Before I amended this answer with Update 2, I posted the Summary of the findings so far as a separate answer.

When I selected Add Another Answer a dialog box appeared:

The page at christianity.stackexchange.com says:

Are you sure you want to add another answer?

You could use the edit link to refine and improve your existing answer, instead.

Obviously I by posting, wanted to do the former and not the latter.

@Caleb deleted my newest answer and made a comment

Please don't post multiple answers. If you have something to add that directly addresses the original question, edit it into your other answer.

Issue and question

I am at a loss as to why @Caleb deleted while C.SE allows me to post another answer and after I thought that this was the better approach as my new answer needed to stand on its own. The older answer as can be seen could not be refined and improved to include the new answer.

How should this be addressed?

Given this recent post, how can I not but think this a case of Moderator censorship or targeting?

That deleted answers clearly, correctly, and adequately answers OP and corrects their approach and some statements.

Also, even if only one answer was admissible - and it appears that's not the case - shouldn't I the user be given the opportunity to decide which answer I wanted to keep? After all they are my answers.

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    I don't see what censorship has to do with this at all. This is a case of correcting site usage patterns, not of suppressing people, views or content. The choice of which answer to keep was based purely on the post date with the earlier one being the natural choice as the base for a canonical answer. The other content is still available to you to use in editing into your post. – Caleb Oct 9 '14 at 10:23
  • @Caleb That choice I should be allowed to make and not have it made for me. And C.SE does not prohibit another answer. – user13992 Oct 9 '14 at 19:31
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    I bet you have probably seen this post, but I wanted to make sure you read through it. Also, I know your not a new user, per se, but you have been a member for only three months, which is not too long. Newcomers: Be patient. You will get there if you follow our direction. Keep trying – fгedsbend Oct 9 '14 at 20:26
  • @fredsbend Thank you for this I hadn't seen it, But what's its relevance to the post at hand? Please guide me to the relevant section of that post as it relates to this post. – user13992 Oct 9 '14 at 20:35
  • @fredsbend Your comment above is actually the feeling I get, it isn't about 'helping users get to there' but actually molding them into what some have become already and are using unconscionable methods - unbecoming of committed Christians - to remain there. None of answers and comments so far have addressed the issues at hand. – user13992 Oct 9 '14 at 20:38
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    @FMS I linked to the post because I have seen frustrated users eventually rage quit, and it is a shame because they make good posts. I would bet you probably have feelings of frustration right now and that post is designed to encourage you to stick it, work through it, and keep posting. I don't want to see you rage quit and never come back. – fгedsbend Oct 9 '14 at 21:05
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    @FMS Re: your second comment. Yes, the community on this SE stresses communal behavior, meaning conformity, over individuality. Not that the community wants to change you, but just keep posts in general within strict guidelines to protect the site. SE sites have failed in the past, and with a topic like Christianity, where everyone has an opinion and people get emotional, its a marvel we've made it this far. Every guideline that has developed came from experience and is an effort to increase post quality (or maintain it) and, more importantly, keep debate and personal opinion out. – fгedsbend Oct 9 '14 at 21:10
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    @fredsbend Wonderful! You are a gem! Btw that was an excellent post you made! You do care! I am grateful you are here. Back to the issue at hand, please go back to the post in which my answer was deleted. Had I given up, that action by Caleb could actually haven been damaging and prevented what we have now. His action ultimately is not productive to C.SE's main aim which is get a correct answer. – user13992 Oct 9 '14 at 21:22

The tools provided by the Stack Exchange engine are generic and used for many different sites, but are not all equally applicable. Posting multiple answers makes sense in some cases on sites that could have more than one approach to solving the same problem (for example programing questions looking for an algorithm that solves a problem that might be provided in different languages or there might be multiple solutions). Such is not the case for C.SE. Virtually no questions on this site request anything that could be would equally completely by separate answers. Instead in virtually all cases one comprehensive answer is preferred that covers all the bases and organizes the information in a way that makes it applicable to the original question.

