We have an new question about Paul's relation to Jonathan. The OP admits its his own historical theory, uncorroborated by anyone. Thus he's seeking that corroboration here.

It is my own speculation, but someone else may very well have thought of it earlier.

Is this permitted here?

It seems to me in the past we have ruled against such questions, although generally they are questions more along the lines of morality. "I reason that it might be permitted to sleep with my girlfriend because... does any church agree with me?"

Admittedly, this Paul question is demonstrably more constructive than our typical user-created theology questions... But does that change the fundamental nature?

  • @DavidStratton: Thanks, Your search skills are better than mine. :)
    – Flimzy
    Commented Aug 18, 2014 at 20:47
  • I like this particular question because it is more History than theology, and history has been on-topic so long as it is related to Christianity or Christian figures.
    – user3961
    Commented Aug 18, 2014 at 21:43

1 Answer 1


Thank you for bringing this to Meta.

As the poster of the disputed question, I am biased, but as fredsbend's comment indicates this is a history question and not a theology question. In my opinion, it should be no more off-topic (in terms of being new theology) than "What is the evidence that suggests that the Apostle Paul was married?".

The theological content (that the speculation has some devotional appeal) is motivation for the significance of the question to the asker not a request for indications that the devotional/theological aspect is valid, accepted by others, or rejected by others.

(Even the bonus question, which is much less justifiable, is of the nature of "What is the earliest known writing proposing X?" That was motivated in some part for a desire to know if others considered the possibility and thought it interesting enough to record, which is vaguely similar to asking if anyone agreed with it.)

I can understand if it is viewed as "too localized". Asking if there is any evidence that Paul was a descendant of Jonathan is much less broadly interesting than what evidence there is that he was married, but it is a concrete question with a answer based on historical information.

  • 1
    I think there's a strong difference between the marital status of Paul (on which many Christian historians have commented) and a personally proposed theory.
    – Flimzy
    Commented Aug 19, 2014 at 9:49
  • @Flimzy That is why I said closing as "too localized" would be understandable. (That the question got 2 upvotes might hint that there is at least some general interest.) As a history question it avoids some of the issues with theology questions. Perhaps a more comparable question would be "Was the bishop of X present at the council of Nicea?" (though that would be better generalized as "Is there a list of all bishops present at the council of Nicea?"; my question does not admit such generalization). The obscurity of the question is why I asked it.
    – user3331
    Commented Aug 19, 2014 at 11:30
  • It would also require specifying which council of Nicea... :)
    – Flimzy
    Commented Aug 19, 2014 at 11:37
  • @Flimzy If this question should be closed, than one of my other questions should be closed as well. It is obscure and based on theology. When I asked if that question was close-worthy (for a different reason), Caleb's answer did not indicate that it was problematic, though perhaps he was only considering it in terms of the one issue and not general close-worthiness.
    – user3331
    Commented Aug 19, 2014 at 11:38
  • That question seems distinct to me, since it's specifically about Augustine's theology.
    – Flimzy
    Commented Aug 19, 2014 at 11:40
  • @Flimzy Doesn't that make it more localized?
    – user3331
    Commented Aug 19, 2014 at 11:41
  • No,that makes it on-topic because it's about a defined theological position (beliefs held/written about by Augustine). If you can find a theologian (or historian) who wrote about Paul's relation to Jonathan, then a question about that would be clearly on topic as well.
    – Flimzy
    Commented Aug 19, 2014 at 11:43
  • @Flimzy But it is about a personally invented extension of that position and specifically asking if anyone else had suggested such. So if I can find the answer to my question, I can ask it? Sigh.
    – user3331
    Commented Aug 19, 2014 at 11:48
  • That's what this meta question is asking. :) If we are allowed to invent theology and/or historical theories here, what's to stop someone from creating ridiculous claims? "Is Abraham Lincoln related to David?" "Is it moral for Martians to have pre-marital sex?" Etc... I think we can agree that those two questions are ridiculous in a way yours is not. The question I'm asking is, where is that line drawn?
    – Flimzy
    Commented Aug 19, 2014 at 11:52

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .