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I've noticed a large number of answers (and a fair number of questions) are quoting the Bible without context or any verifiable source for the interpretation of the passages being quoted:

Just to mention a few.

Are we comfortable having this site be solely about finding the relevant passages from the Bible to support or dispute a question (essentially making this site akin to a Bible study) or are other perspectives, particularly ones that draw from authoritative, definitive, or at least verifiable sources going to be welcomed or encouraged?

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    @Mark_Trapp what other verifiable sources exist for the answer to many questions pertaining to Christianity? Another meta question I've answered deals with Apochrypha – Patrick Aug 23 '11 at 20:40
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    @Patrick One example might be the Magisterium for Roman Catholics, but even just other people like Luther, Thomas Aquinas, Augustine, or other prominent figures. "According to X authority, this means Y." Seems like the only valid source being presented is directly quoting the Bible. – user72 Aug 23 '11 at 20:42
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    I think as the site develops and the 'easy' questions have been answered, there will be more discussions based on the studies of Luther, Wesley, etc... – Patrick Aug 23 '11 at 20:44
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    @Patrick the private beta isn't for easy questions, though: it defines the character of the site and what we want to be. If we leave beta and all the questions are about finding relevant passages in the Bible, that's pretty much what the site is. – user72 Aug 23 '11 at 20:45
  • Also, there are a lot of historical texts and archaeological findings that are relevant to Christianity. – dancek Aug 23 '11 at 20:46
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    @Mark Trapp good point, I guess we need to get some good questions in here that pit one biblical philosopher against another. Any good question ideas? :-) – Patrick Aug 23 '11 at 20:48
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I'm answering questions like a Catholic answers questions using Scripture, Magisterial Teaching, Tradition (and the internet).

If people downvote my posts, God bless'em, they did more than that to the Martyrs.

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    +1 I actually smiled a bit at your comparison to martyrs :) – dancek Aug 23 '11 at 22:26
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Other perspectives should definitely be welcome, as should all "competing" Bible-supported answers.

However, I do think basing answers on the Bible should be enough on a lot of questions. Considering that most SE sites don't require referencing answers at all, I think referencing the Bible is a good starting point.

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There's a proposed site currently in the committment phase called Biblical Hermeneutics that is:

For professors, theologians, authors, and anybody else interested in an exegetical understanding of the meaning and proper application of the Christian scriptures.

Several of the questions listed by OP should be migrated to that group if it existed. I'm thinking the questions on the Ten Commandments and Shadrach, Meshach, and Abendego in particular.

I think the Sola Scriptura and the what does it take to be a Christian questions definitely belong here because they are relevant to Christianity in general. The answers to those questions should (or at least could) quote the Bible but there are other relevant sources that could be used to answer the questions.

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    The sooner the Biblical Hermeneutic site comes online the sooner some of the biblica interpretation issues ehre will be sorted out. – DJClayworth Aug 25 '11 at 19:59
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I think this site is very much destined to be centered around the Bible and whatever other scriptures are deemed to be relevant. This is mainly due to the nature of SE sites, to be oriented around objectively-answerable questions.

On the subject of Christianity, the only way to objectively answer a question is really to quote God himself. And, the only universally-accepted source of God's direct words is the Bible (and associated scriptures, depending on your particular sect or denomination) - although that in itself is open to some interpretation, depending on your beliefs.

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I guess the flip side of this is if a question is asked that does not specifically say "what does the Bible say about X" would an answer that quotes from a non-Biblical Christian source of scripture be welcome? For example if the answer was given based on the Book of Mormon (the book of scripture, not the musical)?

Likewise, if a question was asked about a point of teaching in the Book of Mormon, would that be considered on topic? I picked the Book of Mormon because it specifically says "Another Testament of Jesus Christ" on the cover, but yet is only accepted as such by a small minority of Christian faiths. I am sure there are other books that are considered to be Christian scripture by members of some faith's but not others.

I realize I am answering a question with a question. Maybe this should be a question of its own.

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Some of the best answers do not have bible verses. Here's an example.

Because of that, I think that we should allow non-biblical questions and answers because often times you aren't wanting questions and answers that are directly from the bible, but more practical.

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In addition to the Bible, should anyone ever ask a question about what my denomination believes, I would not hesitate to use hymns or other liturgy if applicable. If people confess it every week, it would be reasonable to say that they believe that.

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Considering that from beginning to end the Bible is God's salvation story, it will naturally be the foremost source to cite in answers.

That being said, Christianity as a subject is much more quoting scripture. What the Catholic Magisterium, church fathers, and other theologians have to say carries (or should carry) quite a bit of weight. Offering a source for your understand or interpretation of Scripture should be welcome here.

The short answer is that any question involving what Christians believe is going to have some or a majority of answer straight from the Christian Scripture.

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