Talk:Society of Biblical Literature

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Primary sources[edit]

As far as I can tell, this entire article is sourced to sources affiliated with the SBL -- mostly to its own website & self-published history. HrafnTalkStalk(P) 13:39, 20 November 2010 (UTC)

Then add better sources.
I added better sources, here. I don't see what the issue is. The SBL is easily notable and the content in the stub easily justified from sources. Cheers In ictu oculi (talk) 20:19, 6 September 2011 (UTC)

Edit revert[edit]

The "issue" is that:

  1. http://www.sbl-site.org/publications/publishingwithsbl.aspx does not verify that "The SBL Handbook of Style ... is taken not just a generic style guidebook for academic writing but also includes a standardised list of abbreviations for specific primary sources, and recommendations on transliteration systems, such as ISO 259 for transliteration of Hebrew into English, and the SBL Book Review." -- this appears to be simply your own interpretation of this handbook -- and thus 'blatant WP:Synthesis.
  2. "From the beginning of his career, Bob has been actively involved in the guild of biblical scholars, ... With impressive consistency, his name appears on the SBL program year after year, most often as a specially invited participant. ..." does not support that "The SBL is often irrevently referred to as "the guild" by biblical scholars both inside and outside, given the dominance of the association in the field."
  3. Nor does "It produced an admirably rich collection of investigations on the history of interpretation, ranging from the lxx all the way down to the present Isaianic guild at the SBL, via the broad spectrums of scribal locations such as Qumran, " support this claim.

HrafnTalkStalk(P) 04:37, 7 September 2011 (UTC)

[Moved from User talk:Hrafn ]

(diff | hist) . . Society of Biblical Literature‎; 04:38 . . (-1,546) . . Hrafn (talk | contribs) (Undid revision 448805576 by In ictu oculi (talk)Rvt per talk -- cited sources DO NOT SUPPORT these claims!)

Hi, Then what do the ref sources mean? These are very vanilla facts about a very well known and notable body, what's the problem? In ictu oculi (talk) 04:47, 7 September 2011 (UTC)


  1. Discussion of an article belongs on article talk, especially when the referred-to-dif EXPLICITLY states "per talk"
  2. The first citation only 'means' that the handbook exists.
  3. The second citation means that the SBL was once referred to as "the guild of biblical scholars" -- in all apparent seriousness.
  4. The third citation means that there is, within the SBL, a group that was once referred to as "the present Isaianic guild at the SBL" -- again in apparent seriousness.
  5. There is no indication that the SBL is referred to simply as "the guild", let alone evidence that it is done "often", let alone that it is done irreverently.

HrafnTalkStalk(P) 04:59, 7 September 2011 (UTC)

Hi Hrafn
1. Can we start by just checking something - Do you 'want other editors to firm up refs, or do you object to the content, or the existence of the article for other reasons?
2. As far as the "The SBL Handbook of Style. It's useful to write something, what do you want to write?
  • Does it NOT include a standardised list of abbreviations for specific primary sources?
  • Does it NOT include recommendations on transliteration systems, such as ISO 259 for transliteration of Hebrew into English?
3. If you know anything about this association you'll have heard it being ironically referred to as "the guild," yes? So what's the problem with noting the fact (which those two sources show) that the SBL is often referred to ironically as "the guild." I could produce 10 WP:RS for this, but as you've deleted 2 before I insert 10 perhaps you explain what your objection is?
Cheers. In ictu oculi (talk) 05:14, 7 September 2011 (UTC)


  1. What I want is quality content -- which means material which is (i) based upon WP:SECONDARY sources, and (ii) what these sources actually explicitly say.
  2. The handbook is a WP:PRIMARY source, so should not be mentioned at all unless discussed in a secondary source.
  3. That it is "not just a generic style guidebook" is your interpretation, and thus WP:Synthesis.
  4. "The threshold for inclusion of information in Wikipedia is verifiability, not truth – whether readers can check that it has already been published by a reliable source, not whether editors think it is true." Has the claim been published (in a reliable source) that "it [is] ironically referred to as 'the guild'"? No? Then it doesn't belong in the article.

