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1:40 AM
New user needs help framing this question (which might not be ours, depending on what happens), but I'm at a bit of a loss on where to start. Help?
Q: hebrew state of tense

jenI have been taught that when the bible talks about prayer it is in a tense that means on-going. Is this true? If so, is this state of tense used in other areas..specifically when refering to drinking or being drunk?? I wonder if we are to never drink? Become drunk? Or stay drunk? I am very inte...

8 hours later…
9:39 AM
Thanks for the answer - it's a good one. May I request that you cool it on the invectives and other weasel words? If you don't mind, I'd be happy to edit them out for you. Otherwise, this is a good answer. — swasheck Apr 5 at 15:01
@swasheck please have a go at this ^^^^ if you have the time :)
10:32 AM
Re new "show your work" policy being put in action -- how do my comments here strike ya'll?
A: Where is the citation of John 7:38 taken from?

A .T.I would suggest he is referring to Jeremiah 2:13 & 17:13 and that by doing so, he is making two points: He is indeed the same as the God of the Scriptures (as he has amply pointed out in previous chapters). By the new covenant, those who believe in him will have him dwelling not just around but...

@Caleb I'd say they hit the nail on the head: polite but firm!
1 hour later…
11:51 AM
We haven't gotten that far on meta yet but my instinctive action plan with this would be -- even though it almost qualifies for my definition of not an answer -- to do nothing. It won't get more than a handful of upvotes just floating there and it should be clear to anybody reading through that it's not what the site is about.
Whether the user responds (great) or not I don't think the post is actionable beyond comment and possibly downvoting (which I was going to hold off on until they had a chance to maybe read/respond to the feedback).
On the other hand if the same user were to throw up a few more posts of that grade that skip straight to the answer instead of dealing with the interpretive process, I would crack down on it, starting with downvotes, even firmer comments on the new posts, reminders and eventually post notices on the older ones that they should have invested in before moving on, and eventually deletes if they keep going after a round or two of such feedback.
12:18 PM
@Caleb for persistently ignoring guidance, perhaps even a mod message would be appropriate? I also wonder if it would be good to ask SE for a custom post notice message at some point?
@JackDouglas I could see both of those being good ideas, esp after we have a couple meta posts in place that clearly explain the issue framed in the context of getting new users up to speed.
I hesitate to mention this, but... It is possible to create custom (per-site, not per-post) notices. All the normal caveats apply though; you're kinda wrapping a big roll of crime scene tape around the post, and there are precious few situations where comments or straight-up deletion isn't more appropriate. — Shog9 Mar 21 at 18:42
for reference ^^^^
once we have more on meta, maybe a custom post notice could even include links to 2 or 3 relevant meta posts
Which by the way is why I'm dissatisfied with your answer here, I was hoping for a step further than more ideas to hash around that eventually become our policy to just coming out and saying what you think the conclusion should be as you would explain it to somebody just getting started.
but it would be interesting to ask @Shog9 for input here, give the "there are precious few situations where comments or straight-up deletion isn't more appropriate"
@Caleb can you rephrase that, I can't quite parse it?
@JackDouglas Sure but I'm running out the door so why don't I make it a comment on the post when I get a chance to sit and write clearly.
12:24 PM
@Caleb please do, no rush
@JackDouglas Rushing is why that barely counts as broken English. ^^^
over and out
2 hours later…
2:03 PM
@JackDouglas at an answer to the question?
@swasheck I meant "If you don't mind, I'd be happy to edit them out for you." :)
@JackDouglas indeed. that's much easier :)
@JackDouglas yikes. this is a mess
@Caleb nicely done! This is a pattern we should follow.
2:42 PM
edited the Caesar question
and commented
I have attempted an edit on your question. The more I attempted to sort through what you were trying to say, the more I realized how much of it is really just a thinly-veiled ad hominem strawman argument. I agree with the ultimate conclusion (which you state near the beginning), but I also think that there's another answer that fits the format better. — swasheck 32 secs ago
@Caleb I think you're right about the current post not being (further) actionable, but if it becomes part of a pattern we do need to act. We've had some users who start out like this and learn (great!), and some who just keep doing the same things over and over and at some point we need to say "enough already".
@swasheck I'm far from certain I agree with any of the answers there :)
@JackDouglas that sounds worth investigating.
but good effort and thanks @swasheck
@JackDouglas Even yours? :)
2:56 PM
@FrankLuke yes!
it's amazing how writing something down can make you see it's weaknesses
@JackDouglas Need I remind you that your own GK Chesterton said, "People often say 'but I might be wrong,' but none of them mean it." :)
@FrankLuke :)
@JackDouglas I completely agree with that! I remember several term papers that I started and then scrapped.
here is one of the sources of my doubt: biblegateway.com/passage/…
@JackDouglas Hmm. That's a good reason for me to write more blog posts, I suppose.
2:59 PM
@TRiG or answers here :)
I know you don't feel qualified…
but neither am I
@JackDouglas I'm really not.
all this reminds me, I need to update my 'Eye of the Needle' answer: biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+23:24&version=ESV
So far, I've managed to ask one question here.
My total rep on the site comes from one edit plus one question (plus the assoc bonus).
@TRiG well fwiw I think you are a useful part of the community so I hope you stick around, however much Q&A you end up doing :)
@JackDouglas sniping from the sidelines ;)
3:03 PM
keeping us honest!
@JackDouglas Isn't that @MonicaCellio's job?
@TRiG I owe Monica quite a lot
@JackDouglas Ok, so let's take this "show your work" thing seriously: you get an answer that doesn't... You'd leave a comment and say so, right? Maybe even down-vote? If it's a poorly-written answer making outlandish claims with absolutely no justification given, you could even delete.
So when would you add a banner?
Maybe the answer is well-written, looks to be attracting a lot of support, but fails to completely support the (intuitively correct) conclusions it presents?
And the author isn't responding to comments?
So you want to hang a sign on it, simultaneously warning readers and encouraging anyone who can to edit in the missing links to supporting text.
@Shog9 yes, for promising answers: and we could reduce the 'shame' element by making that clear in the banner "this answer is promising but… standard blurb and links about show your work"
3:31 PM
Then you need to be good about not using it just to be polite on answers that aren't ever gonna go anywhere.
(don't use it instead of deletion, don't use it on heavily down-voted posts)
@Shog9 now I think I know what you are going to say to this, but what would you feel about having one of these custom banners per mod so we can make them a bit more personal? (so a little footnote saying which mod posted the notice…)
@JackDouglas uh... No. That'd be a feature-request for just adding attribution to them. And I'm not sure I see the point. If you want it to be personal, post a comment.
4:06 PM
@TRiG why?
@swasheck Why what? Why am I not qualified to post answers here? Because I don't know enough about the subject matter. I don't even know enough to frame good questions, never mind good answers. Now, I could educate myself (and I do, to a certain extent, just by hanging around here), but I also have a lot of other things I want to educate myself on.
@TRiG I'll share. :-)
A little more seriously: look, I don't want to be the lone voice "keeping things honest" or the conscience of the community or the nudge or whatever you want to call it. The times when I look at the people participating in some aspect of the site and it's "Monica and the mods" make me sad, not happy. If this community is going to go anywhere we all need to own it, and I try to model (what I think is) good behavior, but if nobody else takes up that mantle and joins me, I've failed.
@TRiG alrightythen
4:25 PM
@MonicaCellio Yes. My impression, as an observer who just pops in now and then, is that it's been getting better recently (or, at least, that the validity of your concerns has been accepted), but I could well be wrong.
5:02 PM
This is a good answer, laying out clear arguments and responding to another answer on the same question. This is way better than having that kind of discussion in comments like we sometimes do. Kudos to Jas (who I can't ping directly):
A: Did Abraham leave Haran before or after his father died?

Jas 3.1Short Answer: Abram did indeed depart from Haran after his father died, as the Old Testament indicates, and as the New Testament explicitly claims. (Terah was 130 years old when Abram was born.) Good question. (This happens to be one of the most commonly asked -- and addressed -- "discrepancie...

5:18 PM
@MonicaCellio both these answers clearly show the benefit of focussing on the process (+1 to both): you can learn loads from them without ever having to agree with the conclusions!
5:30 PM
The connection to dowsing rods seems highly speculative to me: do you have any evidence it was ever practised before the 15th century? — Jack Douglas 10 secs ago
fair? polite?
@JackDouglas and we up-voted each other. Cooperation is good. :-)
@JackDouglas looks fine to me. That whole answer, err, needs work, but I hadn't yet formed a coherent response.
5:47 PM
@JackDouglas is the other low-vote answer on that question as "out there" as it looks to me? It's not really my hermeneutic, so looking for a sanity check.
6:33 PM
@MonicaCellio it isn't explained in a way that any of us can understand—that doesn't mean it is 'out there' though I think Bob is self-consistent
@JackDouglas the comment thread on his answers is confusing. were there deletions?
6:49 PM
@JackDouglas does it show its work, in your opinion? I'm not so much trying to pick on this one as figure out how we would handle answers like that. (I also recognize that it's an old answer, and a rollout of "show your work" will need to be gradual.)
