I would like to understand why my question about chronology was considered off-topic.

The close reason given is:

"Questions including a biblical text but that are not seeking an answer about ① the history of that biblical text itself or ② the meaning of that biblical text either in context or through a process of arriving at a particular interpretation of it are off-topic."

However, it seems clear that questions about specific hermeneutical approaches are on-topic even if they are not asking about a specific text. As stated in 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. (My emphasis)


Questions that do not arise from a Biblical text are off-topic unless they are about hermeneutical approaches. (My emphasis)

See also these two Meta posts.

As my question was about a hermeneutical approach, I am wondering why it was deemed off-topic.

Is it because the users disagree that the principle being discussed qualifies as a "hermeneutical approach"?

Is it because the title makes it seem that the question is simply asking for examples of a phenomenon (which was not the intent of the question – the title was edited by someone else)?

Or am I missing something here?

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I cannot answer for those that voted to close it, since I was not one. Some things I see that probably need correcting:

  1. I agree with you, the question retitling was poorly done by Ruminator, as the new title definitely implies you are seeking other examples of such out-of-order chronology in Scripture (which would not be on topic, as it seeks texts), when what you state you are seeking is other interpretive approaches recognizing such a phenomenon. So I suggest you revise the title, but it is best to try to make it a question. Maybe something like "Are there non-Rabbinical hermeneutics that recognize deliberate, non-chronological ordering of texts in the Pentateuch?"
  2. You might consider editing your primary question (besides putting question mark on it, which should occur):

    My question here is whether there are any other streams of thought (besides rabbinic interpretation) that subscribe to this principle.

    I would suggest either changing or adding wording at the end, where you state "that subscribe to this principle." Maybe similar to what I used in the paragraph above: "that recognize such a phenomenon" or "that subscribe to this principle or recognize such a phenomenon."

From my perspective, that is a valid question, but my reason for the change proposed in #2 is that my hermeneutics (grammatical/historical) from my theological perspective (divinely inspired text, chiefly Mosaic authorship of the Pentateuch) recognizes certain such cases, but I would not qualify it as a "principle" that is subscribed to.

At any rate, even fixing #1 would cause me to vote to reopen.

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  • Thank you for the suggestions. – Alex Jul 9 '18 at 18:53

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