HrafnTalkStalk(P) 05:55, 7 September 2011 (UTC)

Well I'd like quality content too, that's e.g. why I responded to your notability tag by adding in the Cutter 2004 ref with the foundation date 1880. So why did you delete it?
You haven't addressed the two questions above.
1. So will you let me add a secondary source mentioning it? Or will you delete it. I'm not going to push to 2RR simply to add sources and then have you delete them. As for "not just a generic style guidebook," do you think it IS a generic style guidebook?
2. As for the guild comment - I ask again, I provided 2 but can provide 10, how many WP RS do you require before you will not delete? Again I am reluctant to push to 2RR simply because you are deleting refs.
Cheers In ictu oculi (talk) 06:04, 7 September 2011 (UTC)


  1. I quite simply didn't see Cutter among all the other changes in your edit. I have restored him (with a full citation).
  2. Whether I delete it or not will depend on whether the citation actually states what you say about the handbook.
  3. See below -- very rarely do they baldly call it "the guild". Rather the quotes given indicate that they view it as a guild -- which is hardly noteworthy for a scholarly society.

HrafnTalkStalk(P) 06:36, 7 September 2011 (UTC)

  • The claim that "quality" and being based on secondary sources are the same is false. On the other hand encyclopedic means that the thing is built on secondary sources. These are neither the same nor mutually exclusive, they are just different.John Pack Lambert (talk) 00:21, 9 September 2011 (UTC)
  • By "quality" I meant 'good encyclopaedic' content. Yes, I didn't nail down things like 'necessary' versus 'necessary and sufficient' -- but this is a Wikipedia talk conversation, not a formal logic tutorial, so I didn't think that a perfect level of exactitude was either necessary or helpful. HrafnTalkStalk(P) 04:24, 9 September 2011 (UTC)

1880 ref also removed[edit]

Hrafn, I'm struggling to see why this was deleted after adding a tag requesting WP:RS

The Society of Biblical Literature was founded in 1880 ref Judaica reference sources: a selective, annotated bibliographic guide p102 Charles Cutter - 2004 "The Society of Biblical Literature was founded in 1880 "to advance the public understanding of.."" ref

Cheers In ictu oculi (talk) 05:30, 7 September 2011 (UTC)

If you're going to ressurect ancient history, could you at least provide a dif. HrafnTalkStalk(P) 06:00, 7 September 2011 (UTC)
And why did you remove three of four of Wexford Alliance's June 2011 edits + refs? In ictu oculi (talk) 05:40, 7 September 2011 (UTC)
I removed the SBL-website/SBL-published refed material due to excessive self-description. I removed the Merrick material because (i) it made no mention of SBL & (ii) its relevance was dependent on the SBL-sourced material. HrafnTalkStalk(P) 06:04, 7 September 2011 (UTC)

Whoah[edit]

Hrafn, I'd already invited those who edited in the last 12 months to come to Talk. But I just saw what you did 4 Aug 2011 after John Pack Lambert's edit]. I'm all for stripping out excess flab on articles, and all for WP:RS, but anyone looking at the page history... In ictu oculi (talk) 05:55, 7 September 2011 (UTC)

Let's look at the citations for the material removed:

  1. http://www.sbl-site.org/meetings/AnnualMeeting.aspx
  2. http://www.sbl-site.org/educational/biblicalfonts.aspx
  3. "publisher = Scholars Press" (i.e. the SBL)
  4. http://www.sbl-site.org/SSappendix.aspx#Appendix-I
  5. Journal of Biblical Literature -- their journal
  6. Robin Gallaher Branch -- an SBL member
  7. An announcement from the AAR that it was having a concurrent meeting with the SBL
  8. http://www.sbl-site.org/meetings/congresses_pastmeetings.aspx

Rather than have an article like this, we might as well simply redirect to the SBL website and have done with it. HrafnTalkStalk(P) 06:18, 7 September 2011 (UTC)

Yes, well some of the were their own publications and website, where a bit of trimming or a tag would be appropriate, but some of this is meaningful information.
As far as edit history goes. This is where you deleted "founded 1880" it's not ancient history, it's today

(cur | prev) 04:38, 7 September 2011 Hrafn (talk | contribs) (1,808 bytes) (Undid revision 448805576 by In ictu oculi (talk)Rvt per talk -- cited sources DO NOT SUPPORT these claims!) (undo)

As far as the edit history en toto since Nov 2010, there's several I would agree with, but you may be erring on the side of delete first, rather than tag/discuss.
In ictu oculi (talk) 06:38, 7 September 2011 (UTC)


  1. Please don't dump unformatted text into the talkpage -- it's simply a useless & unreadable mess.
  2. The article had in fact been tagged for excessive primary sourcing since November last year, with a comment here on talk -- no attempt had been made to correct it, nor any attempt to defend the sources -- so I took WP:SILENCE as consent, was WP:BOLD and removed them.

HrafnTalkStalk(P) 06:42, 7 September 2011 (UTC)

Hrafn,
Well that's as may be, but you didn't have my consent by silence yesterday or today to twice delete "founded 1880", nor the source related to SBL Handbook, or guild. Thanks for restoring the founded 1880 - though it was better in the original position. Would you know make a selection from the "guild" refs and add restore, in whatever form you like, that? Thanks In ictu oculi (talk) 06:46, 7 September 2011 (UTC)
That is a different issue -- reverting of newly-introduced material that involves WP:Synthesis of sources is standard practice. HrafnTalkStalk(P) 06:54, 7 September 2011 (UTC)
Well I'm sure I trust you not to be guilty of WP:synthesis, you can make whatever use you like of the 9 above sources to put whatever copy about "guild" and "SBL" into the article you wish. In ictu oculi (talk) 07:02, 7 September 2011 (UTC)

"Whoah" is right. So much useful history and current information has been removed since I saw this article last time.[1] Please dont treat such a respected institution as if they are pathological liars. They are the publishers of reliable sources!! We can find better sources. John Vandenberg (chat) 10:06, 7 September 2011 (UTC)

SBL "guild" nickname WP RS[edit]

Probably copy should say something like "SBL is sometimes ironically identified with, or as part of, the "guild" of biblical scholars:"

  • Reading the Bible in the global village: Cape Town Justin S. Ukpong - 2002 "I thus felt the urge to tabulate the various faces and stages of inculturation to educate the SBL guild (God forbid it)! Why? Shouldn't the SBL guild have traveled with inculturation hermeneutics, just as its members have agonized over ..."
  • Thus says the Lord: essays on the Former and Latter Prophets p4 Robert R. Wilson, John J. Ahn, Stephen L. Cook - 2009 "From the beginning of his career, Bob has been actively involved in the guild of biblical scholars, ... With impressive consistency, his name appears on the SBL program year after year, most often as a specially invited participant. ..."
  • The Desert Will Bloom: Poetic Visions in Isaiah p2 A. Joseph Everson, Hyun Chul Paul Kim - 2009 "It produced an admirably rich collection of investigations on the history of interpretation, ranging from the lxx all the way down to the present Isaianic guild at the SBL, via the broad spectrums of scribal locations such as Qumran, ..."
  • Foster Biblical Scholarship: Essays in Honor of Kent Harold Richards p15 Frank Ritchel Ames, Charles William Miller - 2010 "... in the scholarly dialogue and offering the findings of critical scholarship to those outside of the guild. ... Kent Harold Richards, “Leadership with New Vision,” SBL Society Report (2003): 3. The following statement was added in ..."
  • ibid p33 "The most significant change in the Society of Biblical Literature since the initial meeting of eighteen scholars in 1880 was the ... but this one was— perhaps because the members of the biblical guild take written texts so seriously. ..."
  • AAR/SBL annual meeting program 1996 "Through his teaching at the Pacific School of Religion and especially at Union Theological Seminary, his supervision of doctoral students, his scholarship and publications, his leadership in the guild, and his commitment to the Bible in ..."
  • Presidential voices: the Society of Biblical Literature in the ... p342 Harold W. Attridge, James C. VanderKam - 2006 "In the Society of Biblical Literature, no one particular confessional stance or methodological stance can be imposed, ... Analogously, can we not at this point in the biblical guild produce not a cacophony but a symphony of our various ..."
  • The social roots of biblical Yahwism p11 Stephen L. Cook - 2004 "Such approaches have been maturing within the biblical guild in recent decades, and most scholars now recognize their validity and usefulness in interpreting the Bible. I draw on comparisons and parallels from a variety of cultures and ... Society of Biblical Literature"
  • Relating to the text: interdisciplinary and form-critical insights p15 Timothy J. Sandoval, Carleen Mandolfo, Martin J. Buss - 2003 "Since arriving at Emory, Martin has served the local institution and the guild of biblical studies in various capacities. ... He was vice president (and program chair) for the Southeastern Region of the Society of Biblical Literature in ..."
  • Presidential Addresses of the Society of Biblical Literature: www.jstor.org/stable/27638354 P Gray - 2006 "Members of the guild who have served as president of the Society of Biblical Literature comprise an exclusive fraternity."

