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12:10 AM
@Dan I detect a slight Greek Orthodox bias in your answers. ;-)
12:44 AM
@Dan I saw, and barring solutions to other problems, there's one that should be added for real. :-)
1:36 AM
@JonEricson Just Orthodox Christian, we're not all Greek :P
@MonicaCellio Did you catch what I did to the score of the accepted sample question?
@Dan I did. :-)
@Dan BTW the parens in the bad-English intro blurb were there at one point (I remember seeing them). I don't know what happened to them between then and today. Jon fixed that.
(I cannot upvote Jon's otherwise-reasonable answer to your question because of the rejection of the name change.)
@MonicaCellio I gave him an upvote for fixing the paragraph, that at least deserves that much thanks!
@MonicaCellio I think the takeway is that we should freely assert doctrine in answers, so long as we don't start from that point in questions or get too carried away in our answers
And if people are offended, too bad. That's diversity for ya
I'm not a fan as I know it will chase away experts
@Dan yeah, it really needed to be separate answers or something. I didn't DV either. Such is the challenge of multi-part posts like that.
but I'm not sure that's the real goal - the real goal is to get lots of traffic and participation (even if less than optimal) so that those users see ads served by SE and other products (job/CV search listings)
@Dan really? You're now ok with unsupported truth claims as part of answers? Sad face
1:43 AM
@MonicaCellio no i'd rather not see them
I'm saying that is the message we're getting
@Dan from a couple people. But my answer to your question has 4 upvotes, too.
And to put a fine point on it: a couple people say assertions are fine, and we are a couple people saying they're not. Don't give up on that just 'cause the other side has the diamonds. You matter as a user too.
@MonicaCellio @JonEricson works for SE and doesn't seem to think our name will change
The name change was a pretty big deal to me
@Dan yeah, we're going to have to work harder on that part. I'm saying that if we get agreement that that is our scope (per your question) then we have a stronger case with the com team. Even if they won't grant the name change (which would be a real shame), if we agree on scope we can fix the about page, the help center, and other things we point people to, and that will still help.
@Dan yeah, me too. The current name does everything wrong and nothing right, I've come to realize -- it's not bringing the right people in, it's being ignored by the clueless I-wanna-post-my-opinion-on-a-forum drive-bys, and it's just plain not descriptive of what we actually do.
Though if things go the way they're trending (other than your scope post), then we may as well keep "hermeneutics" but add "Christian" to it (truth in labeling) and be done with it.
(As I said to Caleb earlier, I'm ok with y'all going over to a Christian site, if you label it and take down my now-off-topic Jewish contributions.)
@MonicaCellio but they won't
I'm just being honest, I don't know if I care to fight this battle
I've got a lot more important (and interesting) things to do
@Dan well if you're done then I sure am.
1:56 AM
I'm not saying I'll be a pouty crybaby and quit using the site
Nor am I saying I'll stop pushing this on occasion
And being vocal and voting with my opinion
But I'm not going to actively fight
i.e. lead with my votes and behavior not by meta posts
@Dan I have lost faith in this site's caretakers. If they are content to let the current state continue as is, which it appears they are (and why not, since they agree with the dogma?), then that's the last few nails in the coffin as far as I'm concerned.
@Dan I hope you don't think I am.
@MonicaCellio I wasn't implying that you were
I don't really blame you because your perspective is the one being marginalized
@Dan yeah, I hear you. It's tiring, and there don't seem to be enough people who care anyway. Swasheck gave up, I gave up... I'm not surprised you are too.
In some ways mine is too but more by absence than by existing content
@Dan thanks. (Didn't think so, but wanted to confirm.)
2:00 AM
A majority of hermeneutics are theological, so allowing them all yet claiming to not allow doctrine/dogma is inconsistent
@Dan yeah, I really ought to know more about your perspective for all the posts I've read from you! But I don't.
@Dan so if they're theological, BH should just declare that theology as part of its scope.
@MonicaCellio that's because I don't share it here, because this isn't a place for my opinions but rather objective facts about the text
Not try to pretend we're open to all and pluralistic and non-dogmatic and the rest if we aren't.
@MonicaCellio and PS, I earned points and bounties a lot more when I wrote from my perspectives
@Dan right, not opinions, but I guess in retrospect I'm a little surprised that I don't know more about your religion's scholarly tradition, like you've presumably learned about mine even though I also don't do opinion posts.
2:02 AM
@MonicaCellio here's a start: hermeneutics.stackexchange.com/a/2127/423
That is my answer to 'how does scripture tell us to interpret scripture?'
@Dan I don't know if that's a difference in style or a difference in time. I don't know how to earn points and bounties any more. Things have changed.
@Dan (reading now)
my answer: it doesn't - the Church does
@MonicaCellio I had not converted to Orthodoxy yet when I wrote that, so understand they are somewhat transitional thoughts
But today I would DV that post because it doesn't answer the question from the text. But according to my beliefs, that is the answer. The text itself points to a higher authority within which the text was composed and preserved: the Church
@Dan wow, I see what you mean about your change in post style. I appreciate both, and I upvoted that at the time, but yeah, today I would not. Posts like that deserve an outlet somewhere, but I don't know where (besides blogging).
@MonicaCellio That question and answer would be fine on C.SE
@Dan mmm, yeah, I suspect that question would be closed were it asked today.
@Dan yup. :-)
2:10 AM
@MonicaCellio at minimum the word 'scripture' would have been edited
@MonicaCellio and I should also mention that Orthodox Christians are very close to many Orthodox Jews in that they appreciate and consume their scholarship
@Dan I'm thinking that asking "which is the most foundational" is a polling question, at the end of post that seems to be more about asserting answers than asking a question.
@Dan cool!
I never heard much about Philo, Martin Buber, and many Jewish thinkers before becoming Orthodox
Orthodox Christians are somewhat ostracized within the world
Mostly due to sociopolitical environments
But also here in many ways
@Dan yeah, I hadn't realized just how much until you shared some history of the last century in here a few days back. :-(
You will see politicians rally around persecuted Christians and when countries don't allow Protestant missionaries - but meanwhile Orthodox Christians are being killed by the hundreds and they do nothing despite numerous letters/petititons
@Dan ostracized or unknown (here, I mean)?
2:15 AM
@MonicaCellio yes 50 million Orthodox Christians killed in 20th century
@MonicaCellio both
@MonicaCellio either no one has heard of us, they lump us with Catholics, or they treat us as non-Christians
@Dan yeah, horrible. :-( And it still happens and people still stand by because you're not the "right" kind of Christian? That's disgusting and, dare I say it, profoundly un-Christian.
@Dan "non-Christians"... um, weren't you guys technically the original ones?
@MonicaCellio most Americans in general are opposed to tradition and whatnot (Enlightenment, revolutonary wars)
@MonicaCellio we would argue that, although a historical case can be made that we are equally as old as Roman Catholicism
Random question, I am looking for a movie about a Rabbi who doesn't speak to his son his whole life but wants him to become a Rabbi
@Dan there is a standard joke about traditional Jews that probably fits you well too. A secular Jew gets onto a bus and sees a man in black coat, hat, long beard, etc, and starts berating the guy -- "how can you insist on living in the past? You're ridiculous! You make all us Jews look bad!" etc, and at the end of the rant the man says "I'm sorry but you've mistaken me for someone else. I'm Amish." And the first guy says "oh cool, it's nice that you've kept your traditions."
But the son wants to study another field (law I think?)
@MonicaCellio HA HA!! YES! Awesome
@MonicaCellio PS our clergy are confused all the time, and they both call themselves Orthodox
@Dan I'm not well-versed in movies, but if you said "cantor" instead of "rabbi" I'd wonder if you meant The Jazz Singer?
2:21 AM
- long beards: check
- all black: check
@Dan (Please take as given that the joke would be told more competently if it didn't have to fit in a chat message. :-) )
@Dan in both our religions, the people who nominally share the faith (but a different flavor) can be as bad as, or sometimes worse than, actual outsiders.
Way too often I have to (verbally) knock heads in my congregation when somebody starts going off about "those crazy Orthodox" (meaning Jews), and saying things like "well only the Orthodox would do X" (where X is not approved of). First off it's rude, and second it's wrong, and third it conflates doxy with praxis.
@MonicaCellio I can relate
@MonicaCellio well it's been fun, but there's a pillow calling my name
@Dan G'night!
maybe I'll wake up tomorrow with renewed vigor to change the site for the better :P
@Dan we can hope. :-) But I won't blame you if you don't.
3:16 AM
Oh cool; I just got a notification that I've found meaning. :-) (Yeah, I so don't track tags closely there...)
5 hours later…
7:59 AM
@MonicaCellio I'm not sure I made myself clear. This is exactly the kind of thing I was trying to warn you against. "A clear combination of events" is not something that exists for the voting system unless you have dev access (and even then they only have raw data not motivations!); you have to train yourself to understand that it is impossible for vote authorship and motivation to be "clear". Even when people tell you.
@MonicaCellio This analogy doesn't hold because Islam and Christianity do not share any sacred texts in common. Christianity and Judaism both believe in the sacred nature of the same set of manuscripts, the same set of divinely inspired words.
@MonicaCellio I'm quite willing to grant that your answers may be enough to satisfy a Jew and of course deserve to stand on their own, but on a question of interpreting the Hebrew Scriptures on a multi-faith site you will have to grant that such answers don't represent the whole field. they are incomplete in that they aren't the only word or only position out there.
Of course we're not looking for every answer to cover every possible position, but my point was that it isn't fair to fault a voting pattern that favored a broader look at available interpretations, even if given your faith presuppositions the bulk of them might be wrong.
@MonicaCellio Higher volume at least means not EVERYBODY is reading EVERYTHING any more. As sites grow, peoples attention starts to narrow to their area(s) of interest, the need to read, vote and provide feedback on every piece of content even outside their interest just because it happens to be on the site will wane.
@MonicaCellio No, I cannot. It's a subtle trend. Case by case there isn't a problem with specific answers -- in fact it's probably more evident in what you aren't answering than in what you are.
@MonicaCellio Sorry I was skipping around, but that brain storm was about comments, not votes. You had complained about lack of feedback/replies to your posts. I was suggesting possible reasons for that. You not tending to answer anything even possibly controversial probably has a major effect there. Votes are more likely to be effected by the general dilution I talked about previously.
@MonicaCellio Hmm, that's not at all what I was getting at with that. Did you perchance follow my conversation with Dan about the two sides to "our views on the site"? I'm not proposing some kind of hypocrisy, in fact just the opposite I would propose something along the lines of allowing others the same or more freedoms than we allow ourselves.
Your comment is more along the lines of "forcing others to conform to the mold we set for ourselves", I'm trying to turn that around and say there are cases we need to allow others to operate inside their own molds just like we do.
@MonicaCellio Really? Now I'm really confused because everything you said in answer to my first question points the other way. By your own admission your answers have been widely well received. I didn't hear you complain that you get harassed in comments for the different theological constructs you bring to the table. In what sense do you feel like you are not being "granted room"? It seems your answer portfolio speaks volumes in the opposite direction.
