Pseudepigraphic Testaments

A number of “testaments” survive from antiquity. These texts present themselves as the last words of important biblical figures such as Moses, Jacob, and Joseph. The SBLHS 2 §8.3.4 provides abbreviations for each work. This post will explain how to use these abbreviations when citing the testaments. 1. Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs Perhaps the … Continue reading Pseudepigraphic Testaments

Citing Text Collections 3: OTP

James Charlesworth’s two-volume Old Testament Pseudepigrapha is in some respects similar to Pritchard’s ANET (see here): both provide English translations to well-defined groups of texts from the ancient world. The main difference between the two is obvious: whereas ANET includes texts primarily from ancient Israel’s neighbors, OTP focuses on Jewish and Christian texts dated to … Continue reading Citing Text Collections 3: OTP

Citing Text Collections 2: ANET

Ancient Near Eastern Texts Relating to the Old Testament (ANET), edited by James B. Pritchard, has long been a standard resource for researchers and readers who need quick access to reliable translations of ancient Near Eastern texts. Although ANET has been supplanted to some degree by more recent and extensive translation collections, one still encounters … Continue reading Citing Text Collections 2: ANET

Historia Augusta

Recently we received a question about the recommended system of abbreviation for the various biographies that constitute the Historia Augusta. This reader query provides a useful opportunity to highlight several elements of SBLHS style. The Historia Augusta is “a collection of biographies … of Roman emperors, Caesars, and usurpers” between the early first century through the late third century CE, specifically, from Hadrian … Continue reading Historia Augusta

Citing Reference Works 4: Family Relationships

The prior two posts (here and here) referenced thirty-seven lexicons and dictionaries for ten different languages or language groups. The complexities of citing such a sizable number of works place substantial demands on authors; the slight and subtle differences between some of the works only adds to the need to understand how these works relate … Continue reading Citing Reference Works 4: Family Relationships

Citing Reference Works 3: Dictionaries (Word)

Titling this post is difficult, since there is no unambiguous term for a reference work that offers prose discussions of a word or group of related words. This blog series uses the term lexicon to refer to a dictionary-type work that presents, generally in list form, a simple definition of the term, grammatical notes, and, … Continue reading Citing Reference Works 3: Dictionaries (Word)

Citing Reference Works 2: Lexica

The previous post (here) laid the foundation for the discussions to follow by identifying three sets of distinctions: entries versus articles; signed versus unsigned pieces; and an authored versus an edited work. In terms of those distinctions, this post on lexica (the preferred plural of lexicon) pertains to dictionary-type works containing unsigned entries in both … Continue reading Citing Reference Works 2: Lexica


The term progymnasmata (“preliminary/preparatory exercises”) refers to a series of compositional exercises that taught students in antiquity how to write and deliver declamations (speeches). The exercises educated students in the use of various elements of effective rhetoric, including “μῦθος (*fable), διήγημα (*narrative), χρεία (anecdotal apophthegm), γνώμη (maxim…), ἀνασκευή and κατασκευή (refutation and confirmation), κοινὸς τόπος … Continue reading Progymnasmata