New Game: What Does The Bible Explicitly State?

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:

  1. If the stated view can be challenged by another verse, then it is not explicit.
  2. 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?

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  • TomS

    “The Sun goes around the Earth”

    I base this not only because it is clear to me, but also because I know that for some 2000 years (before the rise of modern science, roughly 500 BC-AD 1500), no one disputed that the Bible said that.

    • Bob MacDonald

      What’s your evidence? I don’t see it. Even if I did, the sun does rise and set from the pov of an earthling.

      Rather more fun is Isaiah 40:22 that God sits on the circle of the earth – הַיֹּשֵׁב עַל־חוּג הָאָרֶץ. Now who is sitting on the circle of the earth – in the heavens as if on a throne? Who looks down today? Who sees the golem in the womb today? (hmmm … maybe there’s some theosis in this.)

      • TomS

        I’m not sure what it is that you want evidence for.

  • Keika

    © 2013 All Rights Reserved.

  • TomS

    There seems to be no other suggestion for what the Bible explicitly states.

    • James F. McGrath

      There seems to have been little interest here, for some reason. I shared it in a group on Facebook and the conversation there is still going on. One suggestion was “God created” and another which I quickly countered (leading to much discussion) was that Jesus was born of a virgin.

  • Barbara Heller

    We are to love God and to love others as we love ourselves.