For a summary of issues that engendered this question, see its initial sister question.

This question is about the tag.

Currently our site tag summary for is:

Questions about the authorship of particular parts of the bible.

The extended description is non-existent (it has not been expanded upon as of the posting of this question).

I see the summary statement for the tag as including both (bold added)

who wrote that part or information about the author himself that might have affected that text

But that may not be the site consensus of how to read that summary.

Maybe less so than the other two tags from the sister question summary, only certain questions "about the authorship" would be tagged . But as my interpretation above reveals, what are the specific parameters that make a question actually worthy of having this tag applied?

1 Answer 1


There's been some great discussion of this on meta before, so we should definitely revisit that:

[Authorship questions] should:

  • Arise organically, and
  • Contain research about the current state of scholarship particular to the text [(i.e., show research effort by the OP)].

The authorship question is very different for every book and so the question posted on this site should reflect that. We are not Wikipedia which strives for coverage, but a Q&A site that goes after the long-tail.

I'm going to go a step further and propose the following:

Questions tagged with should be focused on a specific text where issues of authorship impact interpretation of the text (i.e., the emphasis of the question is on understanding/interpreting the text).

While simple questions such as "Who is the author of [TEXT]?" could sometimes be on topic, these generally show minimal research effort and "multiply the low-hanging fruit".

  • 1
    First, it is unclear to me if you agree/disagree with "authorship" being about either "who" wrote something or "information about the author himself" as being valid or not. Second, I always read statements like "specific text" as equaling a possible level of "book" of the Bible (i.e., any subdivision that is its own "text," but less than the whole Bible itself). Partly I read it that way because I believe questions related to book level are quite valid for the site. Third, I do agree that some relationship to a text is important; "Did Paul like the color green?" is not valid.
    – ScottS
    Aug 2, 2017 at 20:30
  • 1) Who wrote the text. Information about the author is on topic insofar as it elucidates the text. 2) a book would be a specific text for purposes of an authorship question, as would be a corpus ascribed to a single author (e.g. Johannine, Pauline, etc.). Those who dispute authorship in said corpus are free to point this out in their answer. 3) agreed that it needs to be related to understanding/interpreting a text - but the wording of this would need to be careful as occasionally a "who wrote X?" question could be helpful and on topic.
    – Dan
    Aug 3, 2017 at 0:10

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