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Biblical Theology Bulletin

Biblical Theology Bulletin

Journal of Bible and Culture
Published in Association with Biblical Theology Bulletin Inc.

eISSN: 19457596 | ISSN: 01461079 | Current volume: 50 | Current issue: 3 Frequency: Quarterly

Biblical Theology Bulletin is a distinctive, peer-reviewed, quarterly journal containing articles and reviews written by experts in biblical and theological studies. The editors select articles that provide insights derived from critical biblical scholarship, culture-awareness, and thoughtful reflection on meanings of import for scholars of Bible and religion, religious educators, clergy, and those engaged with social studies in religion, inter-religious studies, and the praxis of biblical religion today.

The journal began publication in 1971. It has been distinguished for its early and continuing publication of articles using the social sciences in addition to other critical methods for interpreting the Bible for contemporary readers, teachers, and preachers across cultural and denominational lines.

"Biblical Theology Bulletin has been a leader in publishing articles applying social science to Scripture Study. It is a valuable source for researchers and theological libraries." Jerome Kodell, OSB

In 2012, BTB introduced a new subtitle, A Journal of Bible and Culture. BTB has been distinguished for its frequent use of the social sciences for interpreting biblical texts in their social world contexts. Critical biblical scholarship long has been notable for its goal of interpreting texts in their literary, historical, canonical contexts. Each of these has lent perspective to meanings and has tended to relieve misunderstandings born of lack of knowledge or faulty assumptions. Using biblical texts out of context is to misconstrue meanings often based on prejudice, reading meaning into the text rather than from it.

While BTB continues to publish articles that employ a range of critical methodologies for biblical studies, it includes methods from the social sciences that delve into the meanings of culturally-embedded symbols and values inherent in biblical texts. As a Journal of Bible and Culture BTB thus acknowledges that cultural contexts significantly shape meanings and their appropriate applications.

In addition, it is our belief that it is important to distinguish and separately value both biblical studies and theology, biblical scholars and theologians. These two disciplines or groups of scholars may frequently include the same thinking, or people, but can also diverge quite strongly in their respective standpoints, their exegetical methods and approaches, and in their conclusions. BTB seeks to include and provide a forum for the expression of the best and most up-to-date thinking from those two strands of scholarly enterprise, particularly because of its desire to keep any and all interested readers in touch with the forefront of studies on the Bible and its interaction within human culture.

"Given the journal’s longtime practice of including many essays and reviews that especially focus on the interrelationships between biblical texts and their ancient cultural contexts, as well on the contemporary contexts in which the Bible is read, the use of the sub-title 'A Journal of Bible and Culture' is entirely appropriate." Alicia Batten, University of Sudbury, Canada

Biblical Theology Bulletin has evolved impressively over the years from its initial orientation toward Bible and Theology to its current reputation as the leading journal publishing cutting edge research utilizing social science methodologies to analyze the Bible. The Journal now pioneers the development of appropriate tools and methods for producing all varieties of ideological interpretation. The new sub-title, 'Journal of Bible and Culture' aptly describes this shift in focus.” John J. Pilch,
The Odyssey Program, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, USA

This journal is a member of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE)

Biblical Theology Bulletin is a distinctive, peer-reviewed, quarterly journal containing articles and reviews written by experts in biblical and theological studies. The editors select articles that provide insights derived from critical biblical scholarship, culture-awareness, and thoughtful reflection on meanings of import for scholars of Bible and religion, religious educators, clergy, and those engaged with social studies in religion, inter-religious studies, and the praxis of biblical religion today. 

The journal began publication in 1971. It has been distinguished for its early and continuing publication of articles using the social sciences in addition to other critical methods for interpreting the Bible for contemporary readers, teachers, and preachers across cultural and denominational lines.

David Bossman Seton Hall University, USA
Assistant Editor
Ryan McLaughlin College of St. Elizabeth, USA
Book Review Editor
Eric C. Stewart Augustana College, USA
Editors Emeriti
Associate Editors
Alicia Batten Conrad Grebel University of Waterloo, Canada
Benjamin J. Burkholder Greystone Theological Institute, USA
Pieter F. Craffert UNISA, South Africa
Zeba Crook Carleton University, Canada
James Crossley St. Mary's University, UK
John H. Elliott University of San Francisco, USA
Philip Esler University of Gloucestershire, UK
Robert Gnuse Loyola University of New Orleans, USA
Santiago Guijarro Pontifical University of Salamanca, Spain
Holly E. Hearon Christian Theological Seminary, USA
Paul Holloway University of the South, USA
Jutta Jokiranta University of Helsinki, Finland
Simon Joseph California Lutheran University, USA
John S. Kloppenborg University of Toronto, Canada
Amy-Jill Levine Vanderbilt University, USA
Vanessa Lovelace The Interdenominational Theological Center, USA
Heather A McKay Edge Hill University, UK
Halvor Moxnes University of Oslo, Norway
Harry Nasuti Fordham University, USA
Suzie Park Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary, USA
Ahida E. Pilarski St. Anselm College, USA
Vincent Pizzuto University of San Francisco, USA
James A. Sanders Claremont School Of Theology, USA
Anna Rebecca Solevåg VID Specialised University, Norway
Peter S. Zaas Siena College, USA
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  • Manuscript Submission Guidelines: Biblical Theology Bulletin

