I've seen several questions asking for something to the effect: "Can you give me a list of verses where X does Y." This seems similar to a class of questions that is not allowed over at stackoverflow. I'm sure the mods would jump all over someone who asked, "Could you give me a list of ways to do this in javascript?" However, I realize there are differences between the sites, so I open the question to you all.

Option 1: We encourage requests for lists. Biblical Hermeneutics might become a poor man's Logos in time, and the site could serve as a Q+A GramCord. However, I'm not so sure I'm interested in taking the time to make it such, and you start to cross the line into theology quickly with lists.

Option 2: We accept only requests for lists when they are narrow in scope. If the asker has taken the time and expertise to have a very specific listing problem that would not be easily available via software like Bibleworks/Logos, then we welcome the question (though you might need a bounty to get someone to do the research for you :-).

Option 3: We don't take listing requests at all. If someone wants to get a list, they are told that such questions are not allowed. Perhaps the question could be rephrased to ask, "what is the closest OT/NT parallel(s) to this construction/idea?" Perhaps the answer would still be a list, but it would not need to be exhaustive (and exhausting).

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    Can you propose any examples that fall into these categories from the site? Have you seen any questions in the option 2 genre? – Caleb Mar 19 '13 at 8:29
  • This question got me thinking about the issue, but I've seen others. The categories are more our responses. I don't know if anyone has actually asked a something we could go the second route, but I could see myself asking grey area questions if there was a community here able to answer them. – parap Mar 19 '13 at 11:51

Great question and thanks for bringing it up. Of the top of my head I would say option 1 is off the table. We simply don't want to be a Mechanical Turk Bible verse lookup tool. By default I would say option 3 is where we are at. At most, questions in the grey zone between 2 and 3 could be considered on a case to case basis. For me I think the distinguishing characteristic would be whether the question was prompted by a difficult arising out of a specific text or not. As you said, most requests for a list will end up being fulfilled on a doctrinal basis more than anything else. By the same token I think most list questions probably arise out of a doctrinal issue in the first place. For those that don't, a concordance is probably the tool to reach for.

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