According to our help page, questions about the languages themselves are off topic:

Gratuitous freehand circle at no extra charge

Yet we have several questions about languages themselves. We need to either:

  • Modify our help page
  • Follow our current site scope guidance

What should we do? Here are some examples:

Questionable (i.e not sure if it should be closed for this reason or not):


I suggest re-wording the help page to something like:

the Greek, Aramaic and Hebrew languages independent of the Biblical texts

This would mean three of the questions you list would remain on-topic as they are all asking about the languages in relation the the Biblical texts, but questions like:

"Definition of Greek γενεά (genea)"

would be closed as off-topic.

  • Even the "What are the differences between Hebrew and Aramaic?" question is clearly related to the Biblical texts in the context of the body of the question. – Jack Douglas Feb 11 '14 at 19:37
  • So you don't mean changing the DON'T ASK portion, but specifically making it ON TOPIC? (clarifying) – Dan Feb 11 '14 at 19:39
  • I do mean changing the "don't ask" portion to make it clearer that we are classifying only a subset of language questions as off topic: those that are asked without any obvious relation to the texts. – Jack Douglas Feb 11 '14 at 19:40

Clarify our intent and close the non-questionable questions as off topic

Questions about languages should be solely focused on Biblical texts, the current wording is somewhat unclear on this.

the Greek, Aramaic and Hebrew languages (independent of a specific Biblical text)

But in execution, I believe all the non-questionable answers need to be closed (with the intent of quickly editing them to focus them on the text so we don't lose the great answers already in place—although these answers will need to be edited slightly so that they fully answer the question). So all these would not stand as is:

In other words, the question still needs to primarily be about a specific Biblical text or hermeneutic, not about a language without reference to a specific Biblical text (or pattern observed in several specifically-referenced Biblical texts).

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