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WikiProject Christianity



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best practices for characters/books in holy writ?[edit]

Hello Wikiproject Christianity, I'm starting a project with some students here at the Brigham Young University library to improve pages related to the Book of Mormon, in anticipation of next year's Sunday school curriculum in our church that will focus on it. I've been trying to develop best practices for sourcing and writing pages about characters in the Book of Mormon and books of the Book of Mormon. At first I thought that I should completely avoid apologetic sources, or sources that argue for the historicity of the Book of Mormon, in order to maintain NPOV. However, I'm interested in what editors outside of Mormon studies think of those rules of thumb (maybe an apologetic source, if clearly cited in-text, would be appropriate sometimes?).

I'm also not sure of the best way to present a character in holy writ in a way that makes it clear that this person is a character in a book (but considered a historical figure by most adherents). I recently edited the page for Aminadab, a very minor character in the Book of Mormon. Does anyone with experience writing pages for characters/people in the Bible have advice on that?

Lastly, I am looking for good examples of Biblical, encyclopedic writing for my students to emulate. I noticed that the quality of pages about books in the Bible can be a bit uneven. Are there pages you often refer back to as a good example to emulate? Much thanks, Rachel Helps (BYU) (talk) Rachel Helps (BYU) (talk) 16:09, 6 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

In my opinion, using sources that expressly support the view that the Book of Mormon is a historically accurate account is acceptable—Wikipedia relies on similar sources for its coverage of Catholicism, Hinduism, and many other major world religions. However, in-text attribution may be necessary for certain claims and to distinguish between different interpretations (both academic-secular and academic-believer) of the same passages from the Book of Mormon.
As for characters from scriptures/traditions, Wikipedia generally presents the religiously accepted account of their life and person as discussed in reliable sourcing while also providing the academic appraisal of said persons. I've been involved in trying to improve Massacre of the Innocents, a biblical event of disputed veracity; there, I've tried to ensure that the traditional majority scholarly opinion of "it probably didn't happen" is mitigated by modern reexamination without giving undue weight to any revisionist or pious views that may lack general scholarly acceptance. ~ Pbritti (talk) 16:59, 6 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Note that we have been moving away from such pseudoscientific/fringe sources for years now across all of the religious topic areas you just named. There is a difference between noting that an ahistorical view is ahistorical and treating that religious fiction as a historical fact. If reliable independent sources can't be found to describe a religious view or belief then in all likelihood that religious view or belief isn't notable and/or isn't due. Horse Eye's Back (talk) 15:13, 21 December 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I echo Pbritti's view that using sources that expressly support the view that the Book of Mormon is a historically accurate account is acceptable since Wikipedia does similarly for coverage of other faith traditions. I have cited sources like that for Book of Mormon studies pages that I've contributed. Though I don't state the non-consensus claims of historicity in Wikipedia's voice, there's other secondary source material in such sources that does function without issue within the broad consensus that the Book of Mormon is a book containing narrative content including events, situations, and named figures. Such unproblematic secondary source content includes, for example, descriptions of the narrative content of the book itself, assessments of literary function and meaning, and documentation of cultural reception, etc. P-Makoto (she/her) (talk) 21:15, 6 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thank you for your advice, and the example of Massacre of the Innocents! I will pass it on to my students and we will try to clarify in-text who is doing the commentary in our commentary sections and whenever else it seems important.Rachel Helps (BYU) (talk) 16:01, 7 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Extended content
Hello again, Pbritti (and/or P-Makoto), would you be willing to look at the work of one of my students in Amalickiah? He really wanted to include apologetic sources, which I told him he could do if he introduced them as such. Is this kind of summary of apologetic arguments appropriate for Wikipedia? Rachel Helps (BYU) (talk)
@Rachel Helps (BYU): I hope I didn't step on yours or BenBeckstromBYU's toes by making a couple tweaks to the article. Generally, I think this is a very good approach taken with a good deal of caution towards the apologetic character of these sources. I very much am not an expert on the Book of Mormon nor the theology surround its interpretation, but I would consider this a thorough account of LDS views on this subject. Obviously, if possible, additional non-LDS academic views should be added, but I don't know if any actually exist for this particular subject. ~ Pbritti (talk) 21:23, 25 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thank you for the feedback! That was the major issue that I was running into. Also, your tweaks were very helpful, particularly your work on the intro. I'll keep this in mind going forward. BenBeckstromBYU (talk) 21:31, 25 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Pbritti I forgot to tag you in the above. Pleasure collaborating!BenBeckstromBYU (talk) 21:32, 25 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@BenBeckstromBYU: oh don't worry—I see every edit to this page anyway. Next week, I should have time to go more thoroughly through things and maybe make a couple more specific suggestions. For now, though, I'd consider your work a credit to the project! ~ Pbritti (talk) 21:59, 25 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Hi, @BenBeckstromBYU. Sorry about the relative tardiness of my comments. Your expansion of the Amalickiah page is overall great to see. I have a few thoughts, which I'll preface by acknowledging that I tend to have a very reserved take on secondary sources which is more exacting than that of some editors.
- If memory serves that "artist's interpretation of Amalackiah" was already on the page, so that's not on you, but I am uncomfortable with that and similar examples from the same artist. These 3D models seem to have been created by a Wikipedian, rather than have been found "naturally" created by adherents of the Latter Day Saint movement. Although the illustrative goal is understandable, I worry it veers too far into interpretation. The interpretation is an interpretation, involving supposition about what aesthetics appropriately illustrate the themes Amalickiah's narrative invokes or what clothes his hypothetical context appropriately includes, and that seems to me to drift beyond the mission of Wikipedia to summarize content already existing.
- You use chapter headings as sources in the summary portion. While I see how those headings are in a sense a commentary on the text of the Book of Mormon itself, that content believed to be "sacred text" by the Latter Day Saint movement, since the content is produced and published directly by a denomination (without the additional distance that universities and publishing houses create), it still strikes me as being like a primary source. As the template message often used in these cases describe, the chapter headings are also "texts from within a religion or faith system" rather than secondary sources that critically analyze them. I would consider the ideal scenario to be citing this content using secondary sources that describe the narrative, such as in commentaries or summaries like The Book of Mormon for the Least of These, Second Witness, or A Pentecostal Reads the Book of Mormon. I acknowledge that maybe I'm asking for something that's not there, though, since I don't have any of those particular books on hand. It's also the case that pages describing works of literature or content therefrom sometimes consider it tolerable to depend on the primary source itself for pure summary, so this isn't a do-or-die problem; I just think it would elevate the page and make it more defensible and less prone to clipping by overzealous editors in the future.
- You write that "There appears to be a consensus among Latter-day Saint apologists that the timing of Amalickiah's assassination was religiously significant". Is there a source which says there is such a consensus, or is that an observation you yourself make? The latter veers toward original research, as it's your interpretation of the existing literature, rather than a straightforward citation of it. Additionally, this paragraph does a lot of describing how Merrill and Sorensen think the timing was religiously significant, but it's not clear to a reader why that is. I think the paragraph would read better if instead of trying to make an interpretation of the literature, you cite what it says. If it doesn't violate existing academic consensus, then I think it can be validly stated on the page. It seems like what's being hinted at is that Sorensen and Merrill observe that warfare usually happens within a certain range of months on the implied Nephite calendar year, and that Amalickiah's assassination takes place during a certain time in that. If you cite it as an observation about the Book of Mormon's content, that sounds literarily valid and interesting and worth having on the page.
- "Leadership studies" continues this, where you describe that authors have said things about Amalickiah but it's not always clear what it is that they're saying.
- Likewise in the literary role. You use verbage where you describe that Joseph Spencer "found that the structure of the Book of Alma sets Amalickiah up as a narrative mirror to Ammon", but it would be more straightforward to state, for example, "According to Joseph Spencer, the structure of the Book of Alma sets Amalickiah up as a narrative mirror to Ammon". Does that difference make sense? Instead of saying that people write things, cite what they wrote and acknowledge it's according to this or that author.
- The observation that the "-iah" suffix appears throughout the Book of Mormon and Bible seems wholly valid. I am rather sketchy on the citation to Hugh Nibley saying that "Amaleki" means "my king." In what language?
I hope these do not seem excessively needling. You've done a lot of the hard work already in finding sources that thoughtfully and seriously examine this Book of Mormon figure. Consider my comments not condemnations, but rather suggestions for refinement and improvement. P-Makoto (she/her) (talk) 01:01, 28 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Good article reassessment for Southern Adventist University[edit]

Southern Adventist University has been nominated for a good article reassessment. If you are interested in the discussion, please participate by adding your comments to the reassessment page. If concerns are not addressed during the review period, the good article status may be removed from the article. ~~ AirshipJungleman29 (talk) 22:06, 6 December 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Bethlehem removal of Biblical and Christian Information[edit]

Page: Bethlehem (edit | talk | history | links | watch | logs)
Discussion: [[1]] [[2]] Since Bethlehem is a city important to Christianity I'm bringing to your attention important discussions that warrant the attention of well informed editors.

in attention is the removal of information relating to Biblical history and Christianity from the lead of Bethlehem as well as other removals over this timeframe[[3]]:

 as well as the city where he was anointed as the third monarch of the United Kingdom of Israel, and also states that it was built up as a fortified city by Rehoboam, the first monarch of the Kingdom of Judah. 

Regarding biblical history, king David, Also the following:

 Gospel of Matthew and the Gospel of Luke identify the city

The above is in reference to which gospels say Jesus Christ was born in Bethlehem.


Furthermore, the removal of King David originating from Bethlehem in the body:

 David is considered to have originated from Bethlehem.

Furthermore another few edits [[4]] Removed the following from the lead:

 At the northern entrance of the city is Rachel's Tomb, the burial place of biblical matriarch Rachel. Movement around the city is limited due to the Israeli West Bank barrier.

More info from was removed regarding Roman era history, discrimination and more. Bringing this to your attention in order for more well informed editors to be involved in constructive approach and solution. Homerethegreat (talk) 09:51, 12 December 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

There is a requested move discussion at Talk:Christian head covering#Requested move 5 January 2024 that may be of interest to members of this WikiProject. Vanderwaalforces (talk) 09:21, 5 January 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]

There is a requested move discussion at Talk:Anglican Diocese of Manchester#Requested move 5 January 2024 that may be of interest to members of this WikiProject. Vanderwaalforces (talk) 17:09, 5 January 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]

There is a requested move discussion at Talk:Sagrestia Nuova (New Sacristy)#Requested move 6 January 2024 that may be of interest to members of this WikiProject. Vanderwaalforces (talk) 12:48, 6 January 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]

There is a requested move discussion at Talk:Syro-Malabar Catholic Church#Requested move 10 January 2024 that may be of interest to members of this WikiProject. Vanderwaalforces (talk) 16:16, 10 January 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]

There is a requested move discussion at Talk:Carl XVI Gustaf#Requested move 13 January 2024 that may be of interest to members of this WikiProject. Vanderwaalforces (talk) 20:57, 13 January 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Additional parameters for Infobox church[edit]

I have requested that two additional parameters be created for Template:Infobox church: sui_iuris_church and former_sui_iuris_church. Modeled on sui_iuris_church parameter of Template:Infobox diocese, the sui_iuris_church parameter would be located below the denomination parameter, the former_sui_iuris_church parameter below the former_denomination parameter. This would be broadly useful for current or former Eastern Catholic church buildings, as well as church buildings in countries where the Latin Church can not be assumed as the operator of a Catholic building. ~ Pbritti (talk) 20:42, 23 January 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Good article reassessment for Towson United Methodist Church[edit]

Towson United Methodist Church has been nominated for a good article reassessment. If you are interested in the discussion, please participate by adding your comments to the reassessment page. If concerns are not addressed during the review period, the good article status may be removed from the article. Schierbecker (talk) 20:46, 27 January 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Proposal to add an "eparchy" parameter to Infobox Christian leader[edit]

Information icon There is currently a discussion at the talk page for the template {{Infobox Christian leader}} regarding a proposal to add an |eparchy= parameter to the template. You are invited to review and join the discussion. Thank you.  — Archer1234 (t·c) 17:13, 31 January 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]

There is a requested move discussion at Talk:Anglican eucharistic theology#Requested move 1 February 2024 that may be of interest to members of this WikiProject. Vanderwaalforces (talk) 14:49, 1 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Angels in Christianity is a bit of a mess. It used to be more explicitly about the Pseudo-Dionysian hierarchy of angels, but despite expanding in scope (and the existence of De Coelesti Hierarchia) it still wildly overstates the importance of this hierarchy. In the past I tried to restructure it, but received strong pushback and gave up. I started a conversation on the talk page about how to restructure it a bit more proportionally. Comment welcome.

Side note, this page could use a bit more TLC in general. --Garnet Moss (talk) 03:58, 2 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Good article reassessment for Catholic Church[edit]

Catholic Church has been nominated for a good article reassessment. If you are interested in the discussion, please participate by adding your comments to the reassessment page. If concerns are not addressed during the review period, the good article status may be removed from the article. Z1720 (talk) 17:27, 2 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Category:Priests by nationality[edit]

Please see Wikipedia:Categories_for_discussion/Log/2024_February_3#Priests_by_nationality. – Fayenatic London 16:13, 3 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]

There is a requested move discussion at Talk:Shrovetide#Requested move 5 February 2024 that may be of interest to members of this WikiProject. Vanderwaalforces (talk) 17:15, 5 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]

There is a requested move discussion at Talk:Crosier#Requested move 18 February 2024 that may be of interest to members of this WikiProject. Vanderwaalforces (talk) 11:53, 18 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]