The general style of the CDC is similar to the one treated in The Chicago Manual of Style (13th ed.) as style B (16.5). Questions of detail not covered in this document should be checked with The Chicago Manual of Style (13th ed) under examples of style B.


Contents: 1. Abbreviation; 2. Cross-References; 3. Notes; 4. Languages; 5. Appropriate Phrases and Formulas; 6. Capitalizations; 7. Abbreviations; 8. Short Bibliography.




    The abbreviations for biblical books should be as follows in the table under 6. Abbreviations for other ancient texts, modern periodicals or series, and standard reference works will not be used in the Dictionary itself, because it does not include bibliographies.  Thus, if one refers to an ancient work, one must give a title that can be readily found in a library catalog, even though, for space reasons, in many instances this title will not be the complete one.   


Abbreviations for other ancient texts, modern periodicals or series, and standard reference works will be used as needed in the Web-based Bibliography of the Cambridge Dictionary of Christianity.  See below under 8.   When using an abbreviation, also give the full title (e.g. of the series, or journal).    In this way a list of appropriate abbreviation will be developed along with the Bibliography.  (The editors will use the JBL style sheet.)


Exceptionally, for chapter(s) use "chap(s)." and for verse(s) use "v(v)." both being followed by a period (see JBL "Instructions" 8.2, 8.3, and 8.4).  But in most case a biblical reference should follow the following models:

Rom 3:12

Gen  9:8-17  (not 9:8ff = be specific)  or vv. 8—17

Matt  5:17:29  

Or Matt 5—7  or chaps. 5—7


    The abbreviations "i.e." and "e.g." should not be followed by a comma.




Related Entries should be signaled in the body of the entry with an *  after the word designating the entry.  A few essential cross references may be listed at the end of the entry between parentheses:   “(see also xxxxx).” 



There will be NO footnotes, no endnotes and no references to a bibliography, except for ancient texts.  Entries on figures (authoritative women and men who belong to history) are the only one that will include an abbreviated bibliography, listing only the works discussed (not necessarily complete titles; short titles—just enough to find in an on-line library catalog—made understandable for English speaking readers – so most often titles in translation) and the dates of these works.  (See Template # 7.)




    Due to the fact that the CDC is aimed at readers in a diversity of fields, students, and lay people one cannot presuppose that a great diversity of languages can be easily read by everyone.


    Quotations from foreign language sources (including Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek, Coptic, Latin, German, French, Spanish sources, to name a few) are to be limited to a minimum and must be translated in English.


    Parenthetical phrases or words in Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek, and Syriac, and other languages using non-roman scripts  will be exceptional and should be transliterated. For the proper way to transliterate Greek and Hebrew, click on the following links:






C.E.  (Christian/Common Era) rather than AD


B.C.E.  (Before the Christian/Common Era) rather than BC


Hebrew Bible (= HB) is preferred to “Old Testament”;  yet, from a Christian  perspective, the designations Old  Testament  (= OT) and New Testament (= NT) are appropriate.


Sex inclusive language will be used for humans; various techniques can be used without compounded forms such as the awkward “she/he”; in English, this is facilitated by the inclusive character of plural forms.  Although we respect self-representation of the traditions, we strongly encourage, whenever possible, the use of inclusive language for God (avoiding the use of pronominal forms, by repeating the name “God”; by saying “God-self” instead of “himself”).   


The CDC is committed to “self representation,” allowing contributors to emphasize the features of Christianity that are most significant in their own tradition.  This also means that all its entries need to remain descriptive.  In other words, the contributors are asked to avoid apologetic statements and absolute claims (non-falsifiable statements), for instance by making explicit that “X (a particular group a person) believes that…” or “X reports that….”


More generally: 


The title or qualification “saint” will be avoided.  When it is used it must be qualified:  “e.g. viewed as a saint by.”  (Do not forget that in quite a few cases, persons viewed as saints by one group are viewed as evil or heretic by another group.)


