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Some time ago, I made a question about the usage of Gesenius's Hebrew and Chaldee Lexicon using the tag [tools-of-biblical-studies]. According to the tag definition

For requests for resources that help analyze the Biblical text in a specific way, or questions about how to use those resources.

Also, there's a comment from the moderator @Soldarnal to that question saying

We do allow some questions about the tools used by biblical scholars

So, having that in mind, a few hours ago I made two questions which were related with the usage of Logos Bible Software. More precisely

When looking at it now, each of the questions has three close votes saying that it isn't suited for Biblical Hermeneutics Stack Exchange with the reason

Questions about biblical topics but without a specific Bible passage are off-topic as hermeneutical methods cannot be applied when no text is referenced.

How to deal with this case?

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  • The decision made here might imply at least change in the tag description (for clarification) or burninate the tag, remove the possibility to close questions that don't necessarily have an associated passage or edit it's description («hermeneutical methods cannot be applied when no text is referenced» isn't even true). – Tiago Martins Peres 李大仁 Aug 7 at 7:53
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The way I see it is that questions about the tools used to study the text are ontopic under . Traditionally that would include things like concordances and critical texts. Since Logos is software that includes those tools, it seems on-topic too. But I can also see how configuring and navigating that particular software is a bridge too far. It starts to feel like product support rather than anything particularly related to the discipline of hermeneutics.

Still, I think there could be an argument for keeping these questions if they are the sort of questions people in the community are uniquely suited to answering. As I wrote about Vi/Vim:

In the last few years, we've been trying to get in the habit of talking less about topics and sites and more about communities.

In other words, the topic of this site can expand to include Logos software issues if there are people interested in answering them. Which is a bit of a chicken-and-egg problem, when you get right down to it.

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  • Thank you Jon Ericson and I find inspiring what you say about seeing it as a community. It reminds me of Facebook groups except here the content won't be duplicate, will be found much easier, etc. So, while the other might be handy short-term, here with all the measures it's ensured long term value. About product support, I asked them here because it was software and processes having to do with Bible interpretation. Also, if not here, couldn't think of a better place to. Considering other members might also use this or similar software.. I think it could be interesting and open to inspiration. – Tiago Martins Peres 李大仁 Aug 6 at 1:08
  • Right, so it would be good to get questions on advanced usage, how to do complex syntactical queries for example, but more basic UI questions aren't as appropriate. – curiousdannii Aug 7 at 1:37
  • @curiiusdannii why not if such questions exist and are not addressed elsewhere? – Tiago Martins Peres 李大仁 Aug 7 at 7:42
  • And what's intuitive for one isn't necessarily intuitive for the other. – Tiago Martins Peres 李大仁 Aug 7 at 7:56
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I think @Jon Ericson 's words about product placement (let's be blunt, we are talking advertising and making a profit) are relevant and may have gendered the close votes.

If one product is permitted, then all products must be permitted and BH will be inundated with advertising from multiple sites offering a vast array of religious knick-knacks parading themselves as 'invaluable hermeneutic tools'.

Standard lexicons, the usual concordances, various textual assets : yes indeed, they are the tools of the serious bible student, by the desk, by the bedside, and linked online.

But is this latest a step too far ?

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  • These tools exist and we use and they help us during bible interpretation aka hermeneutics. I believe that's what lead to the existence of that tag in the first place. The spam side / advertisement we can control it; if not only through flags, then we can bring that up here in Meta. So, while your concern is valid, I think it to be doable. StackOverflow also deals with tools used by developers and it's not like they're filled with spam (it's actually well controlled) and we have something to gain from its existence here. – Tiago Martins Peres 李大仁 Aug 7 at 7:41

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