5

Here is our about page as it currently stands:

About page

UPDATE: What about all of these questions?

These questions represent a variety of different types of original language inquiries.

2
  • 1
    oh wow, I had no idea it said that, it's nowhere to be seen on the help pages Sep 11 '13 at 19:14
  • Note that almost all of these questions have since been closed (or edited to more directly ask about a passage.)
    – curiousdannii Mod
    May 13 '20 at 11:55
11

Basically we don't want this to be a site for learning to read/speak Aramaic, Hebrew, or Greek. Those would be sites with a different focus. We're trying to avoid questions like:

  • What are the different case endings for nouns in Greek?
  • How does word order function in Hebrew?
  • What's the Aramaic word for 'love'?

These are questions of a different form than the one you link. That question is aimed not at learning a language, but at understanding the historical context of the Bible. As such, I don't think it falls under the category you have highlighted.

I can get behind closing the question about the aorist tense, though. (Although, I'm also flexible and willing to make an exception there for what is probably a common enough question for people.)

3
  • FYI I've updated the list of questions, would you mind editing this to address which of them you think should remain open vs. closed under your recommendations? Or consider voting on one of the options I've created (I tried to present several). Thanks
    – Dan
    Feb 13 '14 at 16:07
  • 2
    A am +1'ing this with the caveat that I would go the opposite way on the Aortist question. While generally applicable to the language, it isn't asked in the context of learning Greek but rather a common point of confusion when interpreting the grammar of the NT. I think its of interest to our experts and should be left open.
    – Caleb
    Feb 13 '14 at 17:03
  • 1
    @Caleb Do you think the current wording should be changed to clarify? Feb 14 '14 at 4:49
7

Change the wording to allow for (most of) these questions

Based on community votes for these questions, it seems clear that we do want them here. But we need to also be careful that we don't turn into a site devoted to learning these languages or asking general reference questions about them. We should change the wording to the following:

Don't ask about...

  • Biblical languages independent of their use in Biblical texts

This would only require the following to be closed:

In general, questions that have any significant overlap with our topic (eg How different is Biblical Hebrew from modern Hebrew?) would be considered on-topic, but questions that are essentially independent of Biblical usage would not.

5

As the author of the first version of the text in question, I think I have some authority to weigh in here.

From it's inception, this site has been focused on the art and science of interpreting the Bible. We can quibble about the meaning of all of these words (and have) but the general purpose of the site is clear enough to people who've spent a little time on the site. The point of the on and off-topic question types is to avoid confusion for new users as much as possible. Specifically, it's designed to help people decide if they should ask a question. Questions about the languages without reference to a specific text may be closed.

I don't much like the question you link to. But it's not terribly off-topic. Rather, it's way too broad. However, it does have an excellent answer. Around the network we optimize for pearls such as these. The currently accepted answer hides it however.

Thankfully, this is something we can fix. I have edited the question to be more specific (and certainly on topic) and removed the downvoted accepted answer. There were some comments that are not obsolete, which I've also removed.

3

Change the wording to allow for (most of) these questions

Based on community votes for these questions, it seems clear that we do want them here. But we need to also be careful that we don't turn into a site devoted to learning these languages or asking general reference questions about them. We should change the wording to the following:

Don't ask about...

  • languages independent of their use in Biblical texts

This would only require the following to be closed:

1
  • This is my preferred route, FYI.
    – Dan
    Feb 13 '14 at 16:12
0

Keep the current wording, be consistent with it

The reality is that we currently do allow questions about the languages, many of which are not about the Biblical texts. If we are going to keep the current wording, we need to be consistent.

At the same time, this overlaps with another issue, that of simple questions that consulting quality grammars or lexicons (or Google) can easily answer. I recommend closing 'general reference' questions that ask about the language with no specific text mentioned that can be answered simply by looking up a word in a lexicon or consulting a beginner or intermediate-level grammar. The following should be closed:

0

Perhaps something like

Don't ask about...

  • learning the Biblical languages
-4

Just remove that from the site tour and allow all of these

These are all helpful. While we don't want to become a language reference website, we can close such questions using other close reasons. But we clearly do want questions about Biblical languages, even when not tied to specific Biblical texts.

One of these would still need to be closed as 'general reference':

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .