New users currently get mixed messages and have to hunt around to learn about our site distinctives and guidelines. This is an attempt to put it all in one place.
This post was inspired by a similar post on C.SE, and also uses some of that content.
1) We are a Q&A site—not a forum!
As our site tour states,
This site is all about getting ...
Exegesis of Biblical texts is also on topic for several other StackExchange sites whose respective scopes are limited to a particular religious tradition. What makes us different from those sites is that here, our focus is primarily on the process of hermeneutical analysis, not the final output of that process.
This distinction is significant and critical ...
My own brief period of active participation on BH.SE prompts me to attempt a development of points 2) "... we study the Bible", and 4) "This is a university...” from another answer.
We desire consistency and clarity in our "mode of discourse"
Every interpretative approach, or means of analysis, or hermeneutical method, etc., brings with it its own set of ...
There is a lot of interest in the meaning of "accepted answers" on Meta.Stackexchange. Generally, the wisdom seems to be that multiplying good answers to questions (even if they have an accepted answer already) is something that enriches the SE sites, and makes the internet a better place.
Don't add trivia and drivel. And don't repeat what is already ...
No, not at all — as long as you have a reason to do so. The accepted answer mark is really just the original poster saying they think they are satisfied, but there is usually room for improvement. Maybe they don't know what they are missing. And even if they never come back to the question, think of all the other visitors that may read the posts.
Is the ...
Inductive study is at the very heart of what we are looking for in answers. Your list roughly corresponds to one that I've used successfully in small group studies:
Observation (What does it say?)
Interpretation (What does it mean?)
Application (What difference does it make?)
This site focuses almost exclusively on step 1 and 2, but step 3 is out of ...
Good sources are:
Three factors that have a significant effect on reliability are:
Type of work (published book, blog post, unpublished journal entry, etc.).
Author (university professor, recognized scholar, popular blogger, mega-church pastor, well-regarded rabbi, etc.).
Publisher (academic press, popular pan-Christian/Jewish publisher, ...
I don't have a strong opinion on this generally - honestly the key thing about answers is for them to be helpful and well-researched. If you feel that you are able to contribute in a way that genuinely helps the person asking the question, then I'd encourage doing so, even if it doesn't comply to all assumptions they have asked answerers to make.
After all, ...
A good, free, online resource for coping with Hebrew and Greek is the Transliterate.com service provided by Logos Bible Software.
If I copy/paste "πῶς οὐχὶ καὶ σὺν αὐτῷ τὰ πάντα ἡμῖν χαρίσεται;", for example, and click the "transform" button, it spits out:
Latin transliteration = pō̂s ouchì kaì sỳn autō̂i tà pánta hēmîn charísetai?
Society of Biblical ...
This is a useful question and I'm really glad you have brought it to meta. We'd love you to continue contributing: several of your answers have been well received and one accepted by the OP, this is a good sign. A clear understanding of the goal of the site will help you to contribute answers that are helpful to a wide pool of users and benefit everyone.
I think that even a supplemental answer should be ... an answer. If it reads more as an extended comment, this is problematic (which is not the case with your example).
My preference is to link to the answer rather than referencing the user name of the poster (although this is not wrong, I am merely stating my opinion), because it helps others find it and ...
Good question. Our aim is to provide the best possible answers but you obviously don't want to upset another contributor and that is also good :)
Addressing your points in turn:
This is a great thing to do up until the point you are making substantial changes to the original: in that case it isn't the best option.
Comments are only really useful for ...
The quantity or size of quotations is not the issue, I don't think. If a verse is worth citing it's probably worth quoting. The issue is much more that some of these questions and answers are not focused, including tangentially relevant stuff, often without explaining it. Writing good focused and concise answers is a skill which takes some time to learn. If ...
A quote only answer must overcome three hurdles:
It must properly attribute the quote.
It must add some sort of value over what might be discovered via a search engine.
It must not rehash a previous answer.
Answers that fail one or more hurdle really should be deleted.
My reason for the first condition should be obvious. But the last two require an ...
No, but the restriction isn't in this site's policy so much as the nature of the Qur'an and its experts.
The scope of this site is determined less by a specific definition of "book" than it is by a certain field of knowledge. That field of knowledge is the sort needed to read and interpret the Greek and Hebrew texts as well as background in, textual ...
In general yes, you can copy your own answers anywhere you like. But use discretion to decide whether it truly does answer this new question.
In this specific case, I'd say you probably shouldn't - only the final paragraph really applies to the new question. But if you flesh it out substantially, and trim the rest of the answer, so that it's the larger part ...
I believe the tension we feel is that there is no clear answer to the question:
Are answers individual or community responsibility?
Stack Exchange is a hybrid system: part peer-reviewed journal and part personal blog. On the one hand, posts have individual authors and on the other, anyone with enough reputation may edit a post as they see fit. Like ...
It's a little hard to tell from your image, but it looks like the post has quite of lot of high-lighting in the texts cited, presumably with the intention of drawing specific attention to particular words/phrases/verses in context.
In which case, there isn't a substitute for direct citation.
Of course the question of whether an answer is 'useful' is ...
I'd like to propose we keep things simple. As background, we've already got these easily understood and very helpful guidelines:
Respect the text
Start from the text
Show your work
I wouldn't say that it is "strongly encouraged" to have a source1 if an answer clearly shows it's work for the main line of it's reasoning: in this case sources are entirely ...
If you know where it was copied from, then flag with "it needs moderator information" and explain it in the text box. Something like
This answer is copied from [link].
Otherwise, like the moderator curiousdannii indicates in the comments
(...) flag as Very Low Quality.
My answer is be consistent
You cannot for the majority of posts not require references, then on a subject you take personal liking to enforce it.
Second, this site as far as I can tell does not bar new and personal interpretations, which cannot be cited, referenced or linked, because they are the author’s. So even if references were mandatory either ...
I believe that in the "Stack Exchange" Tradition, "Expert Answers" should be preferred.
Given this context, I find it hard to believe that an Expert Answer would not include some sort of reference, at least to another historical opinion.
But in the end, I certainly believe that we should ensure "Quality" and "Expertness."
Going further a bit further ...