The SBL Handbook of Style 2nd edition

  • Ah, I found it with the style editor in the stand alone.

    Adam, a lot of SBL users may want this feature added. Would posting my work around be something that would of benefit to users, or do you think it would be a distraction?
  • edited March 25, 2016
    Here's a sample footnote:

    Craig R. Koester, Revelation: A New Translation with Introduction and Commentary, AYB 38A (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2014), 590.

    and bibliography
    Koester, Craig R. Revelation: A New Translation with Introduction and Commentary. Anchor (Yale) Bible 38A. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2014.
  • thanks for checking -- absolutely, post your workaround. If you want to post longer passages of code (say the modified style) please post them to a code sharing site (e.g. just using, for which you don't even need to register). The forum is not good for posting code.
  • I was looking through the style guide, and the csl doesn't include the pages of the dictionary entry

    33. Krister Stendahl, “Biblical Theology, Contemporary,” IDB 1:418–32.
    36. Stendahl, “Biblical Theology,” 1:419.
    Stendahl, Krister. “Biblical Theology, Contemporary.” IDB 1:418–32.

    Here, IDB is the short title for the dictionary (that can be worked around), but is there a way to get the pages added to the entry?

    Also: I'm experimenting with csl editing. How can I manually edit that?
  • Does anyone know if Zotero's SBL2 style (updated 12/24/2016) handles ANF and NPNF, First and Second Series (6.4.5) correctly? Alternatively, is there a know workaround?
  • edited November 5, 2017
    Could you say more about what you mean? Do you mean citing the abbreviated title for a series if available?

    If so, yes, the style in the Zotero Style Repository does that. You can enter the Series Abbreviation in Zotero by entering it in the Extra field like this:
    collection-title-short: ANF2
  • edited November 5, 2017
    I am trying to ascertain whether the Society of Biblical Literature 2nd edition (full note) Style that was last updated in Zotero on 12/24/2016 correctly handles citations for the church fathers: Ante-Nicene Fathers (ANF) and the Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers (NPNF).

    Section 6.4.5 of the SBL Handbook of Style 2nd ed. reads as follows:

    Citing the church fathers can be confusing and frustrating since often there are a variety of levels at which one can cite. Authors may elect to cite both the primary reference and the volume and page number within a given series. If this does not become cumbersome for the reader, it is helpful to include both. In either case, it is better to use arabic numbers rather than roman numerals and to put the ANF or NPNF reference in parentheses. It is not necessary to give a full citation if a bibliography is included and subsequent citations in the notes are identical to the first citation.

    14. The Clementine Homilies 1.3 (ANF 8:223).

    In this example, the title of the work appears in italics. The number 1 indicates the homily number, and 3 designates the chapter. The parenthetical information refers to the series, volume, and page number. In the bibliography, one need cite only the series information, unless the translation itself plays an integral role in the discussion. Thus:

    The Ante-Nicene Fathers. Edited by Alexander Roberts and James Donaldson. 1885–1887. 10 vols. Repr., Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 1994.

    An example in which the translation itself needs to be documented follows:

    44. Augustine, Letters of St. Augustin 28.3.5 (NPNF1 1:252).

    Augustine. The Letters of St. Augustin. In vol. 1 of The Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Series 1. Edited by Philip Schaff. 1886–1889. 14 vols. Repr., Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 1994.

  • To: bwiernik,
    If you would prefer, I would be happy to send you by email section 6.4.5 of the SBL Handbook so that you can see what portions of the citation and bibliography are italicized. If yes, please indicate your email address.
  • basically the answer is no. It might be possible to approximate that, but special citations formats for that level of specific material aren't covered in Zotero.
  • edited August 14, 2018
    SBL requires that electronic editions are referenced after the brackets that contain (place: publisher, date).

    E.g., Shelly Matthews, Perfect Martyr: The Stoning of Stephen and the Construction of Christian Identity (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010), Kindle edition, 9.

    I tried to add the Kindle Edition reference in the extra field: medium: Kindle edition, but it seems the style does not support this, so it does not show up. Is there any other way that I can get the Kindle edition to show up?
  • we can look at this, but it's likely not going to be super fast. As a stop-gap, just adding "Kindle Edition, 9" in the suffix field for the citation will work.
  • Thanks, I'll do that and then just edit the Bibliography entry later.
  • Are there plans for adding an author-date version for SBL in Zotero? Or is it perhaps already available?
  • The actual need is for the Zotero plugin for Microsoft Word. It does list SBL as one of the preference options, but then it has only the footnote options. Thanks
  • Continuing with Johannez's request:
    I'm looking at the SBL Handbook of Style, 1999 edition, pages 64-67, which cover the topic "7.4 AUTHOR-DATE CITATIONS". This is what we, at our institution, would very much like implemented in Zotero's plugin for Word.
  • edited August 30, 2018
    Technically this has nothing to do with Zotero/Zotero's plugin itself, but would be a CSL style.
    Anyway, happy to look at that.
    Is that book from 1999 the 2nd edition? If not does the 2nd edition (I assume this is the latest edition) also include this author-date style?

