I am a Gentile Christian believer, a member of a non-denominational church. Over the past 54 years (I am 66 years old), I have been a member of three different mainline Protestant Christian denominations.

Recently, I have become aware that there are some areas in which my beliefs do not match up with any other denomination or organization; at least, not any that I know about. Two of those differences are based, at least partially, on my understanding of parts of the narrative presented in the Book of Genesis.

I don't think my different beliefs reach the level of heresy, but it's still troubling to me. I'm hoping to be able to get a better perspective by learning how Judaism regards a couple of the passages in the narrative.

Unfortunately, I don't think I have enough foundation to even formulate the right questions. I've been somewhat active in the Biblical Hermeneutics Stack Exchange, and my asking, in that Meta, for some clues on how to proceed was answered with a suggestion I come to the Judaism stack.

I want to get a feel for the way this stack operates before I start asking questions, because I don't want to come across as offensive. So, my plan is to lurk for an unknown time; since I am almost entirely ignorant about the mechanics of stack operations, I don't know if lurking is considered to be in bad taste. I'm not trying to be a voyeur; I'm just trying to get a feel for the culture here.

I hope this doesn't present a problem. If my approach is mistaken, I would appreciate correction.

"I will stand on my guardpost, and station myself on the rampart. I will keep watch to see what He will say to me, and how I may reply when I am reproved." (Habakkuk 2:1, NASB)

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    Welcome! There is no issue whatsoever in reading posts, after a bit you should feel free to ask your questions. As long as they are in scope and well formulated, someone will surely answer. See the tour to get a sense of how the site works and see you around !
    – mbloch
    Dec 20, 2019 at 4:57

2 Answers 2


Very simply, no, there is no problem at all with "lurking." You're welcome to read whatever interests you on Mi Yodeya, and there's no obligation to participate.

If and when you want to post a question, you're certainly welcome to do that, too. You may find it helpful to read our official FAQ and community-written FAQ posts here on Meta, but if you've read a decent amount of actual Q&A during your "lurking," that'll probably suffice to give you a good idea of what works best here.



This is an excellent idea; in fact I did it myself. My first post on this site was exactly two years ago (12/21/17), but if you look at my profile you will see that it says:

Member for 3 years, 2 months

Screenshot of profile

I was thus a member for over a year before ever posting.

While I didn't intentionally do this for the reasons you describe, I believe it did help me gain an understanding of the site prior to actually using it. New users are often confused about various things – they may ask off-topic questions, they may post comments as answers, they may get insulted when their questions are closed, etc. By watching the site for a while you can pretty easily pick up a lot of these things so that when you do actually post you won't run into these issues.

  • Usenet and listserv etiquette is to lurk before posting so as to get a feel for the group; many an individual group's/list's FAQ requests this explicitly. It doesn't seem to be the case on SE, but certainly can't hurt and arguably should become the norm.
    – msh210 Mod
    Dec 24, 2019 at 12:13
  • @msh210 Though I suspect that most new users find a Stack exchange site when they’re looking for an immediate answer to a question, rather than when they’re looking for a long-term community to join.
    – Alex
    Dec 24, 2019 at 12:25

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