SBL Documentation Style

SBL Logo



Back to Citations Page

Abbreviations: Books of the Bible*

*Note: These abbreviations are not italicized and do not need a period.

Old Testament

Gen Genesis Song Songs of Songs
Exod Exodus Isa Isaiah
Lev Leviticus Jer Jeremiah
Num Numbers Lam Lamentations
Deut Deuteronomy Ezek Ezekiel
Josh Joshua Dan Daniel
Judg Judges Hos Hosea
Ruth Ruth Joel Joel
1-2 Sam 1-2 Samuel Amos Amos
1-2 Kgs 1-2 Kings Obad Obadiah
1-2 Chr 1-2 Chronicles Jonah Jonah
Ezra Ezra Mic Micah
Neh Nehemiah Nah Nahum
Esth Esther Hab Habakkuk
Job Job Zeph Zephaniah
Ps/Pss Psalms Hag Haggai
Prov Proverbs Zech Zechariah
Eccl Ecclesiastes Mal Malachi

New Testament

Matt Matthew 1-2 Thess 1-2 Thessalonians
Mark Mark 1-2 Tim 1-2 Timothy
Luke Luke Titus Titus
John John Phlm Philemon
Acts Acts Heb Hebrews
Rom Romans Jas James
1-2 Cor 1-2 Corinthians 1-2 Pet 1-2 Peter
Gal Galatians 1-3 John 1-3 John
Eph Ephesians Jude Jude
Phil Philippians Rev Revelation
Col Colossians


Back to top of page

  • At the end of your paper, you must provide a list of works cited in your paper but not those merely consulted (unless specifically indicated by your professor).  Only include works that are recoverable in the Bibliography (no personal communications, interviews, or e-mails).  Also, do not include the Bible as it is a standard source for SBL.
  •  Make sure the individual entries are single-spaced with a double space between each entry.
  •  The word BIBLIOGRAPHY (in caps) should be centered two inches from the top of the page, not underlined, italicized, or bolded and in 12-point font.  Double space after the word.
  •  Include a subsequent page number on the Bibliography page.  For example, if the last page of the paper was 15, then the Bibliography should be on page 16.
  •  Use a hanging indent for all entries: the first line of an entry is flush left, and all other lines in the entry are indented one half inch.
  •  Capitalize all main wording, and write out the author’s full name.
  •  Check the SBL handbook for the abbreviations of states (usually 3-5 letters).
  •  While underlining and italicizing for books, journals, magazines, and so forth really are the same thing, SBL style prefers italicizing.


Back to top of page

Citing Electronic Sources
  • With electronic sources, some of the data which should be included on the Bibliography page is frequently missing.  As a general rule, include as much data as you can find on your source, but do not be alarmed if you cannot find everything.
  •  Because of the fluctuation within electronic media, it is important to carefully determine the credibility of electronic sources.  Most articles that appear in journals or books have been reviewed and juried by several experts, enhancing their credibility.  This is not always the case with electronic sources.  Web sites ending in .edu (educational institution), .gov (government agency), and .org (non-profit organization) are more consistently credible than Web sites ending in .com or .net.  For SBL, always include the entire URL but do not underline it.


Back to top of page

Email this to someoneShare on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterShare on Facebook