Should "Show your work" rule apply to the Questions as well?

Show your work simply means that the poster has done some homework or preliminary search about his que or ans; he is coming with a well informed view on his topic. There are many topics on "what are we looking for in answers", it is also explained in the tour, but I think the same is not instructed about the questions. If we properly explain the requirements for posting then we can reduce (70%?) time and effort of moderators in closing bad quality Q/As, and also save this time from turning into Quora level.

I think the problem lies in the tour the tour It does not cover anything necessary to check the quality of QAs. It should be greatly improved if we present the guidelines and expectation for participation. Many newbies post with a misconception that this is a place to propagate their religious fanatic dogmas by posting useless opinions, beliefs and sermons, and they also get tons of upvotes by his fellow brothers.

If we instruct that you should at least have searched your question on duckduckgo, google (if not google books) which will lead to basic topics on Quora, gotquestions, carm etc, and if you still think you should post a question and a more deep research, then go ahead in making a topic. There are too many questions on basic translation and textual variants which should have been easily answered if he had checked netbible translation notes (also available on stepbible). Check sites like biblehub for commentaries, and especially about original language interlinear and dictionary, word usage.

The tour should include all these links, which will help reduce unnecessary questions, as the questioner will quickly find his answers in those sites. It should also include instructions on how to search for duplicate questions, which are the most common reason for closing. You should search for the bible verse reference, if you want to make a topic on that verse, and search for a phrase to see if there are already questions.

There are countless bad quality questions asking for greek word meaning, and the issue greek grammar which cannot possibly covered in an answer. If we include the reference to the invaluable duolingo, and John Dobson's Learn New Testament Greek, the best self learning book, then the viewer will be on his way to become expert and learn by himself, instead of asking stupid questions about grammar without having any knowledge and confidence in judging the answers.

Currently, there is no guideline and instructions that demands a questioner to include the verse reference for clarity in the question. Some just put their questions vaguely which doesn't even deserve to be opened. The tour does not specify that this is an expert level or expert wannabe academic site.

To quote from Dan's answer from "what are we looking for in answers":

SE sites are primarily places for experts. Non experts are welcome in so far as they have an interest in becoming experts. Each site is scoped to a specific field of interest.
..... Answers should show their work. Part of what will differentiate a good quality answer from a shoddy one is the ability of other experts to review -piece by piece- the train of reasoning that brought us from the text to its meaning. This serves both as a way to verify their quality and as a way for people new to the field to learn. If answers don't show their work, nobody will come away from our site with more knowledge about the field of hermeneutics.

Also, new questions and answered should be screened by moderators before being posted, which will help sift out bad quality and spam posts, because very few bother to read the tour before starting (when the tour is itself very uninformative). Almost every new answer receives a correcting comment instructing him to check the tour and the fact that this is a different site. This unnecessary task should be avoided if we improve the tour and screen first answers and not let them directly post them. My links should be incorporated into the tour with example, which is the only way to improve quality.

The quality of the site has been consistently degrading with time, as more and more quora and FB type users taking over, posting for gaining points, and the experts becoming fewer to non-existent.

1 Answer 1


Should "Show your work" rule apply to the Questions as well?

Yes, and OPs have always been expected to do so on any SE site that involves specialized knowledge. But there is not much we can do other than suggest the OP how to improve his post.

Many questions on Biblical Hermeneutics focus on details that seem inconsequential, random, and/or not ascertainable from the Bible and derivative sources. Where that tends to be the case, the OP ought to explain the motivation for his inquiry. That effort on the OP's part could make the difference between us thinking about subtleties that would otherwise go unnoticed or dismissing the question as devoid of merit.

new questions and answered should be screened by moderators before being posted

That goes against SE's principle of self-regulated community. It also would create a bottleneck and unduly worsen the burden on moderators, who actually have been asking us to help processing the review queues.

the tour is itself very uninformative

I doubt expanding the tour will benefit the site. Having to read an overly detailed, likely redundant, page can be off-putting. The tour is concise enough so that anyone with common sense would know what his next step should be. Expanding the tour is not going to cure a deficit of common sense. Matters that involve details or complexity should be addressed on the Meta site, not added to the tour.

misconception that this is a place to propagate their religious fanatic dogmas by posting useless opinions, beliefs and sermons, and they also get tons of upvotes by his fellow brothers.

I totally agree. These dynamics are not unique to BH, though.

For various reasons, up-/down-votes are a poor or misleading indicator of the quality of a post. Votes foster on some people (and this is more palpable in other SE sites) the misconception that ranking high makes them more marketable or "attractive" elsewhere. The functionality of votes and "rep" adds no value to an audience which is presumed to both think on its own and focus on the content.

  • I think screening new answers will save time of all readers, bec most likely the new answers are very low quality and should be moderated anyway. But if not, then everyone waste their time reading it, not just all mods. There is a gap in the guideline information that leads to this. The spam type new or bad posts also harm the image of the site content.
    – Michael16
    Commented Oct 11, 2022 at 12:18
  • @Michael16 Your suggestion that new answers first get mods' approval is unrealistic, inefficient, and tends to degenerate in censorship. From what I have seen so far, BH mods are very reasonable and friendly, but experience on other SE sites teaches that not every mod is at that level. Some mods lack self-restraint and have a notorious pattern of abusing their mod powers. Also implicit in your suggestion is the unfounded presumption that any user's time is more important than the mods'. Commented Oct 11, 2022 at 13:04
  • No, my point is that the first posts are bound to be moderated, so it is better to put a barrier to screen them instead of letting them be with the welcome msg and directions. But my main point is about reducing bad questions which are evidently due to lack of basic knowledge about those sites and general knowledge (homework). If the tour is improved with those info which is not overly detailed, they will save everyones time if the new user come well informed and get his answers from those basic sources. Since the site is meant to be expert level, not to be turned into Quora.
    – Michael16
    Commented Oct 11, 2022 at 17:40
  • 1
    @Michael16 The approach of increasing the burden on the BH mods will sooner or later lead to mod burnout, but obviously you feel strongly that that approach is the solution. I just don't know why you haven't even nominated yourself in any of the BH mod elections. In fact, last year the nomination period got extended because the deadline was approaching and there were no candidates. Commented Oct 11, 2022 at 21:21

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