Conversely, contributors are asked to avoid demeaning or demonizing descriptions of other Christian persons, groups, or movements and of other religions.   Demeaning, demonizing, or simply belittling vocabulary must be avoided when possible.  When it must be used it should be qualified:


The designation “heretic” will be avoided.  When it is used it must be qualified:  “e.g. viewed as a heretic by…”   (see entry *Heresy*). (The problem is that a “heretic” for a group/church might be a “Saint” for another group/church.)


The designation “syncretistic” will be avoided.  Use instead “inculturated” or the like. When it is used, it should be made clear that key features of Western Christianity are themselves syncretistic (see Easter*; Christmas*, as well as many aspects of Western theology (e.g., borrowed from Greek philosophy).


Examples of possible alternate vocabulary:


Instead of "pagan," use "polytheist" (but awkward in ancient and medieval contexts)


Instead of "extreme," use "rigorous," "rigorist," "consistent."  




God, Father, Son, Holy Spirit, Christ, Lord, etc.  are capitalized;  but avoid designating God with personal pronouns (he, him);  in this case no capitalization of he or him.


Bible is capitalized, but adjective are not (‘biblical”)


Periods or Historical Epochs are capitalized:  Middle Ages, Renaissance, Enlightenment,


Movements are capitalized:  Charismatic Movement,  Diphysite and Monophysite, Adventism, Adventist,  Lutheran, Calvinist, Reformed, Catholic, Methodist (as designation of the churches or movements);  but the adjective “charismatic” or “reformed”  or “catholic” as a qualifier without exclusive reference to a movement/church are not capitalized.    


 7. ABBREVIATIONS.  Very few abbreviations will be used: 

Cen                  Century  (20th cen)

NT                   New Testament

OT                   Old Testament (when these books are envisioned as Christian Scriptures)

HB                   Hebrew Bible (when these books are not envisioned as Christian Scriptures)




HB/OT Hebrew Bible / Old Testament


Gen                 Genesis

Exod               Exodus

Lev                 Leviticus

Num                Numbers

Deut                Deuteronomy

Josh                Joshua

Judg                Judges

Ruth                Ruth

1-2 Sam          1-2 Samuel

  1-2 Kgdms     1-2 Kingdoms (LXX) 1-2 Kgs1-2 Kings

  3-4 Kgdms     3-4 Kingdoms (LXX)

1-2 Chr           1-2 Chronicles

Ezra                Ezra

Neh                 Nehemiah

Esth                Esther

Job                  Job

Ps/Pss             Psalms

Prov                Proverbs

Eccl                Ecclesiastes (or Qoheleth)

Song               Song of Songs (Song of Solomon, or Canticles)

