I woke up the other day, wondering if God had a specific 'God Who Hears' name. I searched the internet, but only got a few hits. I asked my pastor about it, and he didn't know of one, so I thought I'd come to Christianity and ask other Christians if they knew.

I thought my question was about God, and a good fit for this site, but it got several down votes, and just got a close vote.

I'm not Jewish, don't know Hebrew, and didn't expect that the question should have been asked to someone of a different faith.

While I respect that there's a StackExchange site about Judaism, I was simply looking for a Christian answer about God and/or any bible verse about a name for Him.

I do see that there are other questions on this site about names of God. This one, for example, was too broad, but seemed to be on-topic, and gives answers for many (Hebrew and English) names of God.

If God has never been spoken of as God-Who-Hears, can't someone simply say "No, there's no such name," instead of closing the question, or ask me to post it on a Judaism site? My question was really not about Hebrew, but whether a name existed or not. Is that really off-topic for this site?

If I can't get help here, I'll respectfully try another site, but this site still seemed like the more appropriate audience to ask, since I was looking for a Christian/English answer. I'd prefer to improve the question, or remove the Hebrew if that's what people are objecting to, than have it closed.

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    Well, you already got a pretty good answer, so what's the problem if it is closed? – fгedsbend Jun 9 '15 at 20:18
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    Thank you for taking the time to learn about the site. We're glad you're here. – fгedsbend Jun 9 '15 at 20:18
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    Thanks for the welcome :) I have lots of questions (but tend to save them for bible study discussions or my pastor). This was the first time I turned to this SE site. No problem, per se, if the question is closed. Just that my first experience here wasn't really positive, which doesn't tend to encourage me to participate more (or discover how to better phrase the question). – PetahChristian Jun 9 '15 at 20:24
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    Well, we are all happy to help as long as you are polite and willing to learn, which certainly seems to be the case. Try a few meta posts to help you learn about the site: What Christianity.StackExchange is (and more importantly, what it isn't) | How we are different than other sites | Types of questions that are within community guidelines – fгedsbend Jun 9 '15 at 20:28
  • The primary problem with most questions that are closed is because they invite far too much opinion in any answers. Try to limit that using the tips in the posts above and you'll probably be fine. – fгedsbend Jun 9 '15 at 20:30
  • It's basically a trivia questions, which we don't really do here. We also do not allow questions searching for verses. – curiousdannii Jun 9 '15 at 21:24
  • Apologies for the trivial question! (The only need for a verse was to back up what someone was saying, from the word of God.) Please feel free to close it, as I don't want to be the source of any disagreement within your community. – PetahChristian Jun 9 '15 at 21:31

I'll take a stab at this based on my limited knowledge. It seems like there are two reasons that this particular question isn't best for Christianity.SE:

  1. It's on the fringe of being "in scope" -- as described here, this site is meant more for questions like "What does XYZ group say about ___" instead of "What is true?" My experience with C.SE is limited, and it seems to me that there are many still-open questions that are further out of scope than this one, but the principle is sensible, because it (theoretically) prevents a lot of low-quality, opinion-based answers from being given over the course of months and years.

  2. More importantly, the people on C.SE are less likely to be Greek/Hebrew scholars than the people on Hermeneutics.SE. I've only given that site a cursory look, but the questions being raised there deal very closely with the original meaning of Hebrew and Greek texts, and you are more likely to get a response from an "expert" instead of someone who just knows enough to be dangerous (like me!).

Bottom line: I think if the question is reworded it could be made to cleanly fit into C.SE, but you will probably get better answers to questions like this on Hermeneutics.SE. Plus, the answers you get will be seen and reviewed by people who are better equipped to point out any errors or issues in the answer.

  • Good info, thanks! I didn't realize there were "expert" sites for such topics, but I don't even know what Hermeneutics means, and I suspect that most expert explanations would go over my head! I've been at ease with your answers, because we're both apparently in that "dangerous" category :) – PetahChristian Jun 9 '15 at 21:01
  • Glad to help! Your comment made me think of one other benefit to using Hermeneutics.SE, which I've added at the bottom of my answer. You might still get answers from "dangerous" people there, but those answers will more likely be challenged or downvoted in case of an error. – Nathaniel is protesting Jun 9 '15 at 21:16
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    I'm familiar with that on SO :) When I ignorantly give bad programming answers, the experts are quick to correct me! But I assumed there would be enough Christians here to refute something, if it wasn't based on the word of God? – PetahChristian Jun 9 '15 at 21:24
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    @PetahChristian Just as an example -- someone who knows the Bible but doesn't know Hebrew could look at that Genesis text and say, "I see 'Yahweh Shaama' so 'El Shaama' must be the answer." But "shaama" is the perfect tense ("have heard") of shama ("to hear"). For that sort of error to be corrected, you'd likely need a student of biblical Hebrew to review the answer, not just people who know the Bible. – Nathaniel is protesting Jun 9 '15 at 21:37

