Are questions regarding methodological approaches in biblical hermeneutics welcome in this group?

  • 2
    According to the help center, questions about hermeneutical approaches are on-topic. – b a May 14 '19 at 10:47

Yes, absolutely.

I will say try to be as specific as possible, methodology questions tend toward the "too broad" side to address well in this format, but if you ask something specific it should be good.


I would add a small qualification to the other answers. The primary purpose of this site is the interpretation of biblical texts. Within that framework, discussion of interpretive methodology is absolutely relevant. On the other hand, if the question involves a discussion of the methodologies themselves, that may be more relevant to other sites such as Christianity.

For example, consider the role of source criticism in the study of the gospels. A question exploring how source criticism helps us understand the varying forms of the Lord's prayer in Matthew and Luke would certainly be valid. But a general question asking if source criticism is a reliable methodology in the first place may not be valid, because it does not relate to the interpretation of specific texts. The precise wording of the question may be an important issue.

  • 1
    This is not correct. The topic has come up quite a number of times since the site's inception and the outcome has always been the same: questions about the field of expertise itself are entirely valid on their own. In fact some of us (myself included) initially thought this site would only be for that purpose and that the application/exercise of the skill would be left to other sites. Obviously that's not the way it worked out, but questions about just methodology are definitely not invalid as you suggest. – Caleb May 16 '19 at 19:45
  • @Caleb, if that's so then I apologise. But I would appreciate more detail than this sweeping rejection of my answer. I've lost count of the number of times a question has been closed or reworded precisely because it's not related to a specific text. Moreover I searched on the meta site for other questions on this topic and couldn't find any. Can you put up some links for me? and for other people who may need guidance? – Peter Kirkpatrick May 16 '19 at 23:48
  • Peter perhaps you are conflating this issue with questions about theology and doctrine? Those are off topic here without the issue being framed against a specific text, and better suited for Christianity or similar. But anything directly related to the field of hermeneutics itself (as your example of source criticism would be) are entirely on topic with no need for calling for the interpretation of a specific text. – Caleb May 17 '19 at 5:02
  • Of course the usual rules about specificity matter, some questions like that tend to fail on the "too broad" side because a proper answer would literally take a book or degree course length lecture to cover — but given that the question is specific enough that answers can reasonably be expected to cover the substance of the question scope inside the length of an answer, the topic is fair game to ask about itself. – Caleb May 17 '19 at 5:04
  • For reference try this question, this one, this one, this one, or search yourself as this has come up many other times as well. – Caleb May 17 '19 at 5:10

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .