Talk:Kingdom of Judah/archive1

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2004 talk

Just to let everyone know - I know the list of Kings is not completely tabulated yet - I thought I would wait to see how the dispute over the Kingdom of Israel list panned out before I continued with it.

--JohnArmagh 10:02, 14 Jul 2004 (UTC)

I would find it very helpful is someone could go through this and identify which prophet each king was a contemporary of and wether or not the bible portrays the king as good or bad.

141 BCE–63 BCE: The Hasmonean State in "Palestine" established by the Maccabees

The area was not known as Palestine at this time. The area only became known as Palestine after the Roman destruction which was well after the Maccabee revolt.

I do not believe this is the case. Our own article Palestine (region) says: The term "Syria Palaestina" is first recorded by the 5th century B.C. Greek historian Herodotus, who wrote of the "district of Syria called Palaistinêi", and later Ptolemy and Pliny (who alludes to a region of Syria that was "formerly called Palaestina"), to refer to the eastern coast of the Mediterranean; it is generally accepted that the region they referred to extended further inland than the domain of the Philistines. At any rate, if we do not use Palestine, I am uncertain what the proper term would be. Judæa seems clearly inappropriate to refer to the whole region, since the Hasmonaean state consisted of not only Judæa, but also Samaria, Galilee, Idumæa, and so forth. Palestine seems like the best general term to mean "the southern part of the Levant" once we get past the period when we can use "Canaan." john k 02:21, 27 July 2005 (UTC)

Synchronisms with other kingdoms?

Is it possible to make a better chronology by looking for synchronisms with other kingdoms? For example, Kings dates the raid of Shoshenq I ("Shishak") to the reign of Rehoboam, and Shoshenq died in 924 BC. Yet we still have a kinglist that dates Rehoboam's first year to 922 BC. Why?

BCE/CE again

Until 20:47, 29 September 2005 this article used both styles. User:Humus sapiens made it consistent to use BCE/CE [1]. User:Jguk then changed date styles (in the now consistent article) [2], followed by various other reverts. As a compromise I suggest undoing User:Jguk's other date style change to this article [3], and going back to the inconsistent state. Anyone (other than User:Jguk) object? Sortan 15:56, 1 October 2005 (UTC)

I think the best way to deal with the issue is just too let sleeping dogs lie and leave it as it was. So no, I don't object. john k 17:11, 1 October 2005 (UTC)

Sortan's main contributions to Wikipedia appear to be aggressively edit-warring to add BCE notation to a small number of articles. I'd be grateful if someone else would look at his contributions and remind him that WP is an encyclopaedia, not somewhere to make what are effectively trolling edits, jguk 17:28, 1 October 2005 (UTC)
Jguk's main contribution to Wikipedia seem to be aggressively edit-warring to change BCE/CE to BC/AD, changing American English to British English, and various other style disputes. I'd be grateful if someone would look at his contributions over the past year and remind him of what constitutes consensus, and that WP is not his personal fiefdom. Sortan 20:13, 1 October 2005 (UTC)
Please, let's not get into ad hom attacks. The articles Kingdom of Judah & Kingdom of Israel are integral parts of Jewish history, and this is a good enough reason to use denominationally neutral and encyclopedic BCE/CE instead of chauvinist Before Christ/Anno Domini notation. Besides, I don't see why the changes clandestinely made by some anon crusader [4] should stick. I promise not to change notation in Jesus and Paul of Tarsus but having a neutral option, what is the reason to use potentially offensive notation here? Humus sapiens←ну? 02:32, 2 October 2005 (UTC)
There has never been any consensus on wikipedia that "BC/AD" is "chauvinist". As I've noted previously, BCE/CE is not any more "denominationally neutral" than BC/AD - it is just a euphemism and represents the same Christ-centric calendar. Furthermore, the basic fact is, that while BC/AD might have a literally religious meaning, in practice, it is an example of something analogous to ceremonial deism - it is acceptable because, through repeated usage, the theoretical religious meaning is essentially gone. john k 04:28, 2 October 2005 (UTC)
It may be added that if you are going to play the "Jewish subjects shouldn't use Christian dates" card, the history of the divided kingdoms is also a subject of some interest to Christian history, and that the vast majority of those who have read about this period of history in the Books of Kings, and who have studied its archaeological basis, have been Christians. I don't think this is particularly relevant in either instance, but it seems to me that in issues like that it is essentially a deadlock. john k 04:31, 2 October 2005 (UTC)
First, let's not mix up calendar systems and notations. If someone advocated using exclusively Jewish calendar in article Jesus, some complaints would be understandable. The issue here is, BC/AD stomps religious feelings of a minority in an article describing their history, while the BCE/CE notation is denominationally neutral and is increasingly commonly acceptable [5]. The BCE/CE notation is already being used in many articles; since WP does not have a standard notation, if & when we get to voting for it, I am sure we will have our chance to express our POV. As for Christians reading about Jewish history, that would be exactly the place to promote religious tolerance, don't you think? Humus sapiens←ну? 05:54, 2 October 2005 (UTC)
Per the MoS [6] either notation is fine: "Both the BCE/CE era names and the BC/AD era names are acceptable, but be consistent within an article." I'd like to politely suggest that you all have valuable contributions to make to Wikipedia, and prolonging this dispute is not one of them. Keithlard 07:35, 2 October 2005 (UTC)
I most certainly wasn't suggesting anything about the Jewish calendar. BC/AD and BCE/CE are the same calendar, and that calendar is a calendar based on a date derived for the birth of Jesus. As to whether BC/AD is somehow "stomping on the religious feelings of a minority" (which seems completely absurd to me as an agnostic Jew), or that using it has anything to do with religious tolerance, I'm just going to point again towards the idea of ceremonial deism - that is, all religious meaning of BC/AD has crept out due to common usage. Personally, I find the idea of BCE/CE to be much more obnoxious than BC/AD. BC/AD acknowledges that what we are discussing is a calendar based on a date derived for the birth of Jesus. BCE/CE uses that same date, but pretends it's the beginning of something called the "common era" - as though some date derived for the birth of Jesus is an ecumenical date. At least BC/AD doesn't pretend to be ecumenical. john k 16:56, 2 October 2005 (UTC)

Let's examine humus sapiens strawman argument. BC/AD notation quite simply does not carry with it any religious connotations anymore. Whether they ever did, I do not know, but let's not go down all that false etymology route. Nowadays it is just a way of denoting dates, nothing more. It is also the only notation generally understood by the general public worldwide - and since we should aim to make the article accessible to as many people as possible, that is the form we should use - simple as that.

The religious tolerance argument humus sapiens makes is also a strawman argument. As noted above, their is no longer any religious meaning in BC/AD notation (note that where relevant the Church expands AD to Anno Domini or In the Year of Our Lord, it does not rely on the abbreviations to denote this). In a secular society such as the one I live in, history has given us many terms, dresses, customs, foods, etc. from many different religions. I can't think of anything less tolerant than to pick any one out against a particular religion and seek to eliminate it.

On articles solely about Jewish history (and I agree with John Kenney here that this article is not solely about Jewish history), it may be useful to some readers to give dates in the Jewish calendar. In which case - let's give the dates in the Jewish calendar, but in brackets after we have given dates in the Gregorian/Julian calendar (as appropriate).

Finally, we have already voted on it - it was a very divisive vote (and my assessment is that there is little desire to repeat the exercise). The proposal to move to BCE/CE notation wikipedia-wide failed to even garner a majority, let alone the 80%+ consensus that would be needed to change policy. We are left with saying that as this page has predominantly used BC notation, that is where it should remain, with the opposite conclusion being reached on some other articles. Not ideal, but the only real compromise that at present has any chance of working, jguk 07:37, 2 October 2005 (UTC)

Jguk - deriving BC/AD from "Before Christ" and "Anno Domini" is not a false etymology. It is a correct etymology. It is just an irrelevant one. The question is "do most people when they use BC/AD intend to imply that Jesus is the Christ and the Lord?" The answer is "obviously not" - people use BC/AD because that is the most common way to mark that we are using the calendar based on Dionysius Exiguus's miscalculation of the birth of Jesus. But it doesn't actually imply anything about Jesus - it is basically irrelevant what the calendar's origins are. Finding "BC" offensive is particularly silly, because plenty of non-Christians refer to "Jesus Christ" without thinking about the fact that "Christ" means messiah - it takes two levels of etymology to get us back to BC being potentially offensive. john k 17:06, 2 October 2005 (UTC)
Jguk, this isn't about whether to move to BCE notation Wikipedia-wide, but in articles where BC/AD is inappropriate, and it seems to me that this is clearly one of them. BCE is widely used by academics, and I'm surprised for that reason to see John objecting to it. I also want to point out this Guardian article to you, as you've often argued that BCE is an American or Jewish thing, but this is a Roman Catholic writer, former nun, and theologian writing in a British newspaper. SlimVirgin (talk) 08:28, 2 October 2005 (UTC)
Given that this change has been made and reverted several times in the last 24 hours, can I suggest that simply reverting it again is not going to help (even if you justify it on talk). This is a pretty lame edit war. Constantly changing date formats is not improving the factual content of the article, and in the absence of anyone willing to say that they are actually offended by either format, I would just leave this one to blow itself out. If it continues it may be a case for requesting protection and putting this to a talk page vote for this specific page. Keithlard 09:05, 2 October 2005 (UTC)
Slim, we cannot decide what is appropriate without considering who we are writing for. It is what is best for our audience (ie what they are most likely to prefer) which is the important thing - and it's here that the argument that some academics use BCE becomes irrelevant: we are not writing for academics, we are writing for the worldwide general public, and I strongly believe that WP should make itself as accessible as possible to this audience.
This is a very small subset of that. But let's examine the situation. We have one notation that is understood by the worldwide general public, one that has a much smaller range. We have one notation that even on google searches, which in this subject area can be expected to be biased towards American and academic usage, show a 9:1 preference for BC notation. We also have countervailing arguments as to whether offence can be caused by the choice of usage - with outside evidence pointing to many more people taking offence at changing BC notation to BCE notation than in the other direction.
This is why I conclude that, in this instance, given this audience, we should use BC notation. And whilst it is a shame that WP policy does not require that BC notation is used throughout (very much to its detriment) at least here, where there has been a long history of this article using BC notation it does demand its retention.
No doubt there are other changes to this article which would also improve its accessibility, and I'll have a look to see what I can do there too, jguk 09:45, 2 October 2005 (UTC)
Jguk, you've elsewhere argued against the first-editor argument, so how this article began is irrelevant, and there is no policy stating it should be either BC or BCE. I agree with your accessibility argument, but that's why I provided the Guardian article. This wasn't written for academics, or Americans, or Jews, or by an academic, American or Jew. If the Guardian house style is BCE, doesn't that indicate that they regard it as equally accessible? SlimVirgin (talk) 09:53, 2 October 2005 (UTC)
I do think that the first-editor argument is silly - but that's what the current WP approach is and is what we're stuck with.
Where does it say that this is what the current WP approach is. The last time I edited the MoS, it said to go with the first editor if and only if there was nothing about the article that suggested one style over another. But the contents of this article clearly do suggest that BC would be inappropriate. SlimVirgin (talk) 10:08, 2 October 2005 (UTC)