@MonicaCellio You also made a statement earlier that pretty much boiled down to you believe half the Scriptures Christians consider divinely inspired are opinions masquerading as facts. Ergo you are going to have a low tolerance for even the most well constructed answers if they are even remotely connected to a Christian world view.
In noting that I'm not trying to defend some of the garbage quality hermeneutics Christians all too often engage in. We have a tendency to use propagate some pretty bad stuff.
8:49 AM
@MonicaCellio Yes I have the App, but it doesn't have chat function and even main site stuff is only rudimentary. One still has to use mobile web for chat and anything moderation related (including normal user mod stuff like VTC).
8:59 AM
@Dan Freely assert? No it shouldn't be free. @MonicaCellio "okay with unsupported truth claims". No that's not what I'm trying to defend either. I'd like to see as few presuppositions used as possible and any truth claims made be supported and referenced (or at least noted who the claims belong to) as much as possible. However something Dan says a little in chat here is spot on:
7 hours ago, by Dan
A majority of hermeneutics are theological, so allowing them all yet claiming to not allow doctrine/dogma is inconsistent
The conclusion of that is NOT that this should be an overtly theological site. The specific doctrines/dogmas we bring to the table are NOT the thing we're here for. The topic of general interest is the methods of interpreting the sacred text of Scripture and various related documents.
@MonicaCellio In all honestly this comes across as melodramatic. As if the whole site's problems are embodied in a name. Quite honestly, I think changing the name would make the problems you see even worse: even more Christians would flock by and not give the site rules a second read assuming they knew what to do here. At least a technical name will give them pause and a vague feeling that they are out of their depth.
@Dan I understand the technical argument about the name of the field, but I also think the change would actually backfire and exacerbate the very problem you're trying to solve. It's a slightly broader scope and we're already having problems with people assuming our scope is broader than it is. In spite of having a specific meaning in Academic circles it isn't going to carry the same academic connotation to the masses and we'd have more problems with drive-by-wanna-be's than ever before.
@MonicaCellio I am not ok with making non-Christian interpretations off topic or non-Christian experts unwelcome.
@MonicaCellio Um, no not exactly. Theology is something everybody has and brings along as baggage whether they intend to or not. It's not part of our scope in the sense of asking questions that stem from it or only intended to conclude in it should be off topic.
An analogy might be our "topic" is a programming language, but each of us in experts on that language are using different operating systems and compilers. Are respective operating systems and compilers are not the subject of the site and should not be declared "on topic".
But they are always going to evidence themselves in our posts and in fact the more specifically they are identified as we write the more useful other people are likely to find them in adapting our input on the language to their own operating environments.
@MonicaCellio That's just the point, we are. That's exactly why we can't exclude some of the stuff you'd like to see excluded. All the case studies I can think of that have been brought up are issues of being too inclusive, not of being exclusive. That's why I asked about your participation -- whether you think your own content contributions were somehow excluded.
You're asserting that we are only "pretending to be pluralistic", yet objecting to the inclusion of things you consider to be wrong. I consider some of it wrong too and some of it just junk.
Lower votes, lower feedback isn't an indication that we're somehow dogmatic or exclusive. Back to my analogy a second ago ... if our site topic was language Y and there were compilers for Windows, OSX, Linux and Plan 9 --- answers for how something in language Y interacts with device drivers on all platforms might be on topic, but there is going to be more active voting around the more popular platforms.
That issues centered around interfacing with Plan 9 get less overall attention is not an indication that the site is somehow predujice against them and should just change it's name to exclude them.
3 hours later…
12:39 PM
@Caleb I was under the impression that Islam considered at least some of the Christian books to be scripture, albeit incomplete and misunderstood by Christians. Maybe I'm wrong; I have that impression primarily from one Muslim user who occasionally shows up here.
@Caleb perhaps I did not make myself clear: the Christian answers I'm talking about bring only a Christian view. They do not cover the Jewish sources. They are just as incomplete (by your metric) -- but, being Christian, are more popular.
@Caleb I asked before but it got lost: do we have higher volume? I mean posts; views don't matter here. It looks like, aside from things like broad tag cleanup, the main page turns over about as quickly as it ever did.
Certainly 2 questions/day is not an overwhelming flood, but that doesn't address new answers.
@Caleb ok, you do understand that it's hard for me to address a vague complaint that you can't point to any examples of, right? Maybe we can reverse it: what am I not answering that you think I once might have? Any examples? (Don't count anything new in the last week.)
@Caleb I seem to recall (need to look for it) answering one of the Isaiah 53 questions not long ago. Somebody else (I think rhetorician) gave a Christian-only answer that ignored most of the evidence brought in my answer and got more votes. Anyway, that was pretty controversial as I recall.
@Caleb I guess I missed it; pointer? What freedom do you think I'm claiming for myself but not allowing others? (If you're going to invoke Mike Bull or Bob Jones, note that the problems there are not showing the work, which we have broad consensus on as a site guideline. It's not because their answers are Christian; it's because they're bad answers.)
@Caleb when I said "granting room" I meant site stuff more generally, not just my answers. If I didn't understand what you meant and you still think it's relevant, could you try again?
4 hours ago, by Caleb
@MonicaCellio You also made a statement earlier that pretty much boiled down to you believe half the Scriptures Christians consider divinely inspired are opinions masquerading as facts. Ergo you are going to have a low tolerance for even the most well constructed answers if they are even remotely connected to a Christian world view.