Multiple reasons have been given for closing your question. I'd like to interact with them here. I'm in favor of keeping it open.

  1. The comments on the question mention "Hebrew language." Well, sure it is. But it's about Hebrew names of God. Hebrew names of the Christian God. The Hebrew Bible is 2/3 of the Christian Bible. Why wouldn't this be on-topic?

  2. The comments there also mention "Jewish culture." I suppose it is, but only coincidentally. Questions about interpretation of the Old Testament would be questions about "Jewish culture" too, but we allow them here. Your question's aim wasn't anything to do with Jewish culture, it was entirely within a Christian context.

  3. The comments here mention "trivia." While other SE sites (such as History) explicitly forbid such questions, I've never seen it formally used here to close questions, and I would be against that. I'm also against it on other sites.

  4. Nobody mentioned this one, but a related close reason to "trivia" is "lack of research." I need not spend much time on this one, since you clearly did plenty of research before asking, and you specified it in your question. I commend you for that.

  5. As a couple people said, questions on this site are not supposed to ask "What is true?" or ask for opinions. But I don't think yours was, and Nathaniel's answer appears perfectly objective and factual.

  6. The comments here mention that it's basically a "verse search question." Here's where I see it potentially being closed. Many questions here have been closed for that reason, and a couple meta posts are cited in favor of the practice. But I don't believe the policy has been hashed out enough. I'd like to post a topic on meta soon about that, but I don't have time right now. Hopefully later today or tomorrow I can, and I'll post the link here. (Meanwhile, it'll be helpful if someone can give me the links to those meta posts I just referred to.)

I'll be back later.

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    I cite Where's the line with the "verse-identification" tag? when vtc'ing for being a verse identification question. 7 ups and no downs is pretty good community support that we don't allow those kinds of questions. Also, no downvotes on removing the tag (Why does the verse-identification tag still exist?) – fгedsbend Jun 9 '15 at 23:49
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    Decent points in favour of it staying open. – curiousdannii Jun 9 '15 at 23:52
  • Also, the upvotes on my comment here indicates decent community support as well. For you personally, this comment might mean something ;) But having a specific post about verse identification questions being off-topic would probably be better than the ethereal approach to removing and defining tags. – fгedsbend Jun 9 '15 at 23:52
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    I'm not exactly sure where to classify this question, but it seems distinctly about a specific name for God that is in the Bible. That does seem like a verse identification question. Overall, I don't find it very interesting, so I'm apathetic to it in the first place. – fгedsbend Jun 9 '15 at 23:54
  • Good finds, @fredsbend. It may have been more cut-and-dried than I remembered. I've got five tabs of meta questions open at the moment, and will dig into them tomorrow (as well as try to put my finger on why I found this question to be qualitatively different from the ones I referred to in the comment you found). Stay tuned. :P – MR. TOODLE-OO'D Jun 10 '15 at 4:30
  • @Mr.Bultitude I also sometimes cite "Biblical basis" vs "what the Bible says about a subject", which is quite close to verse identification and are off-topic for the same reason: to prevent low quality, personal interpretation answers. – fгedsbend Jun 10 '15 at 9:41
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    @fredsbend It was never intended as "Find a verse that shows God has this particular name." I was merely curious to know if anyone had ever named Him, "God Who Hears." I simply think names acknowledge or declare who He is. In retrospect, my question is trivial, but debating whether it is or isn't about verse-identification seems to be making more of it than what it simply was -- something I pondered, and thought to ask others about, to see if they had an answer. – PetahChristian Jun 10 '15 at 18:16
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    I respect that you have many people stopping by to ask many forms of questions, and some of them need to be improved or closed. It wasn't my intent to ask an off-topic question, but I understand now that this site is more about aspects of Christianity. – PetahChristian Jun 10 '15 at 18:22

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