As noted recently in this question we need to contrive a decent question and answer pair (actually at least a pair of answers) that fit the criteria for the tour page.

Please post suggestions here with one set per answer. We need a:

# Question title

Question body


* Good answer one

* Good answer two

The question and answer bodies need to each be 400 characters or less (which is counted according to the generated HTML, probably also including the surrounding <p><p/>) and may not contain any special block level formatting such as headers, block-quotes, or lists.

  • Does anybody know what the actual character limits are for this? I know it's a couple lines worth for each item here but don't know what the actual limit is.
    – Caleb
    Commented Nov 28, 2016 at 15:40
  • Does there have to be 2 good answers? It seems to me we are trying to show how C.SE is factual, verifiable information about Christianity and we can best do that with a simple question about Christianity. Not a hot topic theology debate starter that is POB. I'll try to link some examples, but wanted to know if the format demanded 2 answers for display?
    – Joshua
    Commented Nov 28, 2016 at 22:52
  • @Joshua: Yes, there must be two answers. This SEDE query lists all questions that can currently be chosen for the tour page. Commented Nov 29, 2016 at 3:34
  • 2
    I still haven't come up with a specific example, but I think history questions will be best suited for this – early church practices, for example, or perhaps the first use of a particular phrase or teaching. Commented Nov 29, 2016 at 3:56
  • Seeing as there's no link to the actual question, there's really no reason why they couldn't just let the mods manually make up a question.
    – curiousdannii Mod
    Commented Nov 29, 2016 at 8:24
  • @curiousdannii I see one reason ;-) — that requires the mods to make one up. Which is work. That's what this question was to side step: I hoped we could get somebody in the community to do the hard work of making one up and when we get it worked out the mods can use their super powers to get it in the right place.
    – Caleb
    Commented Nov 29, 2016 at 8:45
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    @Caleb I just meant then we could avoid the rigmarole of making an actual question for this purpose.
    – curiousdannii Mod
    Commented Nov 29, 2016 at 12:35
  • @Nathaniel I was thinking the same but then I ran into the two answer issue. What is a simple Christian history question that could have one decent and one good short answer? Maybe we'd be better off with one of the Catholic procedure questions.
    – Joshua
    Commented Nov 29, 2016 at 13:53
  • @curiousdannii Oh in that case unfortunately not, we can't just type something up it does have to be an actual question. The only thing we can change is the post id number of the question we want used there. Hence why the rigamarole of having to mock up a set of posts that meet all the criteria.
    – Caleb
    Commented Nov 29, 2016 at 13:56
  • A cut down version of this question could work well: Why are Matthew, Mark, and Luke called the synoptic gospels?. Actually all it would need is a cut down version of Affable Geek's answer - Mason Wheeler's is already short enough.
    – curiousdannii Mod
    Commented Nov 29, 2016 at 14:22
  • If I added a short answer to it, would it be good enough already?
    – curiousdannii Mod
    Commented Nov 29, 2016 at 14:30
  • 1
    @curiousdannii Yes it might. On the other hand I'm inclined to start from scratch (even if we end up using that question as a starting point) so what we can then lock the question. That way it won't get messed up later and we can make it obvious the question and answers are not actually exemplary for the site.
    – Caleb
    Commented Nov 29, 2016 at 14:34
  • Okay, I've written an answer. It will need at least one upvote and possibly one comment to show on the SEDE query. Actually we'll need to wait for the data to be updated. But a mod should be able to see if the question is now valid.
    – curiousdannii Mod
    Commented Nov 29, 2016 at 14:49
  • @curiousdannii I'm still seeing the one option that was there before, but I don't know how the internal mechanics work. It might be using the local site search which sometimes takes a while before changes show up in the index.
    – Caleb
    Commented Nov 29, 2016 at 15:22

1 Answer 1


Why are Matthew, Mark, and Luke called the synoptic gospels?

The first three gospels are sometimes known as the "synoptic" gospels. What does this term mean, and how does it differentiate them from the gospel of John?

  • Syn- means same (as in synchronize, same time), and optic of course refers to sight. The three first Gospels are syn-optic because they see alike; they basically tell the same story as each other, covering many of the same events. John, on the other hand, focuses on a lot of different material than the other authors, and has a very high percentage of unique content.

  • Matthew, Mark and Luke are very similar: they record many of the same miracle stories, parables, and sermons. John by contrast has fewer miracles (most of which are unique), no parables at all, and is the only Gospel to record Jesus's teaching on the nature of God at the Last Supper (ch. 13–17). Synoptic comes from the Greek for "see together" because they tell the Jesus story in the same way.

  • Hearing no objection and not seeing any competing suggestions at the moment, I've gone ahead and posted this on main. I think we need 5 question and 2 ea answer votes to get it on the qualifying list.
    – Caleb
    Commented Nov 30, 2016 at 12:06
  • @Caleb From what I can tell the tour page uses the actual usernames of the posters, so can we get other people posting the answers? I'm happy to post the one I wrote :P Also at least one answer needs an upvoted comment.
    – curiousdannii Mod
    Commented Nov 30, 2016 at 12:13
  • Oops. I was under the impression they were anonymized but it looks like you might be right. In that event go for it—and we need one more poster for the other answer.
    – Caleb
    Commented Nov 30, 2016 at 12:17
  • I'm a bit confused about the historical lock for the question. Are we promoting a question on the tour page that doesn't actually fit on the site? I notice it's a Hot Network Question too. Commented Nov 30, 2016 at 18:09
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    syn- does not mean same in Greek--perhaps it's just there as an "unaccepted answer"? It seems strange that none of the answers actually breaks down the components of the word.
    – brianpck
    Commented Nov 30, 2016 at 19:21
  • @Thunderforge The question itself is fine, as shown by the original version. But the answers are not great because they are too short and unreferenced. It's also locked so that people don't answer the new question instead of the original one.
    – curiousdannii Mod
    Commented Nov 30, 2016 at 23:34
  • @Thunderforge The Hot Network Question thing was an unwanted side effect of having 3 of us actively hacking on the entire thread trying to get it to work for the tour page. And yes, in a sense we're promoting a question that doesn't actually fit the site guidelines. Very few of our posts that actually are exemplary fit in <= 400 characters. If you have any ideas for improving the copy while staying inside the boundaries of the tour page limitations we'd be glad to see them. Feel free to propose changes as an answer here on meta. After we has it out we could update the question on main.
    – Caleb
    Commented Dec 3, 2016 at 8:21
  • @Thunderforge The lock is there so that it doesn't get messed up by people trying to improve the posts. Adding even one character would disqualify it from showing on the tour page. Likewise votes could mess it up. etc. Anybody wanting to actually answer the question should use the original version that has longer posts and is unlocked instead of the tour-page placeholder one.
    – Caleb
    Commented Dec 3, 2016 at 8:23
  • @Caleb Seems kind of silly that that could potentially happen. I had imagined there was just a field where a site admin could copy/paste a question and answer into, that was a question can't become corrupted and unable to become a tour page question. Commented Dec 3, 2016 at 18:00
  • 1
    @Thunderforge It is kind of silly but the system was designed with the needs of other sites in mind. It works out alright for some of them and as in our case much less than ideal for others.
    – Caleb
    Commented Dec 3, 2016 at 18:29

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