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12:26 AM
6
Q: What barriers might be hindering more quality participation from Jewish members?

CalebWhile this site is, in principle, solidly non-partisan in its religious affiliations, over time with a larger base of participation things have clearly gotten skewed a bit to the Christian side of things. Before any concrete actions can be taken to rectify this, I think it would be useful to actu...

The common denominator so far is that Jewish people tend to want Jewish answers to their questions about the Tanakh. They have a much better place to ask those questions and get those answers, so why bother with this site?
2
It's not dissimilar to the reason Catholics don't tend to come our way.
 
@JonEricson ...or Mormons...
 
@Jas3.1 True. Folks who are only interested in answers from some authority aren't going to get a lot of what they want around here.
 
12:47 AM
@JonEricson I sort of raised that in 2011. That Jews want Jewish answers and not Christian ones shouldn't be too surprising, for the same reason that AFAIK not one Christian has asked here for an Islamic interpretation of Christian texts. There's some interest in looking back (what do Jews say about this passage that C interprets this way?), but people generally aren't interested in analyses from people who say they're incomplete/wrong.
I mean institutionally, not personally, as is proper for the main site. Chat can get more personal.
 
 
4 hours later…
4:21 AM
@MonicaCellio Well, I really would like to read some Islamic interpretations of the Bible. I'm also serious about wanting to see an atheist perspective. But our real strength (I hope) is a focus on academic study of the texts, which might come from any angle.
@MonicaCellio Deleted. I tried and failed to edit it. I just didn't see enough there to justify our time.
@JonEricson Deleted because this user seemed uninterested in fixing their posts and I didn't see any potential in this one.
 
 
7 hours later…
Ray
11:31 AM
@MonicaCellio What I find attractive about this site is its focus on text over dogma. On C.SE I may get slogan-based answers or "my tradition believes X", but I come here for "this is what the text says". I don't want to put words in your (or other MY folks') mouth, but I imagine this site has a different focus than MY as well. We're not as concerned about rabbinic teaching. That may be useful to support an argument, but answers here are expected to go back to the text.
Do we want an identical authorship question for every book of the Bible?
 
 
1 hour later…
12:44 PM
@JonEricson yeah, you're an exception to "generally" (and I also understand why you haven't yet asked such questions here).
@Ray yes, on Mi Yodeya we consider other sources to be authoritative too. The text is primary; anything else has to be based in that. But there's a lot of additional information and interpretation that's relevant.
@Ray ? Sorry, not following.
 
1:09 PM
I don't understand the most recent edit here. Should it be rolled back? Further edited? (The added tag in particular is puzzling me.)
@Ray oh drat -- now I see what you meant. :-(
Hey @Jas3.1, would you consider not asking all those authorship questions at once? You kinds took over the front page, pushing off other still-active questions. :-(
 
 
2 hours later…
3:14 PM
0
Q: Please do not ask cookie-cutter questions

Jon EricsonThis is not a good idea: While I would like to get authorship questions for many of our texts, I believe they should: Arise organically, and Contain research about the current state of scholarship particular to the text. The authorship question is very different for every book and so the q...

@MonicaCellio I believe he removed the tag. I also see I need to write up a tag wiki, since canonicity means something besides what he seems to think it means. Since we don't have a common doctrinal authority, we aren't asking which books should be called Scripture. For the purposes of our site, examines how a text was accepted or not as having authority to some group or another.
 
@JonEricson he replaced with . It's the latter I don't understand. (And for the former, thanks for the explanation; that tag has tended to confuse me when I've noticed it, but it's flown below the radar enough that I haven't brought it up.)
 
@MonicaCellio Oh. I missed that. Once I have the tag wiki in place, I'll shuffle the tags back around.
 
@JonEricson sounds good. Thanks. And thanks for the newest meta question, too!
 
3:31 PM
@MonicaCellio I would think that beliefs are much more easier to fake than specified actions. Actions can be shown; beliefs are not shown and are in someone's mind. Sometimes, one may not know what one is thinking, but that would be OK, because no one can read minds in any case.
It would just depend on how much wiggle room a religion would allow for the expression of beliefs.
 
