Sunday, November 26, 2017

Oink, Splat, Glug

All three of the synoptic gospels relate the encounter of Jesus with the demon-possessed man of Gadara.

Two thousand piggies
ran headlong into the sea.
A fitting bit of justice for the profiteers, purveyors of forbidden flesh.
While it likely Jewish swineherds would not consume the meat
They were willing to profit on its sale to the Romans who thought it good to eat.
There are many little puzzles in this account of the demons and the Master
But they are all solved if one takes the time to think through it carefully for
Haste often leads to disaster.

We will deal with only one facet of the story this morning, the question of who is on the right course and who on the wrong.  There exists a fallacy  in logic named for this situation: the Gadarene swine fallacy.

One must not fallaciously conclude that because a group is in formation it is necessarily on course.  Neither may we assume that because one is out of formation he is also off course.  Though we may not assume he is on course, either.

To the instance at hand.  The man possessed, living alone in the tombs, seeing Jesus step ashore, ran to worship him.  He was alone, not in formation, but on course.
The swine, all 2000 of them, into which the dispossessed demons took up residence, in formation ran over a steep declivity, plunged into the sea, and expired.  They may have been on course, but if so, they were on course to destruction.

The rest of the explication is complicated,


Sharkbytes said...

Yeah, this is one of the real head-scratcher stories. They actually provide some measure of credibility, because if one were going to make up a holy book, why include something like that, eh?

vanilla said...

Shark, your observation is spot-on: lends credence to the scriptures.