown to be contradictory, then (3) is also false.

(4) K(q ∧ ¬Kq) Assumption [for reductio]
(5) Kq ∧ K¬Kq from 4, by (A)
(6) Kq ∧ ¬Kq from 5, applying (B) to the right conjunct
(7) ¬K(q ∧ ¬Kq) from 4–6, by reductio, discharging assumption 4
(8) □¬K(q ∧ ¬Kq) from 7, by (C)
(9) ¬◊K(q ∧ ¬Kq) from 8, by (D)

Line 9 contradicts line 3. So a contradiction follows from KP' and NonO'. Even when we modify the knowability principle, we still discover that if some truth is unknown, then it is unknowable.

Again, in plain English
Since"All truths are at least possibly knowable" has its difficulties, let's assume that some truths are unknowable. Does this rescue us from the paradox? Not at all. With a slight modification, we can use this argument to show that all knowable truths are known. This seems quite absurd. Does nobody truly gain new knowledge? Did we always know that the world is round? Did we always know that George Washington would be elected first President of the United States?

The only other way out is to deny that it is possible know (1), which puts us into a difficult spot. When we say that we can know (1), all we are saying is that we can know that there are unknown but knowable things. For example, we don't know my exact internal body temperature as I write this, but we sure could know it. Knowledge of this information is not impossible.

Remarks
The philosophical literature for this field is rich, and yet philosophers cannot come to a consensus as to which of these three principles is false. Attempts to revise the logic have generally resulted in implausible solutions, and each of the three assumptions seems quite plausibly true. There is simply no agreed solution as to how this problem should be resolved.

Philosophers generally try to jettison assumption 4 in order to solve the paradox, but that leads to some difficulties with truth and knowledge. On atheism, truth and meaning generally have to be defined in terms of our ability to know them. And regardless, the modified version of the argument does not require assumption 4, anyway.

Now, the question arises: why should we think of this as a paradox at all? A paradox is something that seems logically airtight, but implies an absurd conclusion. Curry's Paradox, for example, allows you to prove any conclusion that you want. That is what makes it a paradox. Fitch's paradox has no such strange implications. It just implies that all knowable truths are known. But what if you believe in an omniscient God?

The only argument against an omniscient God being the solution to this problem is that truth or meaning is somehow determined by linguistic communities. Yet I see know reason why we should believe this is true. The very definition makes truth both subjective and relative - a postmodern position indeed. It's hard to see how such definitions could be true or even meaningful. If meaning or truth is not absolute, then it's hard to see how the statement "meaning/truth is not absolute" is not true in an absolute sense. And therefore we should not look for truth and meaning to be grounded in relevant expressions in a human linguistic community. We should look to God as the ground and anchor of meaning and truth.

Is Fitch's Paradox an actual paradox? If you do not believe in God, then it seems impossible to resolve. If you do believe in an omniscient God, then it is not even a problem. There is someone who knows all knowable truths: God.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Faith Strengthened (Pt 2) Under the Microscope: Chapter 36

Luke 4:17-21, "And there was delivered unto him (to Jesus) the book of the prophet Esaias, and when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written, 'The Spirit of God is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the Gospel to the poor. He hath sent me to heal the broken-hearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.' And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And he said unto them, 'This day is this Scripture fulfilled in your ears.'" Isaiah 61 is here quoted in a garbled manner. In order to lay more stress on the healing, powers attributed to Jesus, the gift of restoring sight to the blind is added to the mission of the pretended Messiah. On the other hand, it is omitted to be quoted that this would be—"A day of vengeance to our God, to comfort all mourners, to give to the mourners of Zion glory instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the cloak of praise instead of a gloomy spirit." Jesus had no right to attribute to himself the glory of deeds he had not performed. Isaiah spoke here of himself. And by the words, "The Lord hath anointed me," he meant nothing more than that he had received the Divine unction as a prophet. It was he who was sent forth to offer consolation, in order that the Israelites, during their long sufferings, should not despair of the Divine aid, and of their future restoration. They, the exiled children of Israel, were addressed by the prophets "as the afflicted, the broken-hearted, the captives, the prisoners, the mourners of Zion." They alone stood in need of the prophetic consolatory promises, and to whom alone they had reference. 