In ictu oculi (talk) 06:16, 7 September 2011 (UTC)

Only infrequently "the guild" and NOT "irrevently" or "ironically"[edit]

  1. These sources refer to the SBL as a guild, but only far more infrequently baldly as "the guild" -- definite article and without qualification (such as "the guild of biblical scholars").
  2. You have provided no substantiation whatsoever that that this is meant "irrevently" or "ironically".

HrafnTalkStalk(P) 06:27, 7 September 2011 (UTC)

Hi Hrafn, well, shall I suggest then that I let you be the one to restore the "founded 1880" content and source, and at the same time you can add in 3 or 4 of these 9 sources and put in front of them any wording about "guild" in relation to SBL which you like. In ictu oculi (talk) 06:41, 7 September 2011 (UTC)
Is the fact that a scholarly society is colloquially described, especially by its members, as a "guild" particularly noteworthy? I would expect this to happen quite frequently. Speaking for myself, I do not think it worthy of inclusion, however if you want to note that a number of sources describe it as a "guild", I have no objection. Please provide full citations though (minimum: title, author, date, page, isbn or journal&issue). I've already re-added Cutter with a full citation. HrafnTalkStalk(P) 07:01, 7 September 2011 (UTC)
Hi Hrafn, Can you please help me by adding up how many of the above sources say "a guild" and how many say "the guild"? Thanks! :) In ictu oculi (talk) 09:43, 7 September 2011 (UTC)
As far as I can see, nobody but the SBL itself (SBL Society Report (2003): 3, AAR/SBL annual meeting program 1996, Presidential Addresses of the Society of Biblical Literature) refer to it baldly as "the guild" without some descriptive qualifier. This is of course perfectly understandable -- within the context of the SBL itself, which "guild" is obvious -- in any other context, the reader or listener needs to be told which guild -- so a qualifier is needed. But the article needs to be written from an external point of reference, not an internal one. HrafnTalkStalk(P) 09:51, 7 September 2011 (UTC)
Hi again Hrafn :)
As you're not familiar with the article subject I guess that's how it might look. But I'm interested in your view, seeing as you've changed the article based on your view.
  • How many of those 9 "guild" sources do you think are SBL internal, and how many are external?
  • And then following that, how many of the "internal" SBL sources from the 9 use "the" and how many of the "external" from the 9 are "a"?
Thanks! :) In ictu oculi (talk) 10:09, 7 September 2011 (UTC)
I don't know, and I don't particularly care. That only the SBL itself baldly calls itself "the guild" (as opposed to a "guild" or "the guild of...") is sufficient. Therefore, as we are meant to take an external/third-party viewpoint, we should not baldly call it "the guild", nor place WP:UNDUE weight on the fact that the SBL calls itself thus.
To be blunt, it is not my job to find facts that may support some argument you intend to make (the logic of which I'm fairly sure I will disagree with), any more than it is my job to provide adequate citations for content you include (whose noteworthiness I disagree with). HrafnTalkStalk(P) 04:15, 8 September 2011 (UTC)

SBL Handbook of Style, secondary refs[edit]

Hrafn, Please add in these two WP RS with your own copy in place of the copy/content deleted, and restore the download link.