@Anonymous you can fake it for other people, but other people aren't the ultimate judge. You'll never get that past the Judge who matters.
 
@MonicaCellio On second thought, it might be possible to just "do the right thing". Almost all religions in the world promote some sort of peace and harmony with the rest of the world.
As the humanists say, "deed before creed."
 
3:47 PM
@MonicaCellio and @Jas3.1: I'm going to delete a bunch of those authorship questions. If there are any you (Jas, I mean) would like to keep, let me know. (And let's try to make them interesting questions via an edit.) Thanks.
 
3
Q: Please do not ask cookie-cutter questions

Jon EricsonThis is not a good idea: While I would like to get authorship questions for many of our texts, I believe they should: Arise organically, and Contain research about the current state of scholarship particular to the text. The authorship question is very different for every book and so the q...

0
Q: Can the Quran be used to explain the Biblical verses?

AliI have seen here the NT being used to explain or elaborate the OT verses , its fair seeming to allow users to use the Quran which Muslims consider the FT (Final Testament) to explain and elaborate the Biblical verses.

 
@JonEricson there was one that I nominated as a duplicate. (Hebrews, I think?) Just FYI.
 
@MonicaCellio Cool.
 
4:46 PM
^^^ There's useful information in there, but also a lot of stuff that seems like it doesn't belong. What can be done to improve it?
 
 
2 hours later…
6:28 PM
There is a pending (anonymous) edit against @swasheck's answer here. I suspect that relatively few people here can evaluate its correctness. With luck swasheck will see it and decide. @FrankLuke, you might also have an opinion.
And that question brought this accepted "answer" to my attention again. It doesn't seem to actually answer the question -- partially in passsing, maybe, but it's answering a question that wasn't asked. It's currently +3/-3, with much discussion in comments.
As far as I see, this doesn't really focus on the question that was asked. This is an postulate case for the language of the NT, not a comparison of the actual languages. Can you explain to me how you see this answering the original question? — Caleb Mar 9 at 13:24
 
I've written up a tag wiki for . Anyone have any questions, comments or concerns?
 
@JonEricson nice!
 
6:45 PM
@StackExchange What would be the point?
 
@Anonymous Search me.
 
@MonicaCellio i approved it
 
@swasheck oh hi! Sorry, if I'd realized you were around I would have just waited. (But I knew that once I left the review queue I'd likely never see it again...)
 
7:19 PM
@Jas3.1 I have removed your batch of questions. Not trying to rag on you for the lapse of judgement, you can find folks opinions about that on meta. I do want to note that this will likely create some problems for your account. They were already attracting serial-downvotes. Those will likely be neutralized by the fraud scripts in 24 hours or so, but you still might hit a question-ban.
Beta sites have much lower triggers for this than regular sites (where you would have been banned already) so I'm not sure where it will kick in.
And the question ban doesn't care if they are deleted or not. If you have problems with that let us know and we'll try to help.
In the mean time probably the best thing you can do for your account is, in the future, NOT ask new questions but go find one of the deleted ones and edit it to be your new question and we'll undelete it for you. These could be versions of the original question if you are really interested in the author of a particular book for some reason, or completely unrelated questions.
If you do that for your future questions for a while, we can probably keep you from tripping the ban or hitting the question rate limiter (which will still cap you for a while, maybe 45 days?)
 
7:35 PM
@MonicaCellio I don't know about the voiceless L thing, but would you believe there is at least one language in the Pacific islands where the inhabitants cannot tell the difference between an "s" and a "t"? Source: a Wycliffe Bible Translator that spoke in our Hebrew class at seminary.
I was beyond stunned (and that's why I remember it). A d and a t would make sense. But on hand, I don't know why a voiceless L would become a T in some dialects and an S in others.
@MonicaCellio Konway again gets an accepted answer for a nonanswer. He provided Ali with ammo another time.
 