    This Journal is a member of the Committee on Publication Ethics

    Please read the guidelines below then visit the Journal’s submission site to upload your manuscript. Please note that manuscripts not conforming to these guidelines may be returned.

    Only manuscripts of sufficient quality that meet the aims and scope of Biblical Theology Bulletin will be reviewed.

    There are no fees payable to submit or publish in this journal.

    As part of the submission process you will be required to warrant that you are submitting your original work, that you have the rights in the work, that you are submitting the work for first publication in the Journal and that it is not being considered for publication elsewhere and has not already been published elsewhere, and that you have obtained and can supply all necessary permissions for the reproduction of any copyright works not owned by you.

    Please see our guidelines on prior publication and note that  Biblical Theology Bulletin may accept submissions of papers that have been posted on pre-print servers; please alert the Editorial Office when submitting (contact details are at the end of these guidelines). Authors should not post an updated version of their paper on the preprint server while it is being peer reviewed for possible publication in the journal. If the article is accepted for publication, the author may re-use their work according to the journal's author archiving policy.

    If your paper is accepted, you must include a link on your preprint to the final version of your paper.

    If you have any questions about publishing with SAGE, please visit the SAGE Journal Solutions Portal

    1. What do we publish?
      1.1 Aims & Scope
      1.2 Article types
      1.3 Writing your paper
    2. Editorial policies
      2.1 Peer review policy
      2.2 Authorship
      2.3 Acknowledgements
      2.4 Declaration of conflicting interests
    3. Publishing policies
      3.1 Publication ethics
      3.2 Contributor's publishing agreement
      3.3 Open access and author archiving
    4. Preparing your manuscript
      4.1 Formatting
      4.2 Artwork, figures and other graphics
      4.3 Supplementary material
      4.4 Reference style
      4.5 English language editing services
    5. Submitting your manuscript
      5.1 Information required for completing your submission
      5.2 Permissions
    6. On acceptance and publication
      6.1 SAGE Production
      6.2 Online First publication
      6.3 Access to your published article
      6.4 Promoting your article
    7. Further information


    1. What do we publish?

    1.1 Aims & Scope

    Before submitting your manuscript to Biblical Theology Bulletin, please ensure you have read the Aims & Scope.

    1.2 Article Types

    The Biblical Theology Bulletin offers articles and reviews by experts for a non-expert readership in biblical and theological studies.

    1.3 Writing your paper

    The SAGE Author Gateway has some general advice and on how to get published, plus links to further resources.

    1.3.1 Make your article discoverable

    When writing up your paper, think about how you can make it discoverable. The title, keywords and abstract are key to ensuring readers find your article through search engines such as Google. For information and guidance on how best to title your article, write your abstract and select your keywords, have a look at this page on the Gateway: How to Help Readers Find Your Article Online.

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    2. Editorial policies

    2.1 Peer review policy

    The Biblical Theology Bulletin is a refereed journal with a blind peer review policy.

    2.2 Authorship

    Papers should only be submitted for consideration once consent is given by all contributing authors. Those submitting papers should carefully check that all those whose work contributed to the paper are acknowledged as contributing authors.

    The list of authors should include all those who can legitimately claim authorship. This is all those who:

    • Made a substantial contribution to the concept or design of the work; or acquisition, analysis or interpretation of data,
    • Drafted the article or revised it critically for important intellectual content,
    • Approved the version to be published,
    • Each author should have participated sufficiently in the work to take public responsibility for appropriate portions of the content.

    Authors should meet the conditions of all of the points above. When a large, multicentre group has conducted the work, the group should identify the individuals who accept direct responsibility for the manuscript. These individuals should fully meet the criteria for authorship.

    Acquisition of funding, collection of data, or general supervision of the research group alone does not constitute authorship, although all contributors who do not meet the criteria for authorship should be listed in the Acknowledgments section. Please refer to the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) authorship guidelines for more information on authorship.

