The SBL Handbook of Style, 2nd ed., contains fairly sparse treatment of how to cite lexicographic sources (§6.3.7), and none of the provided examples address how to cite standard lexica for the biblical languages (e.g., BDAG, HALOT). This clarification is supplied in a post on the handbook’s blog. Footnoted citations should follow a form like:
BDAG, s.v. [entry]
HALOT, s.v. [entry]
The lexicon abbreviation is italicized or not depending on whether it abbreviates the lexicon’s title or the initials of the parties responsible for the work.
Currently in its 16th edition, The Chicago Manual of Style remains the most comprehensive general authority on editorial style and publishing practices. Answers to questions not addressed in this handbook may be found there. (§3.3)
The reference to CMS’s “current” edition raises the possibility that a new CMS edition may occasion a change in the CMS edition best followed by users of SBLHS2. In addition, on noting the release of CMS17, SBL Press commented that
based on the Chicago Manual of Style, this new edition will no doubt prompt changes to our own style. We will announce relevant changes on this blog in the coming months.
This comment made it sound like changes might be affected in SBL style before the release of SBLHS3 simply based on the release of CMS17. On reaching out to the ever-helpful folks at SBL Press, they’ve confirmed that
Our deference to CMS in matters not explicitly covered in SBLHS2 or on the SBLHS2 blog automatically upgrades to the most current version of CMS. Thus, as of September 1, 2017, we now defer to CMS 17th ed.
I’ve recently had a discussion over at the Zotero forums that brought to light a couple interesting points that I hadn’t been aware of:
There’s currently in beta a major update to Zotero 5.0, which includes several important feature changes. The beta isn’t quite ready for prime time yet but should be “very soon.” Included in this update is the new Citation Style Language (CSL) processor that should remedy the comma and period placement issue in the forum thread.
Frank Bennett has provided an updated CSL processor that can be installed in a current Zotero 4 version via the Propachi Vanilla plugin.
For additional discussion of Zotero here, see this tag.
Recently, SBL Press clarified its guidance about citing J.-P. Migne’s Patrologia Latina based on the discovery that various year’s printings of certain volumes within Patrologia Latina have differences. Among these differences are variations in the column arrangements for the texts contained in Patrologia Latina. The Press’s initial recommendation was that
authors always check a PL volume title page to ensure that the printing is dated 1865 or earlier. If the publication or printing date is 1868 or later, we encourage authors to find an earlier printing of PL to cite.
The Press has subsequently “discovered that there are also variations between Migne’s original editions and his own later reprintings prior to transferring the rights to Garnier.” Consequently, the Press’s new recommendation is that
authors always check a PL volume title page to ensure that the printing is dated 1855 or earlier. If the publication or printing date is 1857 or later, we encourage authors to find the original printing of PL to cite. (underlining added)
As a further curiosity in this complex discussion, I noticed earlier today that James Dunn’s Word Biblical Commentary volume on Romans refers to the same testimony by Ambrosiaster as I went in search of the week before last (xlviii). Elsewhere, Dunn’s introduction copiously indexes its discussion to relevant primary literature. But, on Ambrosiaster’s comment, one is simply told
(text in SH [Sanday and Headlam], xxv–xxvi, and Cranfield, 20)
Sanday and Headlam refer to Ballerini’s edition of Ambrosiaster rather than to Migne’s, as does Cranfield. But, one wonders if the indirect citation of Ambrosiaster through these other authors derives, at least in part, from dynamics like those here that make the references of previous scholars rather more obscure.
The folks at SBL Press have now kindly resolved the mystery in a new blog post. Most significantly, SBL Press notes,
According to the Patrologia Latina Database … , PL’s printing history can be divided into two distinct periods. Jacques-Paul Migne initially published the 217 volumes of PL over a twelve-year period, 1844–1855. Migne reprinted volumes as needed for another decade, then sold the rights to the Paris publisher Garnier. Unfortunately, in February 1868 a fire destroyed Migne’s presses and printing plates, which meant that Garnier, which had begun reprinting some PL volumes in 1865, was the only source for future reprints—all of which were produced on plates other than Migne’s originals. These plates differed substantially in some cases and are considered in general “inferior in a number of respects to Migne’s own first editions.”
What does this mean for researchers today who need to cite PL? SBL Press recommends that authors always check a PL volume title page to ensure that the printing is dated 1865 or earlier. If the publication or printing date is 1868 or later, we encourage authors to find an earlier printing of PL to cite. (emphasis added)
For additional discussion, suggestions about finding earlier printings, and recommendations for how to cite the later batch of printings if need be, see the SBL Handbook of Style blog.
The past couple days, I’ve come across a pair of references in Cranfield’s and Moo’s Romans commentaries to comments by Ambrosiaster about the origin of the Christian community in Rome, and I’ve been curious to give this reference a look. Both authors cite the reference as found in J.-P. Migne’s Patrologia latina, vol. 17, col. 46 (Cranfield, xiii, 17n2; Moo, 4n7).
My go-to index for online PDFs from Migne’s Greek or Latin patrologies is Documenta Catholica Omnia. The index for PL, vol. 17, indicates that cols. 45-184A are Ambrosiaster’s commentary on Romans. Clicking through to the archived PDF, however, I noticed the first column in the document was col. 47. The Latin quotation as excerpted by Cranfield occurs in col. 48 (not 46, per Cranfield’s and Moo’s citations).
Where to find it?
Not wanting to miss anything (and also somewhat intrigued by the two different sets of column ranges indicated by Documenta Catholica Omnia), I kept hunting and recalled that Patristica.net also has Migne’s patrologies indexed. For PL, vol. 17, Patristica.net has three links listed where the text is available.
The link to Internet Archive refers to a text dated 1879 and apparently scanned previously in coordination with Google. The column arrangement for this file matches the one provided by Documenta Catholica Omnia.
Patristica.net, however, also provides two links to Google Books (1, 2). These texts are dated 1845 and have a different column arrangement that corresponds to the one implied by the references in Cranfield and Moo. (Interestingly too, the 1845 text refers to 13 Pauline epistles, the 1879 text only to 12.) So, mystery solved: Cranfield and Moo apparently used the 1845 rather than the 1879 printing of PL, vol. 17, to make these references.
How to cite it?
As a side-note (that doesn’t, of course, apply to Cranfield’s or Moo’s texts), the SBL Handbook of Style provides a specific citation format for Migne’s patrologies (§6.4.6). Footnoting Ambrosiaster per the handbook then should result in something like (cf. the handbook’s example and the PDF of the cited volume of Gregory’s works):
Ambrosiaster, In epistolam ad Romanos 3 (PL 17:[46 / 48]a).
PL seems to be treated as a static text, not needing a publication date. But, for situations like the one noted here, perhaps an amendment like
Ambrosiaster, In epistolam ad Romanos 3 (PL 17 :46a).
Ambrosiaster, In epistolam ad Romanos 3 (PL 17 :48a).
might be helpful. Or, is there a definite way of handling this situation already implied in the SBL Handbook that I’m just overlooking?
Update: the official word
SBL Press has subsequently given an official recommendation about handling the situation described above.
Last week, the SBL Handbook of Style blog carried a helpful post about the placement of citations in the footnote-bibliography, or traditional, style. Of particular interest is the section related to “Bibliographic Information inside Footnotes.”
According to the Chicago Manual of Style, 16th ed., §14.33, when presenting a long citation to support material provided in a content or commentary footnote, the citation should typically be presented as its own sentence:
This situation is exemplified in the SBLHS blog post paragraph “When a quotation or a discussion inside a footnote is followed by a full reference….” According to the CMS example above, the same format appears to occur when an element from the citation (e.g., the author’s name, “Sidney Smith,” in the example) is not repeated in the citation.
For SBLHS, however, relocating the author’s name to the body of the sentence within the footnote requires that even an otherwise full footnote be included in parentheses. Consequently, any parentheses in that footnote would need to shift to square brackets. Thus, in the post’s example:
Correct: 97. Cyrus H. Gordon argued that brh in Isa 27:1 should be translated “evil,” based on an Arabic cognate (“Near East Seals in Princeton and Philadelphia,” Or 22 : 243; see also Gordon, Ugaritic Textbook, AnOr 38 [Rome: Pontifical Biblical Institute, 1965], 376).
For SBLHS, when a given source supports an intra-footnote comment and has previously been cited, then the citation for the intra-footnote comment is given in parentheses. Thus, in the post’s examples:
Correct: It is interesting to note that Richards also seems to anticipate Lakoff and Johnson’s basic definition of metaphor when he writes that metaphor includes “those processes in which we perceive or think of or feel about one thing in terms of another” (Richards, Philosophy of Rhetoric, 116–17).
Correct: 55. Entailments are “rich inferences” or knowledge (“sometimes quite detailed”) that we can infer from conceptual metaphors (Evans and Green, Cognitive Linguistics, 298–99).
By comparison, according to CMS §14.34:
These comments could perhaps suggest that (a) notes of this type should have only page numbers included in parentheses and (b) other information necessary to the citation would need to be included in the prose of the footnote sentence itself. Thus, the SBLHS discussion is a helpful clarification for SBLHS users of when this more generally stated CMS principle would apply.
Microsoft Word ties footnote anchors in the main text and footnote numbers at the start of footnotes to the same style. Consequently, it’s difficult to get full-height footnote numbers followed by a period (cf. Chicago Manual of Style, SBL Handbook of style).
That being said, the process discussed at Word MVPs does still seem to work with Word 2016. If it’s desirable to have the note number followed by a period and a space rather a tab character, the following modified Visual Basic macro code should do the trick:
.Paragraphs(1).Range.Characters(2) = ""
.InsertAfter "." & Space(1)
Unfortunately, it doesn’t immediately seem feasible to intercept Zotero’s insert citation macro, and that macro doesn’t appear to be tied to this particular function in Word. So, an update to what Word runs for the InsertFootnote command won’t be triggered by Zotero’s InsertCitation macro. If anyone has suggestions about how to do so, however, those are certainly welcome.
The SBL Handbook of Style, 1st ed., suggests several abbreviations that involve small capital letters (e.g., §8.2). Zotero’s rich text markup will support the use of small capitals in a citation’s prefix or suffix fields. Zotero will turn text into small capitals if the text is enclosed by:
<span style=”font-variant:small-caps;”> and </span>