  • Quality Research Papers: For Students of Religion and Theology Nancy Jean Vyhmeister - 2009 "The Society of Biblical Literature has developed a style for use in its own publications. Some schools use this style ... If your school uses the SBL style, please refer to The SBL Handbook of Style (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 1999)."
  • Studying the historical Jesus: a guide to sources and methods Darrell L. Bock - 2002 "For standard abbreviations of the Old Testament books, see The SBL Handbook of Style for Ancient Near Eastern, Biblical, and Early Christian Studies, ed. Patrick H. Alexander et al. (Peabody, Mass.: Hendrickson, 1999), 73"

Thanks. In ictu oculi (talk) 06:51, 7 September 2011 (UTC)

Is either the fact that "the Society of Biblical Literature has developed a style for use in its own publications" or that it has developed a list of "standard abbreviations of the Old Testament books" particularly noteworthy? I would suspect that many scholarly societies that publish their own journal in a fairly specialised field would do this. However, lacking much in the way of third-party coverage, I have no problem with you adding this material if you see fit. It does not however come even close to "address[ing] the subject directly in detail" though. HrafnTalkStalk(P) 07:20, 7 September 2011 (UTC)

And time to remove Notability tag[edit]

After adding back in the founded 1880, the guild refs (in whatever form you like), and the Handbook of Style WP RS (again in whatever form you like), that will have satisfied WP Notability, and the tag can be removed too :)

Cheers. Everyone happy now? :) In ictu oculi (talk) 06:54, 7 September 2011 (UTC)

The requirement is in fact "significant coverage in reliable sources that are independent of the subject" where significant coverage is defined as "sources address the subject directly in detail, so no original research is needed to extract the content." No 1880 plus "the guild refs" does not meet this standard. HrafnTalkStalk(P) 07:04, 7 September 2011 (UTC)

Hrafn
You just restored "founded 1880" Cutter 2004 so how can you say Cutter 2004 doesn't qualify as WP:RS?
On what grounds are none of the "guild" mentions WP:RS?
On what grounds are the 2 SBL Handbook sources above not WP:RS?
Cheers In ictu oculi (talk) 07:09, 7 September 2011 (UTC)
  • What part of "sources address the subject directly in detail" did you fail to comprehend? HrafnTalkStalk(P) 07:10, 7 September 2011 (UTC)
    A start date & a handful of passing mentions of it as a "guild" is not addressing the subject directly and in detail. HrafnTalkStalk(P) 07:12, 7 September 2011 (UTC)
    Nor is a couple of passing mentions of their handbook. HrafnTalkStalk(P) 07:21, 7 September 2011 (UTC)
Hi Hrafn,
Well I obviously fail to comprehend what your problem is with the sources. However, you don't have to agree with everything. You've said above that you'll let me insert the SBL Handbook sources. Will you also allow mention of the guild sources? In ictu oculi (talk) 08:13, 7 September 2011 (UTC)
My problem with the sources, as stated, is that they do not "address the subject directly in detail", but merely give it passing mention. Another way of saying this is to say that they lack depth of coverage on the topic. I have already answered your question: "...however if you want to note that a number of sources describe it as a "guild", I have no objection." HrafnTalkStalk(P) 08:19, 7 September 2011 (UTC)
What I would be looking for as a solution to this "problem" is an independent reliable source (or better yet multiple sources) that spent at least several paragraphs (and several pages would be even better) specifically discussing the SBL (i.e. the SBL itself is the main topic of the paragraphs). HrafnTalkStalk(P) 08:25, 7 September 2011 (UTC)

Citations[edit]

Please don't add dozens of citations in a single reference without adding formatting to separate them -- and please give full/well-formatted references (italics to separate out titles, ISBNs where available, etc) -- WP:CITET provides templates. HrafnTalkStalk(P) 09:10, 7 September 2011 (UTC)

  • One of the easiest ways of doing the latter is to use Ottobib. Just add the ISBN (obtainable from Amazon for most books) and it will give you a filled-in template. Then all you have to do is insert it into the <ref></ref> tags and add the page(s) parameter. HrafnTalkStalk(P) 09:35, 7 September 2011 (UTC)
Hrafn,
You're welcome, thanks for your compliments for my work, very glad to be of service by providing refs in response to your tag and requests. Next time you have an interesting article that you feel lacks sources feel free to contact me to do the work and come and add them.
You can also research sources yourself.
But as far as the ISBNs, there's no Wikipedia law that says ISBNs must be added, so I suggest that if you feel they must be added this is a contribution you can make to the article. And likewise you can contribute to this article by adding italics to separate titles. :) Cheers! In ictu oculi (talk) 09:41, 7 September 2011 (UTC)
There's also no "Wikipedia law" that you use any punctuation and formatting either -- but it's still a very good idea. ISBNs, where available, are a useful unique identifier. And, once you have one, you can let Ottobib do all the work of filling in the details, and the template handle all the formatting, thereafter. It's actually the laziest way of citing a book. HrafnTalkStalk(P) 10:04, 7 September 2011 (UTC)
Hey :),
I don't want to be selfish and keep all the work to myself, I should leave something for others to do, don't you think? So since you tagged it for ISBNs, which is a very uncommon tag in Wikipedia, now it'll be great if you follow up on your tag and find the ISBNs. Good luck! In ictu oculi (talk) 10:12, 7 September 2011 (UTC)
Let me make something clear: I do not think either the handbook or the fact that it the SBL is occasionally called a "guild" is sufficiently noteworthy to mention. However if you want to include it and you are willing to provide adequate citations then I'm willing to accept them. The following near-unreadable shambles was not even close to adequate:[2]