 
1 hour later…
8:51 PM
@FrankLuke wow, s/t surprises me. I know somebody who has trouble with d/t (native English speaker, but a product of some wacky phonics-education fad in the 60s).
@FrankLuke yup, and it's the same song in both places as best I can tell. (I have trouble actually reading his answers all the way through.) That other one is part of why I brought up this current one here in chat for more scrutiny.
 
@MonicaCellio His answers can be summed up as "only the Peshitta is Scottish." Saturday Night Live reference.
 
@Caleb I'd forgotten about the rate limiter. That sounds like a good idea to me.
 
@FrankLuke yeah. :-)
 
@MonicaCellio I think that OP accepted partly because the answerer (not the answer) interested him. I think the side tracks is exactly what made that answer most interesting to him, which is why it got the check mark, not that he really wanted an answer to his exact original question. He tends to have something in mind that isn't always what he asks and then whatever takes him down that road is what he peruses even if other better answers to the actual question come along.
 
9:11 PM
@Caleb ah, thanks. I hadn't picked up on the user's history. It's still a bad answer, though, even if it's accepted; I suspect that any edit that could fix it would be too drastic and the only other tool is votes, but wanted to ask for input.
Hey, people with edit-review privs: check out the current submission. It's drastic, but that question won't be saved by anything minor so I'm going to vote to approve anyway.
 
@MonicaCellio Except for the last about appreciating guidance on working through the differences, it's fine. The only reason that part isn't is because of the questioner not the editor. I don't think Ali cares a flying fig for how to reconcile the differences and why the choices are made.
 
@FrankLuke if Ali doesn't care then the question will remain closed (and get deleted in due course). If Rhetorician wants to work that hard to redeem a bad question, I say let him -- though he could instead ask it himself and take ownership, an option that didn't occur to me. No way to leave comments on an edit; bummer.
 
@MonicaCellio I did not cast a vote to reopen even with the edit. I gave my own approval to the edits, though.
 
9:32 PM
@FrankLuke I haven't voted to reopen yet either (allowing time for the OP to object to the edit; no sense reopening if it's going to get rolled back).
 
@MonicaCellio Exactly.
 
10:13 PM
> Some Christians like to argue about which Bible version is best, but to me, such discussions are a waste of time. Keeping the main thing the main thing is the main thing, not wrangling over Bible versions. And what is the main thing? The good news that "Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief"!
1
A: What are the semantic differences between various versions of the New Testament are there any outlier version

rhetoricianInstead of getting overly "technical" (I'll leave that to someone more knowledgeable than I), I suggest that each and every version of the NT (save for versions that depart from traditional Christian doctrines such as the Deity of Christ, or the substitutionary death of Christ on the cross) has s...

seems excessive if you ask me. oh well.
 
@swasheck Gotta live up to that username, I suppose. ;-)
Yeah, I'm not in love with that answer. Nor the question for that matter.
 
@swasheck that's part of my objection (and DV). He seems to be treating this site as a place to preach doctrine; that's not what we do here. :-(
 
[on hold] stinks
 
@JonEricson Ok, I'll expose my ignorance: what does the user name mean?
 
@MonicaCellio one skilled in the art of rhetoric
 
10:27 PM
@swasheck oh, Jon was commenting on his! Yeah, that one I knew; I thought he was making a comment about your name (that your objection to that answer is somehow living up to...something). Ok, never mind. :-)
@swasheck (That's why I asked him to "dial down the rhetoric" in that comment...)
 
@MonicaCellio appointed one of the little deer
 
@swasheck Why so?
 
@swasheck thanks.
 
first name: appointed one (though jokingly i like to call myself "replacement")
last name: little deer
 
Welcome back, by the way.
 
10:28 PM
@JonEricson dunno. just dont like it
@JonEricson thanks. chances are my interaction will be waaaaaayyyy scaled back
 
@swasheck That's fair.
 
@JonEricson seconded. Good to have you back @swasheck!
 
@swasheck That's fair too.
 
@MonicaCellio new job. new focus. i can't kill a bunch of time on chat.se :)
but anyway ... i will leave this right here as a person expose ...
 
