0

I'm bearing two things in mind: This site is about Bible study with professional standards. And, some supposed "What does this verse mean?" questions seem like masked theology debates.

We have only three custom close reasons allowed, and I believe we don't need anymore. I'd like to simply rephrase two of them so it touches more of the common needs.

Current custom close reasons:

  1. Questions about biblical topics but without a specific Bible passage are off-topic as hermeneutical methods cannot be applied when no text is referenced. (Excellent)
  2. Questions including a biblical text but that are not seeking an answer about ① the history of that biblical text itself or ② the meaning of that biblical text either in context or through a process of arriving at a particular interpretation of it are off-topic. (The main one I'd like to tweak)
  3. Questions searching for a text are off-topic. (Another to tweak)

First: 3

Proposed 3:

  1. Questions searching for or by a text reference are off-topic.

If I had a Question closed with this notice above the post, I would think someone thought I was searching for a text that explained some idea, but that I didn't know the precise wording. This clarifies that any kind of searching that Google could replace is not what we're here for.

Users who would get Questions closed for this reason need the clarification.

Second: 2

  • It's an eyesore and I forgot what it was about by the time I finished reading. Reading it aloud with my grandfather's slow Texan droll makes the point, or it seems to belong in banter on the docks between the British guard and Captain Jack Sparrow.
  • We need a "no theology Questions" option, which already falls within the purview of this reason.
  • I want to rephrase this so it contains both:
    • An abbreviated version of the same
    • A "no sys theo" statement

One of the other moderators is concerned to make sure that we clarify that rejection from Hermeneutics.SE for theological reasons does not guarantee automatic acceptance on Christianity.SE.

However, adding a non-reason to a reason isn't a reason. It should be in something like "further reading". So, I suggest the description link to a meta Answer here that clarifies that, probably from that moderator, and that we add a note about Christianity.SE, in the proposition as bold italics.

Proposed 2:

  1. Questions are off-topic that ① beg questions about debated theologies more than they ② focus on any of the Bible study considerations for a specific passage: history, language, context, exegetical process, etc. Specific theological questions may qualify for Christianity Stack Exchange or Mi Yodeya, read this meta

This is less of an eyesore. And...

This allows for some theological content, as long as it does not overshadow Hermeneutics. And...

This clarifies that rejection of questions that are not primarily theological are not automatically accepted on Christianity.SE. And...

This would consolidate two deactivated reasons, which were apparently useful at one point, but deactivated to make room for our current three reasons:

Both of these have a place, and both are essentially the same with nominal difference. But, the problem is that most users won't ask theological Questions intentionally, or at least not directly. So, these reasons aren't sufficient when addressing questions that:

  • Are not theological on the surface
  • Don't seem theological to most people
  • Are difficult to distinguish between theology and hermeneutics when honestly trying to find answers

My proposed edit for close reason 2, however, would address both the value of these deactivated close reasons and would address the three bullets I just listed.

Origin

While I've wanted this since my start as a mod, I needed it when closing this Question:

Is Hebrews 6:4-6 in contradiction with the parable on the prodigal son? [closed]

My comments:

This Question seems about Hermeneutics because it quotes Bible passages. However, it is about a theological debate called "Eternal Security", and could have remained on Christianity.SE if it had cited the older theological debate it was a part of. The user should either: 1. repost it on Christianity, but cite debate sources and the names used for that old debate or 2. edit this so it only quotes a few lines of these passages and asks for specific Bible interpretation methods for those brief lines. If it is so edited (2), just flag it for moderator attention to re-open.

This is a cloaked theology question. Though it references Bible passages and doe not use terms from theological discussion and debates, it is related to the topic of "Eternal Security". Plenty of literature could be found on that debate. To be re-opened here, it should shorten the long passage quotes and focus on interpretation methods for specific phrases. Or, it should identify an existing theology and ask it on Christianity.SE using those terms so it is not misidentified as hermeneutics again

I made two, somewhat overlapping comments because I wanted to clear up confusion over a Question that had gone through the migraine of migration amid a plethora of misunderstanding. I'm honestly surprised that the community on Christianity.SE didn't see it for the theological question it was. I had a similar misunderstanding here on IPS, when someone thought looking for a term in a field-specific glossary like the DSM or from someone like Gladwell (Blink is in the Psychology section) implied that the Oxford Dictionary was better and wanted a Question about conflict-resolution jargon moved to the tranquil and harmonious community of the ELU. I didn't want that here, so I added these comments.

