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My answer* to "Does the Catholic Church quote any saying of Jesus to which His question in John 14:2 can be attributed?" was deleted with no warning.

Caleb left a comment (apparently as it was being deleted) stating,

This question asks specifically about whether the RCC identifies anything along these lines. At the very least you should add a note that they agree with your analysis. Better yet would be some RCC commentary on the issue.

Nathaniel then added

Once edited this can easily be undeleted; just flag to get our attention – thanks

There are at least two problems with this.

First, all of the quoted words of Jesus the RCC references (to the best of my knowledge) are in the Bible. Which means that my answer does address the question.

Second, if you are going to comment that you think an answer should be improved, you need to give the author time to respond before summarily deleting it. That should be considered basic courtesy - something I have come to expect over years on the SE network, and especially on Christianity.SE.

Is there a better answer to the question asked? Perhaps. And if so, I would be happy to upvote it.

Mods, acting in such a summary manner is a disservice to the community.


*original answer

There is no place in the Gospels (specifically the Gospel of John - but true in the others as well) where Jesus is recorded to have said anything about preparing a place for His followers other than here.

But we do have John's statement in 21:25, "But there are also many other things that Jesus did; if every one of them were written down, I suppose that the world itself could not contain the books that would be written."

The records of the Gospels are not "complete" regarding everything Jesus said, did, or wrote. They are sufficient to convey the message of Christ's mission, convict of sin, and present Him as the solution to the world's problems.

The Gospels are a form of biography - you would not expect everything a person ever said, did, or wrote to be conveyed in biographical form: the overwhelmingly-vast majority of any individual's life is just plain uninteresting. There are no records of Jesus needing to relieve Himself - but one presumes He did. There are no records of Him learning to walk, yet obviously He did. The odds are good, too, that the Sermon on the Mount, for example, is not the full text of what Christ said that day - reading Matthew 5-7 does not take very long, even at a slow and measured pace, it's under 30 minutes.

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I'm sorry you're having trouble, but I'm actually a but surprised you've jumped to these conclusions. If my messages to you were terse I figured it's because you've been around long enough to know how the system works.

First, let's note a couple of technical details.

  • left a comment apparently as it was being deleted

    deleted with no warning

    These aren't quite representative of how this happened. My comment was actually early this morning (my time). The answer was later deleted in response to an NAA flag later in the afternoon (my time). However these work out for you, it's kind of unfair to accuse us of something sudden when you can see the time stamps on the action yourself and see how many hours apart they are.

  • In addition to the nit-pick about time, this needs correction:

    Second, if you are going to comment that you think an answer should be improved, you need to give the author time to respond before summarily deleting it.

    This isn't how the site works. Nathan's comment even pointed this out. Just because the answer is deleted doesn't mean you don't have a chance to fix it. You can still edit the answer to address these issues. You had that chance and still have that chance. Nobody is taking this basic courtesy (as you call it) away.

However in its current state your post is not actually an answer to the question at all. Neither topically nor per our site scoping rules does it hit on the right issue.

  1. The question is scoped to the RCC. You don't so much as mention the RCC or anything that they say about this topic. It's been established for a long time that questions specific to Catholicism cannot just be answered from Scripture as if "it's about the Bible so they must agree with my view of the Bible". Answering Catholicism questions pretty much always requires at least some mention of how the RCC approaches an issue.

  2. The question wasn't about the Bible text mentioned so much as what might have been the source for the Biblical author. As such an answer to this question would basically have to turn to some sort of RCC commentary.

However much your post's content might have been relevant, it didn't hit in the same ballpark as the question. It wouldn't be too hard to address this, but you'll need to edit it to say something about the RCC.

Mods, acting in such a summary manner is a disservice to the community.

I think this is a bit unfair. This site gets a huge number of posts that are completely off topic for the questions they are posted under and if we don't clean them up they spawn debates and even more off topic posts. Matching answers to the perspective is a basic requirement of posting that we expect even from first time posters. As mods we spend a lot of time commenting and explaining this to new users to get them going on the right track. I'd expect you to have a general idea about this already, but even in your case you did get feedback (2 comments, a declined flag explanation, and an invitation to come here to meta) about your post. I don't really see how you add those data points up to be a summary discourtesy.

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    all of that happened overnight while I was sleeping. So whether it was several hours or instantaneous, it is effectively instantaneous from the perspective of the person to whom it was done – warren Mar 16 '17 at 18:55
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    @warren 1) Is that the only part of his answer that you read? It was practically a side-note. 2) Your complaint sounds like you think they should know your sleep schedule in order to avoid taking too much action on your posts while you're sleeping. Obviously that's absurd, but I can't think of another way to read it, so can you give it another go? – Mr. Bultitude Mar 16 '17 at 23:19
  • @Mr.Bultitude - giving someone merely 8ish hours to respond to something is not "absurd": since you don't know someone's sleep/work/etc schedule, 24 hours could be reasonable. – warren Mar 17 '17 at 15:10
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    @warren please were talking about a red herring here. Forget the timeline. Lets say it was 8 seconds instead of 8 hours. I would have deleted it on the spot instead of leaving it for a second mod to review if I hadn't been in a rush and short of time to review my evaluation. Can we move on to the other points here? You can still edit and fix the NAA issue. Nobody here is blocked that. – Caleb Mar 17 '17 at 16:25
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I'd like to point out that we don't use the mod notice enough and tend to delete posts a bit more frequently than not when they don't match the criteria. I think that's because there doesn't seem to be a good way of going back and finding where we left post notices.

