Wikipedia:Bible verses

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

This survey is now closed.

This is a survey to aid in determining policy. It is not itself intended as a proposed policy. There is a related discussion underway at Wikipedia:Merge/Bible verses.

  • This concerns an issue that has been under consideration for the last month, with the general problem of failing to achieve consensus for any result (it is roughly 50:50 on each side of the argument, with the last VFD declared "keep" although the delete votes had a slight majority, of 2)
  • The debate is what to do about Bible verses. Should articles exist for every single bible verse in the bible, or just for some specially notable verses, or somewhere in-between. The result may affect articles on verses of other religious literature, such as the Qur'an and Mahabharata (over 100,000 verses, and the second longest poem known to exist in the world). It will also affect the articles listed here.

  • Since some religious sects, groups, and faiths, attach extreme importance to their opinion on the matter, this question is possibly liable to sockpuppet abuse on one or more sides of the argument. Consequently editors with under 200 edits as of 22nd June 2005 (one month ago, roughly when the matter was first raised), may be discounted, to avoid any potential sockpuppet abuse. Discounted votes will remain on the page but a comment will be added if the number of edits is small or user account is new.
  • This survey will remain open until 22nd August 2005.


All bible verses should have individual articles[edit]

This section is for votes supporting the principle that every single bible verse deserves its own article.

  1. This is closest to what I support. I don't believe that that any and all Bible verses are automatically worthy of an article, don't get me wrong, but when an article is well-written, thourough, and encyclopedic, I'd rather not rely on somebody's defination of "notable bible verse", because that tends to be subjective. Support. --Blu Aardvark | (talk) | (contribs) 20:41, 23 July 2005 (UTC)
  2. For various reasons, although I'd rather see the whole thing transwikied to WikiBible. Tomer TALK 04:34, July 24, 2005 (UTC)
  3. Support, per Blu Aardvark - very well said. --Idont Havaname 00:34, 25 July 2005 (UTC)
  4. Support per Blu Aardvark. JYolkowski // talk 23:31, 25 July 2005 (UTC)
  5. Support What Blu Aardvark said. Ryan 10:08, July 30, 2005 (UTC)
  6. Suppprt Agreeing with Blu Aardvark to be on the safe side. I don't actually believe that all Bible verses are notable, but I don't think one poll should determine the fate of hundreds of potential articles. Kaldari 23:47, 9 August 2005 (UTC)
  7. Suppprt. This is exactly the sort of detailed commentry a good encyclopaedia should contain. 80.255 00:04, 14 August 2005 (UTC)

All new testament verses should have individual articles, but not necessarily old testament ones[edit]

This section is for votes supporting the principle that every single new testament verse deserves its own article, but not necessarily every old testament verse.

All gospel verses should have individual articles, but not 100% of other verses[edit]

This section is for votes supporting the principle that every single gospel verse (i.e. verses in the Gospel of Matthew, Gospel of Mark, Gospel of Luke, and Gospel of John) deserves its own article, but not necessarily 100% of the other verses of the bible.

  1. Sam Vimes 19:44, 23 July 2005 (UTC) This is the one I most agree with. IMO, the policy should be something like: "chapter articles unless the chapters become too big and unwieldy to read, then verse articles", and that would probably fit into here.

All verses notable in their own right should have individual articles[edit]

This section is for votes supporting the principle that only verses notable in their own right, rather than because they are part of the bible, or part of a part of the bible, should get their own articles. This position allows articles such as John 3:16 and Jesus wept, but is unlikely to include articles such as Matthew 1:9. ~~~~

