Home Page Home Page

Deuteronomy 28

This passage and others like it are the source of the Deuteronomic Code. It's simplest formulation is,

"If you obey me, I'll bless you. If you disobey me, I'll curse you."

This statement seems simple enough, but no end of mischief has come from people misunderstanding basic logic. Here's how an "if-then" (modus tollens) statement works:

So, here are valid inferences from the text:

  1. You obeyed me, there I blessed you. (A ∴ B)
  2. You disobeyed me, therefore I cursed you. (Also A ∴ B)

More pernicious are the invalid inferences that many believers frequently draw from the Deuteronomic Code.

  1.  You are suffering; therefore, God has cursed you; therefore, you have sinned. (This is the approach Job's friends used. They assume the ONLY reason for a person's suffering is that they've sinned.)
  2. You are rich; therefore, God has blessed you; therefore, God is pleased with your behavior. (This theory lies behind the Prosperity Gospel.)
Home Page
Home Page