Joel Watts has come up with a clever idea for a Bible-related game. It was sparked by the latest instance of someone claiming “the Bible explicitly states” about an issue they consider important. (If you Google the phrase, you get some 8.5 million results, so it is fairly common).
And so here is what Joel proposed in response:
So, let’s play a game. Explicit means “fully revealed or expressed without vagueness.”
What does the bible explicitly state? Now… the rules are simple:
- If the stated view can be challenged by another verse, then it is not explicit.
- You cannot deny facts such as historical criticism, or even lexicons.
So, what does the bible explicitly state?
I’m not sure that bringing historical criticism into the picture makes sense, since the Bible might well explicitly state something that historical criticism concludes did not in fact happen. But his point about lexicons is a crucial one. It is not uncommon for those who claim that the Bible “explicitly states” this or that to rewrite the meaning of words so that the Bible “explicitly states” something that is not within the range of meaning of the underlying Hebrew or Greek word.
And the point about the Bible (as a whole) not explicitly stating something if it also explicitly states the opposite is likewise an important one.
Care to play the game? Then why not do so, whether here, or on Joel’s blog?