Isaiah 61 reads like this:

The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me,
  because the LORD has anointed me
 to bring good news to the poor;
  he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
 to proclaim liberty to the captives,
  and the opening of the prison to those who are bound;
 to proclaim the year of the LORD's favor, 
(Jesus finishes here and sits down) 
        and the day of vengeance of our God;
     to comfort all who mourn;
 to grant to those who mourn in Zion—
  to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes,
 the oil of gladness instead of mourning,
  the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit;
 that they may be called oaks of righteousness,
  the planting of the LORD, that he may be glorified.
 They shall build up the ancient ruins;
  they shall raise up the former devastations;
 they shall repair the ruined cities,
  the devastations of many generations.

It seems that Jesus was very deliberate in quoting only half the passage. He said that this part of the passage is fulfilled, but does not say that the latter half is fulfilled. The whole point was that only part of the passage was going to be fulfilled, predicting two comings. For Troki to keep insisting that everything must be fulfilled within one lifetime is just for him to beg the question. There is no indication in Tanakh that everything will be fulfilled at once.

As A. Lukyn Williams writes:
Every Jew who has read even a few pages of Talmud or Midrash knows perfectly well that quotations in those writings from the Hebrew Bible are almost as often inaccurate as accurate, But he does not, for that reason, turn round and refuse to have any more to do with books and writers which can make such mistakes. On the contrary, he is well acquainted with the fact that the more accurately persons know their Bible, and the more directly they have in their minds, when they are writing or arguing, persons who know the Scriptures as well as they do themselves, the more easily they omit words, or add clauses from other contexts, if, by doing so, they can either make their argument more concise, or can express it more clearly. With Jewish writers mere verbal accuracy in a quotation is almost of no importance at all. When a Jew, in arguing with a Gentile, pretends that it is, he is presuming on the Gentile's ignorance of things Jewish.
Again, let me reiterate that fulfillment does not entail prediction. You fulfill the law when you love your neighbor as yourself, even though Moses was not predicting your actions.

Regarding Isaiah, indeed Isaiah may have seen himself as the subject of this passage, yet even rabbinic authorities like David Kimchi and Saadia Gaon believed that the language was too extreme to be fulfilled by Isaiah, so they too sought a different subject for this passage.

As far as the alleged inaccuracies, remember that what we call the Masoretic Text did not exist at the time of Jesus. So Jesus is likely quoting from a different text, possibly a Targum. Anyway, here is the textual history of the Tanakh. The red lines indicate what versions were used as sources for other versions. Versions lower in the chart are the older versions of the text. So, for example, Aquila was the source text for Onkelos, which was written later.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Faith Strengthened (Pt 2) Under the Microscope: Chapter 35

Luke 3:23, The genealogy of Jesus, as treated in this and the subsequent verses, is contradictory to that in Matthew 1. For Luke commences thus: "The list of the descent of Jesus"—"And Jesus was the son of Joseph, the son of Heli, the son of Matthat, the son of Levi, the son of Malachi," etc. etc. In Matthew, where the origin of Joseph is traced back to Solomon, the Son of David, the enumeration of the ancestors of Joseph closes in the following manner:—"And Eliud begat Eleazar, and Eleazar begat Matthan, and Matthan begat Jacob, and Jacob begat Joseph, the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus." We have already shown above that Matthew enumerates forty-two generations, from Abraham our father; but Luke counts only twenty-six. From these contrary statements one might fairly ask, which Joseph was the husband of Mary? Was it Joseph, the son of Heli, the son of Matthat, the son of Levi, as Luke supposes; or was it Joseph, the son of Jacob, the son of Matthan, the son of Eleazar, as Matthew supposes? If we are to believe the words of Luke, then the statement of Matthew must be incorrect, and vice versa. Luke, in tracing back the descent of Jesus to the first ancestor, says that Jesus was the son of Adam, the Son of God. Hence it would seem that Jesus has no better title to the designation of the Son of God, than every other descendant of Adam.

This is the common genealogy objection, which can be illustrated in this chart.
http://ap.lanexdev.com/user_images/image/bibbul/2003/bb-03-31-lg.png

One observation is that Matthew is using the practice of gematria in his genealogy. Gematria is the practice of assigning the numerical value of the letters in a word in order to derive some significance. The numerical value of David is 14.
 
Compare this to Matthew 1:17 which states "So all the generations from Abraham to David were fourteen generations, and from David to the deportation to Babylon fourteen generations, and from the deportation to Babylon to the Christ fourteen generations." Matthew is not saying that the lineage of each of these was exactly 14 people, but instead picks out the 14 most significant people in the lineage.