I would like it to change so that it requires BC/AD notation as that will make our articles as accessible to as many people as possible. (There's also a lot of other work that needs to be done to make our articles more accessible, but this would be a small start.) However, in the current prevailing climate I can't see such a proposal succeeding.

The Guardian house style is to use BC/AD notation as their style manual suggests. However, it is clear that in its comments section where academics or what have you write a column, the Guardian tends not to change their text. I imagine that article you cited would not have been read by the vast majority of the Guardian's readers, jguk 10:03, 2 October 2005 (UTC)
Why would you say that the vast majority of Guardian readers wouldn't read Karen Armstrong? She's very popular. SlimVirgin (talk) 10:08, 2 October 2005 (UTC)
I said they wouldn't read that article. I'm sure no article in the comment section is read by the majority of the Guardian's readers, jguk 10:26, 2 October 2005 (UTC)
Let's keep track: first, you tried personal attack against User:Sortan. Then, attempted to accuse me in using strawman argument. Now you are saying that academic community doesn't matter (for a serious encyclopeda!). So far I haven't seen any good reason to use the Christian-centric notation in Jewish history related articles and consider this insistence an instance of religious intolerance. Please elaborate who and why is offended by using BCE/CE here. Humus sapiens←ну? 10:05, 2 October 2005 (UTC)

Have you seen Sortan's user contributions (including his constant personal attacks on me in his edit summaries)? Also bear in mind that you can't immediately see that he has been wikistalking me from this, but that's what he has been doing. That explains why I do not think Sortan's continued presence on WP is worth keeping.

You are mistaken in saying that BC/AD notation is Christian-centric. It is used by all people of all creeds, and by atheists too! Any religious meaning in the notation has long since disappeared. Have a look at the article on false etymology and you'll see what I mean. It's no more Christian-centric than Wednesday being Norse-religion-centric or June being Roman-religion-centric.

The offence is caused by three things. First, the singling out of something because its etymology is related to Christianity. Why do that? What is especially repugnant about Christianity that something, even obliquely, related to it should be eliminated? Second is a related point: in a secular society, which most of the English-speaking world is, we see symbols, signs, words, terminology, etc. of a plethora of religions. We should accept them all. In my city I walk past churches, mosques and synagogues, I see people in Jewish hasidic, Islamic, African dress. I hear many accents and see people of many cultures. The surest way to cause unrest is to suggest that we should restrict this in any way.

Third reason is that there is no reason to change away from something that everyone already understands. It's the same argument as you'll see against other arguments for "political correctness". I'm sure I needn't elaborate on the extensive and widespread offence political correctness has caused.

