This question has, at the time of this writing, one VTC as off-topic, "searching for a text." I agree, but the question reminds me of this one which fared very well here and elicited several superb answers. If I can summarize the two questions:

In both cases, the OP asks about the outcome of potentialities (implicit or explicit) mentioned in particular texts (possibly historical context1) but ask for biblical (+/- non-biblical) texts to answer (possibly searching for a text).

  • Would the first question be on topic if it were not limited to biblical sources?
  • Are there other differences between these questions that distinguish their topicality?2, 3

1. But the context would be future relative to the text provided....the Barnabas question does mention Colossians 4:10 to which the reconciliation would indeed be background, but it was apparently not required to be re-worded, "does Colossians 4:10 indicate that ..." which would clearly be on topic.

2.The former may need a little editing to clarify its development and make explicit the assumption about the authorship of 2Tim, but these are things we can help with if if the question is on topic.

3. It's difficult for me to think of a way to search for questions with a similar framework, but please add them if you recall others.

(Apologies for the obscurity of the title. Feel free to edit.)

  • After discussion in chat, Jack Douglas and I have revised the question and believe it's now on topic, but please let us know if you disagree.
    – Susan
    Aug 16, 2014 at 21:29
  • I personally don't have problems w/questions "searching for a text", as many are generally confused about what the bible actually does say, and others have heard statements made out of context which can be corrected providing the right text. A site like this can clarify "where does it say that..." questions, providing the motive is to educate and clear up misunder standings; not to go off on rants and false conjectures.
    – Tau
    Aug 17, 2014 at 5:28
  • 1
    @All The tension regarding this and other questions such as these is, "What is the site direction"(ie; who is our audience)? If it is to the academic/student/professor/exegete, then you've eliminated a vast group of dopes(like myself), who have a bible and know how to read, and who genuinely benefit from the range of questions and answers that they would not otherwise have an outlet for. The academics have a far greater demand on their time, as well as a plethora of sources to choose from. They certainly provide a very valuable resource, but it is was only them this site would dry up.
    – Tau
    Aug 17, 2014 at 5:41

2 Answers 2


The VtC is from me but on reflection I think it's on-topic as it is in essence a question that springs from the text.

That's not to say it doesn't have problems: it's not very well researched (most people know that the Biblical texts don't chronicle a visit to Spain, only the intention) and it's in dire need of an edit and a re-focus on the text that prompts the question. It's also not entirely clear whether the question is:

Is there any Biblical hint of Paul ever actually setting foot in Spain?


Is it fair to say that according to the Bible, Paul had plans to visit Spain, which never came to pass?

Although the answer is "no" to both, they aren't the same question!


Another question to ponder while considering this:

  • What if the OP were asking about the text and events s/he believes describe modern events? For instance, the interpretation of eschatological literature in many Protestant Christian groups.

If a question is unanswerable given currently known history, then it is likely opinion-based. I think the same is true of events that have not yet transpired or where it is purely speculative that a first-century author could have predicted something. Thoughts?

  • @majnemisdaen A question seeking a 'historical event' confirming a biblical text should provide a "hermeneutic framework" regarding that text; I believe this is part of our site directives. The fact that it describes present and future events is not off-topic, but without a hermeneutical framework, is. I do believe this protects us from what might rightly be consigned to 'Area 51' type answers, as opposed to recognizable hermeneutic approaches.
    – Tau
    Nov 6, 2014 at 20:01

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