Risto Santala also has explanations of Matthew's use in terms of rabbinical writings. For example, tractate Avot states that there were 10 generations from Adam to Noah, and 10 from Noah to Abraham. Technically, this requires some trickery to get right.

The lineage of Noah is:
1. Adam
2. Seth
3. Enosh
4. Kenan
5. Mahalalel
6. Jerod
7. Enoch
8. Methuselah
9. Lamech
10. Noah

The lineage in Genesis 11 is:
1. Noah
2. Shem
3. Arphaxad
4. Shem
5. Salah
6. Eber
7. Peleg
8. Reu
9. Serug
10. Nahor
11. Terah
12. Abraham

So there are 10 generations from Adam to Noah if you count Adam and Noah. There are 10 generation from Noah to Abraham if you do not count Noah or Abraham.

As explained by Jewishroots.net "If the genealogies in Matthew and Luke were identical, then one of them would have been unnecessary. And since God is the ultimate economizer of space, logic dictates that the differences between the genealogies must be purposeful."

Monday, September 1, 2014

Faith Strengthened (Pt 2) Under the Microscope: Chapter 34

Luke 2:33, "And Joseph and his mother marvelled at those things which were spoken of him."

"The child tarried behind in Jerusalem, and his parents knew not of it." "And when they saw him they were amazed, and his mother said unto him, Son, why hast thou thus dealt with us? Behold thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing?" ver. 43, 48. Ibid, 4:22, "And they said, Is not this Joseph's son?" See also John 1:45, "Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph"; and ibid. 6:42, "Is not this Jesus the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know?"

These passages afford a complete refutation of the doctrine of the miraculous conception of Jesus, and thereby undermine the groundwork of the Christian faith.
This objection is kind of silly if you have been reading along. Repeatedly, Troki asserts that Jesus cannot be Messiah since he did not descend biologically from Joseph. Here, Troki argues that Jesus did descend from Joseph. The New Testament has called Jesus the son of Joseph, and why would we reckon things any differently?

Parents of adopted children are generally considered the mother and father of that child. One rabbi that I know has an adopted daughter. People in the community still talk of the rabbi as her father, even though he is not her biological father.

Again, according to Jewish and Roman law, Joseph would have been legally considered the father. Mary had good reasons to keep her virgin conception a secret, particularly that few if any people would have believed her anyway.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Faith Strengthened (Pt 2) Under the Microscope: Chapter 33

We don't have a translation of this chapter from the original source, so all I can print is the rebuttal by A. Lukyn Williams:
(Luke 2:6, 7) "And it came to pass, that while they were there [at Bethlehem], the days were fulfilled that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn son."

At this point our Rabbi makes a ridiculous mistake, saying that according to the Christians Mary conceived on December 8, and brought forth her Son on December 25, Christmas Day. Of course December 8 is the feast of the conception of Mary by her mother, as he confesses certain Christians told him. He forgets the other Christian Feast of the Annunciation on March 25. His mistake was doubtless due, as Gusset points out, to his ignorance of Latin, and his consequent assumption that the Latin conceptio answered exactly to the Hebrew הריון. For while the Latin Dies conceptionis Mariæ can only mean the day when Mary was conceived, he translated it by יום הריונה של מרים, which can only mean the day when Mary herself conceived. There is, however, this excuse for the Rabbi, that he may have heard something of the extravagant way in which the Roman Church employs on December 8 the words addressed to Mary by the angel at the Annunciation. 
 The translator of Chizzuk Emunah did not even translate this chapter, so embarassing was Troki's blunder. He confuses the church calendar for the events of history, and also shows that even someone of Troki's caliber can make enormous blunders and badly misunderstand what he is trying to criticize.

Faith Strengthened (Pt 2) Under the Microscope: Chapter 32

Luke 1:26, There it is related that the angel Gabriel came as a messenger sent by God to Mary in her virgin state, when she was espoused to Joseph of the house of David, and that He announced to her she would conceive and bear a son, who would be holy, and be called a son of the highest; that the throne of David would be assigned to him by the Lord God for occupation, and that he would reign over the house of Jacob for ever, and of his kingdom there should be no end.

The statement disagrees with those made in other parts of the New Testament, and cast strong suspicion on the veracity of a book asserted to be written under the influence of inspiration. If Mary had received such a divine message, why did she and her children refuse faith in, and obedience to that Son of God, and why did she and her offspring keep away from the circle of the disciples of him whom she had borne through the intervention of a miracle? See Mark 3:31. A marked contrast also appears between the words of Luke 1:26, and those in John 7:5, which we had occasion to quote in a former chapter, viz., "His brethren did not believe in him." Would it not have been the duty of the virgin-mother to inform her children what a strong claim her first-born had on their pious attachment to him? Again, why did Mary name her son "Jesus?" If he were to be named Emmanuel, according to the interpretation given to the famous passage in Isaiah, which is especially cited in Matthew 1:22, why did the angel hold out the never-fulfilled promise that Jesus would sit on the throne of David? Moreover, why was Jesus called the descendant of David, since it is alleged that he was not the offspring of Joseph, of the house of David, but was begotten of the Holy Ghost? The number of contradictions also is increased by the words of Paul in his First Epistle to the Corinthians, chapter 15, verse 28, for there it is said, "Then shall the son also himself be subject unto him, that put all things under him." This is an additional proof that the kingdom of Jesus is not intended to continue throughout eternity, but is to be only of a temporary nature; hence, we arrive at the conclusion, from the very authorities of the Christian faith, that the Father and the Son are totally distinct personages.

The fact that Troki concentrated very little of his criticism in the book of Mark shows his familiarity with New Testament criticism. Mark is favored by historians for his lack of embellishment. Now we are on to Luke, which is one of the more eloquently written books of the New Testament. Luke, at the beginning of his book, said that he had gathered his information from different sources, the way a historian does.
Inasmuch as many have undertaken to compile a narrative of the things that have been accomplished among us, just as those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word have delivered them to us, it seemed good to me also, having followed all things closely for some time past, to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, that you may have certainty concerning the things you have been taught. (Luke 1:1-4)
At the beginning of Luke, the angel Gabriel made an announcement to Mary that her son would eventually occupy David's throne. Notice what Gabriel did not say. He did not say when these events would take place. Troki would need to argue that Jesus is somehow disqualified from fulfilling these in the future, and I don't see how he could even begin to argue that.

A. Lukyn Williams responds with the following: "Yet it is not said, either here or in any other passage of Scripture, that she did not believe on Him. Surely her anxiety for Him was very natural. She showed lack of trust, it is true, but a mother's heart will ever yearn over the safety of her child. Neither can any reason be alleged why the fact that she knew He was the Messiah should weaken her anxiety. It might well increase it, as she came to perceive more clearly whither He was being led, and to what contumely and suffering He would be exposed. St. Peter, it, must be remembered, acknowledged Him to be the Messiah, and almost immediately after doing so, tried to persuade Him that He would not be called upon to endure suffering and death."

There were good reasons for Mary not to reveal her virginal conception. Who would believe it if she told them? Most people would just think her a liar or would question her sanity. She had good reasons for keeping this a secret.

Regarding the name of Jesus, Williams writes: "R. Isaac objects that Jesus is never called by the name "Immanuel" in the New Testament. But to make an objection of this kind is surely only to trifle with the subject, in a way unworthy of a thoughtful and candid mind. Jesus is, as a matter of fact, often called Immanuel in Christian parlance, and, whether He is called by this name or not, the word ("God with us") does correspond exactly to the nature and personality of Jesus according to the evidence of the New Testament, the only evidence which we possess."

What about his descent from Joseph? Again, according to Roman and Jewish law, Joseph was betrothed to be married to Mary, no other alleged human father could be found, so Joseph was considered by law to be the father of Jesus. We need to consider the idea of legal fiction. A legal fiction is an assumption that something occurred or someone or something exists which, in fact, is not the case, but that is made in the law to enable a court to equitably resolve a matter before it. A corporation is not a person, yet the law considers a corporation to be a person, as the law says.

The other objections are also pretty trivial. Jesus was to be called "God with us" and that is how the New Testament treats him. He is to this day worshiped as God, so how could anyone say that such a prophecy was not fulfilled?

In 1 Corinthians 15, Paul makes the following claim about Jesus: "For “God has put all things in subjection under his feet.” But when it says, “all things are put in subjection,” it is plain that he is excepted who put all things in subjection under him. When all things are subjected to him, then the Son himself will also be subjected to him who put all things in subjection under him, that God may be all in all."

