A recent focus for those of us who want to see this site continue to grow has been on cleaning up our tags. We want to make sure that each tag means something on the questions it's applied to.

Recently we had the tag destroyed. It was not a useful tag, and it has been replaced with more specific tags, or removed entirely. The next tag we'd like to target is the .

The problems with these tags aren't entirely the fault of the tag, but they are very general and we'd like to add more specific tags to questions when we can. We should be able to look at the tag and know to some degree of accuracy what the question is about.

What exactly is a question tagged , about? I have no idea, it's currently on 242 questions and I'm not convinced it adds much to very many of them.

There are several different categories of questions that can currently (and correctly) be tagged .

  • Questions about the life of Jesus
  • Questions about his saving work
  • Questions about the messiah prophesies
  • Questions about etymology
  • Questions about the teachings of Jesus
  • Questions related to theology about Jesus

The goal here is to have our tags mean something, and right now I don't feel like the tag is adding anything to the questions it's on. If you have additional questions types that should be here, please add them or comment about them if you can't edit.

  • 5
    Since this is meta, I will mention that the question title immediately brought to mind "Crucify him!" (Matt. 27:22). :-\
    – user3331
    Dec 19, 2012 at 13:55
  • 3
    @PaulA.Clayton first we kill god, now we're going to crucify his son? We're a heinous lot.
    – wax eagle
    Dec 19, 2012 at 14:02
  • 2
    Hey! With that new picture, it looks like you got a hat not in the collection! Dec 20, 2012 at 5:19
  • 2
    @PaulA.Clayton: since this is a tag, I thought, "Capitalise Him". Small J... pah! Dec 20, 2012 at 14:00
  • 2
    @waxeagle Don't worry, He'll be back three days later anyway.
    – Iszi
    Dec 23, 2012 at 23:26
  • Could Jesus exist after we killed God?
    – user1054
    Dec 27, 2012 at 21:47
  • @user1054 Good luck with that killing God thing. Get back to us when you've managed it. Oct 9, 2016 at 16:45

3 Answers 3


I'm convinced that the only questions in this list that should be tagged are the ones about the life of Jesus. And these could easily be retagged to . We can move the other questions to better tags.

I'm open to other solutions, whatever we do, this will be a fairly long process as it's not a tag we can just burn and move on (like was). There isn't a cut and dried replacement here either, although I have a feeling could be substituted in a number of places.

  • 2
    does it make sense to you to retag the ones you say that could remain as life-of-christ?
    – Peter Turner Mod
    Dec 18, 2012 at 15:32
  • @PeterTurner very possible. That would be a solid, unambiguous tag
    – wax eagle
    Dec 18, 2012 at 15:41
  • 3
    @PeterTurner: Alternatively, life-of-jesus. I feel like that would be more likely to be searched for when tagging. Dec 18, 2012 at 19:56
  • 1
    we can synonymize one to the other, so they'd both come up.
    – wax eagle
    Dec 18, 2012 at 19:58
  • One thing I would add is that if the question is trying to define the relationship between Jesus and the Father, we can just use trinity. Dec 18, 2012 at 21:26
  • @JonEricson is that always appropriate? (obvs we have to be sensitive to the non-trinitarians who would need someway to tag non-trinitarian questions related to the relationship)
    – wax eagle
    Dec 18, 2012 at 21:28
  • 1
    Good point. Those sorts of question will probably need a more explicit tag to avoid ambiguity. It just seems like jesus means several mutually exclusive things. Dec 18, 2012 at 21:47

Based on waxeagle's answer and the comments below it, and taking into account new tags that have been created since then, let me make the following proposal:

