An unpopular question asking about the KJV but presenting some bible errancy arguments, as well as KJV history arguments was closed as a duplicate.

First of all, I can't tell what it's a duplicate of from the "marked as duplicate" paragraph; the duplicated question is only shown at the top, which is easy to miss [edited; I thought there was no pointer to the original at all but then found it]

Secondly, the victim himself states "I do not think it's duplicate. I am not asking how accurate bible is. I am asking how accurate king james bible is."

And finally, and most importantly, while it may be true that the question brings some arguments from other questions, and that it seems poorly phrased and reasoned, is it OK to close a question as a duplicate when in fact it is not a duplicate? Why not close poor questions for the right reasons instead of fictious reasons?

  • I thought it was a duplicate because I remember reading answers that would be the same answer as the answers given.
    – Peter Turner Mod
    Jul 3, 2013 at 5:58
  • @PeterTurner: Well, you were only one of the closers. Though you seem to imply that if many answers misconstrue the question ("to a man with a hammer every problem looks like a nail") and miss the mark, the question ends up being closed. That would be the ultimate injustice :) Jul 3, 2013 at 6:39
  • I was one of the closers too. I can't remember whether I chose the duplicate option or not or -- if so -- which question I chose as a duplicate (only the most popular closure reason is used). If the question can be made less of a rant and more detailed, the duplicate flag might be removed. The real issue is that the question is based on entirely false premises -- the question should have majored on those initial claims. But it does have a good answer of its own, and that answer does debunk the claims and answer the implied question. Jul 3, 2013 at 7:07
  • @AndrewLeach: Actually the questions doesn't seem much of a rant (I'm sure it is inflammatory to certain sensibilities though). It quotes a website making a certain claim and asks for opinions. The quoted argument doesn't seem a "rant" either, though it might make false claims (that can be debunked in an answer). In fact, the only thing that doesn't make any sense at all is the given close reason. Jul 3, 2013 at 7:28
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    OK, why the downvote? Don't like people who dispute consensus decisions? Don't like the original question and think I'm defending it? Is my question poorly written? Surely I should learn from my mistakes, so why not point them out? Jul 3, 2013 at 7:43
  • 3
    Not mine, but downvotes on Meta are not real downvotes. They just disagree with the point you're making. By the way, the question has morphed quite markedly and (a) is now rather ranty and (b) has veered off into denouncing the NIV. Jul 3, 2013 at 10:53
  • Yes, true. Unfortunately it's kind of impossible to tell what the disagreement is about without any comment... Jul 3, 2013 at 13:18
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    The accuracy of various translations is an important issue (I've seen numerous Christian sites claiming that if we just read the Greek version, where there are 3 words for one Love, things would be so much clearer). However I agree that the topic is too wide to conflate all translations, and can't only be discussed in terms of random claims by various misguided websites. Jul 3, 2013 at 13:21

2 Answers 2


Your meta post raises several separate issues. In no particular order, here are my reactions

  • How close reasons are chosen:

    Of course closing for the wrong reason isn't a good thing. There are however several problems with catagorically stating this was the wrong reason. First of all, the close system uses a majority rule in which the final close reason is whatever was chosen most frequently. In this case with five community members, it is possible that only 2 of them chose the duplicate option and 3 of them chose various other reasons.

    In the end, the close reason doesn't matter nearly so much as that the question got closed at all.

  • Why close at all?

    This question needed to be closed pending some major fixes. It displayed numarious issues that made it a low quality question. As long as it was going to be closed anyway, it is possible that marking it as a duplicate of a question that at least half covered the issue was the most useful thing that could have happened. I'm not suggestion I would even have done it this way, but at least if somebody stumbles on this they will have someplace related to go.

  • The dramatization is unecessary.

    You called out the reason as "fictious", but the question somebody noted as a duplicate at least has some overlap so even if you disagree (as I do) that this was the best close reason, the language you are using to object is somewhat over the top. In the same way, calling the OP a "victim" isn't helping anybody. They wrote a really low quality question with lots of issues, having their question closed doesn't make them a victim. It means they are getting called on to do better.

  • Can we just "change the close reason"?

    No, there is no way to change the close reason without first having a valid reason to re-open. Even though the current version of the question is not so much a duplicate as it once was, there still isn't a compelling reason to re-open the question. As a moderator I don't see any reason to step in and short-circut the process.

  • Should this question be re-opened?

    Subsequent edits, I think, have dragged this question further into the realm of not-constructive. It's not that the issues aren't important, They are. But the question is all over the place. It's now a hodge podge of every attack, substantiated or otherwise, ever leveled against either KJV or the Bible in general. Besides that half of the question is now devoted to attacking the NIV. It's perfectly fine to question something, but posting this kind of rant material isn't the kind of constructive tone we expect around here.

    In it's current form it certainly wouldn't have my personal vote and there is nothing from the community that I see to "get behind". Not a single community vote has come in to re-open.

BTW, I haven't voted either way on your meta post. Meta votes usually express agreement or disagreement with an issue, and since I disagree with the gist of your post I would normally downvote, but your post is also very confusing so I left alone. You ask technical question about how the site should work, but that isn't the only issue. Then you ask a question about a specific case but preload it with a bit of a rant about what you think the answer should be. In cases like this it is good to bring the issue up in a meta post, but I suggest you pose the question as just a question and then if you have an opinion on the subject you also add an answer. That way people can vote you up for raising the issue on meta and then vote up or down based on their agreement or disagreement on your proposed solution (and add answers of their own if they have other ideas.

  • Several points here. 1. Closing as duplicate discourages others from asking a good question the "right way" in the future, so it brings long-term chilling effects to the community. Any other close reason does not have that effect. 2. I truly believe there is nothing duplicate about the question (which nevertheless sucks in many other ways). Since I have seen several cases where people with high reputation don't seem to understand the question (but draw unwarranted parallels to questions that are superficially similar), my "fictitious" characterization was heartfelt Jul 4, 2013 at 12:53
  • 3. As to "ask a question about a specific case but preload it with a bit of a rant about what you think the answer should be": did you mean the answer to my meta-question or the answer to the original question? I haven't implied any specific answer to either (except that the the original question should NOT be marked as duplicate) and I don't see any relevant introductory rant. 4. Most of the rest, I agree with you. Jul 4, 2013 at 13:00

is it OK to close a question as a duplicate when in fact it is not a duplicate?

Answer: No, it is not okay.

I thought the question quoted some material that was full of inflammatory and easily-disproved claims, but as it asked about KJV, there's no point in making reference that the "Word of God" is reliable.

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