We offer the following guidelines in order to streamline the process of editing and producing the Journal. If, however, the authors have personal preferences on some issues, they should feel free to indicate them, and we will do our best to accommodate. In addition, corrections or suggestions to the texts submitted will be sent to the authors for review and approval.
The aim of the Journal is to provide sound academic content for a wide audience. These guidelines are meant to assist the purpose of readability, accessibility, and consistency.
For the sake of convenience and uniformity, we use North American conventions of spelling and punctuation (see below for more details).
We follow primarily The SBL Handbook of Style, 2nd ed. (Atlanta: SBL Press, 2014) [SBL Handbook].
For additional information, we recommend consulting The Chicago Manual of Style, 16th ed. (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2010) [CMS] or Kate L. Turabian, A Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations, 8th ed. (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2013) [Turabian].
You will find below a discussion of some of the most common issues for quick reference.
Length of Contributions
Book Reviews: Usually 800–1,400 words
Articles: 5,000 to 7,000 words including footnotes
Abstracts and Bios
We ask that the authors provide abstracts of their articles. The abstracts should be less than 120 words.
Each issue will include bios of the authors. These bios should be not more than 5 lines long. They should include current position, affiliations, and most significant or recent publications.
Use of Abbreviations in General
Only use abbreviations in notes or parentheses (this applies to the biblical abbreviations below as well).
Abbreviations of Biblical Books [SBL Handbook 8.3.1 and 8.3.2]
||Song (or Cant)
||Eccl (or Qoh)
References such as 1 Pet 5:4 should be spelled out in the beginning of a sentence: First Peter 5:4 …
When a specific Bible version is cited, a reference to the version should be added after the Scripture reference with just one space between the biblical reference and the abbreviation of the name of the version. The Bible version should be abbreviated in capital letters (e.g., ESV, KJV, NIV, etc.).
North American Style Conventions
- In titles, short verbs and pronouns are capitalized as well (e.g., Is, Its, His, etc.; for more on capitalization, see SBL Handbook 126.96.36.199).
- Double quote marks, not single quote marks, are used with a different placement (e.g., they are placed outside periods and commas) (SBL Handbook 4.1.2).
- Serial commas are employed before “and” (SBL Handbook 188.8.131.52).
- Note also the placement of note numbers (CMS 14.21–23).
Capitalization within the Text
- Less use is made of capitalization than formerly. For instance, pronouns for God (he, him, his) are not capitalized (SBL Handbook 184.108.40.206).
- Note, however, that nouns referring to God or the persons of the Trinity (e.g., Father, Son, Spirit) should be capitalized (SBL Handbook 220.127.116.11).
- The SBL Handbook offers a helpful lists of “Capitalization and Spelling Examples” (pp. 37–52) and of “Names of Presses.”
- When authors desire to follow other conventions than the ones outlined above, they should be followed consistently.
- In quotations, the original text should be given exactly, including capitalization. The capitalization of the first word, however, should be changed if necessary to fit the context (CMS 13.13–15).
- For Eras, we retain the use of small caps (e.g., A.D. 1515 or 127 B.C.).
Inclusive Numbers and Use of En Dashes (CMS 9.60; cf. SBL Handbook 4.2.4)
For inclusive numbers, we follow the patterns in CMS 9.60.
|100 or multiples of 100
101 => 109,
201 => 209, etc.
|Changed part only
110 => 199,
210 => 299, etc.
|Use two digits or more to
include all changed parts
- This pattern should be followed primarily for page numbers. Full numbers for the second numbers should be used for dates and ancient writings [SBL Handbook 4.2.5–6; cf. CMS 9.63].
- En dashes should be used between numbers, not hyphens.
Use of Hebrew, Greek, and Other Foreign Languages
- Preferably, the use of Hebrew and Greek should be avoided. However, if you use Hebrew and Greek fonts, please use SBL Greek and SBL Hebrew.
- If reference to the original languages is important, a transliteration should be considered first (the General-Purpose Style of the SBL Handbook 5.1.2 and 5.3 should be followed).
If the use of the foreign fonts is desired by the author, they should be accompanied by a transliteration.
- The use of quotations in foreign languages should be accompanied by an English translation, and the foreign quotes should be, if possible, placed in the notes.
Abbreviations of US States [SBL Handbook 8.1.1.]1
1 Note that “SBL Press now prefers to use the two-letter postal codes over the traditional abbreviations.”
References in the Notes [cf. SBL Handbook, pp. 84–108]
- The references should be in footnotes. Unio cum Christo does not use Author-Date Citations (or the Harvard Style).
- We prefer articles without bibliographies. References should be placed in the notes. If an author wishes to have a bibliography, it should be limited to the most important and accessible titles.
- Note that the second edition of the SBL Handbook follows more closely the CMS (SBL Handbook, p. 71).
- If the text submitted contains notes, they should be footnotes, not endnotes. Book reviews, however, should be without notes.
- It is important to supply all the facts of publication, including the publisher, which is sometimes omitted in other publications.
- As much as possible, full names of authors should be used.
- References to primary works can be indicated in the text using either standard abbreviations or specific abbreviations indicated upon the first use of a work in a note, together with the full reference.