Was Jesus rich or poor? Matthew 2:11 vs. Matthew 8:19-20

With respect to my response for the above question, I was flagged with a warning and threat of deletion by moderator curiousdannii and a downvote

Provide detailed answers to this question, including citations and an explanation of why your answer is correct. Answers without enough detail may be edited or deleted.

However the other two responses do not qualify for the exact same reason I was flagged. Yet they have remained unaffected.

In the spirit of consistency, it would follow that the other responses provide the same citations or receive the threat of deletion or if they do not neither should my posting. Especially in light of the fact that I posted after their responses were up and received no citation, leading one to believe their response style was sufficient and acceptable. The content of our posts should be irrelevant with respect to the criteria and demand placed for citations. Otherwise this would be a clear case in my mind of biased arbitration.

Your input would be appreciated. Thank you

1 Answer 1


A few points I'd mention here:

  1. The 'Post Notice' on your answer is designed to be a friendlier way to encourage high quality answers, and help community members understand how to improve existing answers. I would suggest the terms 'warning' or 'threat of deletion' are a bit too strong - I think the comment in it about Editing and Deletion is more to explain to newer users how the site works. It can be used as a preliminary measure ahead of content deletion, where appropriate.

  2. In terms of appropriateness, I'd agree that the Answer in question is rather low quality in terms of its evidential basis. You've done a great job providing texts to explain your thought process, but the 'feel' of the answer reminds me of pearls on a string, where it's only the arrangement of the passages that gives the appearance of a hermeneutical argument, rather than a clear exegetical case for your conclusions.

  3. In terms of consistency, I'd say that your answer is on a par with one other to that question in terms of the reasoning and content - it's detailed enough and so I'd suggest that 'citation needed' would be more appropriate. For this reason I've changed the notice over, and added a similar notice to the similar answer.

  4. I appreciate you flagging the inconsistency here, but I think it's worth bearing in mind that as moderators we often are not reading every post in detail, and have to choose where to spend our time. Just because we add a post notice to one Answer does not mean that we have read and weighed every other Answer to that same Question. A post notice is a good indication that one of us has scrutinized it, but the lack of a post notice doesn't tell you whether we've read it or not. If I felt like I always had to read every Answer to a Question before placing a notice, I'd probably use them far less than I should!

Better Questions Attract Better Answers

Lastly, I don't necessarily think this at its root a problem with the Answers so much as it is with the Question. To me, this event is a symptom of a poor question, which is attracting opinion-based answers. This is a community site, and so there is sometimes that awkward balance where some users think 'this is answerable based on information in the text' and others view those as opinion-based answers.

The question is asking about information that's not explained or hinted at anywhere in the text of Matthew - we've got three different answers with different ideas that only have vague connections with other Gospel passages. I think perhaps in this case the quality of the answers is indicating issues with the Question.

If I were a user I'd be casting a vote to Close that Question as Opinion-Based, and then other people would get a vote. However, as a Moderator if I VTC, it will be closed instantly. As Moderators we do often try to give community members the benefit of the doubt and avoid Closing questions single-handedly where the community is not flagging content issues.

  • @Curiousdannii - what do you make of the Question quality?
    – Steve can help Mod
    Jun 1, 2021 at 12:41
  • My answer was initially a brief "I agree with the first answerer and here's some historical context", but after the first answer was changed and a challenge was raised in the comments my response was no longer adequate. I have amended my post to include additional details and set it up as a free-standing argument independent of other answers. Further citations have been added as well. I left the New York Stock Exchange humor in, but can remove it if it detracts too much from the value of the rest of the post. Jun 2, 2021 at 2:23
  • @SteveTaylor It's not a great question, but I think it's a fair contradiction question. Perhaps it would be better as a life-of-jesus question at Christianity.SE, but I don't think it's off-topic here.
    – curiousdannii Mod
    Jun 3, 2021 at 12:00
  • @curiousdannii - it's not necessarily whether it's "off-topic", I'm wondering whether it's actually answerable based on objective facts or whether it's opinion-based.
    – Steve can help Mod
    Jun 3, 2021 at 14:30
  • 1
    "As Moderators we do often try to give community members the benefit of the doubt and avoid Closing questions single-handedly where the community is not flagging content issues." -- I appreciate your breadth of mind and generous spirit. I wish all of the moderators possessed these virtues. In this case, I agree that the response which was flagged is considerably lacking in support beyond opinion, but I am confident that readers will be able to ascertain this fact for themselves, and, therefore, do not see the moderation as particularly necessary. At least the question was not closed.
    – Polyhat
    Jul 11, 2021 at 12:40
  • @PolyHat it's hard - indeed impossible - to make perfect and impartial decisions 100% of the time, and as moderators I think we're all more keenly aware of the times we get it wrong more than all the times we get it right. We always appreciate the community's support, feedback and critique. If you want to see the team strengthened, put yourself forward for the next election and support those you believe will do a good job. On a small and carefully nuanced site like BH.SE there are many distinct challenges.
    – Steve can help Mod
    Jul 11, 2021 at 16:06

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