Writers frequently struggle to know when a title such as king, queen, pharaoh, emperor, or the like should be capitalized and when it is more properly lowercased. SBLHS 4.3.6 includes all of these terms in a list of capitalization and spelling examples; this post reinforces the guidelines illustrated there by explaining the rationale behind them … Continue reading Kings, Queens, Pharaohs, and Emperors
Early Christian texts were influenced by many cultural forms. One prominent influence was Neoplatonism, a philosophical tradition traditionally accredited to Plotinus (204–270 CE) and loosely based on the philosophical tradition begun by Plato (427–347 BCE). Since many scholars write about the connection between Platonism, Neoplatonism, and early Christianity, it is useful to establish some basic … Continue reading Platonic Ideas
Writing about matters that touch on religious commitment and practice inevitably raises a question about the proper stance of the author to the subject. Although some writers adopt the language and tone of an adherent in order to reach the community of faith, scholarly writing, as a rule, seeks to communicate in as neutral a … Continue reading Saint
Earlier posts discussed the question of when to write Gospel or gospel and when to write Epistle or epistle. This post deals with a related issue: when to write Torah or torah and when to write Law or law. Brief examples are provided in SBLHS 2 §§220.127.116.11 and 4.3.6. This post discusses these examples in … Continue reading Torah versus torah
In formal academic prose, singular authors often refer to themselves in the plural. In this chapter, we shall argue … As we suggested above … We can conclude … CMS does not have a clear rule about authorial voice; however, the editors note in a brief Q&A: “We” used to be more common in scholarly … Continue reading Authorial Voice: I or We?
Like CMS §5.206, SBL Press acknowledges that it is acceptable to begin a sentence with a conjunction such as and or but. That being said, we recommend that authors use such constructions sparingly. While initial conjunctions can be effective, beginning too many sentences with simple conjunctions can lead to a disjointed composition and weaken the … Continue reading Beginning a Sentence with And or But
Believing that proper word usage is a significant part of good style, we wander slightly from our usual fare to discuss a construction frequently encountered in academic writing, the statement that “X is comprised of Y.” The meaning of the phrase is generally evident: X is made up of Y. Unfortunately, this is not the … Continue reading Comprise