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A Journal of Bible and Theology
Published in Association with Union Presbyterian Seminary
Other Titles in:
Arts & Humanities | Literature | Religion

eISSN: 2159340X | ISSN: 00209643 | Current volume: 78 | Current issue: 3 Frequency: Quarterly
Since 1947, Interpretation has offered pastors, scholars, and theologians a valuable resource for study, preaching, and teaching. Each issue explores a theme or biblical book with writers who have relevant expertise. Four to five major articles, "Between Text and Sermon" essays, and book reviews offer a variety of options for adding to and enhancing our readers' knowledge.

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

Since 1947, Interpretation has offered pastors, scholars, and theologians a valuable resource for study, preaching, and teaching. Each issue explores a theme or biblical book with writers who have relevant expertise. Four to five major articles, "Between Text and Sermon" essays, and book reviews offer a variety of options for adding to and enhancing our readers' knowledge.

Sam Adams Union Presbyterian Seminary, USA
Managing Editor
Marianne Blickenstaff Union Presbyterian Seminary, USA
Associate Editor, Book Reviews
Frances Taylor Gench Union Presbyterian Seminary, USA
Elizabeth Hinson-Hasty Editor of Between Text and Sermon, Professor of Ethics and Theology
Book Reviews and Office Manager
Narola Ao McFayden Union Presbyterian Seminary, USA
Editorial Board
Jill Duffield First Presbyterian Church, USA
Jacqueline E. Lapsley Union Presbyterian Seminary, USA
Joel LeMon Emory University, USA
Christine Luckritz-Marquis Union Presbyterian Seminary, USA
Otis Moss Trinity United Church of Christ, USA
Emerson B. Powery Messiah College, USA
Angela Sims Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School, USA
Ted A. Smith Candler School of Theology, USA
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  • Manuscript Submission Guidelines: Interpretation

    Please read the guidelines below prior to submitting your manuscript. Interpretation is a topical journal that publishes commissioned essays and reviews. Our editorial board selects issue themes several years in advance and commissions contributors to write on particular topics. Please note, our thematic content and commissioning policy render publication of unsolicited articles rare.

    Only manuscripts of sufficient quality that meet the aims and scope of Interpretation will be reviewed.

    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 Interpretation 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) and include the DOI for the preprint in the designated field in the manuscript submission system. 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.

    There are no fees payable to submit or publish in this Journal. Open Access options are available - see section 3.3 below.

    1. What do we publish?
      1.1 Aims & Scope
      1.2 Article types
      1.3 Writing your paper
    2. Editorial policies
      2.1 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 Permissions
    6. On acceptance and publication
      6.1 Online First publication
      6.2 Access to your published article
      6.3 Promoting your article
    7. Further information


    1. What do we publish?

    1.1 Aims & Scope

    Before submitting your manuscript to Interpretation, please ensure you have read and followed the Interpretation guidelines and style guide sent to you upon your acceptance of an invitation to write for the journal.

    1.1.1 Commissioning policy

    Interpretation is a topical journal that publishes commissioned essays and reviews. Our editorial board selects issue themes several years in advance and commissions contributors to write on particular topics. Our thematic content and commissioning policy render publication of unsolicited articles rare.

    1.2 Article Types

    The journal’s primary intended audience consists of scholars, pastors, students, and interested lay readers. While presenting biblical and theological scholarship of the highest quality, the journal seeks to edify pastors, students, and teachers in their ministry to the church. Therefore, your essay should be written in a style that is clear, engaging, and accessible for non-specialist readers.

    Major Articles

    1) Each major article in Interpretation is allowed approximately ten journal pages (approximately 20 pages in a Word document).

    2) Please keep within the limit of 6,000 words, including notes. Notes should be kept to a minimum (no more than 100 words of notes per 500 words of the main text). Authors are asked to provide a short Abstract and five to seven Keywords that reflect the key themes of their paper and can be used to facilitate internet searches of the journal.

    3) The purpose of these essays is to stimulate theological reflection on the significance of this text for the life of t believer today. Such reflection requires that the author locate the points of intersection between the text and the contemporary context. In effect, the author is to initiate a dialogue between text and context and to engage the reader in an exploration of the issues, questions, and ambiguities that emerge from this dialogue.

    “Between Text and Sermon
    1) Each issue of Interpretation contains a section entitled “Between Text and Sermon,” which consists of two to four essays designed to assist a pastor in the preparation of a sermon.

    (2) The essays should be written in such a way as to assist the pastor in bridging the disjunction between an ancient text and the situation of Christians living in the twenty-first century. The essay itself should not be a sermon.

    (3) Each essay in the “Between Text and Sermon” section of Interpretation is allowed three journal pages. Please keep within the limit of 1500 words.

    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 a Major Article, 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 (this does not apply to Between Text and Sermon articles). 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 Declaration of conflicting interests

    Interpretation 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

    Interpretation 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 managing 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

    Interpretation offers optional open access publishing via the Sage Choice programme and Open Access agreements, where authors can publish open access either discounted or free of charge depending on the agreement with Sage. Find out if your institution is participating by visiting Open Access Agreements at Sage. For more information on Open Access publishing options at Sage please visit Sage Open Access. For information on funding body compliance, and depositing your article in repositories, please visit Sage’s Author Archiving and Re-Use Guidelines and Publishing Policies.

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    4. Preparing your manuscript for submission

    4.1 Formatting

    The preferred format for your manuscript is Word. Word 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.

    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

    Place notes as footnotes. Please conform to the footnote style in The SBL Handbook of Style for books: author, title (trans.; ed.; series name; place of publication: publisher, year), page number(s). For journal articles: author, “title,” journal name volume number issue number (year): page number(s).

    Please refer to the Interpretation Style Guide provided to authors who have accepted an invitation to write an article.

    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

    All manuscripts and illustrations should be submitted to the managing editor by e-mail attachment to:

    Marianne Blickenstaff

    If you would like to discuss your paper prior to submission, or your paper is unsolicited, please refer to the contact details above.

    5.1 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 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.

    6.2 Access to your published article

    Sage provides authors with online access to their final article and a single hard copy of the journal.

    6.3 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 Interpretation Managing Editor as follows:

    Marianne Blickenstaff

    To discuss manuscripts for “Between Text and Sermon” please contact:

    Richard Voelz

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