This chapter says that all things will be in subjugation to Jesus, and that Jesus will be in subjugation to the Father. What was Paul supposed to say, that Jesus was some rogue deity? The Son has always submitted to the will of the Father, so it is not as though the reign of Jesus will end. Troki has also said that his shows the Son and the Father to be two different persons. This is true. Yet, they are both the same God. The statement "there is one God" is quite a different statement from "God is one person." The New Testament affirms the former, but strongly denies the latter.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Faith Strengthened (Pt 2) Under the Microscope: Chapter 31

Mark 13:32, Jesus is made to say to his disciples, "But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son but the Father." Here we have a clear proof that Jesus, who is called "the son of Mary," is not a God, seeing that he could not foretell events.

This verse is part of a larger passage in Mark, known as the Olivet Discourse, where Jesus was speaking about his return. Starting with the lesson of the fig tree, we get the following verses that precede this one.
"From the fig tree learn its lesson: as soon as its branch becomes tender and puts out its leaves, you know that summer is near. So also, when you see these things taking place, you know that he is near, at the very gates. Truly, I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away."
 The fact that the earliest followers of Jesus believed him to be God (as Larry Hurtado says: The earliest Christologies were the highest Christologies), and that the earliest heresies denied his divinity show that this quote would not have been fabricated by the church. It is theologically difficult, and therefore, from a secular historian's perspective, unquestionably an authentic saying by the historical Jesus.

In this passage, Jesus places himself on an ascending scale, humans, angels, the Son, and finally the Father. Jesus is claiming to be greater than all the prophets, all other humans, and even the angels.

The flaw here is that Troki confuses the full knowledge of Jesus with his self-limited knowledge that he had when he was incarnate. It's a bit like having a $100 bill and not being able to buy anything from a vending machine. Jesus, of course, could have reached into his omniscience to find the knowledge of these events, but would have violated his mission during the incarnation, which is to interact with us as one of us.

Since A. Lukyn Williams has a relatively short response, I will quote him as well:
R. Isaac urges that this passage shows that the Son is not God, seeing that He does not know the things of the future. We have already considered the Rabbi's objections in paragraph 114, but we may make a few additional remarks.

It would be well if the Rabbi had seriously considered the place which is here attributed to the Son. The order, it will be observed, is man, angels, the Son, the Father. Who or what, then, is the Son who is set above the angels? Scripture, in the Old Testament and the New alike, knows of no being who is above them save God Himself. When, therefore, Jesus sets the Son above them, as He does in this verse, He is claiming for the Son equality with God. Let our Jewish readers take this to heart, and endeavour to answer the question why He does so.

They will reply, however, whether they face the difficulties of that question or not, that Jesus of Nazareth attributes to the Son ignorance of the great event of the future, the Day of the LORD, and will repeat R. Isaac's argument. Yet no thoughtful Christian can be surprised that such ignorance is attributed to the Son. It is only in accordance with the Christian doctrine of the Incarnation. For according to this we have no right to expect that the incarnate Son of God should know everything with such knowledge as can be expressed in human words. Probably indeed His knowledge as God was altogether in abeyance, this being one of the things which He put off from Him when He became man (see par 590).

But in any case there must have been many things known to the Son as God which it would be impossible for Him to receive into His intellect as Man, unless we make the human nature of the Lord Jesus an altogether monstrous and unhuman thing. It is true that we cannot well blame R. Isaac himself for not perceiving this somewhat evident truth, for in his days it had not been properly perceived by Christians. But every Jew of to-day ought to be free from the temptation to be surprised when Christians speak, or the New Testament itself speaks, of the Lord's ignorance. We must, if we are students of the Bible in either of its parts, be very jealous for the truth of the human nature of the Lord Jesus, and not minimize the reality of that nature in honour of the divine. It is plain that the knowledge of the time when the Day of the LORD will come has no practical connexion with holiness, either for the Lord Jesus or for ourselves, or again either for His or for our ministry on earth. In fact, to require that He should know it would be much on a par with the demand made to Him that He should show a portent out of heaven (Matt 16:1). The knowledge would be as unnatural as the action. Both would be altogether contrary to the limitations of human nature, as well as to the methods of work by which from the very first the Messiah determined to accomplish His task of bringing salvation to the world (Matt 4:1-11).