SBL Style

General TipsSBL

SBL contains two different styles. Lycoming professors allow you to choose which you want to use, but be consistent.

Use a hanging indentation for the citation; use the author's full name(s) as given; capitalize all keywords in Title of Work, Title of Periodical, Title of Article, and Title of Chapter; do not italicize volume number after Title of Periodical; do not include the issue number unless the journal begins with page one with each issue. What follows is a sample of common bibliographical sources. For other types of sources, see The SBL Handbook of Style, pp. 38-75.

Bibliographies for Footnote/Endnote Style

TypeExample
Book by a Single Author Talbert, Charles H. Reading John: A Literary and Theological commentary on the Fourth Gospel and the Johannine Epistles. New York: Crossroad, 1992.
Titled Book in Series Cogan, Mordechai, and Hayim Tadmor. II Kings: A New Translation with Introduction and Commentary.  Anchor Bible 11.  New York: Doubleday, 1998.
Journal Article Layerle, Blake. “John Chrysostom on the Gaze.” Journal of Early Christian Studies 1 (1993): 159-74.

Article in Encyclopedia or Volume of Essays Attridge, Harold A. “Jewish Historiography.” Pages 311-43 in Early Judaism and Its Modern Interpreters. Edited by R. A. Kraft and G. W. E. Nickelsburg. Philadelphia: Fortress, 1986.

LOEB Classical Library Tacitus. The Histories and Annals. Translated by C. H. Moore and J. Jackson. 4 vols. LOEB Classical Library. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1937.

Bibliographies for Author-Date Style

TypeExample
Book by a Single Author Wilder, Amos. 1939. Eschatology and Ethics in the Teaching of Jesus. New York: Harper and Bros.


Titled Book in Series Cogan, Mordechai, and Hayim Tadmor. 1988. II Kings: A New Translation with Introduction and Commentary.  Anchor Bible 11.  New York: Doubleday. 
Journal Article Leyerle, Blake. 1993. “John Chrysostom on the Gaze.” Journal of Early Christian Studies 1:159-74.
Article in Encyclopedia or Volume of Essays Stendahl, K. 1962. “Biblical Theology, Contemporary.” Pages 418-32 in vol. 1 of Interpreter’s Dictionary of the Bible. Edited by G. A. Butterick. 5 vols. Nashville: Abingdon.

LOEB Classical Library Tacitus, Cornelius. The Histories and the Annals. 1937. Translated by C. H. Moore and J. Jackson. 4 vols. LOEB Classical Library. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.

Special Notes

  1. Biblical Citations should be given with Biblical book, chapter and verses (*not* with page numbers in their particular edition, unless what they are citing is the notes), ex. 2 Kgs 11:1-20. When citing just the chapter: 2 Kings 11. See the SBL Handbook 69-75 for more information on abbreviations.
  2. If citing notes in a Study Bible, then you need to find the *author* of the *notes* for that particular section (i.e. not just the editor), ex. Wilson, Robert R. 1993. "1 Kings, 2 Kings."  Pages 509-604 in The HarperCollins Study Bible: New Revised Standard Version with the Apocryphal/Deuterocanonical Books.  Edited by Wayne Meeks. New York: HarperCollins.
  3. For efficiency, cut-down pages numbers (i.e. instead of 119-134 use 119-34, but not 14-7 instead of 14-17)

Additional citation materials from Dr. Johnson

SBL Style Samples

SBL Style Instructions

SBL Style Guide in Snowden Library

Alexander, Patrick H., ed.  The SBL Handbook of Style: For Ancient Near Eastern, Biblical, and Early Christian Studies. Peabody, Mass.: Hendrickson, 1999.
CALL NUMBER:  Ref. PN147 .S26 1999 [2 HOUR RESERVE] (ask at circulation desk)

SBL Style Web Sites

SBL Student Supplement