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The list of Tags has very inconsistent names for biblical books. For instance:

  • book-of-hebrews
  • gospel-of-luke
  • john
  • james

Similarly, the tags for people are inconsistent. For instance:

  • james-apostle
  • luke

And combined, they are even more confusing.

  • "luke" is the author of "gospel-of-luke".
  • "james-apostle" is the author of "james".

There are others that accidentally look like they follow some standard, such as "book-of-life".


There really should be standards for the names of books, and for the names of people. (I'd suggest putting a keyword suffix on all book names, (e.g. "-ot", "-nt", "apocryphal"), but won't argue for it; I simply want predictable consistency.)

And this standard should be the canonical tag names for all books, even when there is no confusion between book name and person name.

And after that, it would be good to pre-define any missing books or significant people. Amazingly there is no tag defined for the person "John" other than "john-the-baptist".

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Thanks for suggesting this.

is just a synonym for , and likewise for — try clicking on the tags in my answer to see what I mean. I don't think there is a problem there.

With that out of the way, doesn't look inconsistent (though maybe would be better). There is nothing in the tagging that indicates authorship — whether the apostle James wrote the epistle James is a question (eg: Who wrote James?).

is not something we need to worry about too much — it's currently the tag on only one recent question. Single-use tags automatically expire after a few months so that problem will likely go away by itself.

There really should be standards for the names of books, and for the names of people. (I'd suggest putting a keyword suffix on all book names, (e.g. "-ot", "-nt", "apocryphal"), but won't argue for it; I simply want predictable consistency.)

I know you aren't arguing for it, but you might like to know there is a very strong argument against adding a suffix. Tags are very useful for search engines and we want them to correspond to likely search terms.

And after that, it would be good to pre-define any missing books or significant people. Amazingly there is no tag defined for the person "John" other than "john-the-baptist".

I don't think we need to pre-define tags at all — if they aren't being used then they aren't needed. if in future they are used it will be because they have become necessary. On the other hand if you can find more than one question on the site that could be tagged (or ?), please feel free to create a new tag for them. John the Baptist is going to be the subject of a lot of questions because he is the direct subject of a lot more verses than the apostle John. Because we generally work upwards from the text here, that's probably the reason for the anomaly — though I can see how a question about the authorship of various books might be usefully tagged for the apostle, along with some textual questions.

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  • Okay, I'm anal-retentive, but when I see that "luke" is the author of "gospel-of-luke" while "james-apostle" is the author of "james", it's like fingernails on a blackboard. Mar 27 '19 at 16:42
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    I don't think you understand the concept of tag synonyms — have you see this post on M.SE: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/70710/…? Mar 27 '19 at 16:46
  • I do understand synonyms. It simply hurts my brain that I have to say that @Jack Douglas, "luke" wrote "gospel-of-luke" and "james-apostle" wrote "james". It just feels so wrong, and it has nothing to do with synonyms. If synonyms were part of the issue, then I should also be able to say "luke-evangelist" wrote "luke" and "james" wrote "book-of-james", but I can't. Mar 27 '19 at 18:02
  • Weird. I began that previous comment with "@Jack Douglas", but it doesn't appear in the comment. Oh wait, it does appear, but not at the beginning where I typed it. Even weirder. Mar 27 '19 at 18:04
  • @Ray This site doesn't have a tag for the Apostle Luke. So I don't know what could be hurting your brain about that.
    – curiousdannii Mod
    Mar 27 '19 at 22:28
  • @curiousdannii, that tag might not exist now, but if there ever is a tag for the person called Luke, that tag can't be called "luke", despite the obvious parallel situation with the person called "james" that also has a book named after him. This makes things inconsistent and unpredictable. There is nothing intrinsic that says it needs to be this way, so it bothers me. I'm sure I'm not the only one, but I also don't doubt that most people don't care. Mar 28 '19 at 0:47
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    @RayButterworth I'm not seeing an inconsistency. In both cases the book gets the simple tag, and the author would get a longer tag with "-apostle" or the like.
    – curiousdannii Mod
    Mar 28 '19 at 1:45
  • @RayButterworth if you do understand synonyms then it might make your question clearer if you removed them from the discussion. gospel-of-luke is irrelevant to the wider naming convention because it is a synonym not a tag — it's only there to stop people using it as a tag! Mar 28 '19 at 11:16
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    I understood synonyms, but after another review it seems I was misreading them. So yes, the current tags are more consistent than I thought. they were. -- If someone wants to delete my question, feel free to do so. Mar 28 '19 at 13:10
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[...] it would be good to pre-define any missing books or significant people.

Jack already argued against needing these, but allow me to be more specific on this point.

We cannot pre-define tags. Tags may only be created in the context of adding them to existing questions. And as pointed out, there has to be at least two questions with the tag for the tag to stick around. When questions get asked that need a tag, then and only then do we even have a technical means to create a tag.

Tags are a taxonomy, not a directory, and are applied to existing content; they are not placeholders to file new content under.

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