A Journal of Bible and Theology
Published in Association with Union Presbyterian Seminary

Sam Adams Union Presbyterian Seminary, USA
John Carroll Union Presbyterian Seminary, USA
Managing Editor

eISSN: 2159340X | ISSN: 00209643 | Current volume: 71 | 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.

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.

Brian Blount Union Presbyterian Seminary, USA
Associate Editor, Between Text and Sermon
Carsson Brisson Union Presbyterian Seminary, USA
Associate Editor, Book Reviews
Frances Taylor Gench Union Presbyterian Seminary, USA
Editorial Fellow and Circulation Assistant
Narola Ao McFayden Union Presbyterian Seminary, USA
Editorial Board
Charles Campbell Duke Divinity School, USA
Michael Gorman Ecumenical Institute of Theology, USA
Selden Harris King's Grant Presbyterian Church, USA
Suzanne Watts Henderson Queens College at Charlotte, USA
Robert Laha Old Presbyterian Meeting House, Alexandria, USA
Thomas W. Mann The Brookings Institution
Anathea Portier-Young Duke Divinity School, USA
F. Scott Spencer Professor of New Testament and Biblical Interpretation, Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond, USA
Amelie Allen Wilmer All Souls Episcopal Church, Mechanicsville, USA
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    1. Commissioning policy
    2. Article types
    3. How to submit your manuscript
    4. Journal contributor’s publishing agreement
      4.1 SAGE Choice and Open Access
    5. Declaration of conflicting interests policy
    6. Authorship
    7. Other conventions
    8. Acknowledgments
      8.1 Funding acknowledgement
    9. Permissions
    10. Manuscript style
      10.1 File types
      10.2 Journal style
      10.3 Manuscript preparation
      10.3.1 Keywords and abstracts: Helping readers find your article online
      10.3.2 Corresponding author contact details
      10.3.3 Guidelines for submitting artwork, figures and other graphics
      10.3.4 Guidelines for submitting supplemental files
      10.3.5 English language editing services
    11. After acceptance
      11.1 Proofs
      11.2 E-Prints and complimentary copies
      11.3 SAGE production
    12. Further information

    Interpretation is devoted to the interpretation of Scripture for the theological witness of the church in the world. Supported by Union-PSCE, the work of Interpretation fosters conversation among scholars, pastors, students, and other readers of scripture by offering to the church the fruits of the theological study of Scripture.


    1. Commissioning policy

    Unsolicited essays will be considered, but those submitting an essay should be advised that the journal plans issues years in advance through commissioned authors.

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    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.

    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 5,000 - 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.

    “Between Text and Sermon”
    Each issue of Interpretation contains a section entitled “Between Text and Sermon,” which consists of four essays designed to assist a pastor in the preparation of a sermon. The purpose of these essays is to stimulate theological reflection on the significance of this text for the life of the church 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.

    The presentation of this interchange may take any of a variety of forms. For example, an author might begin with a provocative thesis and use the essay to work out the implications of that thesis; an author might examine a single issue from a variety of perspectives; or an author might note a cluster of issues, questions, or ambiguities and offer insights on each. These examples are intended to be suggestive, not prescriptive. The point is that 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.

    When preparing an essay, please consider the following points:

    • An introductory paragraph is most effective when it states the purpose of the essay clearly and imaginatively.
    • Sensitivity to the location of the text in the liturgical year, when a lectionary text is being used, will be useful to pastors.
    • The use of examples from literature, history, current events, and the arts can enliven an essay.
    • Clarity of expression is essential.
    • The intended audience is pastors, not specialists in biblical studies.
    • Although exegetical tools should be used, the essay is intended to provide neither a detailed exegesis of the text nor a polished sermon outline. Please do not submit a sermon.

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

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    3. How to submit your manuscript

    Before submitting your manuscript, please ensure you carefully read and adhere to all the guidelines and instructions to authors provided below. Manuscripts not conforming to these guidelines may be returned.

    Manuscripts and illustrations should be submitted to the editor by e-mail attachment to:
    Marianne Blickenstaff

    Manuscripts for “Between Text and Sermon” should be sent by email attachment to:
    E. Carson Brisson

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    4. Journal 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 our Frequently Asked Questions on the SAGE Journal Author Gateway.

    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 articles published in the Journal. Equally, we seek to protect the reputation of the Journal against malpractice.  Submitted articles may be checked with duplication-checking software. Where an article 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 (removing it from the journal); taking up the matter with the head of department or dean of the author's institution and/or relevant academic bodies or societies; banning the author from publication in the journal or all Sage journals, or appropriate legal action.

    4.1 SAGE Choice and Open Access

    If you or your funder wish your article to be freely available online to non subscribers immediately upon publication (gold open access), you can opt for it to be included in SAGE Choice, subject to payment of a publication fee. The manuscript submission and peer review procedure is unchanged. On acceptance of your article, you will be asked to let SAGE know directly if you are choosing SAGE Choice. To check journal eligibility and the publication fee, please visit SAGE Choice. For more information on open access options and compliance at SAGE, including self author archiving deposits (green open access) visit SAGE Publishing Policies on our Journal Author Gateway.

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    5. Declaration of conflicting interests

    Within your Journal Contributor’s Publishing Agreement you will be required to make a certification with respect to a declaration of conflicting interests. Interpretation does not require a declaration of conflicting interests but recommends you review the good practice guidelines on the SAGE Journal Author Gateway.

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    6. Authorship

    All parties who have made a substantive contribution to the article should be listed as authors. Principal authorship, authorship order, and other publication credits should be based on the relative scientific or professional contributions of the individuals involved, regardless of their status. A student is usually listed as principal author on any multiple-authored publication that substantially derives from the student’s dissertation or thesis.

    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

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    7. Other conventions

    None applicable.

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    8. Acknowledgements

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

    All contributors who do not meet the criteria for authorship should be listed in an ‘Acknowledgements’ section. Examples of those who might be acknowledged include a person who provided purely technical help, writing assistance, or a department chair who provided only general support. Authors should disclose whether they had any writing assistance and identify the entity that paid for this assistance.

    8.1 Funding Acknowledgement
    To comply with the guidance for Research Funders, Authors and Publishers issued by the Research Information Network (RIN), Interpretation additionally requires all Authors to acknowledge their funding in a consistent fashion under a separate heading. Please visit Funding Acknowledgements on the SAGE Journal Author Gateway to confirm the format of the acknowledgment text in the event of funding or state in your acknowledgments that: This research received no specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors. 

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    9. Permissions

    Authors are responsible for obtaining 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 visit our Frequently Asked Questions on the SAGE Journal Author Gateway.

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    10. Manuscript style

    10.1 File types
    Only electronic files conforming to the journal's guidelines will be accepted. Preferred formats for the text and tables of your manuscript are Word DOC/X, RTF, XLS. Please also refer to additional guideline on submitting artwork and supplemental files below.

    10.2 Journal Style
    For reference on matters of style, please use The SBL Handbook of Style for footnotes and Turabian’s A Manual for Writers, otherwise. Translate any non-English expressions, and provide academic transliterations for words in Hebrew, Greek (etc.) Please limit use of transliterated Hebrew and Greek to words and phrases essential to the interpretation you are advancing.

    Indicate when Scripture references come from a version other than the NRSV.

    Please consult the Interpretation Style Sheet for guidance on additional matters of 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).

    Include your name, full title, and the name of your institution or church, your address, phone number, and email address.

    10.3 Manuscript Preparation
    The text should be double-spaced throughout and with a minimum of 3cm (1 inch) for left and right hand margins and 5cm (1/2 inch) at head and foot. Text should be standard 10 or 12 point.

    10.3.1 Keywords and Abstracts: Helping readers find your article online
    The title, keywords and abstract are key to ensuring readers find your article online through online search engines such as Google. Please refer to the information and guidance on how best to title your article, write your abstract and select your keywords by visiting SAGE’s Journal Author Gateway Guidelines on How to Help Readers Find Your Article Online.

    10.3.2 Corresponding Author Contact details
    Provide full contact details for the corresponding author including email, mailing address and telephone numbers. Academic affiliations are required for all co-authors. These details should be presented separately to the main text of the article to facilitate anonymous peer review.

    10.3.3 Guidelines for submitting artwork, figures and other graphics
    For guidance on the preparation of illustrations, pictures and graphs in electronic format, please visit SAGE’s Manuscript Submission Guidelines.
    Figures supplied in colour will appear in colour online regardless of whether or not these illustrations are reproduced in colour in the printed version. For specifically requested colour reproduction in print, you will receive information regarding the costs from SAGE after receipt of your accepted article.

    Images can be supplied in tiff or jpeg file formats.

    10.3.4 Guidelines for submitting supplemental files
    This journal is able to host approved supplemental materials online, alongside the full-text of articles. Supplemental files will be subjected to peer-review alongside the article. For more information please refer to SAGE’s Guidelines for Authors on Supplemental Files.

    10.3.5 English Language Editing services
    Non-English speaking authors who would like to refine their use of language in their manuscripts might consider using a professional editing service. Visit English Language Editing Services on our Journal Author Gateway for further information.

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    11. After acceptance           

    11.1 Proofs
    We will email a PDF of the proofs to the corresponding author.

    11.2 E-Prints

    SAGE provides authors with access to a PDF of their final article. For further information please visit

    11.3 SAGE Production
    At SAGE we place an extremely strong emphasis on the highest production standards possible. We attach high importance to our quality service levels in copy-editing, typesetting, printing, and online publication ( We also seek to uphold excellent author relations throughout the publication process.

    We value your feedback to ensure we continue to improve our author service levels. On publication all corresponding authors will receive a brief survey questionnaire on your experience of publishing in Interpretation with SAGE.

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    12. Further information

    Any correspondence, queries or additional requests for information on the Manuscript Submission process should be sent to the Editorial Office as follows:

    Marianne Blickenstaff

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