Isa                   Isaiah

Jer                   Jeremiah

Lam                Lamentations

Ezek                Ezekiel

Dan                 Daniel

Hos                 Hosea

Joel                 Joel

Amos              Amos

Obad               Obadiah

Jonah              Jonah

Mic                 Micah

Nah                 Nahum

Hab                 Habakkuk

Zeph               Zehaniah

Hag                 Haggai

Zech                Zechariah

Mal                 Malachi



NT                   New Testament


Matt                Matthew

Mark               Mark

Luke               Luke

John                John

Acts                Acts

Rom                Romans

1-2 Cor           1-2 Corinthians

Gal                  Galatians

Eph                 Ephesians

Phil                 Philippians

Col                  Colossians

1-2 Thess        1-2 Thessalonians

1-2 Tim           1-2 Timothy

Titus               Titus

Phlm               Philemon

Heb                 Hebrews

Jas                   James

1-2 Pet            1-2 Peter

1-2-3 John      1-2-3 John

Jude                Jude

Rev                 Revelation


Apocrypha and Septuagint


Bar                  Baruch

Add Dan         Additions to Daniel

Pr Zaar           Prayer of Azariah

Bel                 Bel and the Dragon

Sg Three       Song of the Three Young Men    SusSusanna

1-2 Esd           1-2 Esdras

Add Esth         Additions to Esther

Ep Jer             Epistle of Jeremiah

Jdt                   Judith

1-2 Macc        1-2 Maccabees

3-4 Macc        3-4 Maccabees

Pr Man            Prayer of Manasseh

Ps 151             Psalm 151

Sir                   Sircah/Ecclesiasticus

Tob                 Tobit

Wis                 Wisdom of Solomon




There will be NO bibliography in the volume of the CDC.   Yet, there will be a Web-based Bibliography of the Cambridge Dictionary of Christianity on a web-site that will be regularly up-dated.  Consequently with each entry the contributors to the CDC are asked to provide a short bibliography (it is not included in the word-count of the entry).  In it the contributor should list the main resources for further studies of this topic:   usually not more than 5 to 10 titles with full biographical data.


Bibliographical entries should be as full as possible. Give full first names of authors, give names of editors and translators, give full series information, full publication data.


     When the bibliography is for an entry on an author, the bibliography should be in two parts:

1)        Publications by this author (primary sources; by publication date, from the earliest to the latest work)

2)        Publications about this author by other persons (secondary sources).


In this "Short Bibliography" (of secondary sources),  entries should appear in alphabetical order by author; author's last name should be flush with the left margin, followed by given names; the publication date of the work is given indented under the author's name; the title of the entry is further indented on that same line and this indentation is maintained for as many lines as the title needs. If there is more than one entry for an author, that author's entries should be ordered chronologically from the earliest to the latest work. If there are two or more entries for a single author in a given year, those entries are alphabetized by title, and the letters a, b, c, etc., appended to the year.


If abbreviations are used (for book series, or journal), please also give full name of the title of the Series or of the Journal,  so that they might be included in a list of abbreviations.


    In bibliography use the following order;


           (1) books by author in chronological order (from the earliest to the latest work);


           (2) books edited by that author;


           (3) books edited by that author and another.


    Please note the following:


Author(s): At least one given name should be spelled out; if more than one author, the first is reversed but the others are not (e.g. Smith, Ronald D. and Robert Blanche).


Editor(s): If this comes before the title of the book, it should appear as "ed." or "eds." (no parentheses); if after title, it should be "Ed." which stands for "edited by".


Translator(s): If this comes before the title of the book, it should appear as "trans." (no parentheses); if after the title, it should be "Trans." which stands for "translated by".


Series: use the full title. No commas before series number in either case.


Article in a book: Following the title of the article or chapter, use: Pp. 245-89 in Title of Book. Ed. Randal J. Fritz.


Facts of publication: Use the shortest designation, e.g. "Fortress" and not "Fortress Press." With university presses, use the full designation, "Harvard University Press" (not Univ.).


Article: title should be in quotes and end with a period; use only volume number and not part number, e.g. 36 and not 36/3; note that volume number is followed by a colon, no space, and then page numbers, e.g. 36:41-67. (NOTE: For article in a Journal, page number is not preceded by Pp.)


Page numbers: See the Chicago Manual of Style 8.67 and 16.108;


         Under 100, use all digits: 3-17, 23-25;


         100 or multiple, use all: 100-103;


         101 to 109, use partial: 104-7, 505-17;


         110 to 199, use two digits: 321-25.






Allen, Richard F.


   1971 Fire and Iron: Critical Approaches to Njals Saga. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press.


Book in a series


Beyerlin, Walter


   1959 Die Kulttraditionen Israels in der Verkundigung des Propheten Micha. FRLANT 72. Gottingen: Vandenhoeck &    Ruprecht.


Book with Editors


Hedrick, Charles W. and Robert Hodgson Jr., eds.


   1986 Nag Hammadi, Gnosticism, and Early Christianity. Peabody, MA: Hendrickson.


Article in a Book


Long, Burke O.


   1977 "Prophetic Authority as Social Reality." Pp. 3-20 in Canon and Authority. Ed. George W. Coats and Burke O. Long. Philadelphia: Fortress.


Article in a Journal


Flanagan, James W.


   1978 "The Relocation of the Davidic Capital." JAAR 46:224-44.