1 hour later…
8:15 PM
@swasheck no, but there was an edit, did you spot that?
@MonicaCellio it really doesn't. "The branch is Christ": why?
@JackDouglas good, we agree. :-) (And specifically that.)
@JackDouglas i didnt. have no good troubleshooting methodology on stackexchange :)
@MonicaCellio i got my civic duty badge today :)
8:31 PM
@swasheck hey, congratulations!
@swasheck and Outspoken! Hey, that one's hard on a site this small, so double-congratulations!
This is rooted in a false dilemma. This false dilemma is rooted in the insistence that those whom Jesus did not know are necessarily of Satan. — swasheck 10 secs ago
@MonicaCellio outspoken? psh. that's easy online. in person i say very little
(thanks, by the way)
@MonicaCellio now it's Monica, Seth, and the Mods
@swasheck it's easy to be outspoken, but the badge requires that ten different people called out things you said at least once each. :-)
@swasheck and now I know your name, and which pronoun to use when referring to you! :-)
@MonicaCellio indeed.
tipping my hand
@swasheck Funny story: I wrote on my blog about the Mi Yodeya haggadah project, and in passing said that this was also helpful to me personally as I was going to finally get to lead a seder, and it would be of the "talk about stuff as much as we want" variety, not the "when do we eat?" variety. And somebody commented on that post asking "how can I score an invitation?", and I said "wait, where do you live?" & the answer was "New Jersey, but I'd totally drive to Pittsburgh for that". [cont]
So in the tradition of "let all who are hungry come and eat" I said "sure!". And then, in discussing the seder with other guests, was (quite reasonably) asked this person's name, to which I could only say "um, (handle)?". And I didn't even have a pronoun. The internet is like that. (Alas, he (I learned 'he') had to cancel at the last minute. :-( )
the internet really has changed the way people interact
8:45 PM
@MonicaCellio It is consistent with the version of Sensus Plenior that Bob uses. In fact, he seems to have held back some because there's a lot going on in that section of Ezekiel that he could have connected. It also does a fair job of showing his work, except that it's missing a couple of principles of SP that he applies, but doesn't explain.
@swasheck when I was trying to figure out the whole Judaism (what flavor, etc) thing as an adult, I once spent a Shabbat++ with a family in (ironically) New Jersey because of a discussion on Usenet.
That said, it's too cryptic for me to vote up.
@JonEricson ok, thanks for explaining. To me the SP "cypher" stuff still all looks made-up, so I couldn't tell if he had any (unstated) basis for those particular metaphors or what.
@MonicaCellio interesting. so, if you dont mind, what's your flavor?
@swasheck I am one of the most traditional, observant Reform Jews I've ever met. :-)
And some days I wonder seriously if I should really be Orthodox. But I think that's more the prax than the dox speaking.
(That Shabbat in Passaic was with an Orthodox family trying to show me the beauty of that tradition. And a lot of it is, and then there's the gender-role stuff on the other side...)
8:49 PM
@MonicaCellio that's a common tension on our side of the theological pond as well.
@swasheck could you say more about that, if you're willing?
@MonicaCellio the tension between what we say we believe and that the practical implications of that belief demands is a difficult road to navigate.
@swasheck ah, I see. Are there particular areas where that comes up more often?
to over-simplify, it boils down to a question of what is a reasonable and practical way in which i can express this faith in my current context
@MonicaCellio let me toss one out there ... just for fun
hang on
@MonicaCellio Here's the strange thing: I listened to book by N. T. Wright (a Christian theologian and historian) who argues that Jesus saw himself as a replacement for the Second Temple that Ezekiel condemned. If Wright had argued the branch here was the one mentioned in Isaiah 11, I would have nodded my head in agreement. But that's because I trust him to have done the reading and analyzing.
Of course, if Wright had written the answer, it would have had lots of sources in their proper context.
8:58 PM
so marriage is one of those topics. there is the peculiar practice in which many christians will get up-in-arms about the violation of god's standards for marriage if we allow civil unions. women aren't supposed to marry women and men, men.
however, these folks normally accept those among their midst who have also clearly violated god's ideal
@swasheck in other areas, you mean? So it's a "if this law is important then why isn't that other one (that you're violation) just as important" thing?
there are also those occurrences in which those who most stridently hold to the purity and the holiness of god, fail to offer the grace that they have been commanded to offer by that pure and holy god.
that makes sense
so then you get splintering
"liberal" folks who overemphasize the application and the freedom of the gospel to everyday life
@swasheck yeah, there do seem to be a lot more distinct theological groups in Christianity than I'm used to.
