I see no difference between and , except that the referrer is Christian or Jewish. It seems to be just a wordplay, like calling God, Yeshua instead of God or Lord.

Do we really want tags to denote the perspective of the question asker, and not the content itself?


5 Answers 5


is widely used and understood, we should make a synonym. Any offence is based on a misunderstanding that could be corrected: the term 'old' is not intended to convey the impression of 'defunct' or 'superseded', rather of 'primacy' in terms of the timeline of revelation (for example Christians believe the 'gospel' began with Abraham in Genesis 12).


See my other answer for my personal opinion, but here is a second opinion I could live with, which I post separately so that it can be voted separately.

I propose making the main tag be and making both and synonyms. This is the terminology I see adopted by most secular institutions with programs in biblical studies.

This was implemented per votes and discussion here and in chat.

  • +1 from me - sounds good
    – Dan
    Commented Sep 9, 2013 at 2:25

I agree with Lance that both these tags are abused. A quick review of the tags reveals that in most cases nothing is lost by removing them. I propose that we:

  1. make both synonyms of
  2. remove the tags from every question that isn't specifically about the body of work itself (rather than some aspect of it's contents)
  3. make a synonym of
  4. remove the tag from almost every one of the 28 questions its currently applied to

Both tags would remain a rarely-used but useful pointers to the question matter rather than being labels that don't make our content more searchable and so are effectively just 'noise'

  • A few questions: 1) Is 'scripture' a religious term (it implies 'sacred writing')? Perhaps 'texts' or simply 'bible' would be better (obviously we would need to define 'bible' elsewhere); 2) Would the LXX and the NT both fall under the greek-texts (or whatever) tag? 3) Do we need tags for this at all? Why not merely tag each question with the language (greek, hebrew, or aramaic) and the book itself (matthew, acts, etc.)?
    – Dan
    Commented Sep 7, 2013 at 14:56
  • I presume this is what you mean by #2? Thus we would retain greek-texts/greek-bible/whatever but only for questions about the body of work itself (which we don't yet agree on, which needs to be resolved)? If I am understanding you correctly, I really like this idea - I just don't like the term 'scriptures' (but am open to it if the community wants it).
    – Dan
    Commented Sep 7, 2013 at 14:59
  • While I agree with Lance as well that we should no longer use these tags for exegetical questions about a particular book, I can't agree with new-testament being a synonym of greek-scriptures. A quick google search for "new testament studies" yields ~500,000 results vs "greek scripture studies" yielding ~500. It doesn't reflect our intended audience and their vernacular at all.
    – Soldarnal
    Commented Sep 7, 2013 at 16:09
  • @Dan I've switched to 'texts' I agree that's better. btw I don't think there is anything to resolve on the subject of our 'canon': it's pretty much just corner-cases that might cause disagreement. Commented Sep 7, 2013 at 16:36
  • @Soldarnal I agree, but I'm left wondering if we should just leave things as they are. I'm not that keen on making OT a synonym of tanakh either. Commented Sep 7, 2013 at 16:38
  • @Dan I forgot about the LXX! Commented Sep 7, 2013 at 16:38
  • 1
    @JackDouglas I can also see leaving new-testament as it is since I don't believe this is disputed at all, and I agree that hebrew-texts would be excellent for Tanakh/OT-related questions. +1 from me
    – Dan
    Commented Sep 7, 2013 at 21:05
  • I disagree with the use of "texts" in place of "scriptures" as well. I'd have no qualms about calling the Vedas, "Hindu scriptures", even though I don't personally think they're sacred. They're sacred to a major religion, which is what characterizes them as scriptures. A tag like "greek-texts" could include everything from Homer to Plato to the LXX.
    – Soldarnal
    Commented Sep 8, 2013 at 3:44
  • @GoneQuiet Similar to my comment above about "greek-texts" encompassing far too wide a scope, "christian-books" could include everything from Tolstoy to Luther to the early church fathers. A tag like "christian-bible" wouldn't work either, because that would encompass everything from Genesis to Revelation (and in some contexts, more).
    – Soldarnal
    Commented Sep 8, 2013 at 3:48
  • @GoneQuiet It's not clear to search engines or newcomers.
    – Soldarnal
    Commented Sep 8, 2013 at 4:06
  • @Soldarnal good point - I think part of the issue here is that we haven't defined any of these terms ;)
    – Dan
    Commented Sep 8, 2013 at 19:49
  • I think that the upvotes for my deleted answer were all after Monica's comment, but I agree that it's clearer to confirm the consensus for a specific main tag with specific answers. Commented Sep 9, 2013 at 17:30
  • Thanks @Peter :) Commented Sep 9, 2013 at 17:38

The bottom line is that either or should only be used when referencing an issue that deals with the whole, large part, or at least more than just one book of the Old Testament. It's a real abuse to stick the tag on every single question that references a book of the old testament.

And for the record, Old Testament is what's it's called, it's not a bad word.

  • 3
    @Monica, no, "old testament" is called that by most secular scholars also. It is the word with the most use in the world, it is the vernacular. Also it is old, and it is a testament. Please notice my main point, if you really think Tanakh is a worthy tag, then it should not be overused, because that makes it a worthless tag, like 'programming' on stack overflow. Commented Feb 5, 2012 at 2:33
  • 1
    As the single biggest user of the tanakh, I'm more than willing to use it less. In fact, I've edited 5 of my own older questions, which turns out to be the maximum I can do in a day. When I ask about the Old Testament, I generally am interested in the Jewish and not the Christian interpretation. I've used the Tanakh tag to gently (or perhaps not so gently as the case appears) remind us that these are primarily Hebrew texts. Commented Feb 6, 2012 at 4:55
  • @Jon, Thanks.... Commented Feb 6, 2012 at 5:40

I'm personally okay with the fragmenting as there is fragmenting in the real world of biblical studies. Trying to lay down any rule is bound to make some people unhappy, whatever rule we lay down. I'd just as well let anyone tag their own questions as they'd prefer, just as Wikipedia retains US English vs UK English on a article by article basis.

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