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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 ...


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SE sites are primarily places for experts. Non experts are welcome in so far as they have an interest in becoming experts. Each site is scoped to a specific field of interest. Our field is Biblical Hermeneutics: the field of study covering textual criticism of the Biblical canon1, the understanding of its original languages, the historical knowledge ...


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Primary texts open for direct examination include the Hebrew Bible, the Apocrypha (as defined below), and the Greek New Testament (see Peshitta exception below). Secondary texts open for direct examination are extrabiblical texts that are helpful in understanding primary texts and/or are commonly referenced/studied by Biblical scholars (examples given below)...


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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 ...


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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 ...


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General Reference Wikipedia Texts Primary source biblical texts and/or critical editions or compilations of these texts. Academic Bible (has the BHS, NA28, UBS GNT, LXX/Septuagint, and Vulgate) Tanach.us is the authoritative source for the electronic "Unicode/XML Westminster Leningrad Codex" (allows presentation with or without cantillation and ...


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BH already has a "show your work" guideline and this still applies. In essence we1 propose to firm up this guideline and begin to enforce it more vigorously. The other answers here illustrated a division in the community2 and we hope to be able to move forward together by focussing on what we agree on. Writing descriptively -- "such-and-such source says ...


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I can't speak for others and why they may not participate in the site, but will give my own personal perspective for what it's worth. Although a Jew (with some education in Tanach) and a regular contributor over at Mi Yodeya (the Stack Exchange site about Judaism), I nonetheless do not contribute much on Biblical Hermeneutics. Here are my reasons, as well as ...


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I think that alternate spellings of "God" shouldn't be changed. It should be up to the author to decide how he or she wants to spell words, whether in religious words or in ordinary words that have multiple possible spellings (such as American/British variants). Spellings, like the content of the posts themselves, shouldn't be forced to conform with any ...


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When Biblical Hermeneutics first went into beta, I popped in to take a look at what the buzz was about. While the Christian overtones are slightly off putting, it's not the reason I didn't join. As a Mi Yodeya user, this is why I have never participated.: There is no question I could ask here, that I could not ask on Mi Yodeya, my main site. There is no ...


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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 ...


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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 ...


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It is a very sad thing for the community here that you are no longer moderator. This site is particularly difficult to moderate, and you have made a major positive impact since agreeing to help back in 2012. During the period when we were fellow moderators I was conscious that our style of moderation was different, and also that your style was sorely needed!...


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Properly citing the Bible The chapter divisions commonly used in English Hebrew Bible translations reflect the Christian textual tradition. The common chapter divisions and verse numbers have no significance in the Jewish tradition. In addition, the Christian chapter and verse divisions are often not supported by many manuscripts in numerous languages. Good ...


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If "biblical hermeneutics" is about the art/science/philosophy of interpreting "biblical" texts, then questions about how practitioners have done this in the past, and what we can learn (or avoid) from their work would/should be fair game. I don't have a strong feeling, though -- except to endorse observation in a comment to the question that the point is ...


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The goal has been an inclusive site, in which one from the perspective of Judaism could participate (obviously primarily in questions related to the Tanakh, unless one wanted to chime in about the Christian New Testament questions... which is okay). You will have to decide for yourself about participation. I have had my own misgivings even from a Christian ...


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Because Mormons themselves Do Not Consider it the Bible This site is about "Biblical" hermeneutics, and while I realize that there is some differences of opinion about what books are to be included in the Bible (or was once discussed about such inclusion), one thing seems clear from Mormons themselves--the Bible and the book of Mormon are separate ...


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The short answer is: whichever you want. Most of us agree* that there exists neither a single correct translation nor an absolute hierarchy of good to bad translations, although some may be more useful than others depending on the context. I have yet to see anyone condemned on BH.SE for using a sub-standard translation in a question. A few related ...


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At the risk of challenging some well established SOP's, I have found the following: 1) "Who screens these calls, anyway?"(From CarTalk) At the initial input level we are reminding 1st time and new users to "Read Site Directives". Coming from a "Forum" background(which way outnumber SE environs) is a difficult transition. This requires some patience and ...


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This is an important question, and I think it has been asked before under different guises. is it realistically possible for this site to be "all things to all people" My short answer is that we don't have to try. If we stick with widely understood rules and guidelines that avoid the kind of words that mean very different things to different people, then ...


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Yes, absolutely. If a proper answer* that strictly but completely addresses the existing question being re-posted under the one you are going to ask would not resolve your question, then it is not a duplicate and you should go ahead and ask a new question. * Note that such an answer might not have been posted yet but imagine one one based on the scope of ...


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I'd like to thank everyone who voted! And I'd like to thank Susan and Soldarnal for their service as Moderators pro tempore. We've been so fortunate to have a long list of volunteer moderators (in no particular order): Susan Soldarnal Caleb Jack Richard Dan Ray These folks have done the lion's share of moderating over the years and we stand on the shoulder'...


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Biblical Studies A site is defined by an area of expertise, and in my estimation, the area we are trying to target is referred to as Biblical Studies. The Wikipedia definition of Biblical Studies matches nicely with our purported aim of welcoming "Jewish, Christian, Atheist and other viewpoints." Moreover, the term is diverse enough to include the ...


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Bring your own framework We want a site that allows contributors to speak from within their framework. Overall, this broadens the appeal of the site, and it preserves the richness of expression when answers are given in the natural context of the one giving the answer, even if this means expressing one's framework or opinions as unqualified facts. Our aim ...


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Theoretically they fit our subject matter, but in practice the questions tend to be full of hot air. Usually they are somebody trying to validate some hunch they have or doctrinal conclusion they have already drawn. The answers are either easy (grep -c anybody?) or crazy hard (sure you write a script that parses ancient Hebrew and reliably gets the context ...


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People will vote however they want to vote. We can't ensure anything in that regard. Apart from some particular exceptions like serial voting, there is little that can be done to moderate votes. If you feel that votes are not being placed as they should be, perhaps the best solution would be to vote. Your own profile shows a mere 23 votes, so there is a lot ...


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Pseudo-neutrality never completely took off as official site guidelines (and despite being the primary proponent of them, I'm actually kind of glad about that after many discussions with folks like Jack Douglas, Jon Ericson, etc.). While elements of it are in effect to some extent, they are often clarified under other ideas (e.g. questions must start from ...


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I find the question slightly confused -- or at least puzzling! -- but here's my take on it, riffing on fdb's post. I'm not inclined to be quite so restrictive, but it's partly a matter of the fuzzy gradations from "koine" through "atticizing" to "attic". There's something of a continuum there. With that caveat in place, here's my set of concentric circles ...


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In addition to Jack's excellent response, I wanted to throw my own two cents in. While I know that some folks insist on a purely neutral, objective perspective free from bias (I saw that comment thread), many of us recognize that we all bring assumptions to the text. If literary criticism has taught us nothing in the last hundred years—it's just that. ...


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To use a metaphor, I would distinguish between questions about grammar, vocabulary, translation in the air— that is, questions which do not relate to a biblical passage– and questions about grammar, vocabulary, translation on the ground— that is, questions about grammar, etc... in the context of a Biblical passage. A question about grammar ...


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