Hyphenated Compounds in Titles

In a previous post, we discussed which words should be capitalized in bibliographic references. Hyphenated compounds require special attention (see CMS §8.159).

The first element of a hyphenated compound is always capitalized. The second and subsequent elements are capitalized if one of the following conditions applies:

1. The first element is an independent word (as opposed to a prefix; see below)

 Example: Social-Scientific Approaches to New Testament Interpretation

 2. The second element is a proper noun or adjective.

 Example: The Non-Israelite Nations in the Book of the Twelve

 3. The two elements together constitute a spelled-out number.

Example: “The Twenty-Third Psalm in Book 1 of the Psalter”

 If the first element of the hyphenated compound is a prefix, the second and subsequent elements are typically lowercased, unless (2) above applies.

 Example: The Acts of the Apostles: A Socio-rhetorical Commentary

 N.B. Although SBL Press style is not to hyphenate words such as sociorhetorical, one must retain any hyphenation used in the original publication.

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