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We have been in beta for over 50 days now and so far our FAQ has simply said:

This is a free, community driven Q&A for professors, theologians, and those interested in exegetical analysis of biblical texts.

We, as a community, have complete, free reign over this very first section of our FAQ. We can put anything in there we want.

Some excellent examples:

  • Judaism.SE
    All three first questions ("What kind of questions can I ask here?", "Notes", and "Why do I see references around the site to 'mi.yodeya'?" are part of their first paragraph

  • Christianity.SE
    Their first four questions are part of the first paragraph

  • Programmers.SE
    Both of the first two questions "What kind of questions can I ask here?" and "What about subjective questions?" are in their first, editable section.

Given those examples, we can obviously add more questions, provided they are in the first section.

So, with this in mind:

What do you want our FAQ to say?

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What kind of questions can I ask here?

Biblical Hermeneutics—Stack Exchange is for anyone who wants to know what a Bible text means (exegesis) using the techniques or rules of interpretation (hermeneutics).

We welcome Jewish, Christian, Atheist and other viewpoints as long as they take seriously the process of understanding the Biblical texts.


If your question is about...

  • interpretation of a specific Bible passage
  • hermeneutical approaches
  • translation of Biblical texts
  • historical context (with regards to a particular text)
  • source criticism

... then this is the right place to ask!

Questions that do not arise from a Biblical text are off-topic unless they are about hermeneutical approaches.

Are answers here authoritative?

The answer to that depends entirely on what you mean by "authoritative":

  • No: There is no official organization vetting the answers here and the site is not endorsed by any religion, institute of higher learning, or publishing house. Correct answers and bogus answers are mixed together and there is no guarantee of validity. (Think Wikipedia.)

  • Maybe: Over time, this site aims to collect the best answers anyone can find to the questions posed. If you find or know a better answer to a question, answer it yourself! If you see an answer that you like, vote it up! You can help make the internet a better place to learn about the Bible.

  • I really copied (i.e., stole) a lot of the format from Judaism.SE. There's also some creative linking that might land people in places they don't expect. And of course, I used my best judgement about what is on- and off-topic. Some of my choices might not be your choices. But I left it community wiki so you can muck about with the answer any way you like. – Jon Ericson Nov 29 '11 at 1:20
  • @Monica: English Standard Version: "And I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd." Some have said he refers to other people besides humanity, but he is talking about Gentiles in all likelihood. Perhaps a Tanakh example would be better? – Jon Ericson Nov 29 '11 at 4:57
  • @Monica: I edited the answer to ask "Were the Nephilim in Genesis 6 aliens?" Maybe I should suggest both examples as better questions. But now I'm wondering if we will look kooky or if the FAQ ought to suggest off-the-wall questions as best. – Jon Ericson Nov 29 '11 at 16:42
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    Previous comments reflect an older version of the post that focused on asking great questions. It turns out we do ok policing our questions. But the authority (implied or assumed) of answers probably ought to be addressed somehow. (That section isn't in our official FAQ at the moment.) – Jon Ericson Mar 1 '13 at 17:25
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Biblical Hermeneutics–Stack Exchange is for anyone who wants to explore what a Biblical text means (exegesis) using techniques or rules of interpretation (hermeneutics).

We welcome Jewish, Christian, Atheist and other viewpoints as long as they take seriously the process of understanding the Biblical texts. The answers we rate most highly are persuasive and cite sources where appropriate.


If your question is about...

  • interpretation of a specific Bible passage
  • hermeneutical approaches
  • translation of Biblical texts
  • historical context (with regards to a particular text)
  • source criticism

... then this is the right place to ask


Questions that do not arise from a Biblical text are off-topic unless they are about hermeneutical approaches. Not sure? you can find much more detail and all the nuances on our meta site

Please look around to see if your question has been asked before. It’s also OK to ask and answer your own question.

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  • Summary of changes: I've removed all but the most important links and the "Are answers here authoritative?" section, added a link to [tag:faq] on meta and a brief blurb/link on good answers. I'm not 100% sure on any of this, but I do know that the temptation is to try and get the faq to do too much (and I want to avoid that). – Jack Douglas Mar 1 '13 at 22:55
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    I suggest replacing "Know" with "explore" since sometimes we don't ever KNOW, we just do our best to look into the matter and assist each other in the process. – user2027 Mar 12 '13 at 16:26
  • By the way, thanks for being here. I nearly exhausted those around me with my unusual questions. Here, since it does not rest on any one individual to answer, and given the broad base of experience, education and interests of the members, it seems such questions are embraced with enthusiasm, even if the answers are not readily available. – user2027 Mar 12 '13 at 16:31
  • excellent suggestion, and thanks for the encouragement! – Jack Douglas Mar 12 '13 at 21:36

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