    2.3 Acknowledgements

    All contributors who do not meet the criteria for authorship should be listed in an Acknowledgements section. Examples of those who might be acknowledged include a person who provided purely technical help, or a department chair who provided only general support.

    Any acknowledgements should appear first at the end of your article prior to your Declaration of Conflicting Interests (if applicable), any notes and your References.

    2.3.1 Third party submissions

    Where an individual who is not listed as an author submits a manuscript on behalf of the author(s), a statement must be included in the Acknowledgements section of the manuscript and in the accompanying cover letter. The statements must:

    •    Disclose this type of editorial assistance – including the individual’s name, company and level of input 
    •    Identify any entities that paid for this assistance 
    •    Confirm that the listed authors have authorized the submission of their manuscript via third party and approved any statements or declarations, e.g. conflicting interests, funding, etc.

    Where appropriate, SAGE reserves the right to deny consideration to manuscripts submitted by a third party rather than by the authors themselves.

    2.4 Declaration of conflicting interests

    Biblical Theology Bulletin encourages authors to include a declaration of any conflicting interests and recommends you review the good practice guidelines on the SAGE Journal Author Gateway.

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    3. Publishing Policies

    3.1 Publication ethics

    SAGE is committed to upholding the integrity of the academic record. We encourage authors to refer to the Committee on Publication Ethics’ International Standards for Authors and view the Publication Ethics page on the SAGE Author Gateway.

    3.1.1 Plagiarism

    Biblical Theology Bulletin and SAGE take issues of copyright infringement, plagiarism or other breaches of best practice in publication very seriously. We seek to protect the rights of our authors and we always investigate claims of plagiarism or misuse of published articles. Equally, we seek to protect the reputation of the journal against malpractice. Submitted articles may be checked with duplication-checking software. Where an article, for example, is found to have plagiarised other work or included third-party copyright material without permission or with insufficient acknowledgement, or where the authorship of the article is contested, we reserve the right to take action including, but not limited to: publishing an erratum or corrigendum (correction); retracting the article; taking up the matter with the head of department or dean of the author's institution and/or relevant academic bodies or societies; or taking appropriate legal action.

    3.1.2 Prior publication

    If material has been previously published it is not generally acceptable for publication in a SAGE journal. However, there are certain circumstances where previously published material can be considered for publication. Please refer to the guidance on the SAGE Author Gateway or if in doubt, contact the Editor at the address given below.

    3.2 Contributor's publishing agreement

    Before publication, SAGE requires the author as the rights holder to sign a Journal Contributor’s Publishing Agreement. SAGE’s Journal Contributor’s Publishing Agreement is an exclusive licence agreement which means that the author retains copyright in the work but grants SAGE the sole and exclusive right and licence to publish for the full legal term of copyright. Exceptions may exist where an assignment of copyright is required or preferred by a proprietor other than SAGE. In this case copyright in the work will be assigned from the author to the society. For more information please visit the SAGE Author Gateway.

    3.3 Open access and author archiving

    Biblical Theology Bulletin offers optional open access publishing via the SAGE Choice programme. For more information please visit the SAGE Choice website. For information on funding body compliance, and depositing your article in repositories, please visit SAGE Publishing Policies on our Journal Author Gateway.

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    4. Preparing your manuscript for submission

    4.1 Formatting

    The preferred format for your manuscript is Word. LaTeX files are also accepted. Word and (La)Tex templates are available on the Manuscript Submission Guidelines page of our Author Gateway.

    4.2 Artwork, figures and other graphics

    For guidance on the preparation of illustrations, pictures and graphs in electronic format, please visit SAGE’s Manuscript Submission Guidelines.

    Figures supplied in colour will appear in colour online regardless of whether or not these illustrations are reproduced in colour in the printed version. For specifically requested colour reproduction in print, you will receive information regarding the costs from SAGE after receipt of your accepted article.

    4.3 Supplementary material

    This journal is able to host additional materials online (e.g. datasets, podcasts, videos, images etc) alongside the full-text of the article. For more information please refer to our guidelines on submitting supplementary files.

    4.4 Reference style

    Biblical Theology Bulletin does not include footnotes or endnotes; if the material that might be included in a note is essential to comprehension of the subject under discussion, it should be included within the text proper. Otherwise, it should be omitted. Bibliographical data must be prepared as a list of works cited after the article’s body. It should include those articles and books that are part of the documentation or form the immediate background of the article and should be prepared in the format explained below: 

    • Entries should appear in alphabetical order by author in hanging indent form: author’s last name, followed by given names, publication date of the work (not enclosed in parentheses as the APA Style Manual prescribes), place of publication, and publisher. In the case of periodicals, the volume number (in arabic numerals) follows the title of the periodical, with issue number included where necessary, separated by a slash, and page numbers indicated after a colon. Multiple works by the same author are listed in reverse chronological order. Each work appears on a separate line, with the first line (except in the first entry) slightly indented.
    • Abbreviations for biblical references follow those established for the Journal of Biblical Literature(95:335). The more significant examples follow:

    Gen Jonah Ezra 1-2 Cor
    Exod Mic Neh Gal
    Lev Nah 1-2 Chr Eph
    Num Hab 1-2 Macc Phil
    Deut Zeph Sir Col
    Josh Hag Bar 1-2 Thess
    Judg Mal Tob 1-2 Tim
    1-2 Sam Ps(s) Wis Titus
    1-2 Kgs Job Jdt Phlm
    Isa Prov Matt Heb
    Jer Cant Mark Jas
    Ezek Eccl (Qoh) Luke 1-2 Pet
    Joel Lam John 1-2-3 John
    Amos Esth Acts Jude
    Obad Dan Rom Rev

    • Titles of biblical books are not to be italicized. Abbreviations for them (see above) may be used (without punctuation), but only when chapter and verse references follow. Examples:

    Gen 1:2; Rom 5:11; Matt 6:5-8
    In Romans (not in Rom) the topic is faith

    • The first reference to a biblical work, especially if the book is relatively obscure, should be made within the text itself, citing only the place in parentheses; in this case the title should not be abbreviated. Example:

    The author of Hebrews speaks of an "obsolete covenant" (8:13).

    4.5 English language editing services

    Authors seeking assistance with English language editing, translation, or figure and manuscript formatting to fit the journal’s specifications should consider using SAGE Language Services. Visit SAGE Language Services on our Journal Author Gateway for further information.

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    5. Submitting your manuscript

    Biblical Theology Bulletin is hosted on SAGE Track, a web based online submission and peer review system powered by ScholarOne™ Manuscripts. Visit to login and submit your article online.

    IMPORTANT: Please check whether you already have an account in the system before trying to create a new one. If you have reviewed or authored for the journal in the past year it is likely that you will have had an account created.  For further guidance on submitting your manuscript online please visit ScholarOne Online Help.

    As far as possible all contributors are asked to express their ideas with the non-specialist reader in mind, explaining technical terminology, using the Latin alphabet, and translating foreign terms.

    5.1 Information required for completing your submission

    You will be asked to provide contact details and academic affiliations for all co-authors via the submission system and identify who is to be the corresponding author. These details must match what appears on your manuscript. At this stage please ensure you have included all the required statements and declarations and uploaded any additional supplementary files (including reporting guidelines where relevant).

    5.2 Permissions

    Please also ensure that you have obtained any necessary permission from copyright holders for reproducing any illustrations, tables, figures or lengthy quotations previously published elsewhere. For further information including guidance on fair dealing for criticism and review, please see the Copyright and Permissions page on the SAGE Author Gateway.

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    6. On acceptance and publication

    6.1 SAGE Production

    Your SAGE Production Editor will keep you informed as to your article’s progress throughout the production process. Proofs will be sent by PDF to the corresponding author and should be returned promptly.  Authors are reminded to check their proofs carefully to confirm that all author information, including names, affiliations, sequence and contact details are correct, and that Funding and Conflict of Interest statements, if any, are accurate. Please note that if there are any changes to the author list at this stage all authors will be required to complete and sign a form authorising the change.

    6.2 Online First publication

    Online First allows final articles (completed and approved articles awaiting assignment to a future issue) to be published online prior to their inclusion in a journal issue, which significantly reduces the lead time between submission and publication. Visit the SAGE Journals help page for more details, including how to cite Online First articles.

    6.3 Access to your published article

    SAGE provides authors with online access to their final article.

    6.4 Promoting your article

    Publication is not the end of the process! You can help disseminate your paper and ensure it is as widely read and cited as possible. The SAGE Author Gateway has numerous resources to help you promote your work. Visit the Promote Your Article page on the Gateway for tips and advice.

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    7. Further information

    Any correspondence, queries or additional requests for information on the manuscript submission process should be sent to the Biblical Theology Bulletin editorial office as follows:

    Individual Subscription, Print Only

    Theology Colleges & Seminaries Subscription, Combined (Print & E-access)

    Institutional Subscription, E-access

    Institutional Subscription, Print Only

    Institutional Subscription & Backfile Lease, E-access Plus Backfile (All Online Content)

    Institutional Subscription, Combined (Print & E-access)

    Institutional Subscription & Backfile Lease, Combined Plus Backfile (Current Volume Print & All Online Content)

    Institutional Backfile Purchase, E-access (Content through 1998)

    Individual, Single Print Issue

    Institutional, Single Print Issue