A good example of where offence has been caused is in New South Wales, where changing one instance of BC to BCE in one exam paper caused questions to be asked in both chambers of parliament and forced an apology from the Education Minister, jguk 10:24, 2 October 2005 (UTC)

If you were correct about BC/AD notation not being Christian-centric, the denominationally-neutral alternative would not gain popularity and we would not have this talk.
This most certainly does not follow. john k 01:55, 3 October 2005 (UTC)
Care to elaborate? Humus sapiens←ну? 09:21, 3 October 2005 (UTC)
Not only you try to use offensive notation and insist that it is not offensive somehow. In addition you attempt to present it as a lesson of tolerance!
"What is especially repugnant about Christianity that something, even obliquely, related to it should be eliminated?" - this is a classic strawman arg. Who says it "should be eliminated"? Take a look at the title of this article. I do not advocate changing random unrelated articles. Stop waging silly holy wars in articles directly related to Jewish history. This is a sensitive matter and I challenge you to demonstrate sensitivity and tolerance. Humus sapiens←ну? 23:28, 2 October 2005 (UTC)


Jguk followed up on my contribution here by following me to Wikipedia:Verifiability, a page he has never edited before, and making several changes, including changing spokespersons to spokesmen, a word he insists is still also used for women. This is really unpleasant behavior, Jguk, and hardly endears anyone to your cause. SlimVirgin (talk) 12:29, 2 October 2005 (UTC)
I made a number of edits to that page, which I came to as I saw it had a long discussion ongoing on it. There was an instance of "spokesman" clearly referring to a woman closely followed by the word "spokespersons", it made sense to bring them into line. I made a number of other more significant positive changes to that page - all of which are surely better to discuss on that talk page rather than this. Or are you trying to campaign against me more generally? Presumably you were unconcerned for some time that a female spokesman was referred to as a spokesman, but somehow you are concerned when I make things consistent, jguk 12:33, 2 October 2005 (UTC)

LOL!! Don't be ridiculous. Why would I want to campaign against you? SlimVirgin (talk) 12:35, 2 October 2005 (UTC)

BCE/BC - reminder of sitewide compromise

First, BC is not Christian-centric (as explained on other pages ad infinitum), and is perfectly neutral in sense - no-one thinks it means anything other than a device to show dates. And besides, this argument has been discussed in great detail elsewhere on Wikipedia. The only form of consensus that has been able to retain the peace is to not change articles from BCE to BC or vice versa. No participant in the great Wikipedia BC v BCE debate is entirely happy with that compromise, I am sure - but it is all we've got to keep the peace. That means all sides respect it (both those that, for whatever reason, prefer BCE and those who, for whatever reason, prefer BC). In the case of this article the "no change" compromise means that it should stay using "BC". Please respect this in the interests of wikipeace, if nothing else, jguk 06:56, 4 October 2005 (UTC)

See above. Go wage your holy wars elsewhere, and don't barge in into Jewish history. So much for tolerance. Humus sapiens←ну? 07:01, 4 October 2005 (UTC)

I have never argued that this has anything to do with religion - if anything, I've argued that it has nothing to do with religion. I am offended by your accusations. All I'm asking now is that you tolerate that others have different views, that we have had a large sitewide discussion that ended inconclusive, and that the only compromise for relative peace on the issue that we have is the "no change" approach that I outline above, jguk 07:06, 4 October 2005 (UTC)

Everyone is entitled to their POV. You may deny that BC/AD is Christian-centric, but obviously some see it so. There is no reason for that notation here, since we have denominationally-neutral and commonly accepted alternative and your insistence on stomping religious feelings of a minority in an article directly related to their history is doubly offensive. Your "compromise" is a deception. I am not advocating wholesale changes in random articles: Jewish history is a special case. Again, I challenge you to demonstrate tolerance and sensitivity. If you are unable to respect the subject, go away. Humus sapiens←ну? 10:21, 4 October 2005 (UTC)

BCE is not a commonly accepted alternative - certainly not in many places of the world. It is merely political correctness gone wrong. I'll overlook the point that the subject of the Kingdom of Judah is as relevant to Christianity and Islam as it is to Judaism (as it happened before the Abrahamic religions split), but I do take very strong objections to the suggestion that there is something special about Jewish history - and to the suggestion that Jewish history should just be for Jews. It shouldn't be.

Tolerance involves understanding, and that means having articles that are accessible to everyone. Articles written in language that only Jewish scholars will understand are all very well and good in Jewish academic journals - but on Wikipedia we have a worldwide audience of all denominations and of none. We should write in a way that every can understand. Whether this promotes tolerance or not, I don't know, but at least it would allow someone not well versed in Judaism and without assumed knowledge that isn't widely known outside Jewish circles, to understand the subject. A decision to segregate Judaism and have WP articles on Judaism to be written with a solely Jewish audience in mind is, regardless of the motives of those writing in that way, only going to promote differences and segregation.

Of course, this is the problem with political correctness all round - it leaves us having very divisive arguments over language that only end up alienating and causing rancour, whilst the real underlying necesssity (whether it is encouraging understanding or doing something like making sure there is real equality of opportunity amongst all sectors of society) fall by the wayside. There's no coincidence in the nation that has tried to embrace political correctness more than any other remaining the most religiously and racially divided in the developed world.

So we should write to promote understanding of the subject at hand. That means adopting the language and style of our audience, which should be everyone. And this goes way, way beyond whether we add a letter E - it goes at the heart of making sure a layman can get as much out of wikipedia as possible. Have a look at some of our science articles, which are equally poor at explaining things to a layman.

