The Chicago and SBL Manuals

The Chicago Manual of Style (CMS) has been updated to its 17th edition (2017). According to the second edition of the SBL Handbook of Style (SBLHS),

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.

For the balance of the SBL Press’s note about CMS17, see the SBL Press blog. For more information about CMS17 or to order a copy, see the University of Chicago Press, Amazon, or other booksellers.

SBL BibLit on iOS

One of the less-than-ideal features of using an iOS device for editing or producing documents in Biblical Studies has been the difficulty of getting standard biblical language fonts (e.g., SBL BibLit) to work on the device. There are now, however, at least a couple solutions:

  1. Chris Heard has discussed how AnyFont can resolve the issue successfully and allow users to install SBL BibLit (or other fonts) onto iOS devices and use them within standard productivity tools (e.g., Pages, Word, Keynote, PowerPoint). In the App Store, AnyFont goes for $1.99.
  2. On the freemium side of things, Fonteer will also do the same thing. Fonteer’s free version allows users to install up to 3 fonts. So, if you anticipate only using this number or fewer, the free version will do the job. Fonteer premium (also $1.99 via in-app purchase) allows unlimited fonts to be installed. Below is an example of Fonteer working with a draft excerpt from my essay in Explorations in Interdisciplinary Reading.

Example of Fonteer working with SBL BibLit

SBL Press on citing Migne’s “Patrologia Graeca”

SBL Press logoSBL Press continues to be quite responsive on its blog to questions submitted by users of the SBL Handbook of Style. One of the latest examples is the Press’s clarification of how to format citations from J.-P. Migne’s Patrologia Graeca. The 161-volume series is available online in the public domain from various sources, including Patristica.net and Document Catholica Omnia.

For a previous string of comments by the Press about citing Migne’s Patrologia Latina, see Fun with Multiple Editions of Migne’s Patrologia Latina, Migne’s “Patrologia Latina”: Mystery Solved, and A further update on Migne’s “Patrologia Latina.”

A further update on Migne’s “Patrologia Latina”

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.

For further discussion of the Patrologia Latina question, please see the SBL Handbook of Style blog and the initial question and update posts here.

Migne’s “Patrologia Latina”: Mystery solved

Recently, I mentioned some fun to be had in hunting up references to and citing instances where volumes from Migne’s Patrologia latina exist in different versions.

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.