My voting record says otherwise. I upvote well-constructed Christian posts all the time. And I downvote crappy ones. I would downvote crappy Jewish ones too if they were here. And yes, I consider half of your scriptures not to be scripture, just as you consider all of mine to be mistaken in their original intent, just a setting for yours to take over, etc. So?
@Caleb you are skirting a fine line here. Ok, let's suppose that most hermeneutics are Christian and rely on doctrine. If they have any scholarly pedigree at all then they will still show the work and declare the premises up front. They should also, as you said, rely on as few premises as possible. Doctrine would never be asserted as truth but as a premise of the argument. Do that and a lot of problems fall away.
But y'all want the doctrine and dogma without the work. To you it's all true and obvious so why bother to do the work of constructing a sound argument? So you'll give a free pass to somebody else who also skips the work; you probably won't even notice the fault. And so you get a site filled up with your favorite dogma and yet you think you're doing scholarship here.
@Caleb melodramatic? Well, you're entitled to your opinion. I think it is perfectly sound, especially in the context of meta discussions over the last weeks or months. But Dan and I aren't just talking about a name; we're talking about declared scope. Read his meta post again. That is the kind of site we want, and is largely the site y'all (particularly Jon) sold to the broader community two years ago.
@Caleb we have drive-by wannabes now. We have to deal with them promptly either way. The days of "comment and wait a week to see if they fix it" are long gone; delete first and then invite them to edit if they're serious is the better path now.
4 hours ago, by Caleb
@MonicaCellio I am not ok with making non-Christian interpretations off topic or non-Christian experts unwelcome.
I'm saying that you have to either fix the site scope in the ways we've talked about or just admit that you're a Christian site (like you kind of said earlier when talking about hermeneutics being mostly theological). But this "say one thing, do another" state does not work for non-Christians, and apparently some Christians too (Dan, swasheck).
11 hours ago, by Monica Cellio
Not try to pretend we're open to all and pluralistic and non-dogmatic and the rest if we aren't.
4 hours ago, by Caleb
@MonicaCellio That's just the point, we are. That's exactly why we can't exclude some of the stuff you'd like to see excluded. All the case studies I can think of that have been brought up are issues of being too inclusive, not of being exclusive. That's why I asked about your participation -- whether you think your own content contributions were somehow excluded.
1:07 PM
@MonicaCellio They sometimes talk as if that's the case, but it really isn't. Muslims believe there was at some point something known as a "gospel" text, but that it was lost. They think what we have today is corrupted copies and/or imitations of that original.
@Caleb, I'll use the same analogy I used with Jack in a comment on meta: what you have here is like a social club that welcomes anybody to join their engaging conversations. Except that a bunch of the members smoke, so anybody who finds that distasteful has to decide to either suck it up anyway or go elsewhere -- and the guy who's allergic can stand over by the window and hope he can still participate some. That's technically open, but it is not at all welcoming.
The difference is that you cannot sit down with a Muslim over the same piece of text and reason about it's interpretation because if they don't like the interpretation of that text they will just throw it out and say it must be one of the corrupted bits. The text itself that we have means little to nothing to an Islamic scholar, so no we do not have a Scripture text in common.
@MonicaCellio I wasn't arguing that they were fully complete, but the case study originally linked had several different perspectives (albeit from Christian sources) rather than one. And even if that were not the case, I've reasoned elsewhere that having a slightly higher vote count on interpretations that Christians recognize is to be expected in the same way that Windows questions might bet more attention than Plan 9 ones on Super User. That isn't in itself a metric by which to call the site broken.
@MonicaCellio Yes, our raw post volume is steadily increasing. It came down right after private beta, oscillated wildly but generally in the same range through most of 2012, and since about Feb of this year the average line through the scatter plot is clearly up, now over double what it was averaging last year.
@Caleb I'm speaking more generally than just one answer. I don't know how to easily query which of my 143 answers have competing answers (as that's the pool of interest), but of those that do, I think this happens way more than it doesn't. But I don't have time to do a manual search right now. A Christian answer that is no stronger, and often weaker, still fares better. Demographics? Sure, that's gotta be a factor -- but can you see how it looks to the non-Christians?
1:43 PM
@Caleb the problem with your Plan 9 analogy is that, presumably, the Windows and Mac and Linux answers aren't asserting that Plan 9 is misguided or deprecated by their platforms or outright wrong; they're just explaining the Windows(etc) parts.
2:17 PM
@MonicaCellio this is an important point because in some ways people need to declare their hermeneutical principles before answering or else a lot of things are unasserted. Beginning with, "I am answering from a Christian perspective...."
@Dan yes, exactly. (I should edit an analogous statement into my existing posts, a few at a time so I don't flood the front page.)
@MonicaCellio bingo
@Caleb @JonEricson is this the right approach here or are we not looking for something so definitive? (trying to get an idea if I am on the wrong track altogether or if this post just hasn't gotten much attention)
@Dan thanks. I'm glad somebody understands what I'm saying.
@Dan I think it's a great summary of the status of various texts and what is likely to be of interest to our experts, but I don't think it's at all the answer to that question, as in what defines our site scope is not the text themselves but the field of study that considers interpreting them an area of interest.
For example I'd be happy to see questions directly about how to interpret some of the things you have listed as secondary texts because the people likely to have the know-how to even read them are going to be the kind of folks we want here.
(Sorry I haven't had time to deal with the rest of chat or responding to your meta posts ... and I'm running off here now...)
@Caleb understood
@Caleb But I would like to discuss this further because I'm trying to at least get a definition of "bible" on this site
we're spinning our wheels if we don't have that
@Caleb I'm not opposed to that, I'd like some help figuring out how I can edit the question to get there
3:04 PM
@MonicaCellio When are the "last days" according to Jewish interpretation?