9:01 PM
"conservative" folks who overemphasize (and even deify) their doctrine and systematic theologies. folks who rely on doctrinal purity to "save" themselves.
@swasheck we certainly get doctrinal differences too, just in case that's not clear. :-) And some of it gets ugly, physical-violence ugly, like between the Chareidim ("ultra-orthodox", but they don't like that term so I try not to use it) in Israel who attack "merely orthodox" people while seeming to forget all about "right behavior" and ethics. :-(
i find this second group fascinating because i'd more closely identify with them ... but the sense in which they hold to god as the only god that someone should have and their insistence upon jesus as savior and the protective barriers that they construct to preserve this ... that sense is fascinating to me because they dont see that they're actually violating their own precepts by making the doctrine and the fences have more soteriological value than the subject of that doctrine
@MonicaCellio interesting
@JonEricson nods Wright would show the work and you have more confidence that Wright didn't miss something important, compared to "random guy on the Internet".
@swasheck nods Some things are the same all over, it seems. The specific issues vary, but the approaches... sigh.
@JonEricson that's the difference between a trusted source and some dude on the internet. also, there are those who would find fault with nt wright's argument. but i'm not really a fan of those anyway
@MonicaCellio human beings being human
@swasheck I've been thinking a lot about this. My marriage isn't sacred because California blessed it, but because God did. And marriage is a symbol of the relationship between God and His people that a civil union can never be. Divorce, which is rarely condemned in our society, destroys the symbol just as surely.
@swasheck Well, he isn't perfect either. ;)
9:16 PM
@JonEricson your last clause is my point. if you want to attack/picket/rail against a civil union/homosexual marriage, then please have some intellectual integrity attack/picket/rail against your fellow parishoner bob who is on his 3rd marriage and is currently sleeping with his secretary
@JonEricson i prefer him to piper
@swasheck Have you read any of their dueling books on justification? I've tried both and gotten almost nowhere on them. It's like they are speaking two (related) foreign languages.
@JonEricson An approach that I would like to see more people take seriously is: separate the legal and religious aspects. In other words, from the state's point of view, civil unions for everybody, and they're about things like property and custody and inheritance and stuff. Marriage, on the other hand, is in the domain of individual religions, which can have whatever rules they want, and those rules are binding within those religions only.
@JonEricson yes. the vitriol of piper is a real turnoff. he's king strawman, in my opinion.
When I got married I got a religious document and a state document. The same person (my rabbi) did both, but they're separable.
@swasheck OTH, I do resent the cultural idea that same-sex intimate friendships have a sexual requirement. That's one of the objections to same-sex marriage that I have.
9:24 PM
@JonEricson can you help me understand what you mean?
@swasheck I believe that traditional friendship relationships are dying. People are happy to join common interest groups, but real, intimate friendship is becoming more and more difficult.
The sexual component is strange and I don't know if I can articulate it.
I guess, things like "Jonathan and David must have been gay" is what I'm thinking of.
Or the portrayal of friendships in movies and TV.
@JonEricson ah! The presumption that close friendship implies sex? Yeah, I agree; it's possible to have the former without the latter, with people of any gender. (I wondered what you meant too but didn't want to jump in and ask.)
@JonEricson i see your point. sorry - i'm just not 100% coherent today
@swasheck Ditto.
@JonEricson i've been very foggy for the last few weeks
it's been strange
9:31 PM
@swasheck Alegries?
no clue
more like "apathy" i think
On the other hand, @MonicaCellio, I think I know what bugs me about this answer. It's the difference between "rules" and "guidelines". Your answer falls on the rule side (at least that's how it reads to me).
So I like Richard's guidelines because the line is not always bright and clear.
@swasheck Whatever. (I kid. ;)
@JonEricson thanks, that's helpful. The first two paragraphs in particular, I presume?
(I up-voted Richard's answer at some point in the past, by the way.)
@MonicaCellio I was thinking of these guidelines actually.
@MonicaCellio And the bold bits.
the issue with taking to meta about a single occurrence is that i can say "for this question ..." but then when another more subtle/nuanced issue comes along then we have to go back to meta
i upvoted both monica and richard there
i'd probably even push both further
9:41 PM
@swasheck Right. We need to get a lot of test cases and then generalize. The second half is hard to remember to do.
by saying the best question would be, "given the relevant historical, cultural, and linguistic evidence? how should we understand the events of ..."
