Might as well address the elephant in the room right off the bat.

Many questions on Christianity deal with exegesis. During the proposal process, there was a lot of consensus to merge the Biblical Hermeneutics proposal with Christianity, but ultimately the merger was declined.

What will make Biblical Hermeneutics different from Christianity? What types of questions are on-topic here but off-topic there?

  • 1
    @Dori Consensus isn't a majority vote, and I wouldn't consider the three least-voted answers anti-merger. There wasn't anyone participating in the comments or answers who was adamantly against a merger, and those that favored the Biblical Hermeneutics proposal expressed it was because they believed a general Christianity site couldn't work. Unless SE agrees with that and thinks Christianity.SE is a failure, Christianity is working, which addresses the objections in the discussion.
    – user7
    Commented Oct 5, 2011 at 14:48
  • 1
    Biblical Hermeneutics implies not just Christian, but Judeo-Christian interpretation of the Bible. I, for one, had imagined this as one that would have insight on the Bible from both a Jewish perspective as well as a Christian one. Commented Nov 16, 2011 at 17:38

4 Answers 4


I think the focus of this site should be on the academic questions of studying the Biblical text only.

Any discussion of beliefs, doctrines or theology belongs on Christianity.SE.

Good questions:

  • What does the word'xxx' mean in Mark 4:3?
  • How do we know that Luke authored Luke and Acts?

Bad questions:

  • Is predesitnation biblical?
  • Where does the Bible support speaking in tongues?
  • 7
    More concise answer: I see this site as academic in nature, Christianity.SE as more of a general interest, non-scholar site.
    – blundin
    Commented Oct 4, 2011 at 20:03
  • 9
    The problem is that your good questions are also on-topic (and good!) for Christianity.SE as well. Biblical Hermeneutics.SE seems like a prima facie subset of Christianity.SE.
    – user7
    Commented Oct 4, 2011 at 20:04
  • 5
    You're right. Would you say that questions here should have objective answers and Christianity.SE is more subjective in nature? Do you have suggestions of better "good" questions. My fear is that Christianity.SE would not attract the more qualified scholarly types (I am not one, but I'd like to learn from them) that a dedicated academic site would.
    – blundin
    Commented Oct 4, 2011 at 20:08
  • 5
    Your fear is not unfounded: SE expressed a related sentiment when Christianity was launched. In an ideal world, sites shouldn't be getting through beta without having an expert audience, and in theory, all sites should be welcoming subjective questions that meet relatively strict guidelines: if Christianity is too pedestrian for expert questions about the Bible, it seems to raise questions about its long-term viability and whether BH is a reboot of it.
    – user7
    Commented Oct 4, 2011 at 20:12
  • 4
    @MarkTrapp I actually agree with this whole-heartedly. I seriously question the long-term viability of C.SE. There is a huge expertise void there and I would love to see it filled here.
    – Richard
    Commented Oct 4, 2011 at 20:21
  • 1
    Caveat being with reference to said "beliefs, doctrines, and theology" within a hermeneutical context - ie. examining translations of certain words that lead to doctrinal issues, etc. Commented Oct 6, 2011 at 15:12

I've not spent much time at Christianity.SE to be very familiar with its goals, but I would expect that site to involve discussion on the practice and history of Christianity.

  • Why do Christians give gifts on Christmas?
  • Why was Martin Luther excommunicated?
  • What was the Arian controversy?

I expected this site, on the other hand, to be focused on understanding the Bible as a text.

  • How is 'justification' used by Paul compared to James?
  • Who is being "left behind" in Matthew 24?
  • What practice is Paul referring to when he mentions people being baptized for the dead?
  • 1
    I think that in your first positive example you may veer away from hermeneutics -- you should probably be addressing a specific text, and not speaking so broadly. Commented Oct 11, 2011 at 19:37
  • 4
    @pc1oad1etter--note that 'justification' is in quotes, implying that this would be asking about the usage of the word, not the doctrine. Word studies would be on topic
    – Ray
    Commented Oct 11, 2011 at 19:41

This is more an opinion to possibly add perspective.

Personally, I'm very interested in Hermeneutics - interpreting the bible, but not that interested in C.SE. So having a site dedicated to Hermeneutics appeals to me.

Hermeneutics can appeal to those who are not Christians as well, vs. C.SE will mostly appeal to just Christians or seekers.


I'm adding this answer so that people can vote up to agree and down to disagree:

I think this proposal should be merged with Christianty.

This is because there is a huge overlap between these topics. And since every part of the Bible is also part of Christianity, I consider this proposal a subset of the Christianity proposal.

I'd like to see arguments for and against here.

Or maybe we just need to try both...

  • Actually, I'm not 100% sure but at least people can express their thoughts here by voting. Commented Oct 11, 2011 at 19:41
  • Possible influencing fact: there seems to be quite an overlap of users, at thus early stage. Commented Oct 11, 2011 at 19:59
  • 2
    C.SE is going through a major effort towards being exclusively doctrine based: The idea is that it will be the place to go to ask about Christian doctrine as it stands today. Regarding biblical understanding, this is the place. Also, C.SE hasn't drawn the hermeneutics experts that BH.SE has drawn. It's a different community.
    – Richard
    Commented Oct 13, 2011 at 15:25
  • 2
    I for one see the two sites as being stronger together. To the extent there is overlap, going to two places seems silly. And, to the extent that more people are drawn into same site, our stats go up. Finally, why not be interdisciplinary? Sometimes the most interesting hermeneutic insights are those that are arrived at doctrinally, and the best doctrinal insights are those that are grounded in hermeneutics. Commented Dec 22, 2011 at 15:45

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