SBL Parenthetical

Introduction: SBL Footnotes

Author-date Citations go at the end of a sentence, right before the final punctuation and should include: the author/editor’s last name, year of publication, page number (note: no comma between author’s name and year of publication). Many of the following sample citations come from the SBL Handbook of Style and a more extensive list along with explanations can be found in the book in section 7.4.

Sample single work citations:

An elaborate treatment can be found in Talbert 1992 (51).

The explanation for this is not clear (Leyerle 1997, 61).

Pfuhl (1980, 65–68) notes five possible techniques.

Two citations in the same sentence:

An agrarian society is built upon agricultural production (Lenski and Lenski 1974, 207; Lenski 1966, 192).

An author with two works in the same year – add “a” and “b” (oldest to most recent):

(Pilch 1988a, 14)

(Pilch 1988b, 60)


Bible References

For all papers, students should cite the Bible according to the following guidelines. Names of the books of the Bible cited withoutchapter or chapter and verse should be spelled out in the main text. Books of the Bible cited with chapter or chapter and verse should be abbreviated (never spelled out!), unless they come at the beginning of the sentence. All occurrences of biblical books in parentheses and footnotes should be abbreviated. Authors citing more than one translation of the Bible must indicate which translation is used in a particular citation (When this citation is in parentheses, a comma is not needed to separate the citation and the abbreviation of the translation, as is indicated in the fourth example below).

The passage in 1 Cor 5 is often considered crucial.
The passage, 1 Cor 5:6, is often considered crucial.
First Corinthians 5:6 is a crucial text.
“Do you not know that a little yeast leavens the whole batch of dough?” (1 Cor 5:6).

In First Corinthians chapter five verse six, Paul writes a crucial text.
In 1 Corinthians 5:6, Paul writes a crucial text.

1. Book

Note: for more than three authors use “et al.”

Pritchard, James B., ed. 1969. Ancient Near Eastern Texts Relating to the Old Testament. 3d ed. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

(Pritchard 1969, 69)

2. Commentary

Note: the commentary series is not italicized.

Dahood, Mitchell. 1970. Psalms 1-50. Vol. 1. Anchor Bible 16-17A. Garden City: Doubleday.

(Dahood 1970, 3:130)

3. Book in a Series

Note: the series name is not italicized.

Toney, Carl N. 2008. Paul’s Inclusive Ethic: Resolving Community Conflicts and Promoting Mission in Romans 14-15. Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament 2/252. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck.

(Toney 2008, 105)

4. Essay/Article in Book

Note: you cite the author of the article, not the editor of the work.

Karris, Robert. 1991. “Romans 14:1–15:13 and the Occasion of Romans.” Pages 65–84 in The Romans Debate. Rev. ed. Edited by Karl Donfried. Peabody, Mass.: Hendrickson.

(Karris 1991, 67)

5. Article in Reference Book/Dictionary

Note: you cite the author of the article, not the editor of the work.

Crossan, John Dominic. 1992. “Parables.” Pages 146-52 in vol. 5 of The Anchor Bible Dictionary. Edited by David Noel Freedman. 6 vols. New York: Doubleday.

(Crossan 1992, 5:146)

6. Article in Lexicon/Dictionary (Word Studies)

Beyer, H. 1965. “διακονέω.” Pages 81–87 in vol. 2 of Theological Dictionary of the Newe Testament. Edited by G. Kittel and G. Friedrich. Translated by G. W. Bromiley. 10 vols. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1964–1976.

(Beyer 1965, 2:81)

7. Journal Article

Aus, Roger. 1979. “Paul’s Travel Plans to Spain and the ‘Full Number of the Gentiles’ of Rom XI 25.” Novum Testamentum 21: 251–52.

(Aus 1979, 252)

8. Internet Publication

Note: be sure to include access date, web-address, and use “n.p.” or “No pages.”

Green, Joel B. 2012. “Bible, Theology and Theological Interpretation.” SBL Forum. No pages. Cited 17 March 2012. Online:

(Green 2012, n.p.)

9. eBook/Kindle

Note: If you are citing an eBook that has a normal print version, but you cannot find the page numbers, then simply use “n.p.” in the footnote and “No pages” in the Bibliography. If you are using Kindle, you can cite the location number.

Talbert, Charles H. 2012. Reading Luke: A Literary and Theological Commentary on the Third Gospel. Kindle Edition. Print ed: Charles H. Talbert. Reading Luke: A Literary and Theological Commentary on the Third Gospel. Rev. ed. Reading the New Testament. Smyth & Helwys Publishing, 2002.

(Talbert 2012, loc. 34)