  • Create , for questions related to Jesus's life on earth – events, activities, ministries, and so forth.
  • Use for all questions primarily focused on the theology of the Christ – that is, the person, nature, and roles of Jesus Christ.
    • This includes subjects such as the personality, states, offices (prophet, priest, king), and works (atonement, intercession) of Christ.
    • Where there is clear overlap between and , such as in some questions on Christ's state of humiliation, then use both tags.
    • Existing tags like , , and could often be seen as subsets of . As such they could be used in conjunction with each other.
  • Use for all questions primarily focused on the application of Christ's work to people. There will be overlap between this and in some questions, but soteriology focuses on the salvation of people, while christology focuses on the one who makes salvation possible.
  • Make a synonym of
    • This is a practical measure: the point of making these distinctions is to eliminate a meta-ish tag () and do something with the questions currently associated with it.
    • Based on a cursory analysis of the questions in , I think it makes the most sense to point it at – so many of our questions with this tag focus on specific events, teachings, activities, and aspects of Jesus's life on earth.
    • Of course, many questions (such as many questions with tags , , , etc.) would require follow-up tag edits, and the effort required will be significant.

As waxeagle argues, the point of this effort is to end up with tags that "mean something," and what I've laid out here seems to me like the cleanest approach to preventing from continuing to be used as a catch-all for a wide variety of very loosely related topics.

  • 1
    After thinking a little more, I think it would probably be best to keep historical-jesus as a separate tag, rather than making it a synonym as I suggested in chat. Questions like these really wouldn't fit either life-of-jesus or christology: 1, 2, 3
    – curiousdannii Mod
    Oct 8, 2016 at 12:42
  • One potential ambiguity here is what we do with [theophany] questions, like 1, 2, and 3. And how about questions regarding the exaltation (4, 5, 6)? Jun 21, 2017 at 12:53

The problem I have with re-tagging in general is that we are going to have to be very, very vigilant about it. As interested as we are, I suspect the average person is just thinking "What's the minimum I can do here to post?" Frankly, if I see a question tagged "Jesus" and "God" or "Bible" (especially when they are asking about Moses!) I already know where the user is coming from.

As such, there are always going to be several silly, useless tags – Jesus, God, Bible – I've got them all :). Re-tagging will be an ongoing process. "God" help the poor soul who wanders into eschatology, soteriology, or christology. (When I see those tags, I know I'm dealing with a JonEricson or DanODay!)

So, in my mind, the only question is, what purpose does re-tagging solve? And there are only two that I can think of:

  1. For people only interested in a subset of questions (e.g. "I don't care about 'Traditions,' just stuff from the Bible!"), they are going to subscribe to the "Bible" tag and nothing else.

  2. For people like me who keep scouring the site looking for something to answer, the tags might lead them to other questions. But really, do I scour the huge tags? Nope -just the esoteric tags that lead me down an interesting path. (e.g. "Hymns")

In the second case, then, retagging is of no benefit. In the first, for people who subscribe, I would argue that having a few broad tags is what people really want here. As such, getting rid of the "problem tags" may actually be less helpful to our users.

I'm not passionate about this, but I think it is worth at least making the case for "God," "Jesus," and the "Bible." :)

  • "God" is already dead and gone. Too late about that. :P Dec 20, 2012 at 7:26
  • 4
    Yes, we will have to be vigilant, we may blacklist god if it comes back. Jesus has a good use, and it's up to us to make sure it stays used for the "good" uses and not the poor ones. It's work, but no more work than removing other spurious tags. Tags are almost always incorrectly applied so it's not any new work, just a bit more standardizations
    – wax eagle
    Dec 20, 2012 at 16:34
  • 1
    Since I'm mentioned in this post, I figured I'd point out that only Western Christians with an Aristotelian/Scholastic approach to theology would be having this discussion :P
    – Dan
    Dec 21, 2012 at 16:20
  • @Dan Can you elaborate on that a bit? Oct 7, 2016 at 18:49
  • @Mr.Bultitude it was an attempt at being humorous by making a subtle snarky comment about a major Christological difference between Western and Eastern Christianity (because the post author mentioned me in connection with soteriology and christology). To actually grasp what is meant would take more than a comment to address. I recommend starting here.
    – Dan
    Oct 7, 2016 at 19:15

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