A lot of the questions tagged , probably a majority, are not actually about hermeneutical approaches. I wonder if this is because it has the synonym "hermeneutic" and because it starts with "hermeneutical" - if the synonym was removed, and it was changed to "approaches-to-hermeneutics" would it be less misused? Any other ideas?

1 Answer 1


The tag for says:

For questions concerning the implementation or comparison of approaches to hermeneutics

Having "hermeneutic", which closely matches the name of the entire site, is perhaps not a good idea. "hermeneutic" applies to every question on the site, so when trying to think of a tag for one's question, regardless of what it is about, this seems like an obvious choice.

Explaining that "hermeneutical-approaches" is about "approaches to hermeneutics" isn't especially helpful either. Most questions on the site will be expecting an implementation of hermeneutics in the answer. Perhaps if that description were reworded to be less vague and to more clearly and explicitly explain what it means there would be less misuse of it.

And perhaps the word "approaches" could be replaced with something more obvious (e.g. "techniques"). Ditto for .

Someone that has just written a question must then find a suitable tag for it. Consider how unlikely it is that someone actually looking for this tag is going to search for a vague and ambiguous word like "approach". My first thoughts would be "technique", which finds nothing, and then "method" which finds .

I'd suggest:

  • Remove the [tag:hermeneutic] as an alias (because it is far too general).
  • Rename [tag:hermeneutical-approaches] to be [tag:hermeneutical-methodology] (to match the existing [tag:translation-methodology] tag).
  • Add synonyms [tag:hermeneutical-techniques] and [tag:translation-techniques].
  • Hmm, maybe methodology would be better. But I'm not sure, I kind of think that methodology is how you implement an approach. An approach like the fourfold sense of scripture then needs methods to identify the meaning for each sense. Approaches are more big picture beliefs, like Christ can be seen in the OT (for christocentric), there is a consistent meaning to numbers (numerology), prophecies have multiple fulfilments (double fulfilment), etc.
    – curiousdannii Mod
    May 28, 2020 at 13:23
  • @curiousdannii, they were only examples of a better direction, not necessarily the best possible. My main points are that someone searching for a tag for their question is very likely to inappropriately find "hermeneutic", and that someone that really does want this tag is very likely to be unable to find it. May 28, 2020 at 13:29
  • Maybe "theories-of-interpretation"?
    – curiousdannii Mod
    May 28, 2020 at 13:31

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