Why does GotQuestions.org word the questions the way it does?

This is a fairly frequent criticism/complaint we receive, usually on social media. People have commented that the wording of the questions on our articles is sometimes strange, off, weird, convoluted, or even a little confusing. Trust me, that is not our goal. We strive for clarity.

Why are GotQuestions.org articles sometimes worded in unusual ways? Because that is how people ask the question. Whenever we turn an answer into an article, we do a lot of research on how to word both the question and the answer. What sort of research? Primarily search engine research. How we write the article has a significant impact on how people will be able to find the article.

The internet search engines are our mission field. It is our goal that whenever someone searches for biblical/Christian/spiritual/religious content online, GotQuestions.org will appear in the results. To accomplish that, we have to make sure our articles are worded the way people are most frequently asking the questions. The typical ways we have to tweak the wording of our articles fall into three categories:

(1) Different ways of phrasing the question.

Take the question, “Can salvation be lost?” for example. Some people ask it with the phrase “eternal security.” Other people ask questions about “once saved always saved.” Still others go with “perseverance of the saints.” Still more phrase it, “Can a Christian lose salvation?” None of these ways of asking the question is wrong. None of them is better or worse than the others. How do we address this? Typically, we write different articles, each with the same essential message, but with each article focused on the unique way of asking the question.

(2) Different translations of the Bible.

For many people, the KJV renderings still dominate their biblical vocabulary. If 10,000 people a month search for “thou shalt not kill,” but only 100 people a month search for “you shall not commit murder,” it makes far more sense for us to focus the article on “thou shalt not kill.” The potential search audience is exponentially greater.

(3) Different ways to say the same thing.

English is a very flexible language. There are often many different ways to say the same thing in English. The English language provides multiple means to communicate concepts with similar or identical meanings. With such a vast vocabulary, there is rarely only one correct way to convey sense in English. Saying something in English rarely necessitates a limited number of word options.

So, just because a question is not worded the way you would ask it, that does not make it wrong. The questions and answers on GotQuestions.org are communicated a particular way for a reason. Trust me, there is almost always a method to our madness.

S. Michael Houdmann

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Why does GotQuestions.org word the questions the way it does?