What kind of questions can I ask here?
Biblical Hermeneutics—Stack Exchange is for anyone who wants to know what the Bible means (exegesis) using the techniques or rules of interpretation (hermeneutics). We are an inclusive site and welcome Jewish, Christian, Atheist and other viewpoints as long as they take seriously the process of understanding the Biblical texts.
If your question is about:
- interpretation of Bible passages (without regard to doctrine)
- hermeneutical approaches
- translation of the Tanakh from Hebrew and Aramaic and the New Testament from Greek
- the historical context of the Bible (which directly aids exegesis)
- source criticism of Biblical texts
... then you've come to the right place. Please, ask away!
On the other hand, questions unrelated to the Biblical texts, even if they are about:
- Jewish life & learning
- Christian doctrine
- arguments about whether God exists
- the Greek and Hebrew languages
- ancient history without reference to a Biblical text
... are generally off-topic.
Are answers here authoritative?
The answer to that depends entirely on what you mean by "authoritative":
No: There is no official organization vetting the answers here and the site is not endorsed by any religion, institute of higher learning or publishing house. Correct answers and bogus answers are mixed together and there is no guarantee of validity. (Think Wikipedia.)
Maybe: Over time, this site aims to collect the best answers anyone can find to the questions posed. If you find an better answer to a question, answer it yourself! If you see an answer that you like, vote it up! You can help make the internet a better place to learn about the Bible.
What are the best types of question?
Some questions are just too broad and struggle to get good answers:
What does the Bible say about aliens?
Answers to this question will likely either be really short (i.e., "Nothing.") or make broad, unsupported generalizations that are hard to evaluate. Some questions are just too subjective for this site. A better question is:
Is John 10:16 talking about aliens?
This is a more focused question that will likely prompt more focused and thoughtful answers. Not all the answers will be right, but it will be easier for you to evaluate them. Also, there are limited options when it comes to answers: either "Yes" or "No". If you can refine your questions to give the people answering a small number of choices, you increase the odds that your will get great answers.