I think it would be a good practice to give higher rep users the benefit of the doubt when it comes to deleting answers. If we know you respond to comments, then:

  • we delete
  • you edit
  • you flag
  • we undelete

becomes

  • we leave mod-notice and a comment (or else you may not see the notice)
  • you edit
  • we remove mod-notice eventually

or, flag if you want the mod-notice removed sooner than later.

I do agree though with eventually deleting the answer unless you changed it. There's so much Catholic stuff out there you could stumble across a reference easier than trying to make something up.

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    I don't think treating high-rep users differently than other users is a good solution. In fairness, you added "if we know you respond to comments." But why shouldn't that be, "If we know you respond to comments, then all the more reason to assume you understand how the site works and delete quickly with an explanation." – Mr. Bultitude Mar 16 '17 at 19:01
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    @mr. I beg to differ, that's why this is called "reputation" and not "points". We should give people with a high reputation the benefit of the doubt. We'll still delete the answer, just not as quick. – Peter Turner Mar 16 '17 at 19:24
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    "We'll still delete the answer, just not as quick." ....Why? Just to give yourself more of a burden? Or to show the user, who has been around a while and knows deletions aren't personal, that the deletion isn't personal? – Mr. Bultitude Mar 16 '17 at 23:18
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    There is no post-notice appropriate to slap on NAA posts, nor do post-notices notify the author. That's just the wrong tool for the job here. The existing flow for handling NAA is just fine. The real issue here is not the "no warning" thing, it is the "irrational" thing because the OP does not agree that his post is NAA in the first place. If he did he would still be free to fix it and this would be a non issue. What he doesn't agree about (and thinks we're irrationally forcing) is that questions about Catholicism's take on a verse can't be answered with some bit of freelance exegesis. – Caleb Mar 17 '17 at 9:52
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    @Caleb - there is no "freelance exegesis" going on in my answer - that is a wildly-inaccurate misrepresentation of what I wrote. The Catholic Church has the same quotations of Jesus that the "rest of us" have - and there are no quotes that reference what the OP asked. Which is what I answered. The problem I have is that a correct answer was deleted. – warren Mar 17 '17 at 18:27
  • @warren sorry the term freelance might have thrown things off here. The problem here is not whether your answer is “correct” or not — I would approach the issue the same way myself — but you are approaching this from a classic Protestant angle. No matter how much you and I might think that's the right answer this question asks for something else: it asks for a Catholic commentary. They do in fact reference sources outside of our Scripture canon and answer to this question would have to address whether or not they name some source for this saying or not. – Caleb Mar 17 '17 at 18:41
  • @Caleb - there are no RCC sources I can find that say anything different from what I already have. In fact, none even talk about it at all. Asking for a source for something that appears to not exist ... is a little troubling. Claiming what I did is "a classic Protestant angle", when there are no other angles taken in the first many dozen RCC sources you can find on duck duck go is a little disingenuous. No one addresses this. One presumes, because it isn't spoken about elsewhere - so why would anyone address what isn't addressed? – warren Mar 17 '17 at 18:48
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    @warren then say that in your answer. Explicitly. – Caleb Mar 17 '17 at 18:49
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    @Caleb - have an edit and a flag for undeletion. Never had anyone ask for proof of no source for something before. – warren Mar 17 '17 at 18:54
  • @warren We're not asking for proof of no source either! – Caleb Mar 17 '17 at 19:04
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    @Caleb - here's the thing: there are no sources. You want a source, but there aren't any (at least, not that are findable after much searching). So what you're asking for doesn't exist - which means you're asking for proof of no source. – warren Mar 17 '17 at 19:05
  • @warren, there is at least a commentary on the verse here -> newadvent.org/bible/joh014.htm that might be worth pointing out. – Peter Turner Mar 17 '17 at 19:13
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    @PeterTurner - oh, I found all kinds of commentaries on John 14. Even most mention verse 2. Absolutely none I have found yet (again, after dozens of examples) mention anything about Jesus having mentioned (or not) previously the "places for you" anywhere else. And that is what the original question asked about - whether Jesus ever spoke about this in recorded form previously. He didn't. – warren Mar 17 '17 at 19:16
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    @warren, well that commentary says the translation is a little off. It's a rhetorical device and wouldn't even warrant looking for some other reference. Maybe you don't believe that to be true, but there's evidence at least (that the premise of the question begets the absence of the answer sought) – Peter Turner Mar 17 '17 at 19:23
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    My experience with this site is that questionable deletions are relatively rare. – fredsbend Mar 17 '17 at 22:34

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