3:25 PM
@Sarah there is an opinion that prophecy will return in end times (just not before). There are other opinions saying no. I'm sorry I'm not more fluent in this; it hasn't been an area of study for me. While there certainly is rabbinic literature about the time of the moshiach, we tend to focus our attention mainly on this world and what we need to do in it.
@Sarah I would recommend reading this, which has a list of many different hermeneutic methods: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biblical_hermeneutics
@Sarah while "turning in ones heart to the Holy Spirit to guide you into all truth" is important for Christians to keep in mind when engaging the text, this is not a Christian site and thus that answer is looking for specific hermeneutic methods. You can see some Christian examples here
But I would argue that an ideal answer on BH.SE would not involve hardly any Christian doctrine - but I'm beginning to think that is impossible (and especially for this question as the question brings theology into play)
@Sarah But in this case it's not too bad because the OP mentions systematic theology but then says, "Please do not address this item in particular. This isn't the question I'm asking about."
In other words, the theological framework is not what is being asked for, but rather specific hermeneutical approaches which support a literal reading of the text (i.e. that creation occurred in six literal 24-hour days).
4:11 PM
@Dan Hermeneutics means to translate or interpret. In regard to Sacred texts from God there is no expert greater than God. How dare we endeavor to answer any question excluding God in the process. Any Hermeneutic approach that does not humbly involve God is worthless! Any thing less than seeking God's meaning and intent through God's Spirit who inspired the Book presents the Word of God as merely a book. Would not such system be in the spirit of Anti-Annointing.
@Sarah hermeneutics are the "rules/methods" of interpretation, and from a Christian perspective will include God (as well as a Jewish perspective), but we also welcome non-religious views here
@MonicaCellio OK, so how can the oral law assert that prophecy is ceased after Micah? And, on what ground then is the faith of the Christian in error according to your Scripture.
@Caleb @JonEricson @JackDouglas case in point
@Dan, Why did you write the things you did to me earlier (before I responded to you). What were you endeavoring to communicate to me?
@Sarah Malachi, not Micah. As I said, I don't know the specific reasoning; the links in the Mi Yodeya question I showed you yesterday may help. I'm afraid this isn't currently high-enough priority for me to spend time investigating. As for why Christianity is in error, that's a huge question and I don't want to start that argument. We have very sound reasons for saying so; you will certainly disagree with them.
4:22 PM
@Dan, Are you telling me I may only give reference to a hermeneutic approach listed by man and that I may not reference the one given by Jesus?
@MonicaCellio I would not have brought it up were it not for your questions yesterday. I was not sure where you were coming from or going to with that conversation.
@Sarah link to specific things?
@Dan Is not a quote or a scripture passage a specific thing?
@Sarah @Sarah I'm not telling you what you may and may not do. I'm helping you understand what was being asked for in that question
But I am also stating elsewhere that it is my opinion that your approach here is a perfect example of why this site won't really work unless it merely allows a Christian bias (or other stance).
@Dan But I did answer the question. Just not the way you would or someone from a different persuasion. Do the seminaries and universities only determine hermeneutic approach or may a Christian, a follower of Christ share Christ's instructions. I was told that it was not an answer.
@Sarah it wasn't
4:27 PM
@Dan It seems that the way things are headed, everything but a Christian perspective will be welcome.
@Dan Why?
@Sarah nothing could be further from the truth
@Sarah the problem with your approach is that it is not demonstratable. "God told me X" is a terrible argument for discourse, though it make work fine from the pulpit. This isn't a church. If you can show the methods Jesus used, that's different -- but just claiming "inspiration" doesn't work as a hermeneutic.
@MonicaCellio I never claimed such.
@Sarah you can certainly do that on C.SE.
4:28 PM
I merely quoted Christ
I must leave for a little while, hopefully we can resume this discussion later
I'd love for @Caleb @JonEricson or @JackDouglas to chime in also
@Dan This does not explain what is meant by showing one's work.
Until later
Lord willing
4:48 PM
@MonicaCellio @Dan @JackDouglas, first of all I want to say that even though I did not see things quite as Jack or Dan or the forum did on a particular answer I gladly moved it to a comment. Second, I would like to point out that the question was in regard to hermeneutic approaches, not methods. I addressed the primary approach from a Christian perspective.
I do not suggest answers be posted that say, "The Lord showed me, or the Lord told me . . . "
When a Christian approaches interpretation first by inviting the Holy Spirit to enlighten, we see the evidence, scripture, context, more clearly. It comes alive.
What methods one uses to observe, gather and present facts is another story.
Through all the methods of interpretation, many many diverse conclusions are drawn. Obviously, not all are correct as they often clash! Do we seek truth? or knowledge? If we seek truth, we must engage the Spirit of Truth and learn from Him. That is, from my Christian perspective, the primary approach to interpretation. It does not guarantee to others that one is right & is not ground for one to assert their perspective is right. It is none the less how we are to approach Scripture.
5:04 PM
@Sarah this site is not about seeking truth. It is about seeking knowledge. What you do with that knowledge in pursuit of truth is up to you.
A: What role does the Holy Spirit play in hermeneutics?

Monica CellioIn my experience, academic disciplines hold demonstrability and reproducibility as core values (and, in some disciplines, requirements for advancement and publication). The goal is not just the knowledge but the demonstration of methods to acquire that knowledge, methods that others can use to v...

