A proposed close reason states that for an exegetical question to be on-topic, it needs to "start from the text." I am wondering if we can bring more clarity as to what this phrase means. What are some examples of questions that start from the text, and what are some examples of questions that do not?
Useful question, but a little tricky to answer.
It is a lot easier to find examples on the site of questions that do 'start from the text' than those that don't of course: because we've been closing/deleting questions that start from an idea or framework since the early days of the site.
Also, many bad questions that arrive on the site are bad for more than one reason - to really show the point of this close reason, we'd ideally like to be able to compare good questions that start from the text with otherwise equally good questions that don't.
I've tried to give examples by picking some highly upvoted posts that obviously start from the text, and modifying them subtly so that the underlying intention of the OP now appears to be to get an answer to a question about an idea rather than to get an answer to a question about a text:
There won't be many questions like the above 'off-topic' examples, there'll be far more that are blatantly off-topic and make no attempt to tie the question to a particular text, but I'm trying to show how this close reason will be useful even in subtle cases where:
- A related text is quoted
- The OP's intent is not really to examine the text
- The OP is unlikely to be satisfied with an answer that focuses on the text and shift's focus away from the 'idea' (eg "actually, this text is not about marriage post-fall at all, it only applies to relations between Adam and Eve")
- The OP is likely to up-vote/accept an answer which ignores the text quoted entirely and simply focuses on the 'idea' (possibly by leaping to one or more other texts instead)