Anyway, back to the BCE/BC subject, we have had the debates and the votes and they left us with the "no change" compromise. Incidentally, there was a proposal to separate out articles relating to certain religions, including Judaism, and having a separate rule for those articles - but that proposal was also defeated easily. Even though you disagree with this compromise, I ask you to accept it and abide by it - and bear in mind that it does cut both ways, jguk 11:58, 4 October 2005 (UTC)

First, I am glad you don't bring up that "BC/AD is not Christian-centric" absurdity anymore. Second, take your POV gripes with PC someplace else. The "Jewish history should just be for Jews" is another strawman not worthy of a response. "Tolerance involves understanding" - exactly, that is what I am asking for. Check by yourself: most if not all articles on Jewish history and some other topics (BTW, open to all) use BCE/CE notation and there is a very good reason for this: Christian-centric notation is inappropriate and offensive here. So stop your intimidation and move on. Humus sapiens←ну? 17:46, 4 October 2005 (UTC)
We can go on disagreeing for ages. However, WP policy does not permit changing date styles once they are established in an article. We both need to accept that. This article was established using BC notation, and that is where it should stay. I think all articles should use BC notation as that is the only notation understood by the general public worldwide - and this should be the decider. That's not an outrageous opinion. You have differing views. We need to accept that we will never agree on this - but we also need to abide by WP policies, even where we disagree with them. You will not see me go changing other articles related to Judaism that adopt a different date style, even though I strongly believe that is a change that should be made to help make them accessible to a wider audience. I ask you similarly not to go round changing date styles in articles where you disagree with the date style. I'll leave the page as is for a few days, and if neither you nor anyone else has changed it back by the weekend, I'll revert it back myself. I really do want to stop the revert wars - but I also really do completely disagree with you, and think that both of us should accept the sitewide compromise currently in place, not just me, jguk 19:20, 4 October 2005 (UTC)
Jguk, I echo what Humus has asked: please take this somewhere else. There is no policy that does not permit changing date styles once they're established. Please point me to this policy. Furthermore, you yourself have strongly argued (for weeks on end) against the first-contributor and first-major-contributor rule when it came to British versus American English, so you can't just do a complete volte face now when it suits you. Finally, it's just plain wrong to say that BCE represents a "language that only Jewish scholars will understand." I gave you a link to a recent Guardian article written by a Roman Catholic journalist that used BCE. It's used in many Western countries as an alternative to BC by Jewish and Christian writers, and by others who are neither. You just ignored my point and answered that it wasn't the Guardian's house style (which I haven't checked yet), but you didn't address the essence of my point which was that this was a British, Roman Catholic writer, which puts paid to your claim that the notation can barely be understood outside North America, Jewish communities, or academia (and even if that were true, that's still a very large constituency). SlimVirgin (talk) 19:41, 4 October 2005 (UTC)
On the contrary, there were proposals both to allow the "no change" approach to be discussed on an article by article basis, and for a different rule to apply to articles related to religion, neither of which passed. I also note that this article is emphatically not specific to the Jewish religion, as it deals with a period before the split of the three great Abrahamic religions, it is a history equally pertinent to Christians and Muslims. I never used anything other than BC and AD in my school, and there were plenty of Jews and Muslims there - and I never heard any protest, however mild, about that. This whole PC thing has gotten out of hand - especially as WP has never and will never be PC (after all, that would be contrary to the non-negotiable WP:NPOV policy. Can we please put a stop to this nonsense and abide by agreed WP policy? jguk 19:55, 4 October 2005 (UTC)
Could you point to the policy, please? You keep referring to it, but don't actually cite it. I agree with you about a lot of PC language, but BCE isn't seen that way anymore, and what was done in your school in your day isn't necessarily what's done elsewhere. SlimVirgin (talk) 20:07, 4 October 2005 (UTC)
I'll dig out the relevant discussions sometime (tonight's not a good night for me). And certainly where I am BCE is seen as politically correct nonsense by many (most, by a long way, just don't use it), and has caused offence in many places worldwide. In NSW using it once gave rise to angry questions in both chambers of parliament. Of course, not what was done in my school is not what is done everywhere, but it is what is common for most people's schooling. Remember most people will not ever have seen the term in school, jguk 20:19, 4 October 2005 (UTC)
You can't say that what was done in your school is what's common for most people's schooling, or that most people will not have seen the term in school. I used it in school and university, and use it professionally, as does everyone I've worked or studied with, British, American, Jewish, Christian, and none of the above. The point for Wikipedia is not to extrapolate from our own experiences outwards, but to follow policy, which hopefully ends up being a mixture of everyone's experiences, so I hope you'll find me the policy — not just a discussion, but an actual policy — and if there isn't one (and so far as I know, there isn't), I hope you'll stop going around changing the edits that the current editors of various pages want to make. SlimVirgin (talk) 20:36, 4 October 2005 (UTC)

Slim - given that both forms are acceptable, and that there are people who get offended at changes from one to another, how can any kind of peace on wikipedia be maintained unless we agree to let sleeping dogs lie and leave articles as they are? Although Jguk has not been innocent of picking fights on this subject before, in this case it was Humus sapiens, not Jguk, who picked a fight. Furthermore, Humus's changes were not in the context of a major revision of the article, but rather just a change of date format, with the inflammatory summary "Back to neutral BCE/CE notation, see Talk:Kingdom_of_Judah#BCE.2FCE_again." Basically, the only justification of Humus's edit is the notion that BC/AD is POV, which is a position not supported by wikipedia policy. I don't see why Jguk should get chided when it is HS who broke the truce. The basic fact is that nobody should be editing articles solely in order to change date formats. john k 21:57, 4 October 2005 (UTC)

Practically all articles on Jewish history and religion use BCE/CE notation. No complaints so far.
According to what WP policy you insist on using Christian-centric notation - that some consider inappropriate and offensive - in articles directly related to Jewish history when we have denominationally-neutral and commonly accepted alternative? IMHO, it is against Wikipedia:Civility.
When an anon surreptitiously changed [7] BCE/CE to BC/AD, none of you raised voice.
Finally, who exactly gets offended by BCE/CE notation? Humus sapiens←ну? 22:28, 4 October 2005 (UTC)
John, the arbcom ruled that "Jguk has repeatedly reverted giving as the reason his assertion that common era notation is an inferior notation which is not understandable or difficult for Wikipedia readers, an assertion not supported by the Wikipedia Manual of Style." They also ruled that "When either of two styles are acceptable it is inappropriate for a Wikipedia editor to change from one style to another unless there is some substantial reason for the change. For example, with respect to English spelling as opposed to American spelling it would be acceptable to change from American spelling to English spelling if the article concerned an English subject." My argument is that there's a substantial reason for change in this article, and I believe Humus argues the same, so the current editors on the page are allowed to decide which format to use, without reference to the first-contributor rule. No one's saying Jguk can't join in that discussion and argue his point, but he has to stop going around systematically undoing other people's choices with reference to policy that doesn't exist, and by claiming that, just because BCE was never used in his school, hardly anyone in the world understands it. SlimVirgin (talk) 22:37, 4 October 2005 (UTC)
Hmm...has it ever been stated explicitly that a supposedly "Jewish" topic (and, again, I don't see how material from the Old Testament can be considered Jewish and not Christian - it is clearly both) is sufficient grounds to violate the truce? I am highly dubious about that. And the idea that it is offensive is ridiculous. What is offensive is that Humus Sapiens is wasting everybody's time with an absurd crusade against the normal way people in the west date things. Basically, nobody should be arguing about this. It is a waste of everyone's time. Humus started it, therefore Humus is the one who should lose the dispute. john k 01:19, 5 October 2005 (UTC)
That's not much of an argument: Humus was the first to change this article, therefore he should "lose." Take a look at User:MPerel/Jguk's era-related edits. They show that Jguk made 1,039 edits reverting BCE between Oct 2004 and June 2005. See User:MPerel/Jguk's era-related edits and talk comments for his talk page comments too. It has reached the level of an obsession with him and it shouldn't be defended, because it's been highly disruptive. The arbcom said dates could be changed where there is a substantial reason, which means they accept that there is such a thing. What, if not that an article is about Jewish history, would count as a substantial reason, in your view? SlimVirgin (talk) 01:37, 5 October 2005 (UTC)
I'm sorry John, but this is simply not true. Take a look at Humus's edit [8], where he does plenty of minor copyediting, as well as making dates consistent. While, technically, making dates consistent would violate the truce, his edit was a good faith contribution. Now look at Jguk's edit here: [9], in which he not only reverts Humus's edit, but then deliberately and provocatively changes all BCEs to BCs and all CEs to ADs. The edit summary of "rv change which was contrary to WP policy (as discussed ad infinitum), also this is the only standard generally understood worldwide" is deceptive and misleading, but if you look at this diff, you can see the actual changes he made. Furthermore, when I tried to compromise by trying to revert to the previous inconsistent version, he again reverted here, when he believed you would be an ally in his revert war. Now that the majority doesn't favor his version, he is strangely insisting on the inconsistent version he rejected before. I am quite astonished at how you can claim that Jguk is innocent in all this, and blame Humus. Please do take a look at the diffs I've linked and let me know if I've misjudged or just plain missed something. Sortan 23:33, 4 October 2005 (UTC)
I don't think Jguk is innocent, just that Humus started it, and is thus more responsible for the mess than Jguk. Jguk obviously has an issue with dating. And, yes, it was misleading to call it a revert when he also changed text from the old version. But, again, it was Humus who brought us all to this incredibly stupid argument, and the only argument he has is that BC/AD is somehow offensive, an interpretation which has been repeatedly rejected when proposed as official policy. john k 01:19, 5 October 2005 (UTC)
John, that it is offensive has never been proposed. What was proposed was an official policy to use BCE over BC (either always or in some circumstances, I forget which), and that wasn't accepted, though it got a lot of support. But that doesn't mean that the opposite was accepted either: that it couldn't be used. The current position — the truce, as you call it — is that where there is reason to use one over the other, it's up to the editors on the page to decide. Where there is no reason whatsoever, the first-contributor or first-major contributor rule applies. There is reason in this case (you may not agree with the reason, but it indisputably exists), and as I see it, it is therefore Jguk who is breaching the truce, and not only on this page. SlimVirgin (talk) 01:37, 5 October 2005 (UTC)

