This was closed per "policy" as seen in this meta post.

However the OP (and MOD which closed it) clearly agrees with Jon's comment:

The Ehrman question is among the most useful on the site; I enjoyed answering it, I link to it frequently, and it helps us understand the difficulties and rewards of reading the most popular books ever written on the subject of textual criticism. The question is about a person, but it's also about their body of work. I'd like to leave it open for dissenting answers, if nothing else. I think the Edersheim question is helpful, but it would probably be better if self-answered (or even just answered).

While I agree to follow the rules for rules sake at times, this question appears relevant to the site, well enjoyed by the members, etc. Closing it appears to be nonsensical, especially when it comes to the INTENT of this SE - opposed to the rules generated afterwards.

Also, this sets a poor precedent that is not shared on other SEs (namely Christianity) where old questions which existed before the rule change remain - we don't go back and close off-topic questions just because we decide that they're off-topic a year (or 2) later.

  • 1
    I agree with Jon in that, even though it's about a person, it is THE person for Textual Criticism of the New Testament (as I have learned since the question). As he defines textual criticism, the question is also related to the field. Jun 20, 2014 at 18:57
  • It's a bit much to say he defines the field! And Christianity does close old off topic questions, just not systematically.
    – curiousdannii Mod
    Jun 22, 2014 at 1:15
  • 1
    As an FYI, C.SE does place historical locks on old off-topic questions.
    – Dan
    Jun 24, 2014 at 15:17
  • Holds, but not close and deletions. Eh, put it on hold. Jun 24, 2014 at 20:30
  • Holds automatically close after 5 days of inactivity.
    – ThaddeusB
    Aug 27, 2015 at 19:12

1 Answer 1


I was going through all posts not tagged with a biblical book/text to do tag cleanup and ran into it. I couldn't remember what the disposition was but did remember that there was some meta discussion of it. The most highly upvoted meta post by the community on that question stated as follows:

In the questions used as illustration in the Question, my hunch would have been that Edersheim shades towards "on-topic", but Ehrman veers "off-topic" -- and yet the Ehrman question elicited a quality and "on-topic" reply.

The other answer on meta seems to indicate they are both off topic. I honestly just made a rapid decision and moved on. Closing it does not eliminate any of the existing answers nor stop users from seeing it. Asking whether Ehrman is 'respected' is very opinion-based and could elicit 'popularity content' answers. Even so, now revisiting the meta discussion (including my own comment from several months ago), and noting that I had closed my own related question as 'too broad', it seemed best to me to also close this. At best it's opinion-based (is he respected by whom?), despite having an excellent answer from Jon, at worst it could become a popularity contest ("he's a liberal heretic!").

But since you've raised concerns about it's closure, I went ahead and reopened it pending further discussion. I look forward to hearing other responses from the community about whether or not it is on topic.

  • 1
    I hope to get some clarity from the community. I'm not "butthurt" over it and won't be either way the community decides. Jun 20, 2014 at 18:54
  • 1
    @TheFreemason I probably should have scanned through the meta post more thoroughly. I honestly just forgot and my main point was tag cleanup, not closing. I was in 'cleanup' mode and may have acted too quickly.
    – Dan
    Jun 20, 2014 at 18:58
  • 1
    I upvoted the meta post quoted here thinking I was voting to leave the Ehrman question open. That post may have been too nuanced (to its credit!) to elicit a helpful binary vote. Fortunately the OP above is straightforward.
    – Susan
    Jun 20, 2014 at 22:01

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .