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16

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)...


13

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 ...


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 ...


9

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 ...


9

As far as I'm concerned, yes these always have been and still should be on topic. I've been kind of frustrated when I've run across similar things where some of our community can't seem to separate the field of hermeneutics from random theological debate. I understand why theological topics not framed against a specific passage on which hermeneutics can be ...


8

Yes, I think these questions should be on-topic and perhaps tagged as either audience or destination. We've generally allowed these kind of introductory matters such as provenance, authorship, dating, or even canonicity. I don't see why audience would be would be any different from those. The intended audience is a key part of the interpretive process for ...


8

I've never participated because I've never felt I should. This site is not "solidly non-partisan in its religious affiliation." It is an overtly Christian site, and no minor Jewish participation is going to change that.


8

Avoid truth assertions (use qualified language) We want a site with broad appeal that welcomes diverse perspectives. This site focuses on the text and the process of interpreting it, using tools such as language, history, archaeology, and science. None of that is inherently religious, which is what distinguishes BH from other Internet sites about the Bible....


8

In the spirit of how SE communities are defined and the answers to the previous related questions, I feel pseudepigraphic/apocryphal works should be considered on topic. Experts in these texts are almost universally experts in canonical texts as well, so the expert this site aims to appeal to would include experts of pseudepigraphic/apocryphal Judeo-...


8

In my understanding, Meta is for discussion of Hermeneutics.SE site policy. None of these questions is about the site. They are indeed “meta-” in a way, but they are meta-hermeneutics rather than meta-Hermeneutics.SE. Some, such as the reading recommendations question, could be tweaked to become meta-Hermeneutics.SE questions: “What shall we use as ...


7

ScottS wrote the following in a comment on another answer, which I think is very clear and helpful (emphasis mine): ...they are undoubtedly a special category of tertiary, as the controversy around them is whether the "Gnostic gospels" deserve a canonical (primary) position, and if secondary writings from those therefore deserve such status. So it seems a ...


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....


7

I think they are all on topic. Potential contradictions should be examined. Even if one does not hold to a necessary unity to Scripture by a Divine Author behind the text through inspiration (opposite what I and a number of people hold), that the Scripture is studied as a body of work shows that nearly all interpreters understand there is a connection ...


7

Questions about the history of a doctrine in Christianity such as when a particular viewpoint came on the scene or came to prominence are probably better suited to Christianity.SE. Even though the question involves hermeneutics, it's not specifically about a passage and how to interpret it so much as how a specific subset of Christians have interpreted it. ...


7

It's a reasonable question, but my own sense is that "historical linguistics" ("HL" in what follows) questions are not a good fit for BH.SE. The examples provided would only very tangentially -- if at all -- illuminate the interpretation of given texts. I can only think of one Q&A (on "Mahanaim") where HL was a significant element for the answer. There ...


7

My own sense is, Yes -- "history of intperpretation" questions are "on-topic" for Hermeneutics.SE. I have some caveats (noted later), but here's my rationale. The BH.SE community is already supportive of "questions that evaluate sources and scholars of interest to Biblical Studies". As it happens, the most up-voted answer there (10+/0-) is my own, and some ...


7

It's On-Topic as far as I'm concerned. In the Site Tour we link to What Texts are Open for Examination?. The community consensus is currently as follows: "You build a site for a group of experts. If there are related texts which experts in this field tend to study because the texts are so closely tied to the subject, I would include them as "on ...


6

Would a comprehensive investigation of a passage in the context of the whole of Scripture would welcome/on-topic? This is great question, especially because some hermeneutics rely on bringing in the context of other or all biblical texts to bear. We are talking about answers here, and my verdict would be a qualified "Yes it is welcome". The qualification ...


6

Useful question, but a little tricky to answer. It is a lot easier to find examples on the site of questions that do 'start from the text' than those that don't of course: because we've been closing/deleting questions that start from an idea or framework since the early days of the site. Also, many bad questions that arrive on the site are bad for more ...


6

Thank you for asking here before posting. Asking for a biblical reference to support an idea is off topic. Questions about biblical topics should start from a specific Bible passage. If the question arises from a specific passage that describes the character’s viewpoint and you’re asking us to help with interpretation of the text, that works. Questions ...


6

It seems to me that there are two main audiences for this page: People who meander onto Hermeneutics.SE and want to learn what we’re about before asking questions. (Rare!) People who have been rebuked for asking off-topic questions and are trying to do better. Within both groups there are probably those who just want a few bullets and others who really ...


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 ...


5

The Gnostic texts should be considered tertiary texts and are thus only open to indirect examination where they help shed light on primary or secondary texts.


5

I could see this going either way depending on the subtleties of the question. On the one hand, the "tools for the job" are certainly of relevance to the field of study, and part of showing your work might actually include tips on how to effectively use the tools. On the other hand the specifics of the tools seem slightly incidental to the process. I would ...


5

The problem with these questions and certainly with that one in particular, is that that aren't 'answerable' in the SE sense of lending themselves to a single definitive answer: ...point me to any modern biblical scholars ... looking for specific scholars/theologians and their texts... They are similar to the category of 'shopping list' questions that ...


5

You've raised a number of good points and I'll try and give my take on the main one's at least: Should Textual Criticism be a valid topic for the site? Yes, it should. Textual Criticism (also called 'lower criticism') is a topic of interest to many of the experts we have and are keen to attract. By the same logic Robert uses here, we should let folk ask ...


5

Good answers respect their questions If you have a few minutes to be philosophical, take a moment to read A Day at the Park. A key idea: My favorite kind of answers are those that my questions give birth to. Such answers begin with an honest curiosity and proceed to humbly address the concerns of the question, rather than wedging themselves where they ...


5

Yes, they are on topic. We've previously proposed changing our name to Biblical Studies or Biblical Texts (which avoids the association with bible studies) or another broader term implying the same concept (and even have a roadmap for moving towards this) — personally I prefer 'Biblical Texts' but it doesn't have a lot of votes on that meta proposal &...


5

I concur with the existing answer that this question would be "off-topic" as posed. I also think there are at least two "on-topic" questions lurking in it, and to let them out it would mean: (much!) tighter focus; and restricting the "corpus". Essentially the question as it stands is about a the "doctrine of man" [sic] or "biblical anthropology" (in this ...


5

Why can those other questions pass, while this one cannot? With exegesis questions, we draw a distinction between those that arise from a text and those that do not, with the latter being off-topic. By analogy, it may make sense to do the same with hermeneutical-approaches questions: allow them when they are about a known, practised, hermeneutic but not ...


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