Conversations with the Biblical World

A Peer-Reviewed Journal of Studies of the Archaeology, Culture, History, and Literature of the Bible and the Ancient Near East

Guidelines for Contributors

Updated 07 March 2018

  1. To be considered for publication in the annual issue of Conversations with the Biblical World (CBW), a paper must have been delivered that year at an annual meeting (regional or national) of one of the sponsoring societies (i.e., EGLBS, Midwest SBL, Pacific Northwest SBL) or related professional associations (CBA, SBL, or ASOR).
  2. Submissions are due by July 1 of the year in which you made the presentation, unless your presentation was made after June 1. In that case, it must be submitted by December 1 to be considered for the following year's issue of the journal. If your presentation has been accepted for a meeting in July or August (e.g., at the CBA general meeting) and you would prefer to have it published in the year of the actual presentation, you are welcome make an advance submission. Just mention that detail in your cover letter.
  3. Submissions should be entered through the online system here. Other inquiries may be directed to the General Editor by emailing
  4. Each submission must include six separate documents, seven if the presentation won a regional award or paper prize of some sort.
    1. The essay, headed by the title, without the author's name or any other identifying data. The essay file should be named according to the following convention: PresentationYear.PresentationDate.Meeting.Essay.AuthorSurname.docx.
    2. A PDF copy of the identical essay, only with the author's name and contact information on the title page. The PDF file should be named according to according to the following convention: PresentationYear.PresentationDate.Meeting.Essay.AuthorSurname.pdf.
    3. An abstract of 100–150 words, headed by the essay title and author's name, mailing address (institution, city, state/province, postal code, and country), and email address. The abstract file should be named according to the following convention: PresentationYear.PresentationDate.Meeting.Abstract.AuthorSurname.docx.
    4. A brief statement (~75 words) identifying the author's name, title, current institutional affiliation, and publication information on the author's most recent book or other significant scholarly contribution. This file should be named according to the following convention: PresentationYear.PresentationDate.Meeting.Bio.AuthorSurname.docx.
    5. A cover letter indicating the date the paper was presented, including which society and venue (e.g., MWSBL-SRSC, PNW-SBL regional meeting, or CBA annual meeting) and certifying that the article is not being submitted simultaneously to some other journal. This file should be named according to the following convention: PresentationYear.PresentationDate.Meeting.Cover.AuthorSurname.docx.
    6. The copyright assignment form granting CBW publication rights in your essay. A customized form may be created through this online form, or a blank copy can be downloaded from this linked page and completed on paper.
    7. If the essay won some sort of prize at the meeting where you presented it, include a document that indicates the nature of the prize and any other pertinent details. This file should be named according to the following convention: PresentationYear.PresentationDate.Meeting.Award.AuthorSurname.docx.
  5. Page numbers following the form "Page X of Y" should appear on the bottom center of each page of the manuscript. No other header or footer information should appear.
  6. If section headings are used within the essay, they should be preceded and followed by an extra blank line. Take care to follow a consistent hierarchy if using multiple levels of headings. DO NOT use automatic numbering systems in your word processor, since these get garbled and/or lost in the editing process.
  7. Use style settings rather than individually formatting paragraphs, footnotes, etc. (E.g., do not use tabs to indent the opening line of a paragraph.)
  8. Footnotes (not endnotes) should be used throughout the essay.
    1. Each footnote must begin on the page that references it. A long note may carry over to the following page(s).
    2. Use a footnote style that superscripts both the footnote reference numbers in the text and the anchor numbers in the footnotes.
    3. Do not add manual line breaks between the footnotes.
    4. If you are using a bibliographic database to manage your references, make sure to paste the bibliographic information without the links. Also, make sure to correct the format for footnotes rather than leaving the data in bibliographic format.
  9. Make sure your references are complete, including:
    1. The full series title, volume number, and series editor for a work in a series;
    2. The page(s) you are citing;
    3. If you are citing an essay in a collected volume, also provide the inclusive page numbers for the full essay in that collection;
    4. Full names, not initials, for authors and editors; and
    5. Full titles, not abbreviations, for any non-biblical primary text, journal, commentary series, dictionary, encyclopedia, or other non-biblical work cited, even if you think the abbreviation a matter of common knowledge. E.g., do not use merely the translator's surname and LCL to refer to a volume in the Loeb Classical Library; include a full citation for that volume.
    6. NEVER use "op. cit.," "ibid.," or idem. To refer to a previously-mentioned work or author, use an abbreviated citation that includes the author's surname, short title for the work, and the page number(s) you are referencing.
