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I just asked this question:

Textual criticism of the Hebrew bible and the rule of the ‘lectio difficilior'

I imagine it should be on topic because I have a sense that local expertise is applicable. However, I’m not aware of a precedent, so I decided to look in the the help center:


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.


The topic of textual criticism was addressed on meta, and the conclusion was that it is on topic.* We have a tag which appears to be mostly appropriately applied. Among the questions I’ve looked through, though, all pertain to a specific passage. I think such questions were the focus of the prior meta question.

In the same way that exegesis and hermeneutical approaches are both on topic, I expect that applied textual criticism and the theory of textual criticism are both on topic. Is this correct?


* We probably should add a bullet to the above.
Can’t think of a better word, although this doesn’t seem to be especially theoretical. Guidelines for textual criticism?

  • "We probably should add a bullet to the above." - I don't think that would be a good idea, once you get beyone 4 or 5 bullets people stop reading any of them. That doesn't mean they shouldn't be changed to be clearer, but more bullets or longer text will actually make them less useful. – Jack says try topanswers.xyz May 17 '15 at 12:47
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    @Jack That makes sense. Maybe the fourth bullet could be expanded to say somethnig most people understand that includes both source and text criticism - "determining the original words of the Biblical text or the sources that influenced them" or something like that. – Susan May 17 '15 at 15:19
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Yes, they are on topic. We've previously proposed changing our name to Biblical Studies or Biblical Texts (which avoids the association with bible studies) or another broader term implying the same concept (and even have a roadmap for moving towards this) — personally I prefer 'Biblical Texts' but it doesn't have a lot of votes on that meta proposal — as a name change would better reflect our focus which includes a variety of sub-domains within the field of biblical studies.

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    Thanks. I don't know that we need any sort of name change, but adjusting that help center page to reflect the topicality of both levels of text criticism may be a good idea. – Susan May 16 '15 at 20:22
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Yes, I think it's on topic, and everything like it.

In the same way that exegesis and hermeneutical approaches are both on topic, I expect that applied textual criticism and the theory of textual criticism are both on topic. Is this correct?

Broadly we have on-topic questions about the text, and on-topic questions about questions about the text, so here on meta, we are really getting meta-meta when you ask a question like this, if you see what I mean.

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