Daily Gleanings: Lingusitics (5 November 2019)

Kris Lyle has a substantive but accessible discussion of the (non‑)use of linguistics in recent biblical studies. In particular, Lyle takes aim at the Dictionary of Classical Hebrew.

Lyle makes the point that

for biblical language lexica [advances in modern linguistics] mean[] we’re able to do a lot more than record collocational patterns and provide target language glosses.

But despite the aims of the Dictionary of Classical Hebrew to take special account of modern linguistic advances,

in the end, we are left with much of the same when we consult the pages of the Dictionary of Classical Hebrew: English glosses and a comprehensive treatment of collocational arrangements.

Lyle thinks “it would indeed be a very inconvenient way of studying a Hebrew text to look up the meanings of all the words in this large and exhaustive work.”

If one uses the Logos edition when working through a Hebrew text, this inconvenience vastly dissipates.

But Lyle’s summary of the Dictionary‘s contents as mainly involving “English glosses and a comprehensive treatment of collocational arrangements” seems pretty fair.

And even though this emphasis doesn’t put the Dictionary at the forefront of linguistically-informed lexicography, it certainly does provide a huge reservoir of other kinds of valuable information about classical Hebrew.

For Lyle’s full discussion, see his essay now newly reposted at Koine Greek.

Daily Gleanings: White-listing (4 November 2019)

Freedom releases white-listing for Windows:

Whitelisting or Block All Except … allows you to block the entire internet except for the websites you add to your exceptions list.

Thus, with white-listing, you don’t need to positively identify what online distractions you want to avoid. You just need to identify what online you need to be productive.

For instructions about how to use white-listing on Windows, see Freedom’s original post.

For more about using Freedom to support your priorities, see this post.

How Should You Actually Paginate an Essay?

The guidance about page number placement in the Student Supplement for the SBL Handbook of Style is mostly clear. But some of it takes some guesswork.

General Guidance

The Student Supplement gives the following advice for presenting page numbers:I’ve excerpted this material from the Student Supplement §2.3, but I have adapted somewhat for ease of reference and presentation here.

Overall: Assign each page a number. Arabic numbers are used for the main text of the paper. Roman numerals are used for material prior to the body of the text.

Title page: Do not print the roman numeral “i” on the title page.

Body: On the first page of the main text, place the page number at the bottom center. For subsequent pages, place the page number at the top right corner.

Back matter: On the first page of each appendix and the bibliography, place the page number at the bottom center. For subsequent pages, place the page number at the top right corner.

Then, if you’re writing a “term paper[] of fifteen pages or more,” you’ll also have a “contents page.”1Student Supplement §2.7. And for this section, the Student Supplement advises,2§2.3.

Contents: The front matter after the title page should be numbered beginning with “ii.” Page numbers should appear without any punctuation marks such as periods or parentheses.3If your paper has an abbreviations section, it will follow the same pagination rules as the contents section. See the Student Supplement §§2.3, 2.7, for more information.

Placement of Front Matter Page Numbers

Strictly speaking, however, the Student Supplement doesn’t specify a location for Roman numeral page numbers.

Searching for an Answer

This information is also lacking from the SBL Handbook itself and doesn’t appear yet to have been clarified via the SBL Handbook of Style blog.

So for the position of page numbers in Roman numerals, we need to consult Turabian.For a summary of the order in which you should consult authorities for SBL style, see “How to Master SBL Style in 7 Simple Steps.” But when we do so, what we find there is not as direct an answer as we might hope.

Turabian’s Advice

If we line up the Student Supplement’s advice to Turabian, it’s pretty clear that the Student Supplement wants what it calls “term papers” to use a page numbering scheme like Turabian describes as being “traditional[ …] for theses and dissertations.”4Manual for Writers, 9th ed., §A.1.4.2.

In this scheme, page numbers go “in the footer” on “all front matter pages.”5Manual for Writers, 9th ed., §A.1.4.2.

But we still don’t have definitive guidance about whether the Roman numeral page numbers go in the bottom center or bottom right, both of which Turabian indicates as options.6Manual for Writers, 9th ed., §A.1.4.2. The full Chicago Manual of Style seems likewise silent on this point.

A Guess at an Answer

Pending further clarification about this point from SBL Press, we’re left with some guesswork based on two observations:

  1. Per Turabian’s “traditional[]” scheme, page numbers go “in the footer” on “all front matter pages.”7Manual for Writers, 9th ed., §A.1.4.2.
  2. The Student Supplement nowhere advises that any page number should go in the bottom right. When the bottom margin has a page number, the number always appears bottom center.

Therefore, the most stylistically consistent placement for page numbers in Roman numerals in front matter is bottom center.

This includes subsequent pages in the same front matter section. Thus, for example, if your table of contents runs into more than one page, its Roman numeral page numbers will always appear bottom center.

Based on what the Student Supplement and Turabian say, this guess seems pretty probable.

But a guess it remains pending further guidance not weighed in here.


Based on these instructions, what you have are either two or three different page numbering statuses (none, Roman, Arabic).

For pages with numbers, you have two different locations (bottom center, top right).

And how you format the page number and where you put it depend on what kind of page it is where that number appears.

How have you normally placed page numbers in your essays?

Header image provided by Patrick Tomasso

Daily Gleanings: Scribal Habits (1 November 2019)

Peter Gurry reflects on an article by Federico Marchetti and the problems of studying scribal habits via work on singular readings.

Gurry particularly extracts Marchetti’s comments on the danger of inadvertently imputing to subsequent scribes errors that have accumulated at different prior points in the history of transmission.

For Gurry’s full commentary on the article, see his original post.

Daily Gleanings: Ptolemy IV (31 October 2019)

The International Business Times is reporting the discovery of the tomb of Ptolemy IV Philopator. According to the Times,

The remains of this ancient temple include its walls with engravings and inscriptions carrying the name of the pharaoh Ptolemy IV, as well as the limestone walls and floors.

For more, see the Times‘s full article.

HT: Jim Davila

Daily Gleanings: Scripture (30 October 2019)

Joseph Gordon discusses his Divine Scripture in Human Understanding (University of Notre Dame Press, 2019) in an interview with Matthew Bates.

One of Joe’s constant encouragements in the discussion is to consider what it might properly mean to say x, y, or z about Scripture or the realities to which it speaks.

For the full interview, see OnScript.