  10. For details not specified in these style guidelines, the SBL Handbook of Style should be followed. For questions that are not addressed by the Handbook, consult the Chicago Manual of Style on humanities-style citations. NB:
    1. CMS provides different options for how to cite an essay that appears in an edited volume. Conversations uses the following format: Author'sFullName, "Essay Title," full- page-range-of-essay in Editor'sFullName, ed., BookTitle (City: Publisher, Year), page-of-reference. For example: Amelie Kuhrt, "Non-Royal Women in the Late Babylonian Period," 215–39 in Barbara S. Lesko, ed., Women's Earliest Records: From Ancient Egypt and Western Asia. Proceedings of the Conference on Women in the Ancient Near East, Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island, November 5–7, 1987; Brown Judaic Studies 166 (Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1989), 225.
    2. As in the example just provided, series titles should appear after the volume title, preceded by a semi-colon, and then followed by the parentheses and publication information. The number of the particular volume you are citing should always follow the series title. If the series does not use volume numbers, use "nv" to indicate this. For example: Gordon D. Fee, The First Epistle to the Corinthians; New Interpreter's Commentary on the New Testament [nv] (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1987).
  11. Take care to follow the current standards for citing biblical texts:
    1. Use the abbreviation for a biblical book only when followed by a specific chapter and/or verse citation; otherwise the complete title of the book should be provided (e.g., Genesis, but Gen 2).
    2. Abbreviations of biblical books do not take periods (e.g., Gen 2 not Gen. 2).
    3. When citing a biblical passage, use a non-breaking space between the book title and the chapter number (e.g., Gen 2:3). Likewise, if the biblical book has more than one part, use a non-breaking space between the number and the book title (e.g., 2 Kings).
    4. The en-dash (-), not a hyphen (-) is used to indicate consecutive chapters in a book, consecutive verses in a scriptural text, consecutive page numbers in the secondary literature, consecutive years in a date, etc.
  12. Use a 12-point Times New Roman font throughout the essay (in the body, footnotes, etc.), except for non-Roman-alphabet foreign-language terms.
    1. Hebrew or Greek terms should be transliterated or rendered in the respective SBL Unicode fonts, freely available at
    2. Typically, other non-Roman-alphabet terms should be transliterated. Consult the General Editor if you have specific concerns in this regard.
  13. Other common style mistakes to be avoided:
    1. Give an author's full name at first mention in the body of the text. Thereafter, the surname alone can be used. Never use an author's given name to reference the individual's work.
    2. Follow a period or other ending punctuation mark with a single (not double) space.
    3. Dates AD/CE follow the abbreviation for the era; dates BCE/BC precede the abbreviation (e.g., 6 BCE but CE 6).
    4. Avoid intervening periods for AD/CE, BC/BCE, ANE, or AM/PM.
  14. Customarily, papers must be limited to 7500 words (including notes and abstract). A presidential address or other invited paper may extend to 10,000 words.
  15. Submissions undergo blind peer review by members of the CBW editorial board. A submission may be accepted or rejected as is, or the author may be asked to make editorial changes and resubmit the essay. If an essay is not resubmitted within six weeks of the requested changes, the author forfeits the opportunity to publish it in CBW.
  16. If an essay passes editorial review and is accepted for publication, the author is to resubmit an MS Word DOCX file in which all the editorial suggestions have been incorporated. The final submission should conform to the foregoing style instructions except #4: this final version should have NO headers, footers, or page numbers. Please use the following naming convention for that file: PresYear.PresDate.Meeting.Essay-Final.AuthorSurname.docx.

Other Important Notes

  1. When submitting an essay for publication in CBW, the author is asked to submit an "assignment of copyright" form conveying to the journal copyright for the prospective publication. For three years after the essay is printed, it should be embargoed. An author may be granted permission to reuse her/his essay (or a portion of it) by writing to the CBW Managing Editor with the details of the potential publication. Traditionally, CBW allows the author to reuse or reprint the essay free of charge at any point after the embargo period.
  2. The journal typically is printed in grey scale. Any author who deems color to be essential to convey the content of a particular essay may request special handling. However, the author may be asked to bear any extra expense incurred for producing the color copy.
  3. Upon publication, authors will receive a PDF offprint of their published essays. Anyone who wishes to obtain a print edition of the full volume can request one through the subscription link.
  4. CBW essays are available in full-text form through the ATLAS® Serials database, and are abstracted in Elenchus Bibliographicus, Old Testament Abstracts, and New Testament Abstracts.
  5. CBW has subscribers across five continents! Become one of them by completing the online subscription form.