John, do you really want to look like a white person who denies that the N-word is offensive to a black person? Well, now you do. I have 4 questions for you:

  1. You may think that BC/AD is not Christian-centric, but are you able to acknowledge that that not everyone thinks so? [10] Humus sapiens←ну? 03:03, 5 October 2005 (UTC)
  2. I can explain the reason behind creating BCE/CE notation. Can you? Humus sapiens←ну? 03:03, 5 October 2005 (UTC)
  3. Who gets offended by BCE/CE notation in articles deeply related to the Jewish history & religion? Practically all them happily use it. Humus sapiens←ну? 03:03, 5 October 2005 (UTC)
  4. Having a viable alternative, why do you insist on potentially stomping someone's religious feelings? Let's not invoke the temporary "truce" (not an official policy) here: as SV noted, it says unless there is some substantial reason for the change. Thank you. Humus sapiens←ну? 03:16, 5 October 2005 (UTC)
Please remember that there remains only one date notation understood by the worldwide English-speaking general public. Also recognise that by saying something happened in 100 BC, the writer is only conveying information about the date. And then recognise that many people worldwide have also taken offence at changing BC notation to BCE and that religious leaders generally say that they are not offended by BC notation (including those who themselves choose not to use it). Then recognise that WP has already discussed this whole affair at length earlier this year, and that that discussion was very divisive - and that it tailed away with a de facto "no change" compromise, which has in the main been successful in avoiding raking up that bitterness yet again. Remember too, that I do not like the compromise either, but I accept it. I ask you to do the same, jguk 19:24, 5 October 2005 (UTC)
Jguk, what would constitute for you a "substantial reason for the change," that is, in what circumstances would you regard changing from BC to BCE justified? SlimVirgin (talk) 19:32, 5 October 2005 (UTC)

I'm not quite sure what you mean - whether it is what I personally think would be justification, or what justification I think there is under the current WP approach. The answer to the first one would be if global usage were to change so that usage of BC were to be restricted to a small minority (say under 20%-30%, which incidentally is still much, much more than the global usage of BCE at present). The answer to the second is to revert a change in an article that previously was stable and consistent in using BCE notation so that it used BC notation. Kind regards, jguk 19:50, 5 October 2005 (UTC)

Sorry, I didn't make my question clear enough. The arbcom ruled that BC shouldn't be changed to BCE and vice versa "unless there is some substantial reason for the change." That is, they ruled that the first-contributor or first-major-contributor rule does not apply where "there is some substantial reason for the change." So my question to you is: what kind of circumstance do you see as counting as a "substantial reason for the change"? SlimVirgin (talk) 20:00, 5 October 2005 (UTC)

As previously discussed, I have adjusted the article back to how it was before Humus sapiens's amendment of the date style, jguk 07:18, 9 October 2005 (UTC)

Sigh. Another blatent lie. Sortan 17:17, 9 October 2005 (UTC)

I briefly chatted to Mark Pellegrini (Raul) on IRC yesterday and he confirmed what I very much thought the situation was, that the ArbCom ruling of "no change" is meant very much to be that, "no change". I'll give a little time to the weekend in case anyone wants to doublecheck that with him, and then, if it hasn't been done by someone else in the meantime, revert the recent attempts to change the style to BCE. In the meantime, I continue to urge all editors to accept the "no change" approach, jguk 21:45, 12 October 2005 (UTC)

Jguk, please read what the arbcom wrote: "When either of two styles are acceptable it is inappropriate for a Wikipedia editor to change from one style to another unless there is some substantial reason for the change. For example, with respect to English spelling as opposed to American spelling it would be acceptable to change from American spelling to English spelling if the article concerned an English subject. Revert warring over optional styles is unacceptable; if the article is colour rather than color, it would be wrong to switch simply to change styles as both are acceptable."
They're clearly comparing the situation with BCE/BC to the one with British and American English. The rule is don't change it unless there is something about the article that suggests BE would be more appropriate. They say that switching styles for no reason is wrong, and editing warring over that should not take place. But where there is a substantial reason, they may be changed. SlimVirgin (talk) 22:17, 12 October 2005 (UTC)
And as I recall you know that's what it means, because I seem to remember you writing to the mailing list complaining about it, saying it would allow people to switch styles as with BE and AE, effectively making that policy. I'll check the archives when I have time to make sure my memory of this is right. SlimVirgin (talk) 22:20, 12 October 2005 (UTC)