  1. ~~~~ 17:56, 23 July 2005 (UTC)
  2. Angr/tɔk tə mi 18:38, 23 July 2005 (UTC)
  3. Wetman 18:40, 23 July 2005 (UTC) Because by definition the others are "non-notable". Selecting single verses out of chapters removes the context essential to an encyclopedia as compared to a dictionary.
  4. kooo 18:51, July 23, 2005 (UTC)
  5. Oleg Alexandrov 18:52, 23 July 2005 (UTC)
  6. olderwiser 19:21, July 23, 2005 (UTC), although this inevitably broaches the highly subjective criteria for notability.
  7. kmccoy (talk) 19:33, 23 July 2005 (UTC) -- I'd also be strongly in favor of seeing a whole WikiBible thing happen on a more appropriate forum, maybe WikiBooks or something.
  8. Christopher Parham (talk) 20:04, 2005 July 23 (UTC) Obvious, though everyone agrees on the same principle about schools and it doesn't stop the debate.
  9. --Doc (?) 21:41, 23 July 2005 (UTC) But this is sooo pointless, as I might think several thousand of them are notable (including Matthew 1:9 - if a good case can be made by someone)- and -Ril- cites two examples. So we are still going to have to debate each individual verse on its metits as at the moment.
  10. Phil Welch 22:18, 23 July 2005 (UTC)
  11. David | Talk 22:30, 23 July 2005 (UTC)
  12. Hansamurai 04:44, 24 July 2005 (UTC) Notable Bible verses should be included in Wikipedia and I am also in full support of a Bible Wiki project.
  13. If all Bible verses should have articles, then which Bible should we use? Different branches of Christianity have different books they consider part of the Bible. --Carnildo 04:49, 24 July 2005 (UTC)
  14. I don't regard this as applying to very many verses. The two examples given above are worthy of their own articles I think, but which others? Most are better covered in a combined article about a certain passage, or chapter, or book. What is the bar for notability here? — Trilobite (Talk) 05:34, 24 July 2005 (UTC)
  15. Plenty of verses have made their way into literature, general western culture, but the vast majority have not. I strongly support (and I am a bible reading christian) a move which restricts single verse entries. It would be rare to publish a bible commentary on a single verse, which I think says something. As to which bible? I doubt that is a problem. In practice there is little argument about which books are in the bible, or might be in someone else's bible, which is all that matteres. Now verse by verse entries on the Mahabharata would of course be excellent 8-). Francis Davey 16:02, 24 July 2005 (UTC)
  16. I think a reasonable gauge for notability would be the extent that a particular verse has made its way into literature or culture in general, which at least has some chance of being objectively verified at some level. Mustn't confuse "notable" with "important" because every verse is very important to someone, and has been commented on and preached on. Wesley 20:32, 24 July 2005 (UTC)
  17. Under the assumption that pretty much every verse is notable. - SimonP 21:55, July 24, 2005 (UTC)
    You did read the bit that says that "this unlikely to include articles such as Matthew 1:9" ? If so, as the author of that article, and other genealogy verse articles, could you VFD them please. ~~~~ 23:33, 24 July 2005 (UTC)
    It looks like your assessment of what this position would be likely to include was, in fact, perhaps inaccurate. Christopher Parham (talk) 23:45, 2005 July 24 (UTC)
    You're right. I have switched to a less ambiguous example. - SimonP 23:57, July 24, 2005 (UTC)
    I've switched it back. YOU CAN'T CHANGE WHAT PEOPLE HAVE VOTED FOR AFTER THEY HAVE VOTED. ~~~~ 00:07, 25 July 2005 (UTC)
    I have added a new section below for you to move your vote to to support your position about which verses are notable (i.e. that it is a majority rather than small minority). ~~~~ 00:12, 25 July 2005 (UTC)
  18. Support, but at creation time, the entries should already assert the verse notability. Otherwise it's inclusionist paradise: stick all single verses of the bible, then wait until someone proves they're notable. That's why I think notability assertion at creation time is a must. drini 01:22, 25 July 2005 (UTC)
  19. Support. The articles should 1not merely quote the verse, but actually say something about it, it should 2assert notability from the start (as per drini), and should 3be provided with references to reputable academic secondary sources. It is also preferable that topics are covered from top to bottom: first book, then chapter and finally verses or other shorter passages. However, notability should not only be judged from a narrow Western Christian (or rather secularized "post-christian") perspective or from presence in general Western culture or political discourse; that is not how we judge notability for lunar craters, asteroids or beetle species, most of which are only notable to specialists. It is up to the author to make a case for notability, but any verse asserted by the author to be notable for any reason, because of a debate over its meaning in academic biblical scholarship or because of its significance in Christian or Jewish traditions of interpretation obscure to the average wikipedian, should be individually discussed and judged on its own merits. Uppland 07:54, 25 July 2005 (UTC)
  20. Agree that notability should be asserted at time of creation. Not all verses are notable. The JPS 10:38, 27 July 2005 (UTC)
  21. Support, else why not create WikiBible and concordances? WP is not a data dump. WP is an encyclopedia, where "notability" or whatever one might call it has sway. Wyss 17:56, 27 July 2005 (UTC)
  22. Bcat (talkemail) 23:02, 27 July 2005 (UTC)
  23. Support, though as noted above, notability threshold will inevitably become a matter of debate. carmeld1 23:39, 27 July 2005 (UTC)
  24. Support as this is the only criteria applied to every other topic. This means that I support the idea that MOST verses will not have individual articles. DavidH 01:43, July 28, 2005 (UTC)
  25. Support We should further debate notability, it should be similiar to general article notability. cohesion | talk 04:42, July 28, 2005 (UTC)
  26. Support Some verses are definitely notable in their own right, but Matthew 1:9 is a perfect example of where you actually lose information if you give it a separate article, because it's so connected to the following verses. Except for notable verses, having an article for every verse disrupts the narrative of the story and the coherence of Wikipedia's coverage. Junes 09:32, 28 July 2005 (UTC)
  27. Support, under the assumption that the number of really notable individual verses is 20 at the very most. (I'm a Catholic who signed up on 20 June 2005, so I'm aware my vote may be discounted, whatever "may" means in this context.) KissL 09:41, 28 July 2005 (UTC)
  28. Although I can see HUGE debates in the future over what is notable. I am voting for this option although I think that there are very, very few veres that fit this criteria so that almost all the Bible articles in the Wikipedia focusing on the Books of the bible. Athough there are Bible chapters that are worthy of an encyclopedia entry, I think that most articles on sections smaller that individial books should focus on the stories in the Bible, which are usually several chapters in length. BlankVerse 18:26, 29 July 2005 (UTC)
  29. Support, though answering the question of notability is, of course, difficult. -R. fiend 20:55, 1 August 2005 (UTC)
  30. Support RossNixon 21:00, 1 August 2005 (UTC)
  31. Support grubber 13:00, 2005 August 4 (UTC) - if there's enough information to get an article out of the stub phase, let it have it's page. Placeholders for verses should not be allowed.
  32. Support agreed, rest of the verses should be transwikied.pamri 07:46, August 5, 2005 (UTC)
  33. Support The Literate Engineer 23:26, 11 August 2005 (UTC)
  34. Support Ravenswood 16:20, August 12, 2005 (UTC)
  35. I support this option, as per my previous votes at VfD. - Mike Rosoft 18:21, 12 August 2005 (UTC)
  36. (Warning: My opinion "may be discounted" since I have less than 200 edits and am relatively new to the Wiki. But I'm not a sockpuppet, and you can contact me easily inside or out of the Wikipedia.)
    I believe anything notable in its own right may have an article of its own, if there is someone to write it according to the usual rules (know what you talk about, NPOV, encyclopaedic, not your own original research, etc.). Certainly some Bible verses (and some verses in the Qur'an and in the Daodejing and...) are notable. Maybe many of them. I don't think each and every single Bible verse is notable in its own right even if it may be included as part of an article on a group of verses (possibly duplicated: e.g., the Lord's Prayer or the Ten Commandments each merit a single article though they each appear in two places in the Bible), a famous poem (Deborah's Song), a famous chapter (John 1), a topical article (Begats), a book (and IMHO most Bible books merit individual articles, though in some cases it could be argued that some particular groups of books would best be treated together: maybe the Twelve Minor Prophets, or Kings I and II or...). -- Tonymec 00:00, 14 August 2005 (UTC)
  37. Support, but with the understanding that a strong case can be made for the notability of all, or almost all, of the non-geneological verses. Dsmdgold 16:44, August 20, 2005 (UTC)
  38. Support. ~⌈Markaci2005-08-21 T 06:49:41 Z

The majority of verses are notable in their own right anyway[edit]

This section is for votes supporting the principle that only verses notable in their own right, rather than because they are part of the bible, or part of a part of the bible, should get their own articles. However, this section is for votes where this principle covers most verses, which are believed by the signatories to be notable in their own right. This position allows articles such as John 3:16 and Matthew 5:5, but is unlikely to include articles such as 1 Chronicles 1:2.

  1. Yes. See my comments further below; surely there are more notable Bible verses than there are Category:Television series, which I beleive currently numbers in the thousands on WP. linas 00:49, 30 July 2005 (UTC)
  • This vote is irrelevant, because people who think so should (and have) vote for "All bible verses should have individual articles" rather than "All verses notable in their own right should have individual articles". This vote here seeks to blur the distinction between two clear-cut groups. Radiant_>|< 07:40, August 7, 2005 (UTC)
    • I'd say just the opposite (though I agree with you that this option shouldn't have been added). Those who believe both that most or all verses deserve an article because they are notable in their own right should vote for the option that "all verses notable in their own right should have individual articles," because it most accurately reflects the principle upon which they are voting. In this poll, unfortunately, this cannot be done without drawing fire; see SimonP's vote above. -Ril- has clouded the issue by combining these points of principle with issues of fact, regarding the notability of specific articles. One of the first rules of survey design is to ask one question at a time; asking two, as this poll does, means that it is far more difficult for voters to express their intent accurately. In this instance, the notability of specific articles like Matthew 1:9 or Matthew 5:5 should be decided on VFD or on the relevant talk pages, not in a poll leading toward policy. The inclusion of these questions of fact point to the ill-considered and rushed nature of this poll. My vote, at least, should be interpreted as a vote for the principle only, and based on the comments, it seems that numerous others feel the same. Christopher Parham (talk) 06:17, 2005 August 9 (UTC)

No bible verses should have individual articles whatsoever[edit]

This section is for votes supporting the principle that absolutely no articles should exist describing just one bible verse.

  1. Flyers13 04:37, 24 July 2005 (UTC)
  2. Nova77 04:55, 24 July 2005 (UTC)
  3. Individual chapters should have their own articles if they're notable enough. Articles for individual verses is Biblecruft. We already have a Bible section at Wikibooks, why duplicate it here? JIP | Talk 08:16, 24 July 2005 (UTC)
  4. Most of the articles I have seen on individual verses seem very PoV and carry largely irrelevant material. There are lots of places where Biblebashers can play their games analysing the meaning of each jot and tittle. Albatross2147 13:13, 24 July 2005 (UTC)
  5. I dont oppose individual books and authors in the Bible but I feel having every verse is excessive. The notable verses could simply be expanded upon in each book article rather than "stand alone". JamesBurns 02:20, 26 July 2005 (UTC)
  6. Displaying every single Bible verse may give an impression that the article was written by Christian fundamentalists ( 19:50, 26 July 2005 (UTC))
  7. Niteowlneils 00:59, 27 July 2005 (UTC). Stick with books and notable chapters, and passages that transcend religious study (EG the Sermon on the Mount is probably well enuf known by non-scholars to have its own article).
    Many Wikipedia articles on chemical, astronomical or mathematical topics are about things only notable to specialists, or at least near-specialists (such as somebody with some amount of tertiary education in the field, or well-read amateurs): mathematical theorems, individual lunar craters etc. Why should the measurement of notability of academia be accepted in the case of hard science, but articles on humanistic or literary topics such as these be limited to what is known to "non-scholars"? Uppland 10:57, 27 July 2005 (UTC)
  8. Verses should be covered by articles on books they are from. Finer details are should left to specialised sites. Pavel Vozenilek 23:34, 27 July 2005 (UTC)
  9. Support, Usrnme h8er 11:42, 29 July 2005 (UTC)
  10. Changed vote because it appears that no matter how many are allowed, if we allow so much as one here on Wikipedia, people will try to make it the Christianpedia. Almafeta 23:10, 4 August 2005 (UTC)
  11. Nabla 14:41:19, 2005-08-06 (UTC)


Voting on secondary issues[edit]

Votes here may be in addition to votes above.

There should be a Verse-by-verse Biblical analysis (a WikiBible) at a transwikiable SISTER project[edit]


  1. Phil Welch 22:21, 23 July 2005 (UTC)
  2. Agree. In this way people will not try to create a Wikipedia article for each and every Bible verse. Oleg Alexandrov 22:43, 23 July 2005 (UTC)
  3. Yes, there is a wealth of knowledge to be had about each and every bible verse. Let's include that at a place more appropriate for it. kmccoy (talk) 23:05, 23 July 2005 (UTC)
  4. Yes. Not sure how -Ril-'s comment below goes against this point. I don't really care if there is a separate WikiBible, or a Bible project within Wikibooks; either way, reproductions and interpretations of Biblical text should be part of a "sister project" somewhere besides WP. Dcarrano 01:41, July 24, 2005 (UTC)
  5. The best solution is to move it to WikiBible (or whatever such a project would be named). The argument that it should be moved to WikiBooks made on the inconclusive VfD is unsatisfactory, as a WikiBible project is incompatible with what WikiBooks is about. Tomer TALK 04:36, July 24, 2005 (UTC)
  6. I am in full support of this project and willing to help in its undertaking one way or another. Hansamurai 04:46, 24 July 2005 (UTC)
  7. Certainly. Carnildo 04:49, 24 July 2005 (UTC)
  8. --Angr/tɔk tə mi 06:36, 24 July 2005 (UTC)
  9. Yes, mostly to avoid pressure to create meaningless-ish articles in other projects. —kooo 09:12, July 24, 2005 (UTC)
  10. Yes, there should be a WikiBible where many of these articles could be moved to. I have no objection to that. I agree with User:Oleg Alexandrov on this issue. JamesBurns 02:22, 26 July 2005 (UTC)
  11. Yes, plainly. Wyss 17:58, 27 July 2005 (UTC)
  12. A Wikicity for the Bible (and if adventurous, all religious texts) would be more than 'appropriate', it would be a good idea. Almafeta 00:50, 28 July 2005 (UTC)
    Note that Wikicities is a commercial project seperate from the Wikimedia Foundation (though you wouldn't guess it by the ridiculous amount of promotion it gets on Wikipedia). I believe this proposal is calling for a project to be set up under the auspices of Wikimedia. — Trilobite (Talk) 00:59, 28 July 2005 (UTC)
  13. Yes, but it shouldn't be only for the Bible, but all religious texts, and maybe even philosophy texts... WikiLiterature? After all, all these texts make up a vast part of world literature. :) --Agari 19:01, July 28, 2005 (UTC)
  14. I am in favor of a WikiBible. Support --Blu Aardvark | (talk) | (contribs) 22:28, 23 July 2005 (UTC)
  15. I suppose this is a "support" vote, in that I have no problem with this proposal, but will not be working on it, and don't really care one way or the other. As WP has already given a decent start to such a project it seems like a good way to go. -R. fiend 20:58, 1 August 2005 (UTC)
  16. Yes, prefer all religious texts to be in a 'WikiScriptures' or similar.RossNixon 21:06, 1 August 2005 (UTC)
  17. Yes, as long as there are similar provisions for other religious scriptures. pamri 07:41, August 5, 2005 (UTC)


  1. We are already spreading our efforts too thinly by trying to create sister projects all over the place, and since this one will be seperated from Wikipedia and will likely be worked on by people with certain religious agendas, there are significant problems when it comes to NPOV and the Wikimedia Foundation becoming a vehicle for evangelism. Why can't we concentrate on encyclopedic content? This doesn't mean having an article on every verse. Look at the article on the Book of Hosea, for example. It's short and still has a notice saying that it's essentially modified public domain text. Can't those who wish to document the Bible start by improving articles on books, then when they get long and comprehensive breaking out into spin-off articles for notable passages in those books? I want Wikipedia to be a good source of information about the Bible. We're much too far short of that goal to start creating sister projects to contain articles for every verse. Come back and ask for WikiBible when Wikipedia is bursting at the seams with good coverage of Biblical topics. — Trilobite (Talk) 05:34, 24 July 2005 (UTC)
  2. I agree with Trilobite Albatross2147 13:16, 24 July 2005 (UTC)
  3. I agree with Trilobite as well. I think it's impossible to do a verse by verse biblical analysis and remain within wikipedia's NPOV guidelines. Might be able to do it at a book level, and there's certainly plenty left to do there. Wesley 20:25, 24 July 2005 (UTC)
  4. I agree with Trilobite, but not quite so much with Wesley - the goal with NPOV is not for NPOV to stand for "No Point of View" but rather "Neutral Point of View", and to cover all major points of view in adequate/ approximately equal depth. As long as enough people are working on the project, that shouldn't be a problem (barring edit wars from people of different denominations, etc.). --Idont Havaname 00:38, 25 July 2005 (UTC)
  5. I feel that Wikipedia is a more suitable location for this material. Wikibooks is for making text books, not for writing about books. Wikisource allows annotated texts, but there is a great difference from an annotated text and one that has twenty times as much information as text. - SimonP 00:47, July 25, 2005 (UTC)
  6. I think they fit here, and besides, I would rather have the articles here where we can enforce encyclopedic standards than have a sister project that turns into an evangelization project or something. JYolkowski // talk 23:34, 25 July 2005 (UTC)
  7. Agree with Trilobite. It will be a magnet for brainwashers and vandals. The JPS 10:40, 27 July 2005 (UTC)
  8. We have too many sister projects already. — Bcat (talkemail) 23:04, 27 July 2005 (UTC)
  9. Agree with Trilobite Junes 09:27, 28 July 2005 (UTC)
  10. I agree with Trilobite, and change my vote to a "no". --Blu Aardvark | (talk) | (contribs) 09:30, 28 July 2005 (UTC)
  11. If we do this, then why not divide off other special interestareas too --Doc (?) 09:32, 28 July 2005 (UTC)
  12. Concur with Trilobite: not yet. (I signed up on 20 June 2005.) KissL 09:48, 28 July 2005 (UTC)
  13. Agree with Trilobite, Usrnme h8er 11:44, 29 July 2005 (UTC)
  14. Errr.. Maybe Caution: not only can this spill over from hermeneutics into Shakesperian analysis and literary criticism in general, but many other subjects can potentially get sucked in. Please note that arguments about "what's notable" have already occurred in Category:Archaeology, and that the hard sciences, e.g. Category:Physics and Category:Mathematics are already crossing the boundry from "notable" to "obscure but highly important reference being used by professional mathematicians adnd physicists". Never mind that Category:Pokemon has already wandered off into "obscure and irrelevant" lala-land. This debate will engulf all of WP in the next few years, it just seems that the Bible leads the way. Do you want Biblical scholars writing articles on WP, or not? How about extremist Koran scholars? linas 23:51, 29 July 2005 (UTC)
  15. I don't see any reason why there shouldn't be scholarly encyclopedia articles about bible verses. No need to shuffle them all off to somewhere else, since they will undoubtedly get recreated here anyway. Kaldari 00:12, 3 August 2005 (UTC)
  16. It sounds like a noble effort, but it doesn't seem to "fit" with Wikipedia. I would not be against a totally unrelated endeavor, but tying it to Wikipedia is, IMO, a bad idea. Ravenswood 16:25, August 12, 2005 (UTC)
  17. A scholarly discussion of the Bible, why not? But a single separate article for every verse? That seems farfetched to me. For every book, certainly. For every chapter, maybe. Who would write a distinct (ang long enough) page of encyclopaedic material on every single verse? IMHO most Biblical verses are better treated in groups of several related verses sharing a common context. -- Tonymec 00:07, 14 August 2005 (UTC)


  1. ~~~~ 23:12, 23 July 2005 (UTC) It partially already exists as one of the WikiBooks
  2. It should remain in WikiBooks, and not become a wikiproject. I have the feeling that as wikiproject would be perceived by many as proof of wiki's systematic bias. Nova77 03:59, 25 July 2005 (UTC)
  3. Niteowlneils 01:11, 27 July 2005 (UTC) Wikipedia should not be a repository for all bible verses (as separate articles, at least). A WikiBible on the surface seems like a good idea, but I agree with the concerns above about a) being redundant with the WikiBooks Bible coverage, b) increasing our systemic bias, c) spreading ourselves too thin, and d) as Trilobyte said "Come back and ask for WikiBible when Wikipedia is bursting at the seams with good coverage of Biblical topics." For now, just add it to the Bible books articles. Niteowlneils 01:11, 27 July 2005 (UTC)
  4. This seems to me to be outside of Wikipedia's purview. If people want to work on a Bible wiki, then they are welcome to do so. -Aranel ("Sarah") 13:52, 5 August 2005 (UTC)
  5. Nabla 14:41:19, 2005-08-06 (UTC)

Roughly how many verses are notable?[edit]

The vast majority[edit]

There are over 30,000 verses. Tens of thousands of these are notable.

  1. Yes. Lets put this into perspective. There are hundreds of articles in Category:Pokemon, does everyone honestly believe that there are fewer notable verses of the Bible than there are Pokemon? Lets take a look at Category:Submarines -- that has hundreds as well. Surely, that's a rather less-than notable category; who-all has been on a submarine anyway? What about Category:Power companies or (egads) Category:Sitcoms or (snore) Category:Submarine power cables? Lets broaden the perspective: is every topic in Category:Physics or Category:Mathematics notable? If you watch TV all day, then no. If you are doing mathematical research, then yes. There are already many thousands of articles on math and physics, and yet WP is not yet "encyclopaedic" in these areas (as compared to the "real" encyclopaedias in these areas, e.g. Cambridge texts, etc. or even Mathworld). Scholars have already debated every verse in the Bible repeatedly; I'm not sure why WP can't be as lively a forum for the Bible as it is for Category:Star Trek. BTW, Koran too ... oh, and Shakespeare ... hermeneutics could/should be at least as big as Category:Television series, which I beleive has thousands of articles. P.S. I actually rather dislike Christians; its just that the subject matter is rather interesting in its own right. linas 00:26, 30 July 2005 (UTC)
  2. Yes per linas. Ryan 10:10, July 30, 2005 (UTC)
  3. Support. Considering how many articles there are on obscure popular songs and the like that have sold a few thousand copy and had negligable impact on history, most of the verses of the Bible have a very considerable historical impact of western civilisation and society. The scope of articles dealing with biblical verses is potentially very wide in an historical context. 80.255 23:57, 13 August 2005 (UTC)
  4. Support Dsmdgold 16:50, August 20, 2005 (UTC)

A small majority[edit]

There are over 30,000 verses. Thousands of these are notable.

A large minority[edit]

There are over 30,000 verses. Hundreds of these are notable.

  1. Considering how much material has been written about virtually every portion of the bible, I would think there would at least be several hundred notable verses. Kaldari 00:16, 3 August 2005 (UTC)
  2. Support What establishes notability? Well, there's your obvious: art/pop culture. Covers stuff like John 3:16, right? Next, there's your even more obvious: major theological skirmishes. Covers stuff like Sirach 15:16 (Catholics vs. Calvinists over predestination) or James... eh... #:##. You know, "Faith without works is dead." (Catholics vs. Lutherans over faith alone vs. faith and action). Then there's the "just about everybody knows it", which would be "Be there light!" (Genesis 1:2, I think?). Then there's the obvious "It's been entwined in political issues in some country." And as we all know, the English-speaking country and verse where this is most likely to apply is... Canada and Revelations 6:7. ;) Anyway, I think once the criteria of notability get established, it'll turn out only hundreds of the verses meet it. For instance, Rev. 6:7 isn't actually notable, except in conjunction with the rest of Rev. 6:1 through Rev. 6:8, and while the 8 verses quite rightly go into Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, none of the 8 should get its own article. The Literate Engineer 23:41, 11 August 2005 (UTC)

A small minority[edit]

There are over 30,000 verses. Only a few, in the order of 1-3 hundred or so are notable.

  1. ~~~~ 00:18, 25 July 2005 (UTC)
  2. drini 01:26, 25 July 2005 (UTC)
  3. Oleg Alexandrov 01:34, 25 July 2005 (UTC)
  4. I am more conviced that they are in the order of dozen instead. Nova77 03:50, 25 July 2005 (UTC)
  5. Once you get into Revelation, you could probably find a bunch of notable verses, but there aren't that many outside of there that are notable on their own. --Carnildo 06:45, 25 July 2005 (UTC)
  6. Phil Welch 06:52, 25 July 2005 (UTC)
  7. Hard to know if it's as many as 300. — Trilobite (Talk) 07:02, 25 July 2005 (UTC)
  8. More detailed articles about the "less notable verses" should be at a transwiki'd location. kmccoy (talk) 13:06, 25 July 2005 (UTC)
  9. I don't like the concept of notability: but equivalently I think only a few hundred verses are likely to make sense as individual articles in their own right. Its not a matter of notability really, the question is whether a particular verse stands sufficiently on its own in the totality of knowledge for it to be sensible to generate an isolated article about it. Francis Davey 18:05, 25 July 2005 (UTC)
  10. Yes. Asserting that most bible verses are notable in their own right is disruptive. Some are quoted often, some are rarely if ever quoted. David | Talk 22:45, 25 July 2005 (UTC)
  11. Number of notable verses is probably more like 50. carmeld1 00:22, 28 July 2005 (UTC)
  12. yes a very small minority (10-50 at most) are notable outside of the context of a Bible annotation or evangelism project. DavidH 01:45, July 28, 2005 (UTC)
  13. Junes 09:36, 28 July 2005 (UTC)
  14. Tricky, not having read them all, but I'd say at most about 100 or so. I don't want to limit myself to 30 by voting below, but I'm close to doing so. I think most verses deserve mention in a larger context (book, chapter, or, preferably, story (eg "Birth of Jesus", etc)), not verse. -R. fiend 21:02, 1 August 2005 (UTC) (Note: I don't know if it was intentional, but my vote was removed in a previous edit, so I am reinserting it.) -R. fiend 01:49, 2 August 2005 (UTC)
    • It probably wasn't; there is a bug in MediaWiki's conflict detection mechanism when section editing is used. See the discussion here for details and a way to reproduce the bug. KissL 08:50, 2 August 2005 (UTC)
  15. "Tricky, not having read them all". This (a few hundred) is my impression of how many verses would merit an individual article. Certainly more are notable as part of a larger group. Anyway, I would gladly be disproved by seeing scholarly NPOV encyclopaedical articles on more verses than that; but please don't create stubs for every Biblical verse. Let articles be written, and any which are not up to Wiki standards may be (preferably) improved or (if necessary) VfD-ed. -- Tonymec 00:14, 14 August 2005 (UTC)

A vast minority[edit]

There are over 30,000 verses. Only a select few, in the order of 10-30, are notable.

  1. John 3:16, Jesus Wept, and that verse that was popularized in Beavis & Butthead, "Jesus saddled his ass," should have their own Wikipedia articles. Maybe one or two more that I'm forgetting here. But most verses are only notable if you're a Christian, and religious projects should have their own dedicated WikiCity. Almafeta 00:45, 28 July 2005 (UTC)
    That quite bizzare reasoning - couple of billion Christians might outstrip Bevis fans somewhat - and then there are Jews (since we are talking about Hebrew Bible too) and, quite a few interested agnostics and others. And if 'religious projects' should be chased elsewhere, what about mathematics projects or biology, or schools for that matter. (We now have articles on individual cricket matches BTW). The question is whether individual verse articles are a good way to organise verifiable NPOV Biblical info, not whether that info is notable. --Doc (?) 01:04, 28 July 2005 (UTC)
    See my comments above about Wikicities. — Trilobite (Talk) 01:01, 28 July 2005 (UTC)
    I get about 30 from Revelation alone; 1:8, 6:2, 6:4, 6:5, 6:8, 8:1, 12:7, 12:9, 13:1, 13:16-18, 16:16, 22:13 being particularly notable. --Carnildo 04:29, 28 July 2005 (UTC)
  2. Absolutely. Carnildo, I think those Revelation verses are not individually notable, but rather belong in the article on Revelation. (I signed up 20 June 2005.) KissL 09:53, 28 July 2005 (UTC)
  3. I don't think there are more than 20 or 30 notable verses. (Voted moved here.) JIP | Talk 17:25, 29 July 2005 (UTC)
  4. I agree, no more than one or two dozen individual verses are notable. The scholarly analysis of Bible verses that SimonP wants to report on can be done book by book, not verse by verse. --Angr/tɔk tə mi 05:27, 25 July 2005 (UTC)
  5. The notable articles are very few. As Kiss said, other verses fits perfectly into chapter or group articles. Nova77 20:25, 29 July 2005 (UTC)
  6. I'm voting here, although my feeling at the moment is that a good number is probably a little more than a "vast minority", but still less than a "small minority" (i.e. 50-80). I would be willing to change to a "small minority" if someone will come up with a conservative selection of say 120 verses that they think are notable on their own. I would suggest a good dictionary of allusions would be a very good place to start. Then add some of the verses that have been regular inspirations for painters and for classical musicians. On the other hand, any analysis of a large number of Bible verses should be in WikiBible or other Sister project. BlankVerse 12:48, 30 July 2005 (UTC)
    • Comment: I voted in the section above, but my reasoning probably means my vote belongs here. "Vast minority" is contradictory, don't you think? "Tiny" might have been clearer. Not moving my vote for fear of messing things up, but as I stated above, I agree with proposition that very few, less than 50, should have individual encyclopedia articles. DavidH 18:32, July 29, 2005 (UTC)
    I interepreted "vast minority" as tongue-in-cheek. --Angr/tɔk tə mi 20:21, 29 July 2005 (UTC)
  7. None. Nabla 14:41:19, 2005-08-06 (UTC)
  8. Radiant_>|< 07:41, August 7, 2005 (UTC)


  1. This section raises the question "to whom?!" Tomer TALK 05:49, July 25, 2005 (UTC)
  2. Being a biased Christian, I see most, if not all, the verses notable in one way or another. However, I understand that this is simply too much and would create too big of a precedent for other works. There are many other resources online that examine chapters and verses individually and I think it would be worth it to set up a large repository of links to those within a few articles, but back on topic: I do not think anyone should bot there way through the entire Bible, however, if someone has a particular interest in a certain chapter or set of verses, and is willing to devote the time and energy to gather resources to present researched work, then this should be allowed. The argument of notability for a subject like this is too debatable if you ask me, but I am just one voice in the abstain section. Hansamurai 15:30, 25 July 2005 (UTC)
  3. This is a stupid poll - would it help us if we decided what proportion of bands, or websites were notable? If we agree that verses can be included if notable, then there is no way of getting round considering each article created on a verse on its merits - and looking to see whether a case can be made. I prefer articles on books of the Bible, split if they grow too long, but many verses have a significance beyond their cannonical context. How many? I don't know until someone presents the significance of a verse. --Doc (?) 22:24, 25 July 2005 (UTC)
    Basically, the purpose of this section of the poll is to determine whether SimonP's claim that everyone voting "only notable verses deserve articles" still includes the vast majority of verses, or whether this was an inaccurate claim. ~~~~ 07:09, 26 July 2005 (UTC)
    OK, but how does it help to settle this dispute? Supposing we agreed that 746 Bible verses were 'notable', would that tell us whether Matthew 1:9 was one of the 746? No. We'd still have to look at the individual article and judge its case on the merits. So, if you and SimonP diagree, fine, but do you need a poll to settle an individual arguement, which in the end will be fairly irrelevant to the operation of Wikipedia. --Doc (?) 18:07, 27 July 2005 (UTC)
    It would establish that SimonP (or me) going away and creating 30,000 or even 3,000 verse articles was inappropriate behaviour. ~~~~ 18:23, 28 July 2005 (UTC)
    Are you saying that the whole purpose of this poll is not about Bible verses, but rather about whether or not someone's actions are in/appropriate? That's not what I read at the top... If you have a dispute with another editor, there are methods in place to handle that: please see WP:DR. If what you say is true, then it doesn't require a poll: creating a poll on one subject to see whether or not someone else' actions are in/appropriate is, in a word, "inappropriate". You can't just create a poll about whether or not blue-green algae are blue or green, and then halfway through say "what you're actually voting on is whether or not Grandma Moses was a good artist" (especially not if you honestly expect anyone to take you seriously). Cheers, Tomer TALK 08:33, July 29, 2005 (UTC)
    I am saying that the whole purpose of this poll is in discussing whether the creation of the articles listed at Wikipedia:Bible verses/existing is appropriate in an encyclopedia or whether it is not and continuing to create such articles is something to be disapproved of. ~~~~ 08:55, 29 July 2005 (UTC)
  4. Not being completely familiar with all 30,000+ verses and the huge body of research and literature surrounding them, it's difficult to say. Also, I agree with Doc's point above. Christopher Parham (talk) 22:38, 2005 July 25 (UTC)
  5. Notability is much to vague a concept to attach specific numbers to. - SimonP 22:47, July 25, 2005 (UTC)
  6. Not sure what relevance the concept of notability has to any of this. JYolkowski // talk 23:47, 25 July 2005 (UTC)
    Mainly to dispute simon's claim that the people voting "only notable verses should have articles" refers to most bible verses rather than only a few. ~~~~ 06:53, 26 July 2005 (UTC)
  7. IMO the question is not worded in a way that will glean helpful answers. Wyss 18:00, 27 July 2005 (UTC)
  8. This should be decided on a case-by-case basis. — Bcat (talkemail) 23:06, 27 July 2005 (UTC)
    What, you'd want to list all 30 000 verses and have people decide each one's notability or non-notability? JIP | Talk 04:49, 28 July 2005 (UTC)
    Well, that's what we do for bands, music groups and even individuals - and there are more than 30,000 of them. When someone creates an article, we judge it, at the time, on its merits. --Doc (?) 09:36, 28 July 2005 (UTC)
    If I understood you correctly, you mean that when an article about a verse comes along, we decide right there whether it's notable. We don't create a list of all the 30 000 verses and then weed out the non-notable ones. Right? JIP | Talk 09:40, 28 July 2005 (UTC)
    Obviously --Doc (?) 10:22, 28 July 2005 (UTC)
    Yeah, I think it should be handled like bands are. Maybe we should create an inclusion guideline like WP:MUSIC, but, in the end, I think we need to let VfD decide. — Bcat (talkemail) 16:06, 28 July 2005 (UTC)
    So what should be done about the existing ones listed at Wikipedia:Bible verses/existing ? Are they all notable, or only some of them? ~~~~ 18:21, 28 July 2005 (UTC)
    Briefly looking at those verses, I think that most (if not all) of them are not notable. IMO, there a probably about 100 verses that deserve articles of their own. That said, I agree with Doc that this poll is unnecessary. It doesn't matter how many verses are notable, just which ones. — Bcat (talkemail) 18:42, 28 July 2005 (UTC)
    What should happen to them? Exactly the same thing that happens to anything else. Deleted if there is a consensus on VfD (but I suspect there is not). If short, or overlapping content, then someone go ahead and merge (I'd certainly support chapter merges in most cases)- if they have sufficient NPOV verifiable content, then keep. They should be treated like any other article (the only reason the list Wikipedia:Bible verses/existing exists is because you created it). I'm for merging, but, given that we have articles for individual primary schools and county cricket matches, I can't see what the big deal is. --Doc (?) 18:47, 28 July 2005 (UTC)
  9. It's really hard to say what verses are notable, or how many there are. I believe that such statements are inherently PoV. I agree with Bcat that this should be decided on a case-by-case basis. If a well-written, NPoV, factual, and encyclopedic article can be written about a bible verse, passage, chapter, or book, then I am in favor of letting that article remain. I'd rather not rely on some pre-defined declaration that such verse, passage, chapter, or book is non-notable. --Blu Aardvark | (talk) | (contribs) 09:38, 28 July 2005 (UTC)
  10. I agree with what Doc has written above; this has to be discussed on a case-by-case basis, as with most other things. --Uppland 12:49, 28 July 2005 (UTC)
  11. Case by case. Just as pokémons. — David Remahl 06:05, 8 August 2005 (UTC)
  12. I don't think you could say, ahead of time, "There are X many notable verses in the Bible." I think that what we have to do is wait until all of the articles are written, then count them, and then we'll know. — Ravenswood 16:27, August 12, 2005 (UTC)


... belongs on the discussion page.

== Motion to close == Withdrawn, obviously no support for this --Doc (?) 14:58, 6 August 2005 (UTC)

This 'voting' is going nowhere - and reaching little but the most obvious consensus (i.e. only notable verses are notable). We have had a pseudo-policy attempt through VfD, and now a poll, without a proper idea of what it is about - or whether we need an agreement at all (see further Tomer's comments at Wikipedia talk:Bible verses#Problem with this whole approach). I move that this poll be closed and archived forthwith, that a proper open discussion may happen, perhaps beginning with 'is there a problem with the current situation' then 'if so, what should be done' - and some attempt at consensus. Btw Polls are evil.

Proposed: --Doc (?) 10:14, 29 July 2005 (UTC) Seconded: Tomer TALK 10:17, July 29, 2005 (UTC)


  1. I closed this poll unilaterally earlier and still feel this vote is deeply flawed. - SimonP 12:09, July 29, 2005 (UTC)
  2. Close it as soon as reasonable. Blu Aardvark | (talk) | (contribs) 10:16, 29 July 2005 (UTC)


  1. Just silly bureaucracia. Almafeta 17:20, 29 July 2005 (UTC)
  2. Exactly how long does the vote to end voting stay open? The only end date we have is August 22nd. We would need to vote on when this vote about closing the poll should close, if we want it to close earlier. ~~~~ 07:28, 30 July 2005 (UTC)
  3. So, we're not only voting to end voting, we're also voting on when to end the vote to end voting? This is getting absurd. — Bcat (talkemail) 15:56, 30 July 2005 (UTC)
  4. The voting should stay open forever. Someday this page will have thousands of names on it. Ravenswood 16:30, August 12, 2005 (UTC)


You will of course realise the irony - I'm asking you to vote to end voting. But then, as the good Baroness Thatcher once said, referenda are 'a device to defeat democracy'. --Doc (?) 10:38, 29 July 2005 (UTC)

She then held a referendum on the Maastricht Treaty. ~~~~ 07:36, 30 July 2005 (UTC) No, actually she didn't - it was negotiated by Majot and there was no referendum. --Doc (?) 13:04, 30 July 2005 (UTC) You mean major? ~~~~ ( ! | ? | * ) Yes - typo --Doc (?) 00:06, 1 August 2005 (UTC)

When should the vote on the motion to close be closed[edit]
22nd August[edit]
  1. ~~~~ 07:28, 30 July 2005 (UTC)
  2. Francis Davey 17:04, 19 August 2005 (UTC)
15th August[edit]
8th August[edit]
1st August[edit]

This reductio ad absurdum of -Ril-'s is a breach of WP:POINT. However, I'm happy to withdraw the motion if there is not obvious support in 48 hrs (which I concede looks unlikely} --Doc (?) 23:54, 30 July 2005 (UTC)

Fine. Withdraw and close. This is preposterous. I'm beginning to think the entire thing should be cancelled as a bad-faith disruptive move on -Ril-'s part. If this nonsense doesn't end soon, it may be necessary to move to some sort of dispute resolution with this. The same pattern shows up in -Ril-'s ongoing inability to work constructively with other wrt the whole Authentic Matthew fiasco. Tomer TALK 03:36, July 31, 2005 (UTC)
While -Ril-'s parody of his own vote-vote-vote attitude is indeed absurd, it doesn't seem truly disruptive in any way as it requires no cleanup, so I'd hesitate to label it a violation of that guideline. Christopher Parham (talk) 03:38, 2005 August 1 (UTC)
=When should the vote on the vote on when the motion to close should be closed itself be closed=[edit]
==22nd August==[edit]
  1. ~~~~ 07:28, 30 July 2005 (UTC)
==15th August==[edit]
==8th August==[edit]
==1st August==[edit]