Format of Articles

We want the information on BiblicalTraining Library ("BTL") to be presented in a readable and consistent way. To that end, we've established these guidelines for formatting articles.
 

Technical documentation

We plan to document the technical aspects of article editing here in the future. For the time being, however, if you have questions about the syntax or formatting of articles, please see the editing documentation for MediaWiki. BTL runs on the MediaWiki platform, so its editing syntax will work here as well.

If you've ever edited an article on Wikipedia (which runs on the same platform), you know how to edit an article on BTL.

See Wikipedia's Cheatsheet for more information on basic wiki markup.
 

General Guides for Cleaning up or Merging Articles

Many BTL articles contain abbreviations and organizational quirks that need to be cleaned up. Many article pages also contain information from more than one source; to be as useful as possible, these different sources should be merged into a single readable article incorporating information from each of those sources. Below are some basic guidelines for doing so.
 

Terms in Non-English Languages

When possible, Greek, Hebrew, Latin, Aramaic, or other non-English terms should be rendered in their native font and style. When transliterating them into the English alphabet, non-English terms should be italicized. For example, the Greek word πίστις could be displayed as pistis.
 

Abbreviations

Abbreviated terms should be spelled out in their entirety. Here's a partial list of abbreviations to look for and expand:
 

  • Bible version abbreviations (NIV, ESV, KJV, etc.) should be spelled out in their entirety (New International Version, English Standard Version, King James Version) the first time they appear in the article (and preferably thereafter as well, since readers could access the text at any point). See a list of common Bible version abbreviations.
  • Books of the Bible can probably be abbreviated in a standard way; the tool that automatically linked verses used its own system of abbreviations. As long as the book/verse reference is clear, this is something we can automate or otherwise sort out later.
  • OT: Old Testament
  • NT: New Testament
  • Heb: Hebrew
  • Gre: Greek
  • Akkad.: Akkadian
  • VSS: versions
  • MS: manuscript
  • MSS: manuscripts
  • Inscr: inscription/s
  • esp.: especially
  • lit.: literature
  • trs.: translation
  • ch.: chapter
  • LXX: Septuagint (leave the LXX's for now)
  • Sem.: Semitic

Length of Sections

Articles should have clearly labeled and focused sections. If you find that a longer section is covering more than one topic, break it into two. It should be easy to pinpoint specific information on a page.
 

Templates

 

 

Marking an article for Cleanup

See Article cleanup

 

 

 

 

Adding a Table of Contents to a Series of Articles

Due to the size of some of the articles on BTL, it might make sense to split some of them up into smaller articles. Additionally, you might want to link certain concepts together using a sort of table of contents. If you choose to do so, you'll need to create a table of contents for the article.

For the time being, the easiest way to do so is copy an existing table of contents (ie [Freelinking: unknown plugin indicator "Template"]) into a new article. Please use the following syntax for the article title:

Template:Term Navigation

Just substitute "Term" for the appropriate term that encompasses your articles. After you've finished editing the template to your specifications, you'll need to transclude it on all pages that use it. Use two curly brackets like so:

 

 

 

 

{{Template:Term Navigation}}

 

If you ever need to update the table of contents for a particular series of articles, all you'll need to do is edit the template and the changes will be transcluded on all pages where the template is referenced.
 

Disambiguation Pages

There are two steps to disambiguation pages:
 

Creating the Disambiguation Page itself

To create the disambiguation page, simply create a new page called "Term (Disambiguation)" where 'Term' is the term to be disambiguated (ie Jesus (Disambiguation)). That page should include a list of all terms that relate to that term. See Jesus_(Disambiguation) for an example.
 

Add disambiguation links to the top of articles

Add the following to the top of the article:

 

{{Template:Disam Link|term = Term|disamPage = Disambiguation Page}}

 

Replace 'Term' with whatever term you're disambiguating and 'Disambiguation Page' with the location of the disambiguation page. Here's what the disambiguation link looks like for the Jesus article:

 

{{Template:Disam Link|term = Jesus|disamPage = Jesus (Disambiguation)}}

 

This will output the following:

{{Template:Disam Link|term = Jesus|disamPage = Jesus (Disambiguation)}}
 

Alert Box

For the time being, when a page is in serious need of attention or has some other problem or issue associated with it.
 

 

Administrators' note: This article contains outdated information and is in need of significant review and update.

 

Example articles

The best way to see what a good BTL article looks like is to take a look at some live examples. The Jesus, Jerusalem, Sanctification, and Cross articles showcase what we'd like to see in a typical BTL article. You won't go wrong by simply following the format of those articles.
 

What elements should be present in a BiblicalTraining Library article?

Every article will have its own challenges and nuances. However, each article should follow this general outline:
 

  • Disambiguation Links
  • Synopsis/Introduction
  • Terminology (with sections for Hebrew and Greek)
  • Usage (with sections for Old Testament, New Testament and Apocrypha)
  • History
  • Modern Practice and Interpretation
  • Different Interpretations within Christianity
  • Any Additional Material
  • Bibliography
  • Related Articles
  • Footnote References

Disambiguation links

If an article is part of a group of related articles, or if there are multiple articles that share a name or are otherwise closely related, a note to this effect should be placed at the very top of the article, along with links to the related articles. For example, the Communion article begins with short links to other important articles about the same general topic.
 

Synopsis/Introduction

Each article should begin with an introduction that briefly summarizes the topic in 1-3 sentences.
 

Terminology

The terminology section provides etymological information about the article topic. This often consists of a breakdown of the Greek or Hebrew word. This section should include pronunciation, linguistic and grammatical notes, notes on the translation, and any other information that would be useful for a researcher to know about the term itself.
 

Usage

Most of the topics on BTL are mentioned or implied in the text of Scripture itself. This section lists the places in the Bible where the topic is mentioned, taught, or implied. When prudent use subsections for Old Testament, New Testament and Apocrypha.
 

History

In this section, the topic's history is fleshed out--its actual history, in the case of a person, place or event; or its historical development, in the case of an idea or belief. This section should focus on the topic's relationship to the Bible and Christianity as much as possible.
 

Modern practice and interpretation

This section details modern perspectives and consensus on the topic. In the case of a person, place, or event, this section describes the consensus of modern Christian scholars on it. In the case of a theological belief or practice, this section describes how it currently manifests in the Christian church.
 

Different interpretations within Christianity

As an extension of the above section, this part of the article describes how different branches of Christianity understand the topic differently. (If there is no significant difference in perspective across Christianity, then this section can be omitted.) If the different perspectives are significantly different (as in the case of Communion), it is recommended that a second article be created with the following title: Topic (branch of Christianity), as in Communion (Catholic).
 

Bibliography and further reading

Any references cited in the article should be listed here, along with any suggested reading for somebody interested in further researching the topic. Each item should be on its own line preceded by the hash tag # for automatic numbering.
 

Related Articles

List of any related concepts or articles in this section.
 

Footnote References

If your article has footnotes, the tag should go here.