Mark did make the analogy to British and American English debates before going on to say that in this case, the ruling really did mean "no changes". We should "go with whoever got their first". I'm sure he'd be happy to confirm the same to you if you asked him, jguk 22:33, 12 October 2005 (UTC)

I'm not doubting what you're saying, but the closest thing we have to policy is the arbcom's written decision, and that clearly compares the BCE/BC situation to the AE/BE one. SlimVirgin (talk) 22:36, 12 October 2005 (UTC)
It does - but it's the "no change" ("who gets there first") aspect that it's comparing it to (though as in the BE/AE discussions, it's not meant to mean if the first contributor used one style 3 years ago which was changed the next day and has stayed stable since then, that someone should go changing it!). Incidentally, I asked Mark as he was the first arbitrator I saw on IRC, and was following your suggestion of checking with ArbCom what they meant, whilst being careful as I know they particularly disliked the case and really do not want to go back to it again (which Mark also made clear was true). A quiet word seemed best. As I say above, I myself will wait till the weekend before editing the article again so that anyone who wishes to verify this with Mark (or indeed another of the Arbs who voted in that case) can do so - I hope this clarification will help bring certainty going forward, jguk 22:49, 12 October 2005 (UTC)
Per Wikipedia:Manual of Style (dates and numbers)#Eras "Both the BCE/CE era names and the BC/AD era names are acceptable, but be consistent within an article." The no change proposal would violate MoS. I am still wondering, if both styles are acceptable, why insist on the one that some consider inappropriate here? Humus sapiens←ну? 22:51, 12 October 2005 (UTC)

I belive everyone should understnad the history at Kingdom of Judah, and Kingdom of Israel. The original authors used BC which was then changed by Humus sapiens, [11],]. Now Jguk and several others including myself disagree with him and the others on his side of the debate. The basic arugment by that side goes as follows 1. BC is Christian Centric 2. Jewish history can be used as a special case to avoid POV. 3. Articles about Jewish history therfore should use BCE to consistant. My andothers refutation goes as follows 1.BC is not Christian centric, it is the most common used system in the world, and very few realize the Christian basis behind them. 2. The site recognizes both as equally NPOV. 3. Judaism is not a special case, look at the History of India for example. Also other kingdoms during the time period use BC. Assyria for example. 4. The originals started with BC and therfore by wikipedia policy that should remain. 5. Kingdom of Judah, and Israel is not specifically Jewish history. It is part of Jewish history but it is also part of Middle East History and World History and is not any more Jewish than India's kingdom were Hindu. I'm sorry if I missed arguments on both sides. I've read through it all at one point or another and this is all of them I've seen.(The last few I recently added today at the other article and therfore haven't been responded to but I am going ahead and including them.) I hope new arguments will be used instead of reinterating the old ones so this discussion can move forward. Falphin

Even though "very few realize the Christian basis" (Falphin's words) and there is a neutral and commonly accepted alternative, some are still willing to stomp on others' concerns. That's lovely. If "it would be acceptable to change from American spelling to English spelling if the article concerned an English subject" and some editors indeed claim that this constitutes "a substantial reason" for them (not for some Assyrians or Indians or whoever else), then what is the reason not to accomodate an alternative style? Humus sapiens←ну? 02:49, 13 October 2005 (UTC)
Though I am pleased that my edits are no longer reverted, I want to weigh in on this question too:
I must agree with Jguk and Falphin.
1) The original version of this article had AD/BC.
2) AD is no more POV than CE is. (CE is neither neutral nor commonly accepted.)
3) If you claim this article to be different as a "Jewish article", Anno Mundi notation would be more appropriate.
Str1977 19:09, 13 October 2005 (UTC)
Humus sapiens, I don't see your point. I'm not trying to stop on your concerns but explain that this was already resolved in a past discussion. Many memembers of the community agreed that BC is just as neutral as BCE. I'm also not getting your point of the English style-to American on English articles because neither BC or BCE are used Jewish. They are both Western, American and infact if my understanding is correct Christians came up with both systems. My point with the Assyrians and Indians is that it is recognized as neutral in similar case articles to use BC and AD. Falphin 00:05, 14 October 2005 (UTC)

Incidentally, the ArbCom has already heard these arguments, and the result was a wash - no-one won, no-one lost, there was no ruling either for or against anyone. It did, however, confirm that WP policy is "no changes" and made that clear to all participants in that dispute (and implicitly to all other WPians). Some, in this instance, argued that the ArbCom decision was not clear, but the position was clarified by myself in a brief chat with one of the Arbitrators who decided that case, and I have left those who may still be unsure a brief period to double-check with an Arbitrator who heard the case if they wanted. In line with the discussions above, I have therefore restored the original date style in line with WP policy. Please do not change it, jguk 06:53, 16 October 2005 (UTC)