Thus says the Lord: essays on the Former and Latter Prophets p4 Robert R. Wilson, John J. Ahn, Stephen L. Cook - 2009 "From the beginning of his career, Bob has been actively involved in the guild of biblical scholars, ... With impressive consistency, his name appears on the SBL program year after year, most often as a specially invited participant. ..." Foster Biblical Scholarship: Essays in Honor of Kent Harold Richards p15 Frank Ritchel Ames, Charles William Miller - 2010 "... in the scholarly dialogue and offering the findings of critical scholarship to those outside of the guild. ... Kent Harold Richards, “Leadership with New Vision,” SBL Society Report (2003): 3. The following statement was added in ..." ibid p33 "The most significant change in the Society of Biblical Literature since the initial meeting of eighteen scholars in 1880 was the ... but this one was— perhaps because the members of the biblical guild take written texts so seriously. ..." AAR/SBL annual meeting program 1996 "Through his teaching at the Pacific School of Religion and especially at Union Theological Seminary, his supervision of doctoral students, his scholarship and publications, his leadership in the guild, and his commitment to the Bible in ..." Presidential voices: the Society of Biblical Literature in the ... p342 Harold W. Attridge, James C. VanderKam - 2006 "In the Society of Biblical Literature, no one particular confessional stance or methodological stance can be imposed, ... Analogously, can we not at this point in the biblical guild produce not a cacophony but a symphony of our various ..." The social roots of biblical Yahwism p11 Stephen L. Cook - 2004 "Such approaches have been maturing within the biblical guild in recent decades, and most scholars now recognize their validity and usefulness in interpreting the Bible. I draw on comparisons and parallels from a variety of cultures and ... Society of Biblical Literature" Relating to the text: interdisciplinary and form-critical insights p15 Timothy J. Sandoval, Carleen Mandolfo, Martin J. Buss - 2003 "Since arriving at Emory, Martin has served the local institution and the guild of biblical studies in various capacities. ... He was vice president (and program chair) for the Southeastern Region of the Society of Biblical Literature in ..." Presidential Addresses of the Society of Biblical Literature: www.jstor.org/stable/27638354 P Gray - 2006 "Members of the guild who have served as president of the Society of Biblical Literature comprise an exclusive fraternity."

^ Justin S. Ukpong Reading the Bible in the global village: Cape Town - 2002 "I thus felt the urge to tabulate the various faces and stages of inculturation to educate the SBL guild (God forbid it)! Why? Shouldn't the SBL guild have traveled with inculturation hermeneutics, just as its members have agonized over ..." The Desert Will Bloom: Poetic Visions in Isaiah p2 ed. A. Joseph Everson, Hyun Chul Paul Kim - 2009 "It produced an admirably rich collection of investigations on the history of interpretation, ranging from the lxx all the way down to the present Isaianic guild at the SBL, via the broad spectrums of scribal locations such as Qumran, ..."

I have provided basic formatting to at least separate out the individual citations. I do not however see it as my job to repair the deficiencies of citations added by somebody else, for content whose worth I question. ISBNs are generally considered useful for readers seeking to WP:Verify content, so I have restored the template. I am however not 'demanding' that you include them. I do however expect that you provide at least basic formatting for your own citations -- italicising titles & WP:MOSLINKS#Link titles for example. HrafnTalkStalk(P) 04:04, 8 September 2011 (UTC)
WP:ETIQUETTE In ictu oculi (talk) 06:15, 8 September 2011 (UTC)
Please both of you stop edit warring in this article. I am moving the contested content and references to the talk page, where it should remain until consensus (to which I will contribute) can be established for any addition to the article. Another edit here will follow "soon". --Mirokado (talk) 23:58, 9 September 2011 (UTC)
There follows contested content which is the subject of an edit war. Please discuss it here until consensus for any addition is achieved.

