We get lots of questions recently that all have been closed, maybe we can salvage some.

This one in particular asks for scriptures that "support either side". So I assume this could be answered by basically a verse search, and a complete answer would contain scriptures that are or can be interpreted as saying Death was not present outside Eden, as well as ones that can be interpreted as Death was indeed present (Or just Eden was different, or something). I imagine it could be answerable, but I am not sure how satisfying an answer could be. Is this salvageable by adding some kind of biblical-basis tag or something? Or are verse-searches always off-topic?

As comparison, would it be on-topic, for example, to ask "Are there verses which support either that Jesus was black or that he was not?", "Are there verses which support either that Jar-Jar Binks is the Anti-Christ or that he is not?"

1 Answer 1


No, unless the question specifies some doctrine or system of doctrine "Are there any verses" is an open ended questions relying on personal interpretation.

As it stands, some churches are open to personal interpretation and some churches are not. Since we can't agree on this as a Universal Church, we need to err on the side of requiring people asking a question to specify a tradition inside

still requires an identifiable doctrine for the answer. That is what you'd want, but you can still mix and and to find a Catholic Biblical Basis for Infant Baptism. If you removed from that question, it would be opinion based.

In summary:

  • Verse search questions are not off topic because they're verse search questions, they're off topic because they have no concrete answer.
  • Biblical Basis questions require an identifiable doctrine, not just a supposition
  • Closed Questions can still be useful in providing a "Clarification of Thought",

But, I do have to say, it is not ideal for 5 people to close a question without leaving a comment as to why. It's not obvious why "Are there any verses" is equivalent to "Opinion Based".

  • Is it then also off-topic to ask whether there are denominations that teach X? It seems somewhat similar to a verse-search but on the other hand is answerable more objectively, and is a good precursor to asking how the doctrine is justified in that denomination.
    – kutschkem
    May 28, 2020 at 6:38
  • @kut yeah, we've allowed those kinds of questions. But they can still be closed if it's obvious that the OP did no research. It's better if someone asks something like "I know that Catholics venerate the Blessed Virgin Mary, what other denominations do this?" than "What denominations worship Mary?".
    – Peter Turner Mod
    May 28, 2020 at 15:21

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