For closing that, I would have used my proposed reason 2 instead of commenting.


Where else would the edits apply or not?

My proposed edits would be backward-compatible because they include the original reasons, perhaps with improved wording.

I've noticed that many other Questions are "theologically loaded". But consider how this Question about the rapture navigates this well. It tries to re-shift the focus to hermeuentics when addressing a theologically loaded topic:

Is it right to textually and contextually insist that Revelation 3:10 is a "slam dunk" for the pretrib rapture position?

Should that be left on Hermeneutics or removed?

I don't want to avoid theologically loaded passages; that's part of what we're here for. If we can address hot topics through a calm discussion on hermeneutics, then this Hermeneutics site has made itself both useful and different from Christianity.SE, which addresses theological differences directly. So, I hope the above Question can stay, and it has.

My proposed edits would solidify that.

Here's another example from a very recent Question:

What relationship is there between lack of faith ("unbelief") and miracles ("mighty works") according to Matthew 13:58?

I regard this to be theologically loaded, BUT my updated definition would clarify that this can stay on the site, but won't let it become theological.

By contrast...

This would be a hypothetical example of a theologically loaded Question that should be off-topic per reason 2 (above):

What does Matthew 24:9 say about Revelation 3:10?

Mt 24:9 (NASB)

“Then they will deliver you to tribulation, and will kill you, and you will be hated by all nations because of My name.

Rv 3:10 (NASB)

Because you have kept the word of My perseverance, I also will keep you from the hour of testing, that hour which is about to come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth.

...That might look like a normal Bible study question to people who didn't attend Bible college. But, anyone who has read anything about rapture debates knows that these verses are used by different theological camps to refute each other.

...This would be akin to saying, "I'm not getting into politics. I'm just asking what Columbine has to do with the 2nd Amendment." That is politically-loaded, even though the question doesn't present itself as political. Many questions here do the same thing, but with theology.

This last example (below) may look like a theologically loaded Question, but it is purely a great inquiry about hermeneutics. The difference is that it does not "beg the question" about an existing theological debate, as my edit recommends:

Is Genesis 22:1 in contradiction with James 1:13?

So, my proposed edit would not be mistakenly applied to this post because it specifies "debated theology" in the reason.


Other examples as they arrive:

6
  • 1
    I would oppose (if I had the opportunity) these suggestions. I am surprised that they are being suggested as it indicates a rather worrying lack of understanding as to how the site actually works in practice. As someone who takes a daily interest in the actual task of asking and answering questions I find these suggestions unhelpful. I could spend an hour or two writing a copious explanation, but I would rather just state a brief response and leave it at that. Maybe there is a move to fundamentally change the purpose and functioning of the site. In which case I am disappointed.
    – Nigel J
    Mar 17, 2022 at 19:03
  • I modified it an updated it with: One of the other moderators is concerned to make sure that we clarify that rejection from Hermeneutics.SE for theological reasons does not guarantee automatic acceptance on Christianity.SE. ...and a wee bit more.
    – Jesse Mod
    Mar 18, 2022 at 4:54
  • @NigelJ You do have the opportunity. That's what Answers are for. I asked because I was hoping for one from you.
    – Jesse Mod
    Mar 18, 2022 at 5:01
  • Thank you. I shall consider a full reply over the weekend. But I may just leave it. Regards.
    – Nigel J
    Mar 18, 2022 at 7:36
  • @NigelJ if you disagree, please make sure you see and understand my proposed new wording for 2. Questions are off-topic that ① beg questions about debated theologies more than they ② focus on any of the Bible study considerations for a specific passage: history, language, context, exegetical process, etc. Specific theological questions may qualify for Christianity Stack Exchange or Mi Yodeya, read this meta
    – Jesse Mod
    Mar 21, 2022 at 12:59
  • I'm sorry, I do not understand what you are stating. It is too confusing to me. I shall just leave it all alone. Thank you.
    – Nigel J
    Mar 21, 2022 at 21:24

0

You must log in to answer this question.

Browse other questions tagged .