In presidential addresses of the SBL, and other sources, members refer to the community of biblical scholars as a "guild,"[1] while others have referred to the SBL itself as the "SBL guild."[2]

  1. ^ For example see:
    • Thus says the Lord: essays on the Former and Latter Prophets p4 Robert R. Wilson, John J. Ahn, Stephen L. Cook - 2009 "From the beginning of his career, Bob has been actively involved in the guild of biblical scholars, ... With impressive consistency, his name appears on the SBL program year after year, most often as a specially invited participant. ..."
    • Foster Biblical Scholarship: Essays in Honor of Kent Harold Richards p15 Frank Ritchel Ames, Charles William Miller - 2010 "... in the scholarly dialogue and offering the findings of critical scholarship to those outside of the guild. ... Kent Harold Richards, “Leadership with New Vision,” SBL Society Report (2003): 3. The following statement was added in ..."
    • ibid p33 "The most significant change in the Society of Biblical Literature since the initial meeting of eighteen scholars in 1880 was the ... but this one was— perhaps because the members of the biblical guild take written texts so seriously. ..."
    • AAR/SBL annual meeting program 1996 "Through his teaching at the Pacific School of Religion and especially at Union Theological Seminary, his supervision of doctoral students, his scholarship and publications, his leadership in the guild, and his commitment to the Bible in ..."
    • Presidential voices: the Society of Biblical Literature in the ... p342 Harold W. Attridge, James C. VanderKam - 2006 "In the Society of Biblical Literature, no one particular confessional stance or methodological stance can be imposed, ... Analogously, can we not at this point in the biblical guild produce not a cacophony but a symphony of our various ..."
    • The social roots of biblical Yahwism p11 Stephen L. Cook - 2004 "Such approaches have been maturing within the biblical guild in recent decades, and most scholars now recognize their validity and usefulness in interpreting the Bible. I draw on comparisons and parallels from a variety of cultures and ... Society of Biblical Literature"
    • Relating to the text: interdisciplinary and form-critical insights p15 Timothy J. Sandoval, Carleen Mandolfo, Martin J. Buss - 2003 "Since arriving at Emory, Martin has served the local institution and the guild of biblical studies in various capacities. ... He was vice president (and program chair) for the Southeastern Region of the Society of Biblical Literature in ..."
    • Presidential Addresses of the Society of Biblical Literature: www.jstor.org/stable/27638354 P Gray - 2006 "Members of the guild who have served as president of the Society of Biblical Literature comprise an exclusive fraternity."
  2. ^ Justin S. Ukpong Reading the Bible in the global village: Cape Town - 2002 "I thus felt the urge to tabulate the various faces and stages of inculturation to educate the SBL guild (God forbid it)! Why? Shouldn't the SBL guild have traveled with inculturation hermeneutics, just as its members have agonized over ..." The Desert Will Bloom: Poetic Visions in Isaiah p2 ed. A. Joseph Everson, Hyun Chul Paul Kim - 2009 "It produced an admirably rich collection of investigations on the history of interpretation, ranging from the lxx all the way down to the present Isaianic guild at the SBL, via the broad spectrums of scribal locations such as Qumran, ..."

--Mirokado (talk) 00:09, 10 September 2011 (UTC)