5:21 PM
The above isn't the top-voted or accepted answer; I'm including it because I've already explained this once. :-)
@Dan Other than not having a clue what "spirit of Anti-Annointing" means, I'm not sure what point you are trying to make.
@JonEricson, hello Jon, I see you are in the library. Is it not an answer, from a Christian perspective, to remind one that the primary/preliminary approach to interpreting Scripture is to humbly invite the Holy Spirit to teach us because Jesus taught that the Holy Spirit would guide us into all truth? It is not primary research, it is a quote from the Master, it is, from a Christian perspective, faithfully passing on that which we have received from the Lord. Anyone can ask the Holy Spirit.
@JonEricson I suspect he meant this in particular: "Any Hermeneutic approach that does not humbly involve God is worthless! Any thing less than seeking God's meaning and intent through God's Spirit who inspired the Book presents the Word of God as merely a book. "
@MonicaCellio That is from my perspective as a Christian.
@JonEricson I was the one who posed this question and I meant would it not be the spirit of the anti-christ to only allow a human perspective and not consider the Holy Spirit in interpreting Scripture. And would it not be absurd to consider such given that it is His word.
Hi @Sarah
just catching up…
5:32 PM
Hey Jack
@MonicaCellio That's a valid perspect. Disagreeing with that statement also seems valid to me.
@Sarah May I ask, when you say " Is it not an answer, from a Christian perspective" just above, what question are you referring to (or are you speaking generally and not about a particular question on the site)?
Oh, Hi @Islam what brings you into The Library?
@JackDouglas I believe @Dan was interacting with me in regard to the the answer I posted the other day that you deleted and we decided to move to a comment. I did so today and I suspect that he saw it and addressed me on it. I do not know how he came to speak to me on these things; but I do know it involves the question on Hermeneutic approaches.
@JackDouglas yes
5:38 PM
Can I ask you what you think the OP means by that question?
@Sarah So he's asking for a list you mean? Or something else?
hey, you are really mastering this markdown thing :)
@JackDouglas I am not real sure where he is going with the conversation.
@JackDouglas LOL
@Sarah who, the OP?
I believe the conversation began here below the yellow post
@JackDouglas Dan
5:47 PM
@Sarah oh, that conversation: I wasn't asking about that, just the question on the main site
Dan is not the OP
@JackDouglas OH!!!
now we are on the same page. hold on
@JackDouglas The questioner I believe was inquiring about an approach to interpreting Scripture. when I think approach I think of how one approaches it, ie. in what frame of mind what spirit, and what the first thing one does is.
@Sarah can I ask what do you think he meant by "support a literal interpretation"?
My question:

@JackDouglas. The questioner (OP?) What hermeneutical approaches lead to a literal understanding of Genesis and what are the principle arguments made for these approaches being valid for the Genesis text?
@Sarah OP = Original Poster, sorry
@JackDouglas What it was meant to say in the first place or without hidden, deeper meaning only discernible by private interpretation.
5:54 PM
@JackDouglas Keen to add a shelf for the Quran in the Library :)
@JackDouglas In essence, the truth.
tangent: suddenly my name lost it's h on my profile picture! :(
@Sarah I still see the 'h'
try refreshing?
so weird!
@JonEricson it's a valid perspective for seeking personal truth. I don't see what it has to do with the kind of study this site is supposed to be for.
@Islam ha ha, I'm afraid that would be off topic for this Library :)
6:00 PM
@MonicaCellio @JackDouglas Is not the site for anyone who wants to know what the Biblical text means?
@Sarah can I tell what I think he was asking?
@JackDouglas Sure
@Sarah "Biblical Hermeneutics Stack Exchange is for anyone who wants to explore what a Biblical text means (exegesis) using techniques or rules of interpretation (hermeneutics)."
@JackDouglas When one clicks on that link no techniques or rules are listed.
@Sarah I think he is asking specifically for a list of hermeneutical approaches that favour reading Genesis as a scientific, chronological account of the creation of the universe
6:02 PM
@MonicaCellio Surely private study is a necessary step to take before one answers a questions here. I don't particularly care to monitor what people think or do in private. Haven't you been beating the drum for voting on content?
@JackDouglas And that is why you said my answer was not an answer. Not because it encouraged reliance upon the Holy Spirit.
@Sarah exactly
@JonEricson um, we must be talking about two different things. I'm saying that the knowledge you gain here may aid your personal search for truth, but your pre-existing personal truths are not useful as part of an argument here.
Do you discern that even after I moved my response to the comments that it was still troublesome to Dan? Do you think that given the OPs original intent that what I wrote is an inapporpriate comment?
@Sarah I did not say (or mean) that what you had to say was not true, valid, or a correct answer to a question, just that in my opinion it was not the specific answer to the question the OP asked. Comments are fine for that kind of encouragement (or critique), anything tangential but answers have to be very focused on the intent of the question
6:06 PM
@JackDouglas You indicated that in you comment to my "answer." It is Dan's conversation surprises me.
@Sarah I have much to say on that too (tonight I must disappear!) but for now: there is an ongoing debate about what tone the site should aim for and I encourage you to have a look at the recent activity on meta
@MonicaCellio All I know is that I was pinged twice to comment on something taken out of context. I happen to agree with the chat item up to the final sentence. I'm not in the mood to figure out what the context was.
@JackDouglas Thank you for your time.
@Sarah there is room for divergent views on the site and especially in this room but please don't confuse what we say in here for anything other than personal opinion!
What is said on meta and the votes there are more indicative of the feelings of the community at large (though bear in mind we are a very small community :)
@JackDouglas of course.
6:11 PM
@JonEricson err, what? (Did you intend that comment for me?)