    Furthermore, could you send me the .pdf of the SBL Handbook or is it publicly available online? (I'll send you my email via PM)
    Also, could you adapt the Campbell and Mares papers according to the style and post here (see this guide:
  • Thanks for your response. Yes, the 1999 publication is the 2nd edition, and unfortunately we are in the time just before the release of the 3rd edition is released in e-book format. To make matters worse, the SBL site says there are many changes coming in the 3rd edition. Nevertheless, the following page suggests no relevant changes regarding my and Johannez's request: Note the Questions link at the bottom explaining why they are withholding the 2nd edition, which I provide at this location instead:!AhxIUw13SpWpg-oAN6vuyN6rVLTnMA.

    I haven't worked with CSL styles before, so I am not sure about adapting an existing one.
  • thanks for the links.
    I just see I included a completely wrong link earlier.
    Can you post here the Campbell and Mares papers as they should appear? You don't need to know CSL.
  • I do not want to interfere with the last request, but wants to point out that the latest version of SBL is the second edition published in paper in 2014. This edition also have an author-date option, by the way. Additions and explanations to the second edition is found on this site:
  • I have a dictionary article which Zotero puts out in the bibliography as follows:
    Le Déaut, Roger. “Targum.” Edited by L. Pirot, A. Robert, and H. Cazelles. DBSup. Paris: Letouzey, 2002.
    [DBSup. is in italics]

    Instead, according to SBLHS second edition, 6.3.6, it should look like this:
    Le Déaut, Roger. “Targum.” DBSup 13:1–344. [again, DBSup in italics]

    How do I get there?

    The closest fix I have found is entering it as an journal artical. But then I get this:
    Le Déaut, Roger. “Targum.” DBSup 13 (2002): 1–344.
    And I have to delete valuable information like the editors of the dictionary...

    Any ideas?
  • The style would need to be modified to remove editor and publisher information for dictionary entry items. @damnation @adamsmith
  • edited November 3, 2018
    How can I get a citation that gives both a page number and a footnote number? For example:

    Harold W. Attridge, The Epistle to the Hebrews: A Commentary on the Epistle to the Hebrews, ed. Helmut Koester, Hermeneia (Philadelphia: Fortress, 1989), 306n10-11.

    The "-" there should be an en dash.
  • Enter the page number as “306 n. 10”

    If you add abbreviations for locators in the page field, Zotero’s citation processor will pick them up and format them correctly. For a list of abbreviations see
  • Thanks, @bwiernik !

    SBL MS2 does not seem to indicate what such a citation should look like. Therefore I went to the CMS and found the following example: 201nn16–17 (again with an en dash).

    Now, what I get from Zotero is: 201 nn.10-11.
    There is an extra space and a period.

    1. Am I right in supposing that where SBL MS2 has no specifications, CMS should be the criterion to abide by?
    2. If so, any fix for that in Zotero?
  • 1) That’s reasonable

    2) Unfortunately, the citation processor can’t parse locator labels if there is no space between the previous locator and the label. So the space at least is necessary. The “nn.” is the standard short form for the notes for the style—there isn’t a way to change the labeling system based on whether the label is by itself or subsequent in a string of labels.

    Honestly, I’d recommend just entering it as “201, n. 10-11” with a comma and space between the page and n. and a space between n. and the numbers. This will yield a pleasing formatting that is consistent with the appearance of notes cited alone and the rest of the style’s delimiting elements with commas.

    If you really want the style you gave above, just enter the page as “201nn10–11”. I personally find that very difficult to read.
  • Again, thanks @bwiernik !

    If I go with the last option, I get a hyphen instead of the desired en dash between the 10 and the 11. Or is there a way to type an actual en dash there?
  • You have to type an actual en dash character. On Mac, do Option + -. On Windows, easiest would be to type “a - a “ in Word to get it to convert to an en dash, then cut and paste.
  • Does anyone have any idea why my series is being displayed in italics if it is a multivolume work? The series correctly displays in roman type for single volume works. For example, in the same footnote, I have (notice the disparity in JSNTSup): Michael D. Goulder, Luke: A New Paradigm, 2 vols., JSNTSup 20 (Sheffield, England: JSOT, 1989); Mark S. Goodacre, Goulder and the Gospels: An Examination of a New Paradigm, JSNTSup 133 (Sheffield: Sheffield Academic, 1996), 20–21.
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