Comments, suggestions from Mirokado

first phrase, perhaps retain with one citation
The first set of citations indeed establish that the community of biblical scholars is sometimes referred to as a guild, but neither they nor the content suggest why this might be of any relevance to the article. Eight citations for one trivium give undue weight. If this information is retained, choose one good one: Cook (2004) would do, as that is very clearly a generic reference to biblical experts, but only the first phrase of the quote is needed to support the content. Make it clear why this is relevant if retaining this information.
second phrase, not supported by the references, remove
The first citation of the second (still unformatted) reference establishes that someone referred to "the SBL guild" but does not establish that this was anything more than a stylistic choice of "the SBL guild" in preference to "the SBL society" with its hidden repetition of "society". The second citation is referring as far as I can tell to a "Isaianic" group within the SBL so does not support the content at all. In the absence of better citations this cannot appear in the article. To support the content you need to find a reliable source which says that the SBL is often referred to as "the SBL guild", not just cite one text which happens to do so. The article would also need to explain why this is of any significance, with a reference to support that explanation.
content quality
As a separate issue (which in fact drew my attention here in the first place) I agree with Hrafn than a unpunctuated block of text such as the first quote above represents a wholly unacceptable reduction in the article quality. Content must be verifiable which means that other editors must be able to satisfy themselves with reasonable effort that a new addition is supported by the sources. So, In ictu oculi, by adding an unstructured mess as you did you were treating your fellow editors with disrespect. We add content primarily for the benefit of readers and you were clearly also treating our readers with disrespect which is even worse. I draw your attention to the Wikipedia manual of style.

--Mirokado (talk) 01:24, 10 September 2011 (UTC)

Hi Mirokado
You removed "In presidential addresses of the SBL, and other sources, members refer to the community of biblical scholars as a "guild,"" because it had too many references. Fine, but please understand the problem - an unseemly mass of WP:RS sources had to be assembled because the editor who objects to this being in the article was deleting insufficient sources, it's hardly a usual situation - normally Wikipedia would require only 2 sources max, the issue here is which of the 9 sources best fits the article. In a controverted situation it's obviously best to leave the reduction of 9 sources to 2 or 3 to the editor objecting to and removing sources. But if you, as a third party, want to do it, then restore to the article, great, fantastic. Go ahead. In ictu oculi (talk) 04:11, 10 September 2011 (UTC)
Thanks for the reply. The problem with the first phrase is more that the sources do not establish relevance or notability. I think you would need to provide a source which does that, in which case you probably don't need any of the current sources.
As far as "if you ... want to do it" is concerned, I will try really hard to be both clear and tactful. If reliable sources demonstrate that content is relevant notable and verifiable then, generally speaking, it should be added to the article. If not then, also generally speaking, it cannot be added. Wikipedia:Verifiability#When_a_reliable_source_is_required states absolutely clearly: "All quotations and any material challenged or likely to be challenged must be attributed to a reliable published source using an inline citation. Cite the source clearly and precisely, with page numbers where applicable... The burden of evidence lies with the editor who adds or restores material." (Original emphasis). It is your job to ensure that adequate references support the content you think should be added at the time you add it. You can of course ask for help before adding the content. If I had any helpful references I would gladly provide them, unfortunately I do not. If I thought the content significant and that I were likely to find such references, I might enjoy looking for them, but I doubt that there are any suitable references in this case and I am not going on a wild goose chase.
I am prepared to help draft the content if you wish, and I have already suggested which of the existing references to use if any are needed, but the prerequisite from my point of view for any further work is a new reference establishing relevance and notability. --Mirokado (talk) 01:43, 12 September 2011 (UTC)
Hi Mirokado
Thanks. Can I just ask what expertise do you have in this subject area? Are you familiar with the SBL?
As far as regards the source, we can all see from above that SBL do refer to the "guild" of biblical scholars. If youre asking for a source that says "Among the other club-like oddities of the SBL is a common reference to the club of biblical scholars as a guild" I doubt we'll find one.
In any case it doesn't matter. I was simply adding sources per Hrafn's notability tag request. I don't care whether the "guild" comment or sources go in or not. Anyone with any familiarity with SBL will already know that anyway. In ictu oculi (talk) 01:56, 12 September 2011 (UTC)
Thanks for your response. I agree with your proposal to leave this sentence out altogether. --Mirokado (talk) 19:21, 14 September 2011 (UTC)

Definition or Translation[edit]

When reading a scholarly article or book on the Bible, sometimes I see a footnote labeled SBLMS. Is this Society of Biblical Literature manuscript? Can someone define this or translate this for me? Should this be mentioned in the article? L. Thomas W. (talk) 14:38, 29 April 2013 (UTC)

The acronym SBLMS refers to the SBL Monograph Series, one of many series of books published by the SBL. See the SBL Handbook list of abbreviations (§ 8.4.2). There is probably no need to mention this in the article. --2n4rm (talk) 06:20, 5 August 2013 (UTC)