@MonicaCellio By the way, the problem with those sorts of questions is less that they are XY questions and more that they show a basic misunderstanding of the topic of the site. It reminds me of a C.SE question that got moved to Mi Yodeya: the asker got pissed off because the question was looking for Christian answers. If someone asks here, they are (or ought to be) expecting an answer that directly engages the text.
@JonEricson I learned to use boldface here more liberally from you. :-)
@JonEricson I agree with those guidelines (and upvoted and commented). And then see the recent comments starting from Jack's, which was the prompt for bringing it up again -- we both think it's clear but not everybody does.
@JonEricson and if they are fishing for application, we need to either fix the question or move it to a site where that's welcome.
@swasheck yeah, the guidance I got at one point in the last couple weeks was to bring specific cases to meta (and, by implication, wait a while), and that's not workable long-term. Especially if (like in the case I brought) there's a problem of offensive content.
@MonicaCellio If they ask "Is this talking about Jesus?" they might be interested in our answers even though they signalled they wanted to hear from Christians. So I think our guidelines need to include some more detailed triage.
9:54 PM
So I think in that case we got a more general guideline out of it (from Shog), but it's still attached to a specific question where it won't be seen unless we link it. What do we do with that? Where do we put it?
@MonicaCellio With great power... ;)
@JonEricson how would you attack that?
@MonicaCellio with great vengeance. with a mighty hand, and an outstretched arm.
@MonicaCellio I guess if a question seems to be biased toward answers from Judaism (heh, it could happen;) or Christianity, we should ask if they would be interested in other types of answers. If not, migrate (or close if too late).
If the question behind the question is on-topic, let's use the usual tools to clarify. (That might involve closing for a time as well.)
@JonEricson that makes sense. (And yes, if we're waiting for clarification on something that big, we should close. It sucks to spend effort on an answer that turns out not to be relevant after the OP comes back and says "no, actually I meant...".)
10:03 PM
@MonicaCellio I'm really looking forward 6-8 weeks when we start putting questions "on hold".
I assume there will be elevator music on those questions. ;)
Speaking of which, here's a pleasant surprise:
seems like a perfect compromise to me -- softer language at the start, then hardening a bit to closed. I upvoted the "on hold" language suggestion on the original topic, too, for the record! — Jeff Atwood Mar 28 at 19:23
@JonEricson what happens in 6-8 weeks (other than that that's the standard SE mantra for features)?
Oh, I see now!
I agree that "on hold" is softer for questions that can be redeemed. It seems like we also still want "closed" for ones that can't, without passing through "on hold" for some number of days.
@JonEricson ask for help on Music.SE? :-)
@MonicaCellio I think the ones that can't be improved should go straight from open to deleted with only a short layover at on hold. ;)
10:19 PM
@JonEricson that works too. It'll be a perspective change for the folks here, though. What about questions that are closed but that we still want, like historical locks? Those sure shouldn't show up as "on hold"!
I guess this could all be accomplished with title mods -- no [closed], but [migrated], [duplicate], [on hold], [locked]...
(some of which we have, but not all)
but locked posts become invisible, so we'd need to fix that. That's why we closed, rather than locking, our purim-torah questions on Mi Yodeya at the end of each year; we want to be able to find them and selectively re-open the following year.
@MonicaCellio Well, the Micah question spend a long time closed before we got around to fixing it. It wasn't terrible. It just needed a few tweaks.
@MonicaCellio Interesting. That's kinda a pain.
@JonEricson yeah, I think that'll happen sometimes. Does "on hold" have an expiration date?
@JonEricson it happened on our meta with the haggadah questions too; we wanted to lock them while compiling the book, but that made them disappear!
(So we locked and kept links, and when we were done I went through, unlocking and closing instead. What a pain.)
@MonicaCellio I think when you close a question it will be marked "on hold" for 5 days. Then it gets "closed". Functionally they are the same.
@JonEricson oh, ok. So long as "closed" remains an available state (long-term) that still works. (As you can guess, I didn't slog through the self-admitted tl;dr post. :-) )
> posting this on HN makes you sound crazypants: "Those SO fascists have put my question temporarily on hold and asked me to fix something!!"
10:32 PM
@JonEricson laugh What's HN?
That's my favourite bit.
@MonicaCellio Hacker News.
@JonEricson ah. Yeah, I love that commeent. :-)
Gotta run to Kosher Mart before they close; back later!
(In true Pittsburgh fashion, I'm referring to where Kosher Mart used to be. It's now called something different. :-) )
@MonicaCellio Have fun storming the castle! (I'm not sure why I thought of that...)
@JonEricson pitt.edu/~caram/castleindex.htm These people are my friends and I've launched things from the parapets, but I would never storm my friends' home. :-)

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