How to Cite a Bible Commentary
A Bible commentary is an independent volume or series of volumes of articles discussing and analyzing scripture and different books of the Bible. Commentaries may be the work of one author, a series of authors or may be editorial compilations. Commentaries are often cited in research and academic works using a citation style created by The Society of Biblical Literature (SBL). An SBL citation string requires seven pieces of information.
Start the citation string with the name of the author -- last name, first name. If there is more than one author, string cite them in the same order as they appear in the commentary. Add a period after the author's name.
Add the exact name of the commentary or article, in italics, double-spaced after the period, after the author's name. Add a period after the exact name of the commentary or article.
Add the general name of the commentary or commentary collection, double-spaced after the period, after the exact name of the commentary.
Add the volume number, if any, directly after the name of the commentary or commentary collection. Do not separate the volume number by a comma. For example, to cite an article that appears in the third volume of "Spiritual War in the New Testament and Today," list it in the citation string as Spiritual War in the New Testament and Today 3. Put a period after the volume number.
Add the city and state of publication after the volume number, double-spaced after the period. If the publisher is outside the United States, add the country, separated by a comma after the city of publication. Put a colon directly after the city or city/country of publication.
Add the name of the publisher, double-double spaced after the colon.
Add the year of publication, separated by a comma, after the name of the publisher. Add a period after the year of publication.
- For in-text cites of bibliography material, use the author's last name, year of publication and page number in parenthesis. The SBL citation protocol is substantially similar to the Modern Languages (MLA) style.
- The Society of Biblical Literature citation style is used by many, but not all, academic institutions. Refer to the institution's specific guidelines for the required citation style.
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