By posting two answers you created a false dichotomy where the answers compete with each-other rather than build on each other. I'm pretty sure that's not what you intended. In the case of your answer almost all the content was complementary and would be better served by being assembled and edited into one cohesive answer that is organized by points, does not duplicate content, and gives the final results in an organized fashion and not necessarily the research process.

Additionally your choice of wording with expressions like "updates", "progress", "so far", etc. are extra strong indicators that there really isn't more than one answer here. This site is not a forum. It's more like a wiki. We don't care so much about the process of assembling information and the "blow by blow" view is not what we keep around for future readers. What we want to see is not an interactive discussion with back and forth between posters, we just want to see the end result where everything is brought together. The most useful answer to a reader a year for now won't be the one that is broken up into segments by research date, it's the one that reads like an encyclopedia entry and organizes the data by topic.

  • C.SE does NOT prohibit posting another answer! – user13992 Oct 9 '14 at 19:32
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    @FMS I think with your meta post and this answer by Caleb having +6/-0 already shows a mild support that the community does not think multiple answers should be allowed on this stack exchange site. If we get to a +10 I would call that a good support, which makes it a working site policy (which really actually comes from what we are already doing, not usually a suggestion of what to do). It doesn't make sense in nearly every circumstance to post multiple answers. The fact that the system allows it has little to do with the preferences of the community. – fгedsbend Oct 9 '14 at 20:25
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    So essentially, yes, multiple answers are highly discouraged on this site. – fгedsbend Oct 9 '14 at 20:30
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    @fredsbend community does not think multiple answers should be allowed on this stack exchange site Then it should be be a feature added to C.SE and not based on a Moderator's own arbitrary rules. Another unanswered question, if an answer is to be deleted, I get to decide. – user13992 Oct 9 '14 at 20:34
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    I agree this is more of a technical defect with Stack Exchange than a social/managerial issue. (Though it definitely isn't censorship.) – Matt Oct 9 '14 at 21:00
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    @FMS Site specific features (or removal of features) have never been implemented, as far as I know. You can always edit your original post, so you actually do decided what is written under your name. You can simply copy and paste the second answer into the first post, and delete the content of the first post. Personally, when I feel like there are two answers (and I am giving both) I prefer the use of one post and I integrate both of them together. In it's most choppy form, which you could do, I just put a horizontal rule between them. – fгedsbend Oct 9 '14 at 21:15
  • @fredsbend What I ended up doing. The post does not look pretty. – user13992 Oct 9 '14 at 21:25
  • @FMS See the revisions to this post. I made two majorly significant edits as new information became available. I'm sure you can come up with something to synthesize a single answer from your two. – fгedsbend Oct 9 '14 at 21:35
  • @fredsbend Thank you! You have been very helpful and I am grateful for that. From you comments here do you think you can post an answer here? – user13992 Oct 9 '14 at 21:38
  • @FMS I doesn't look "pretty" yet because you haven't taken the suggestion to integrate the content and organize it by topic instead of tacking it on in segments by your research timeline. – Caleb Oct 10 '14 at 13:25
  • @Caleb Please allow me some time to review fredsbend's example and figure out the best way to shape and present the answer. Please note the timeline: I said it was not pretty then fredsbend's suggestion was given on possibly - it might not be achieved - how to achieve that, not the other way around. – user13992 Oct 10 '14 at 20:06
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    @FMS You might review the way some of the top answerers oven on Biblical Hermeneutics organize their answers with either an abstract segment to lead off or a summary/conclusion segment to finish with clearly organized supporting points in the body. Jon Ericson, Davïd and ScottS all regularly employ that pattern to good effect. – Caleb Oct 11 '14 at 7:21
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    (e.g. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, etc.) – Caleb Oct 11 '14 at 7:24
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    @Caleb Thank you very much Caleb! This is so very useful! Please give me this weekend to review and then I will be in a position to amend my answer. I was also thinking of others in a similar situation, any chance to amend your answer to include incorporate your comment above into your answer? – user13992 Oct 11 '14 at 14:42

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