- Aims, Scope, and Values of the Journal
Conspectus is the journal of the South African Theological Seminary. Like the Seminary, the values of the journal are encapsulated in the phrase, “Bible-based, Christ-centred, and Spirit led.” Launching from an appreciation of interdisciplinary discourse, the journal publishes from across the broad spectrum of theological studies (Biblical Studies, Practical Theology, Systematic Theology, Studies in Church and Society), while establishing links with extra theological disciplines where appropriate. Like the Seminary, Conspectus invites contributions from the broad spectrum of denominations while showcasing academic research from a broadly evangelical perspective. The journal seeks contributions from authors who subscribe to a high view of Scripture, as is consistent with evangelical tenets. Additionally, as SATS is based on the African continent, the journal foregrounds contributions from the Majority World. To be published in Conspectus an article must go beyond a summary of secondary sources and present the results of sound theological research valuable to the church, including scholars, pastors, students, missionaries, and/or other Christian practitioners. Conspectus is an open source journal catalogued under ATLA (EBSCOhost), Logos Bible Software, Sabinet, and available on the Seminary’s website (available here).
- Terms of Agreement
Once an article is published in the journal, copyright is transferred to SATS. Conspectus is protected by Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0), as stipulated here. Under this license, readers are free to distribute, use, and adapt material from the journal with the condition that
- the author(s) and journal are credited with the use of citations, and
- the user indicates where changes have been made to the original.
The publisher agrees to, as far possible, protect the author’s article against plagiarism and copyright infringement.
After publication, the author is entitled to
- share their work on any chosen platform (including conferences and lecturing),
- expand and edit the article for a thesis or dissertation, and
- republish the article elsewhere. However, this must be done with the full consent of the new publisher; and the new publication must include a citation demonstrating the original appearance in Conspectus.
By submitting an article for review, the author agrees that
- the article is submitted with the consent of all the authors/contributors and other relevant parties;
- the article includes the necessary citations, is not plagiarized, and does not infringe on any copyright laws;
- consent has been given for the inclusion of all tables, figures, or images used in the article (please include an admission of consent in the submission);
- the article has not been published elsewhere; and
- the article is not undergoing review for possible publication with another journal.
Prospective authors are to submit their articles to the journal editor, Dr. Batanayi Manyika (firstname.lastname@example.org) or associate editor, Dr. Cornelia van Deventer (email@example.com). For the submission of book reviews and related enquiries, authors should contact the book review editors, Prof. Dan Lioy (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Dr. George Coon (email@example.com). All submissions should adhere to the guidelines listed below. If an article fails to comply with these guidelines, the Editorial Team reserves the right to request a revision before an article is reviewed. Repeated noncompliance can result in the Editorial Team declining the article or review for publication in Conspectus.
- General Requirements
- All articles should be submitted in MS Word format (preferably .docx).
- Conspectus only publishes articles in English (US spelling and punctuation).
- Articles should be proofread and contain minimal linguistic, grammatical, and spelling errors.
- Articles should be between 5000 and 8000 words in length (footnotes included; works cited excluded).
- Articles should include an abstract (100–150 words) and 3–5 keywords.
- Conspectus employs a double-blind peer review process. Any reference to the author should thus be removed from the article.1
- A cover page containing the following information should be included as a separate MS Word document:
- The title of the article
- The name of the author
- The institutional affiliation of the author
- A short bio of the author (50–70 words)2
- The author’s email address
4.2. Book Reviews
The Conspectus book review editors are responsible for soliciting books for review. Unsolicited reviews will be considered, but it is preferable that contact be made with the book review editors prior to submission. Reviewers should assess when they first receive their review copy, whether they will indeed be able to write a review within the allotted time (usually three months from the date of receipt). It is vital to finish the review in an expeditious manner. Authors should notify the review editors immediately if a review cannot be completed within the allotted time.
The Editorial Team especially values reviewing books of recent (within the last two years) publication. Rarely is a second edition reviewed, and only if there are substantial changes and it is a significant publication. Works written/produced by more than two or three authors/editors are not ordinarily reviewed, though in some cases the Editorial Team accepts them, depending on the publication’s importance. The review should contain roughly an equal amount of description and critical interaction. For this reason, it is expected that the reviewer has at least some expertise in the field of the book being reviewed.3
Reviews for Conspectus should be scholarly in tone and objective in elocution. The discourse must be free of polemics and ad hominem or personal attacks. Moreover, Conspectus is not an avenue to publicize a reviewer’s personal favorite publications. Instead, books should be assessed for their academic contribution to the field of study under consideration. Conspectus does not accept reviews of popular-level books, nor does it accept reviews of self published books. Reviews need to be compatible with, or at least sensitive to, Conspectus’s broadly evangelical perspective, as described above (see §1). While some latitude is permitted, an overall stance that seems designed to contradict Conspectus’s theological ethos will result in the review being rejected for publication.
Unless stated otherwise, reviews should adhere to the requirements laid out in this document. Book reviews should be formatted as outlined below:
- The body of the review should ideally be between 1000–1500 words.4
- The title of a book review ought to include the following:
- The book information (formatted according to §5.12 of this document)
- The number of pages
- The book’s ISBN number
- The price of the book (an estimation in Rand is preferred)
- The type of book (paperback; hardback; electronic version; Kindle) o For example:
Powell, Mark A. 2018. Introducing the New Testament: A Historical, Literary, and Theological Survey. 2nd ed. Grand Rapids: Baker. 1–591 pp. ISBN: 978-0-8010-9960- 1. R886 ($52.99). Hardback.
- The body of the review should begin with a short introduction of the book’s author, followed by a brief summary of the work being reviewed. This should comprise no more than a third of the review.
- The major part of the review should consist of an objective, balanced evaluation of the work. This includes analyzing the author’s thesis, determining the book’s purpose, and situating the book in its historical context. When engaging the text, avoid saying simply, “I agree” or “I disagree.” Be critical, yet respectful of the author as an accomplished scholar.
- The review should conclude by giving a brief discussion of such matters as the book’s place in the field, why the ideas of the book are relevant, the intended audience of the book, and what the book will help readers understand about the subject matter contained in the book being reviewed.
- At the conclusion, the reviewer’s name should be given as it is to be published, followed by the reviewer’s academic institution, both right justified.
- A short bio of the authors (50–70 words) should accompany all book reviews (see §4.1 above).
- Book reviews must not contain footnotes and need to indicate the page(s) that is/are being quoted or referenced in parentheses.
Unless otherwise specified, Conspectus adheres to the formatting style of the SBL Handbook of Style, Second Edition (2014). It is the responsibility of the author(s) to ensure that their article adheres to the handbook’s requirements. The following style guide provides a high-level overview of the most important requirements.
- 12 point, Times New Roman, 1.5 line spacing, justified paragraphs.
- Ancient languages (Hebrew, Greek, Aramaic, Syriac, Coptic) should be in Unicode, set in Times New Roman.
- Paragraphs are to be distinguished by the indentation of the first line of the second and subsequent paragraphs under any given heading (not by white space between paragraphs).
- Authors should not use tabs to set indents but make use of Word’s paragraph formatting function.
- As prescribed by the SBL Handbook of Style (2014, §4.11), Conspectus requires the use of the serial comma/Oxford comma.
- For quotations, double quotation marks are to be used with commas and full stops placed inside the quotation marks (semi-cola are to feature outside the quotation marks).
- Authors are to use single quotation marks for a quotation within a quotation. In the case where the author wants to emphasize that the punctuation marks are not part of the quotation, they can be placed outside of single quotation marks (see §4.1.2).
- Footnotes are to be inserted after punctuation marks.
Headings should be kept at a maximum of three levels. Prospective authors are to use the styles function in Microsoft Word to classify them accordingly (Heading 1, 2, 3). Headings should be left-aligned, numbered, and formatted as below:
- First-Level Headings (Each word capitalized, bold)
1.1. Second-level headings (First word capitalized, italics)
1.1.1. Third-level headings (First word capitalized)
Authors are to distinguish between hyphens, en dashes, and em dashes.
- Hyphens are used to connect words (e.g., first-century audience; well-argued response).
- En dashes are used for any range, including page numbers, dates, Scripture references, and other numerical values (e.g., John 20:30–31; pp. 121–122).5
- Em dashes are syntax markers and should be used without spacing before or after (e.g., “The crucifixion represents the climax of the Fourth Gospel, since it functions as the scene with the greatest intensity and conflict—both internal and external.”).6
General abbreviations are marked by periods and can be freely used in parentheses and footnotes but not in the main text. For a list of accepted general abbreviations, see the SBL Handbook of Style (2014, §8.1).
- The abbreviation e.g. is used for “for example.” If it is in the middle of a sentence, it is preceded and followed by a comma (analysing, e.g., Eph 2). If it is preceded only by a bracket, it is only followed by a comma (e.g., Eph 2).
- The abbreviation i.e. is used for “in other words.” It is always followed by a comma (i.e., the ethos of the believer).
- The abbreviation et al. is used for in-text citations that refer to a work composed by four or more authors. The full stop is only added after “al” and the abbreviation is not italicised (Estes et al. 2010, 150).
- The use of the period abbreviations BC and AD is encouraged. However, authors are free to use BCE and CE with motivation.7
For accepted abbreviations of divisions, units, texts, and versions of the Bible, see the SBL Handbook of Style (2014, §8.2.1). Unless used to start a sentence, the following abbreviations are to be used for words followed by numerical value:
- p. for page; pp. for pages (p. 2; pp. 2–4),
- v. for verse; vv. for verses (v. 2; vv. 2–4),
- ch. for chapter; chs. for chapters (ch. 2; chs. 2–4).8
If any of the above words are not followed by numbers, they are to be written out in full (“in the first chapter”; “on the second page”; “an analysis of the verse”). In a book review, the word “chapter” is always written out in full.
5.5.2. Primary sources
For a list of accepted abbreviations for primary sources and authors, see the SBL Handbook of Style (2014, §8.3).
- Abbreviations for books of the Bible, deuterocanonical books, and the dead sea scrolls are not followed by a full stop.
- Unless used to start a sentence, “Old Testament” and “New Testament” are to be abbreviated as OT and NT.
- Please write out terms like “first century,” “second century,” and “twenty-first century.”
- Authors may use the abbreviation LXX for the Septuagint and MT for the Masoretic Text or may choose to write these out in full.9 These abbreviations should be in subscript if inserted after the text (Deut 8:1LXX; Deut 8:1MT).
- The following is prescribed for the use of Bible books:
- If a Bible book appears without chapters or verses, it is to be written out in full (“Among the themes found in Romans …”).
- If the reference includes chapter and verse numbers, the Bible book is abbreviated (“Among the themes found in Rom 1–4 …”).
- If a sentence starts with the name of a Bible book, it is to be written out even if it contains chapters and verses (“Romans 1–4 addresses …”; “Romans 1:4 addresses …”; “Romans addresses …”).
- If a sentence starts with a Bible book that begins with a number, the number is to be written out (“First Corinthians was written …”).
- Abbreviations for Bible books are not to be used in abstracts.
- Bible books should always be abbreviated in footnotes and parentheses.
- While the works of ancient authors are abbreviated (see 2014, §8.3.6; §8.3.7; §8.3.11; §8.3.14), the names of the authors are to be written out in full.
According to the SBL Handbook of Style (2014, §4.1.6.) all proper nouns ending on the letter s are to be written with an apostrophe and additional s in the possessive (e.g., Jesus’s; Moses’s).
- Authors should be consistent in their capitalization of words.
- Words are capitalized if they are used as titles. For example, “the Gospel of John” would be capitalized, while the literary type of gospel would be written in lowercase. Also, when gospel refers to the good news, it is not capitalized.
- If used adjectivally, lowercase is prescribed. For example, while “Bible” would be capitalized, “biblical” requires lowercase.
- Nouns used for God are to be capitalized (e.g., Son of Man; Lamb; Lord; Shepherd), while pronouns for God should be written in lowercase (he; him; his).
- Official terminology relating to Jewish tradition is to be capitalized (e.g., Law; Hebrew Scriptures; Sabbath; Septuagint; Feast of Booths).
- While some journals prefer Gentiles, Pagans, and Diaspora to be written in lowercase, Conspectus requests that they be capitalized.
- In the case of surnames preceded by particles (e.g., van Deventer; von Rad), authors ought to capitalize according to the standard use employed by the specific author (see 2014, §220.127.116.11 for a list of names). Particles should have the same case throughout the text (including running text, footnotes, indexes, and bibliographies), whether preceded by names/initials or not. However, when at the beginning of a sentence, particles are always capitalized (e.g., “Van Deventer (2019, 20) argues ….”).
- For examples not mentioned here, see 2014, §4.3.6.
Quotations, especially block quotations, should be kept to a minimum. Articles containing an overuse of quotations will not be published.10
- Authors ought to indicate which Bible translations they are using when quoting Scripture. If an author is working from their own translation, the words “author’s translation” are to be added.
- Incorrect or unexpected forms found in quotations are noted by the addition of [sic]. Note that sic is always in italics and enveloped in square brackets.
- Quotations of five or more lines should be formatted as a block quotation. Block quotations should be indented on the left (not just the first line), not set in italics, and contain no quotation marks. The font size of the block quotation should be the same as that of the rest of the paper. A block quotation is to be ended with the proper punctuation, followed by the citation in parentheses (See §4.1.5). The citation is not followed by a full stop.
5.9. Ancient Languages
Words in ancient languages (Greek; Hebrew; Aramaic; Syriac; Coptic) should not be transliterated but formatted using proper characters (in the fonts prescribed in this document, see §5.1). All words or phrases in ancient languages must be accompanied by a translation— either in parentheses or footnotes.
- E.g., “John uses the phrase ἐν ἀρχῇ (in [the] beginning) …,” or “Ἐν ἀρχῇ ἦν ὁ λόγος.”1 1. In [the] beginning was the Word.
- For Greek, the proper accents and breathing marks should be included. In the instance where a word containing a grave accent is taken out of its sentence and used alone, the grave accent (ˋ) should be replaced with an acute (ˊ).
- The first letter of a Greek word is never capitalised when used in an English sentence, unless it is a proper noun. This even applies when a Greek word is used as the first word within an English sentence (e.g., “νῦν is often used by Peter …”).
- For Hebrew text, only vowels and consonants should be included (no reading markers, breathings, or accents).
- For Greek and Hebrew, markers from textual apparatus should only be included if discussed.
- Foreign words that have become technical terms can be transliterated and should be italicised (e.g., shalom; koinonia). This includes technical terms from Latin (e.g., a priori), German (e.g., Wirkungsgeschichte), and other foreign languages.
Conspectus uses the author-date referencing system for secondary literature (see the SBL Handbook of Style 2014, §6.5). Footnotes should only be used for additional information—not for referencing. The following should be adhered to:
- Citations should be enveloped by parentheses (round brackets), written in the following format: surname—space—date—comma—space—page number(s).
- Multiple citations are separated by a semicolon and a space.
- E.g., (Brant 2004, 92; Rhoads 2009, 94)
- For Scripture references, elements of the same nature (chapter or verse) are separated by a comma (e.g., Exod 9, 12, 18; Exod 9:12, 15), while a semicolon is used to separate multiple references where non-similar components follow one another (Exod 9:12, 15; 12:4, 7).
- A range of page numbers are to be written inclusively (210–220, not 210–20).
- If the author’s name features in the sentence, the citation (inserted directly after the name of the author—not at the end of the sentence) should only contain the date and page number(s).
- E.g., “Brant (2004, 92) argues that …”
- For multiple authors, the word “and” is used rather than &.
- E.g., (Malina and Rohrbaugh 1998, 102)
- As discussed under abbreviations, sources written by four or more authors are cited by the name of the first author, followed by et al. (Estes et al. 2010, 150).
- If an author has published multiple works in the same year, a letter is to be added after the date (starting with a). These letters should be in the citation and bibliography. o E.g., (Rhoads 2010a, 52; Rhoads 2010b, 108)
- For dictionary entries, the lexical form preceded by the abbreviation “s.v.” may be used in lieu of page numbers.
- E.g., (Arndt et al. 2000, s.v. καταγινώσκω)
All in-text citations should be listed in alphabetical order at the end of the article with the heading “Works Cited.” Information should be provided in the following sequence (see SBL Handbook of Style 2014, §6.1.1):
a) Surname, full first name of author (unless an author is only known by their initials), followed by initials. If no author, cite the editor here.
c) Title of chapter or journal article (if applicable)
d) Title of book or journal
e) Editor, compiler, translator
f) Edition (if not the first)
g) Volumes cited (if only a single volume is cited, include the title of the volume) h) Series title and/or volume number
i) Place of publication
j) Publishing house
k) Page numbers
l) Electronic source information
- If the works cited list contains multiple entries by the same author, use a 3-em dash for all but the first entry of the author’s name.
- Voorwinde, Stephen. 2002. John’s Prologue …
- ———. 2011. Jesus’ Emotions in the Gospels …
- Entries by the same author should be in chronological order (oldest to newest). If an author has published 2 or more works in the same year, entries should be listed alphabetically and a letter (a, b, etc.) is added to the date.
- The titles of books or journals should be capitalized (except conjunctions, prepositions, and articles) and should be set in italics (for specifics on capitalization, see the SBL Handbook of Style 2014, §18.104.22.168).
- Titles and subtitles are to be separated with a colon, even if this is not reflected on the cover page of the book (2014, §22.214.171.124).
- Ampersands (&) and digits used in book titles should be spelled out in citations and bibliography entries (2014, §126.96.36.199).
- Journals and well-known series can be abbreviated according to the list in 2014, §8.4.
- Works by ancient authors may be referenced by using the name of the premodern author or the name of the modern editor but authors should be consistent (see 2014, §188.8.131.52).
- The name of the publishing house should be preceded with the place of publication or copyright (the city, not the province, state, or country;11 in English), followed by a colon.
- Names of publishing houses should be abbreviated and simplified by omitting terms like “Press” and “Publishers” (university presses notwithstanding). In the case where a publishing house is named after its founder, initials should be omitted (e.g., Eerdmans instead of W.B. Eerdmans). For a list of publishing houses and their correct formats, see the SBL Handbook of Style (2014, §184.108.40.206).
Larsen, Brian. 2018. Archetypes and the Fourth Gospel: Literature and Theology in Conversation. London: T&T Clark.
- Book with Multiple Authors:12
Barry, John D, David Bomar, Derek R. Brown, Rachel Klipenstein, Douglas Mangum, Carrie Sinclair Wolcott, Lazarus Wentz, and Wendy Widder. 2016. The Lexham Bible Dictionary. Bellingham: Lexham Press.
Malina, Bruce J, and Richard L. Rohrbaugh. 1998. Social-Science Commentary on the Gospel of John. Minneapolis: Fortress.
- A Later Edition of a Book:13
Powell, Mark A. Introducing the New Testament. A Historical, Literary, and Theological Survey. 2nd ed. Grand Rapids: Baker Academic.
McKnight, Scot, and Nijay K. Gupta, eds. 2019. State of New Testament Studies: A Survey of Recent Research. Grand Rapids: Baker Academic.
- A Chapter/Article in an Edited Volume:
Carey, Greg. 2019. “Early Christianity and the Roman Empire.” In State of New Testament Studies: A Survey of Recent Research, edited by Scot McKnight and Nijay K. Gupta, 9–34. Grand Rapids: Baker Academic.
Mouton, Elna. 2014. “Reimagining Ancient Household Ethos? On the Implied Rhetorical Effect of Ephesians 5:21–33.” Neotestamentica 48(1):163–185.
Bultmann, Rudolph. 1971. The Gospel of John: A Commentary. Translated by George R. Beasley Murray, R. W. N. Hoare, and J. K. Riches. Philadelphia: Westminster.
- A Titled Work in a Multivolume Series
Keener, Craig S. 2014. Acts: An Exegetical Commentary (15:1–23:35). Vol. 3 of Acts: An Exegetical Commentary. Edited by Craig S. Keener. Grand Rapids: Baker Academic.
Horsley, Richard A. 2013. Text and Tradition in Performance and Writing. Biblical Performance Criticism 9. Eugene: Cascade.
- An Article in a Theological Dictionary or Lexicon
Lunceford, Joe E. 2000. “Amen.” Page 52 in Eerdmans Dictionary of the Bible. Edited by David N. Freedman, Allen C Myers, and Astrid B. Beck. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans.
Powell, Mark A. 2018. “Jesus.” Baker Academic Textbook e-Sources. http://bakerpublishinggroup.com/books/introducing-the-new-testament-2nd edition/11940/students/esources/chapters/696.
- An Unpublished Master’s or Doctoral thesis
Manyika, Batanayi I. 2020. “Philemon: A Transformation of Social Orders.” PhD diss., South African Theological Seminary.
See the SBL Handbook of Style (2014, §6.5) for other examples. For citations/references not listed in the former, see The Chicago Manual of Style (2017, §15.9).
1 This includes self-citations. Authors should indicate where information has been removed.
2 The biographical note should include the candidate’s highest qualification, awarding institution, current position(s), and research interests.
3 At a minimum, the reviewer should have earned at least an MTh (or equivalent) and be enrolled in a doctoral program. Even better are reviewers having a terminal degree (such as the PhD, ThD, or equivalent).
4 A review/interaction with a major work in the field may warrant a review article of greater length, which must be approved by the editorial team.
5 The en dash can be inserted using the shortcut, Alt + 0150 (Windows users) and Alt + – (Mac users).
6 The em dash can be inserted using the shortcut, Alt + 0151 (Windows users) and Alt + Shift + – (Mac Users).
7 AD precedes the date, while BC, BCE and CE follow it.
8 Note the space between the abbreviation and the number(s).
9 The abbreviation MT can also be used for Majority Text. To avoid ambiguity, an author will need to clarify using a footnote.
10 The overuse of quotations refers to the phenomenon where an article is reduced to a compilation of quotes harvested from secondary sources and Scripture, strung together by connectives.
11 There might be exceptions where the city is not well-known. Please check the information given by the publisher.
12 Note that only the first listed name is inverted (surname, name).
13 The abbreviation “rev. ed.” is used for a revised edition. Since this is usually inserted after the title, the word “Rev.” would be capitalized. If the book is a second or third edition, the abbreviations “2nd ed.” and 3rd ed.” are used (not in superscript).