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I observed a new tag only being used by one user and only on two questions thus far: . I burninated this tag as I believe it is an unnecessary tag.

This post is just a record of my actions and a place to voice dissent/support.

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    I heartily approve. There were several others in need of being scoured off the face of the earth as well. Done.
    – Dɑvïd
    Apr 28 '18 at 22:57
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The reason i created this tag because i felt that there wasn't a suitable tag for questions that are seeking to find the reason for a specific biblical law. For example questions like this i feel like have no suitable tag. It cannot be defined as a hermeneutical question as it is not really about trying to understand better the text (though hermeneutical methods can surely be applied), it is more about the significance of the law and why it was instituted in the first place, so adding the hermeneutics tag to such a question would be quite misleading. The closest tag i was able to find was historical interpretation which is not really appropriate as it is too broad and undefined. I think that by creating a rationale tag it would help these questions be more accurately and precisely defined. Any question seeking to understand the rationale and reason for a specific biblical law falls into this category and this tag would properly define it.

Such a tag is quite useful as there are many other users that are interested in this kind of study. For example one user here asks about the rationale behind the forbidden pagan hairstyle, and another here about eating pork, and another here about purification and another here about offerings and another here about circumcision, and there many many more on BH that are seeking to understand the reasoning behind specific biblical laws, but they are missing the essential tag that would properly define them. The rationale tag would surely help them express themselves better and to express what is troubling them.

The study of the origin of biblical traditions and laws and how the biblical authors viewed them and what significance they attached to them is a substantial and respectable study among biblical studies and biblical scholars seriously consider it; i think it deserves an appropriate tag here on BH, and i see no reason why this tag must be scoured off the face of the earth.


See the list of questions concerning the rationale tag i created here:

Pagan hairstyle forbidden in Leviticus 19, who had it?

Why did the Mosaic Law prohibit the ancient Israelites from eating pork?

Why was the length of purification required for female children longer than that of males?

Why does the peace offering have a three day ultimatum within which it must be eaten? Lev 19:6

Why is a male child circumcised on the 8th day?

Why the leaven prohibition in Exodus 23:18 and Leviticus 2:11?

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  • All of these questions are still asking to better understand the text, and this involves hermeneutical approaches when answering these questions. I still don’t think a tag is needed for this, and even if it were, it would need a better name to better capture the narrow focus on understanding law (why not legal-rationale or something more specific of that is the focus? Even so, I don’t think a tag is needed for this.
    – Dan
    Apr 30 '18 at 2:24
  • Existing tags that may apply to any/all of these involve the discernment of authorial intent, the historical context, etc.
    – Dan
    Apr 30 '18 at 2:25
  • @Dan authorial intent is used when someone attempts to understand the text in its original intent or historical context, it still doesn't capture the uniqueness of the questions that are about the significance of specific laws. In all these cases the posters are not as interested in the hermeneutical approaches as they are in the reason and rationale behind these laws. In any case, let the other users decide and vote on this.
    – Bach
    Apr 30 '18 at 2:29
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    This is meta, a great place for discussion like this. My point is that you're drawing a false dichotomy between "hermeneutical approaches" and understanding "the reason and rationale behind these laws". The latter involves the former. No one approaches the text in a vacuum without bias. We all bring hermeneutical approaches to our understanding of it.
    – Dan
    Apr 30 '18 at 2:37
  • Furthermore, all questions should be focused on the original context. If you're trying to discern the current rationale of a law within modern religious practice, then this is the wrong site to ask on altogether (instead ask on Mi Yodeya or Christianity - whichever applies).
    – Dan
    Apr 30 '18 at 2:39
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    The way you're describing the tag here would make it a meta-tag anyway. It doesn't really delineate any unique area of expertise inside the scope of hermeneutics.
    – Caleb
    Apr 30 '18 at 7:08

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