@swasheck :-) Congrats on the new job!
 
10:29 PM
thanks
 
@swasheck Congratulations! What are you up to these days? I hope it's a good change for you.
 
(Gotta drop off, sadly mid-chat. Will come back later.)
 
i spent 6 months in counseling because of some very poor interactions with our current church. last year we decided to work for them as a final attempt at seeing if we were cut out for church work. unfortunately, i'm overly idealistic and tend to fight for what i think will work. this caused relational tension with church leaders. counseling has helped me figure out what i wanted to say and how to articulate myself in these conflicts better, but my well-documented struggle
with identity was taking over. am i a DBA? am i a PhD candidate? am i "clergy?"
what i want is the second. what i've been told i'm good at is the first. it's been a hard battle, but i've decided that, for now, i'm going to be a dba and i'm going to stop fighting so hard against it.
it's sad, and i mourn the loss of a dream. it's not dead, but it's not for right now so now i have to focus on my job.
@JonEricson thanks. yes it is a good change. peace to you and your family this holiday
 
@swasheck Today is literally my last full day at my "dream job". Only it stopped being a dream years ago and I finally acknowledged it months ago. Even though I have a new job on Monday (details to come then) I'm sitting at my desk wishing things didn't have to change.
Which is to say, I have a small taste of what you are talking about.
@swasheck Church conflict is just plain painful. I've got a friend who worked his way through Princeton Seminary and got the perfect job as a youth pastor. Within a year he was fired and removed from the pastorate (defrocked?) by his denomination. Now he's a technology recruiter. I pray for him because the experience has left him so bitter. :-(
 
11:30 PM
@swasheck I'm sorry you've struggled so with this but glad that you have some temporary relief. The difference between "not now" and "never" is important; you haven't said the latter. I wish you well.
@JonEricson ooh? (perks up)
@JonEricson from the semi-outside (I've definitely seen some sausage), it looks like a key difference between congregational jobs and "regular" jobs is that with the former, if you're doing it well, it's bound up in community. So leaving a job isn't just leaving a job; it's like a divorce. That must really suck. :-(
 
@swasheck New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures.
 
@MonicaCellio My wife left her job as a fundraiser for a faith-based (ok, Christian) non-profit because her boss was a real scumbag. We still get mailings from them and everytime it kills her. (We don't want to be taken off the list because we want to keep tabs on them, but I sometimes question if that's wise.)
 
@JonEricson I have read that in Old Catholic congregations, the priests have day jobs other than their priestly duties.
 
@Anonymous That's not a bad arrangement actually.
 
@JonEricson ow. Would it help if they came addressed to you (rather than both of you) so you could screen?
 
11:42 PM
However, one might wonder what use would there be in obtaining a high-ranking degree in Theology. Going to Harvard or Princeton seminary for a degree in Theology may not fare so well with a well-paid job, unless, of course, that person wants to live a life of humility and frugality.
In addition, finding a job as a pastor may not be easy. Imagine all the competition that would be for a person to enter that career! Such a person has to compete with all the other pastors!
 
@MonicaCellio It might. If she's having a bad day and I get the mail, I sometime recycle it. She's off of the email list and I sort all of it to a folder I don't ever open. But she's not really ready to let go and she's good friends with others who have interactions with the fellow on occasion.
@Anonymous No doubt. When my friend left for Princeton, I was very concerned for him. But you can't burst someone's bubble at a time like that nor say "I told you so" later. And it works out well enough for plenty of people, I imagine.
 
@JonEricson I think such a discussion is best discussed with close family members. A life-changing decision like having a baby or getting married or choosing a major in college would be best discussed with the person's parents/guardians.
The parents are usually the best mentors.
Speaking of life-changing decisions, I feel that religious conversions are also life-changing decisions and should be discussed with one's family. A religion can change a person's life dramatically, and family members are better off knowing what the person has chosen for a faith and why they choose it, if the faith is substantially different from the family's.
On the flip side, I think some people would think that choosing a religion is a "personal" choice.
 

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