@MonicaCellio I probably meant @Dan. It's been a long week.
@Caleb Islam does share the gospels and Torah , rather it is one of the 6 articles of faith in Islam, no Muslim is a Muslim if he does not believe in the Torah and Gospel
1 min ago, by Islam
@Caleb Islam does share the gospels and Torah , rather it is one of the 6 articles of faith in Islam, no Muslim is a Muslim if he does not believe in the Torah and Gospel
Ideally if NT is included in the Bible then Quran should also be included in it as the FT (Final Testament). Muslims consider convenient to carry only the FT like how many Christians would only carry the NT.
It was just a historical issue that Christians happened to bind their Gospels with the OT.
Muslim didn't , not because they reject it.
6:27 PM
@JonEricson @JackDouglas A specific list of techniques or rules of interpretation do not come up when one clicks on the hermeneutic link of the about page. Instead it seems to take one to a meta chat on hermeneutics. Is that because it is undecided? If not, It seems that this would be the most appropriate place for a direct link to such a list or perhaps another link in a sentence about techniques or rules of interpretation.
@Islam thanks. So just to clarify, Islam holds that the torah (do you mean all tanakh or just the 5 books?) and gospels (just them or all NT?) have the status of scripture?
@MonicaCellio Ya it does hold the status of scripture
In fact they(Jews and Christians ) are called Ahle Kitab
or people of scriptures
@JonEricson that this is an example of trying to have a site where unsupported assertions of dogma are not welcome yet we allow any and everyone to participate even if they are unable to step back from their perspective and analyze the text as it stands and show their work
I guess The christian decision to add the gospel as an addendum to the OT was more of a physical polemical decision for a dire need to prove that OT prophesizes the NT story.
@MonicaCellio To clarify, this agrees with what I found regarding the Islamic view of Scripture. In short, the five books of Moses, the Psalms of David, the Gospel of Jesus (which was lost), and the Koran.
6:42 PM
Although Muslims do believe that Gospel are the next installment to the torah but it does not add new things to it , rather confirms\makes it easy to understand the previous message like what the quran did
@MonicaCellio Many Islamic scholars of the past did do the hermeneutics of the Bible and were very well versed
In the same way there are many christian reverands that did tafseer of Quran
like Rodwell
@Islam ok, just checking - the Wikipedia link that Frank posted says that Islam doesn't consider the extant gospels to be scripture, but rather that there was another gospel revealed to Jesus that we no longer have. Is that correct? Is there anything in the christian NT that you consider to be as holy as the torah and psalms?
@Islam I wish some of them were doing it here. :-)
@MonicaCellio They would be heavily downvoted
@Islam not if they showed their work and explained their arguments. The Christian super-majority hasn't downvoted Jewish answers much even though they probably think I'm wrong or going to hell or something.
But polemics would certainly be downvoted, so they shouldn't do that.
@MonicaCellio The answer to the Jonah question was downvoted ?
I can't find that link
I wanted to discuss that Jonah question as example , @MonicaCellio can you find that out?
Muslims view from the scriptures that Jonah did not die
in the same way Jesus did not die , he remained alive and never died like Jonah who remained alive
@Islam sorry, don't know which one you mean. You can search by text or by tag (there's a tag for each book).
6:56 PM
@MonicaCellio the one which has 2downvotes and people claimed that its a Muslim interpretation when clearly no Islamic POV were mentioned .
@MonicaCellio Your answers are not getting downvoted because you are a Mod and more importantly you write it so well and I would say you are doing a herculean task to manage all that
@MonicaCellio This one, I believe.
@Islam my being a mod on another site is irrelevant (and many of my answers predate me being a mod). I agree that good writing makes a big difference; if people can't understand a post they sure aren't going to upvote it! And a minority perspective has a huge extra burden, to overcome the Christian presumption/privilege.
@MonicaCellio Ya But new users can't be expected to be as seasoned as you
like the one who answered the Jonah question
7:19 PM
(Sorry, busy elsewhere. I'm at work, so chat can be kind of bursty for me.)
Looking in the chat, comments, and revision history of that answer, I can't see anyone saying "dv because it's Islamic." As we have recently been discussing, it's impossible to discern why an answer is dv or not without a comment from a dver. And even then, you have to be careful. Not everyone who dv does it for the same reason.
Bringing this answer up did remind me that I never voted on it. I have given it an upvote since the sermon parts were removed.
7:36 PM
@FrankLuke can you link that?
@MonicaCellio What does the Jewish hermenutics say about Jonah, did he die according to rabbis?
@Islam Here is the chat. Link to the question and answer. And revisions.
@FrankLuke I too upvoted it , thanks
and commented too
8:25 PM
@Islam I didn't know that was an Islamic answer, BTW. The original version was pretty incoherent (hence my comment and, later, edit). I upvoted it. Jonah didn't die; whether Jesus did isn't my concern, but since the question was about Jonah and the edited version answers that, I voted.
@MonicaCellio So the rabbis believe Jonah did not die? can you quote an authoritative text?
@Islam I'm not aware of anybody who says he did. I don't have a source handy. The text seems pretty clear -- overboard, in the fish, prayed, vomited out, but nothing about dying. There may be midrash on this. You might also check Rashi (available online) as an entry point.
Sorry I'm not being more helpful; I've got a zillion things going on right now.
For loose definitions of "zillion". :-)
@MonicaCellio thanks
1 hour later…
9:56 PM
@MonicaCellio trying to get some working definitions that can be referenced in these discussions
10:12 PM
@Dan thank you. And it was interesting to reread that question again (it long predates the "barriers to Jews" one).
@MonicaCellio also this
@MonicaCellio hopefully that one also clarifies this one, which I'm not sure anyone understood
(I'm making the case that when we read texts from thousands of years ago and talk about the audience in first person, we are making a doctrinal assertion and have moved beyond the text into the realm of applying doctrine)
Those sorts of questions are great on C.SE or MY.SE, but here the question should be about the text itself
@Dan nice. And I missed the problem in the Hebrews example the first time I saw this (back then). Good catch. I've seen a lot of presumptious "we" language on the site, but forgot that it had crept into a meta example on the positive side...
@Dan yeah, not sure how clear that one is to folks -- one answer that misses the point and no other feedback.
Ah, that's where I used my smoking example for Jack. I was wondering where that'd gotten to.
@MonicaCellio does this additional example help?
@Dan Are you serious? Do you really think it's possible to ask any questions that do not make any presumptions? That's insane.
Do you honestly expect askers to know the scholarship before asking their questions?
10:29 PM
@JonEricson I believe all questions will have presumptions, but this would be an application question if it asks about me/my religion rather than the text
@JonEricson Do you not agree that asking in first person about the audience of a text shifts the focus from the text to application of doctrine in the text?
If not, by all means explain in an answer
So we must assume that the author of Hebrews had no ideas at all about how salvation works?
@JonEricson nope, only that he was writing to first century Christians
It existed in the context of a religion that had a very clear process for salvation. Half the letter talks about it.
So you could answer how he talked about how his original audience could lose their salvation
@Dan No. Why should it?
10:33 PM
@JonEricson because it ceases to be a question about a text and becomes a question about me/my religion
@JonEricson it thus moves from a textual question to a question about the application of the doctrine spoken about in the text to me/my religion
@Dan we had some blatant cases of this some months back, questions that asked (in the title no less) about "our lord and savior Jesus Christ". I edited those. This is more subtle but it's the same issue -- presumption.
And yes, it's subtle and many people won't see it, which is why people can edit others' posts.
@Dan Believing the text does not apply to me is as much a doctrinal stance as to believe that it does. Treating the Bible as an intellectual curiosity does nothing to separate the site from dogma. It just hides it under pious (secular) robes.
@JonEricson The question as is would be fine for C.SE, there is no reason to ask it here
By editing it to be asking solely about the text (and not the text's application), we offer something unique
@Dan I disagree with your interpretation of the guideline. Notice that the guideline I upvoted clearly states that "Does Hebrews 6:4-6 imply that we can lose our salvation?" is on-topic.
An answer would not appeal to other biblical writers to support a doctrine, but rather rely solely on textual evidence to answer it
@JonEricson yes it does - but I believe that this is clearly the application of doctrine to me/us as it uses first person
@JonEricson (I responded to the post in an answer)
@JonEricson and I don't believe I'm misinterpreting the guideline. I'm just taking it literally rather than loosely
@JonEricson I would recommend an alternate guideline if this was not the intent, or somehow indicate the 'spirit' vs. the 'letter' of this guideline is different
But I believe I am reading it at face value and do not see my stance as twisting it in any way
10:46 PM
"Is the OP attempting to understand the Bible or apply the Bible?" Just to be clear, that's the guideline.
@JonEricson according to the OP, that is the 'essence' of the guideline. The guideline itself is in bold font at the top
@JonEricson I would recommend posing an alternate answer to mine so that the community can vote on this
By necessity, it must be loose.
I'm fine doing whatever the community wants
@Dan I don't see much evidence of that.
@JonEricson please state such evidence
@JonEricson posting on meta is an opportunity to give my opinion
@JonEricson if I were to vote/act in this manner on the site you would see tons of VTCs, VTDs, and DVs from me on a lot of stuff
But I have not done this except for what I feel are the most egregious cases
I am merely voicing my opinion on meta
10:50 PM
@Dan Do it. Seriously. This is your site as much as it's mine or anyone else's.
@JonEricson no, I want to see if the community agrees first
@JonEricson this is also why I did not edit this tag
It is controversial so I want to gauge the community first then go in that direction
@Dan While you're waiting around for a consensus to form, other people are voting and posting and shaping the site to suit them.
As is 'my site as much as yours or anyone else's', I can of course voice my opinions on meta, no?
@JonEricson true, but meta provides a great forum to see if my approach is way off base or not
@Dan You have and are. I could delete everything I disagree with, but that's not how things work here.
And it gives me an opportunity to point out inconsistencies that others may not have considered
@JonEricson exactly
And I don't want to needlessly dissuade new users from participating by immediately DVing them just because they don't get what the site is about, nor do I care to revenge DV people I don't agree with or like the posts from
Because I'm not sure any of us agree on what this site is about except for a place to ask about the Bible
I'm just trying to establish some concrete definitions and guidelines
How can we have a site about the Bible if we don't agree on what the Bible is?
10:56 PM
@Dan I think we more or less do agree.
I asked @Caleb earlier today if he could help me with that post when he has time. I'd like it to be a good reference for future discussions
is ontopic, by the way.
@JonEricson except when we use the term apocrypha we don't agree. That could include Gnostic gospels, spurious texts, or the Catholic or Orthodox Aprocryphal texts
@JonEricson but a new user doesn't know to read the tags to see if a question is on topic
I see that many mods thrive on the chaos here, but I've seen frustrated users because there are is no clear reference to what constitutes 'the Bible'
I'm simply looking to create some reference questions I can point to when someone asks about various definitions and guidelines
And I see even more who are quick to call a text that is on topic a 'false text' or other disparaging term
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